Can anyone tell me the cause of this, or even what it possibly can be? This, my dear friends, is called Kaposi’s Sarcoma. This, from many other diseases, is a common tumor found amongst HIV-infected patients. Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the HIV/AIDS awareness event. Today we will be talking about the history of AIDS and the misconceptions that have blocked our minds from the truth behind this horrific disease. What are the origins of this horrific disease?
What are the myths of our past that are still believed today? What is the actual, medical truth about HIV/AID? There has been much confusion about how and where this horrendous disease actually started. The first evidences of AIDS led a Belgian examiner to Africa. Peter Piat was examining a dangerous fever called Ebola Fever. Ebola Fever is a deadly disease that has a lot of similarities with AIDS. When researchers first discovered this new virus, they were astonished by the number of people that were infected with it.
As Rolling Stone Magazines’ reporter, Rian Malan, once reported, “It turned up almost everywhere – in eighty percent of Nairobi prostitutes, thirty-two percent of Ugandan truck drivers, forty-five percent of hospitalized Rwandan children. ” Seeing how many people have died from this dreadful disease is astonishing. However, do you know what else is astonishing; the misconceptions that have been spread about this disease. The most common misconception about AIDS is that the origination of AIDS was from a group of homosexual men who were in the West Coast of the United States.
Another very familiar misconception would be that AIDS began by a man having sexual intercourse with an African monkey. Well, if you are still the victims of this unusual scenario, let me be the first to tell you other wise. AIDS did not start by a man having sexual intercourse with a monkey. Yes, HIV is most likely the mutated version of the disease, Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) that is present in African chimpanzees. The transfer of this virus to humans was through the process of hunting for food. Chimpanzees with SIV were most likely hunted for food and the hunters had come into to blood contact with these monkeys.
The last that I will be mentioning out of the many is misconception is how the HIV-infection can get transferred. This infection cannot get transferred by regular daily-life contact, such as, shaking hands, hugging, “dry” kissing, drinking from the same glass, or even coughing and/or sneezing, by an infected person. It’s not cooties guys, where you touch someone and pass it on. Even tongue kissing; which causes saliva exchange is a low risk factor because saliva carries a very low viral load. HIV can only be transferred by this action if the partners have blood in their mouth because of cuts, open sores, or gum disease.
Now that we have gone through the misconceptions of HIV/AIDS, what do the experts have to say about this disease? What is HIV, and what is AIDS, or is it the same thing? No, HIV is not the same as AIDS. However, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS; it is part of a division of viruses called retroviruses or slow viruses. HIV slowly starts attacking your immune system, by destroying immune system cells. This damage leads to the final stage of the HIV infection, AIDS. AIDS, acquired immune deficiency, is a deadly virus that attacks vital organs of the body, such as the CD4+ T cells, macrophages, and dendrite cells.
These CD4+ T cells are needed for proper functioning of the immune system. When there are fewer than two hundred CD4+ T cells, per micro liter of blood, then they are at a risk of cellular resistance. On the foundation of the amount of CD4+ T cells there are in the blood, experts are able to tell the progress of an Acute HIV infection from AIDS. The HIV infection is set into four stages. The first stage is the period called the window, it is the time from when the person’s body starts developing antibodies; which is what the HIV test looks for.
The second stage is called seroconversion, the stage where a lot of antibodies are developed to fight off the virus. The third stage is called symptom free because during this phase a person may show no symptoms at all. The final stage is called AIDS, which is when the T cell count drops below two hundred. The risk factors of how slow or fast your disease will progress is shown by how weak or strong your immune system is. There are many tests that can help you discover which stage you are in, as well as prevention strategies, which will be discussed by my colleague, Vanessa Alexis.
With that being said, I will be coming to a conclusion shortly. AIDS, acquire immune deficiency, a horrifying disease that has haunted and taken the lives of many. A murderous plaque that is very much alive out there to torture the human society. There have been many misunderstandings about this disease in the past histories. There are many uncertainties that still roam the air. However, with the help of the experts, and not to mention the great amount of present day technologies, there is still hope to fight this atrocious murderer. With that being said, ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you, Vanessa Alexis.