A communicable disease is an illness that is spread through contact of germs and bacteria. Humans, animals and foods are all transporters of germs and bacteria that can deliver a contagious illness from one host to another. An effortless touch or swapping of fluids is all that germs and bacteria need to spread. There are several pertinent communicable diseases in the World today. For the purposes of this paper, we will focus on HIV/AIDS. AIDS is a chronic, deadly condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Factors such as lifestyle, environmental, socioeconomic status and disease management are large factors that influence HIV/AIDS. HIV impedes the body’s capability of fighting off viruses, bacteria, and fungi that cause illness and infection. A person with HIV is more vulnerable to contracting certain types of cancers and infections of the body. This same vulnerable individual is more at risk for losing their life to a usually treatable illness.
One of the chief organizations that have headed the efforts of controlling the number of HIV/AIDS cases in America is the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC has many components attached to the public health prevention and education mission. The CDC works with community, state, national, and international cohorts in examination, research, prevention, and evaluation activities. The CDC estimates that about 1. 1 million Americans are living with HIV and about 21% of them do not know that they are infected. The CDC has even created a division dedicated to HIV/AIDS prevention.
The Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention focuses on national leadership for prevention, treatment and elimination of HIV/AIDS (Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Lifestyle has a very large influence on the management of HIV/AIDS. The disease is mainly transmitted though sexual intercourse. The majority of HIV cases are found in individuals who are taking part in unprotected sex with a person that has HIV. In the United States, as of 2009, many of the sexual transmissions in male to male contact, 64% of these cases make up the population.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 80,000 persons with AIDS, infected through heterosexual sex, have died, including an estimated 4,434 in 2009 (Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). HIV is also transmitted through breast feeding, vaginal birth and transfusions with infected blood. There are ways to control the spread of the disease, such as abstinence, not sharing needles and not using infected blood during blood transfusions.
Education plays a large part in controlling the spread as well. Knowing that the disease spreads through vaginal fluid, saliva, and blood, may help an individual protect themselves from contracting the disease. Getting tested is another great way to stop the spread of the disease, because if you know you have it you can alert others that you are a carrier or take preventative measures to ensure that you are not responsible for infecting another person. Environmental factors also play a large role in relation to HIV/AIDS.
Cultural and religious beliefs about sexuality and sexual conduct of certain populations, such as gay men, drugs users and commercial sex workers, influence the perspective people have on HIV/AIDS. In a culture where being homosexual is considered wrong for moral and religious reason, someone may try to avoid getting tested or treated for the illness because of shame, and continue to spread it because of denial. This is just an example of how an environmental fact can influence HIV/AIDS. Socioeconomic status also plays a role in disease management.
A person with HIV/AIDS, living in poverty, will be unable to afford the necessary doctor visit; medication and prevention tools (condoms) needed to stop the spread of the virus. These factors are very influential on the fact that many of the HIV/AIDS cases are found in lower socioeconomic classes. Organizations such as The World Health Association and the National Institute of Health that offer resources for funding, education and help with treatment for individuals who otherwise could not afford it.
All of these factors play a role in disease management, but until a cure is found and prevention practices are adopted by more individuals, there will never be a complete end of the spread of the disease and a decreased number of deaths occurring as a result of the disease. It is up to the society to be more aware and utilize safer practices. With persistent research and improvements, HIV/AIDS will be less of a death sentence for more individuals and more of a manageable disease they should cautiously live with.
References Alfsen, A. (2004,June). Environmental Factors in HIV/AIDS epidemic development: New Perspective for Gender Equality and Global Protect Against HIV Transmission.
Retrieved from http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pubmed/15253905 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). CDC Responds to HIV. AIDS. Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/hiv/aboutDHAP. htm Wellness. (2012). Factors affecting HIV progression. Retrieved from http://www. wekkness. com/reference/allergies/factors-affecting-hiv-prgression.