28 September 2011

Hiv/Aids and Condom

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the most dreaded disease of our times. The most dangerous aspect of HIV is the fact that it affects the immune system of the body, leaving you exposed to a number of diseases, with virtually no protection of any kind. Now, since the immune system of our body is responsible for warding off potential threat to the body, in the form of external factors, such as virus, bacteria and protozoa.

Since the immune system itself is damaged, an HIV+ patient has little hope. This is because HIV is still an incurable disease till date; and though we have many scientists claiming to find a cure, we still lack conclusive evidence on their part. Therefore, the best way to fight HIV/AIDS is to save you from getting infected.

Unprotected sexual intercourse is one of the major causes of spreading of the disease. It therefore becomes necessary to use a barrier, to reduce the risk of getting infected with HIV/AIDS. As it is, the male condom is by far the most important barrier that we have today. Apart from that, female condoms too play a very vital role in preventing the spread of the virus, via sexual intercourse.
Using a condom, does not in any way implies a risk free sexual intercourse, but it definitely reduces the risk of getting infected by a significant margin. However, there are a few things that you need to remember, before you go for a condom. The following are some of these factors that you must always consider:

1. The first thing that you need to see is that your condom needs to be a latex condom and should not be made of any other material, such as lambskin. This is because; latex or rubber would provide you with the maximum amount of protection during sexual intercourse.

2. Another important aspect that you should always keep in mind is that, your condom should be big enough to cover the entire penis. Any condom which does not cover your entire penis is actually increasing the chances of getting infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

3. Apart from that, you should see to it that, you are using a different condom, every time you are having sexual intercourse. This is very important and you should always remember it.

4. You should also check the packaging of the condom and see to it, whether it actually says anything about disease protection. Fancy and stimulating condoms which do not say anything about disease prevention should be avoided.

5. Proper storage of the condom would also play a very important role in prevention from getting infected. This is because, unless the condom is properly stored, then it might give way during sexual intercourse.

Using a condom lowers your risk of infection by a great margin; and although the safest form of sex is no sex at all, using a condom would greatly reduce your risk of getting infected.

How the Fight against HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS has grown into a sort of epidemic in today’s times. What makes it so deadly, is the fact that, it is a life threatening disease, which still does not have any cure. Although we have a number of retroviral drugs and medications, which help in increasing the lifespan of an infected person, it can not definitely be said to be a cure.

Now sadly, we do not have too many options that we can think of, when we consider a fight against HIV/AIDS. So, until the day, we are able to find a cure for HIV, the best way to fight this disease, is to prevent oneself from getting infected.

The following are some of the ways of prevention from HIV infection:
1. Blood transfusion
 In case of blood transfusion, you should always get the screening details of the blood. Similarly in case of organ transplantation screening would save you from getting infected with HIV.

2. Use sterilized needles
You should always use sterilized needles and disposable syringes, if you do not wish to be infected with HIV. By doing this, you significantly reduce your chances of infection. It is better to avoid piercing and tattoos; and even if you do wish to get a tattoo or piercing job done, then make sure, that the needles are properly sterilized.

3. Sexual abstinence
Unprotected sex is one of the major reasons for spread of HIV at such a rapid rate. Therefore the best thing to do for you, if you do not wish to be infected with it is, to go for total abstinence from sexual activity, till you are married to a person who is tested free of HIV.

4. Monogamous relationship
Having sex with a number of people would always increase your chances of getting infected with HIV. So, a monogamous sexual relationship with a person tested free of HIV, considerably reduces your chances of HIV infection.

5. Sexual protection measures
You should never indulge in unprotected sex. Although condoms do not completely eliminate your chances of HIV infection; they surely do reduce your chances of infection by a considerable margin.

6. Avoid open cuts and wounds
Open cuts and wounds considerably increase your chances of contacting HIV. It is therefore advisable to refrain from open cuts and wounds.

7. Precautions in case of pregnancy
 If you are pregnant, it is better to get an HIV test done. There are a few medication facilities, which considerably lower the chances of transfer of HIV from a mother to her unborn child. Also take advice from your doctor in regard to breast feeding, if you have been infected with HIV.

Apart from these basic steps, a considerably important step in regard to your fight with HIV is spreading awareness. Since unawareness is one of the major reasons for the wild spread of HIV, a major step in our fight with HIV, would be to spread awareness in this regard.

AIDS virus and the race war

One of the most significant developments in light of the gradual growth of HIV/AIDS as a killer epidemic is the floatation of a number of conspiracy theories. Most of these conspiracy theories harbor on the idea that, HIV/AIDS is a man made disaster.

As it is, further debates on this topic have led to a general boost to the already prevalent race war among the people. The following are some of the race related theories which have been floated for some time:

Conspiracy theory one: - AIDS/HIV is a virus designed by the US Government to eliminate the entire black race.
This theory is one of the most common theories of all times and has been in the circuits, for more than a decade. The theory has also found favor with a majority of people from the black community, as Africans and Afro-Americans are among the worst hit people. According to a recent survey, more than ninety percent of those affected by HIV/AIDS live in the developing and underdeveloped world.

Due to these reasons, the conspiracy theory that the HIV/AIDS virus was evolved in the US laboratories, as a well planned genocidal move to eliminate the non-white race. Irresponsible comments by many members of the Congress have added further fuel to the controversy.

Many more related conspiracy theories, suggesting the involvement of the WHO in the mass murder and genocide of the colored people have also surfaced in recent times. As it is, there were even claims that the vaccination program conducted by the WHO is a conspiracy to inject the black race with HIV/AIDS virus.

Conspiracy two: - HIV/AIDS was a laboratory experiment conducted on the black race.
This is another theory, which has become very popular in recent times. Supporters of this theory claim that the HIV/AIDS virus was actually part of a laboratory program, which went wrong. As it is the experiment was conducted on a number of people belonging to the black community. However, the experiment went wrong and HIV began its journey and continues to do so. People also suggest that, even when the experiments went wrong, practically no steps were taken to prevent it from spreading further. This was primarily because, the people at stake were not from the white community and so, the US government chose to play it down.

Conspiracy theory three: - HIV/AIDS is not at all a virus
This is by far the most bizarre theories of all times. Of late, it has been able to find favor with a number of people all across the globe. Supporters of this theory suggest that, HIV/AIDS is not at all a virus, but instead it is a result of certain drugs and vaccines which have been administered to the public and primarily to the black race.

There have been a number of conspiracy theories, related to the evolution and spread of HIV/AIDS. As it is, HIV/AIDS is one of the biggest problems till date and instead of focusing on who and why it started; it would be much better to focus on how to end it.

About AIDS and population control

With HIV becoming the biggest epidemic to challenge mankind, it is time to take some concrete steps in this regard. However, most people seem to be more concerned with the origin of the disease, rather than think of ways to stop the menace from getting out of control.

A major blockade to all the efforts of controlling the growth of HIV/AIDS, is the floatation of a number of conspiracy theories. One of the most popular of these theories is that, HIV/AIDS is in fact a man made disaster and has been developed by the US Government to control the population of the non whites.

This is one theory which has done great harm to the efforts undertaken by the UN to control the growth of HIV. As it is, the theory readily found favor with a majority of people from the black community, as Africans and Afro-Americans are among the worst hit people. This is very much evident, as according to a recent survey; which stated that more than ninety percent of those affected by HIV/AIDS live in the developing and underdeveloped nations of Africa and Asia.

As it is, the conspiracy theory revolves around a perception that the HIV/AIDS virus was evolved in the US laboratories, as a well planned genocidal move to eliminate the non-white race.

As if this was not enough, irresponsible comments by many members of the Congress have added further fuel to the controversy. Along with that, every now and then we have a retired CIA official or a retired FBI agent coming up with exclusive news in this regard.

These people claim to be forced by their conscience, into bringing such matter into the notice of the public. It is such an irony that these people do not get a call from their so called conscience, while they are still in office.

So, they come up with secret information, exclusively for the notice of the public on the basis of classified documents, which they had access to, while they were in offices. You are bamboozled by this latest piece of information and curse the government for its purely racist approach.

It would be interesting to know that, not just the US government, but even the WHO was not spared. As it is, the supporters of this theory have also suggested the involvement of the WHO in the mass murder and genocide of the colored people. There were claims that the vaccination programs conducted by the WHO in the 1960s and 1970s were in fact a conspiracy to inject the black race with HIV/AIDS virus.

Such theories have been quite detrimental to the world population, not only by way of deepening the racial divide, but have been very instrumental in jeopardizing the UN cause of controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS. In fact, in recent years many HIV infected people from the black community have stayed away from antiretroviral drugs under the suspicion that it may further worsen their condition.

National HIV Testing Day

HIV/AIDS is one of the biggest challenges that we face in the modern times. As it is, the situation is getting worse day by day. A major reason for this is the fact, that, most people are not aware of the fact, that, they are infected with HIV.

This has changed the situation from bad to worse. As we see all around us, the world is filled with undetected cases of HIV infections. This is a potential danger. People most often, unknowingly infect others, who in turn pass the virus to someone else. This way, the cycle continues.

The best way that we have in our hand, to deal with this problem, is HIV testing; which can prove to be an important tool in stopping the disease from spreading further. An active step in this direction is the National HIV testing day.

National HIV testing day is being held on June 27 each year, for the past many years. The idea of this program is to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS, among the people, so as to minimize the spread of HIV.

Typically, HIV testing has a number of advantages. Some of them are as follows:

1. The first and foremost advantage of HIV testing is that, it stops you from spreading the virus any further, if you have knowledge of your infection. This means that you can save your partner from getting infected with the disease, by taking necessary precautions.

2. Longer life span is the second advantage of HIV Testing. Studies have shown a considerable improvement of the life span amongst those, who were affected by HIV/AIDS; where proper medication has actually slowed the progress of the virus. As a result, the life expectancy of the patients increased by as many as five to six years. This is a commendable thing, especially when it takes eight to ten years for HIV to develop into AIDS.

3. Thirdly, if you are a pregnant woman, infected with the virus, you have chances of lowering the risk of infecting your unborn child. Also, you can stop the virus from spreading to your children by way of breast milk.
According to a rough estimate, more than two hundred and fifty thousand people in America are infected with this disease; and a major portion of them are not even aware of it. This makes it a potent disaster waiting to happen. However, you can actually lower its impact. All you need to do is to register yourself for HIV testing and make the National HIV testing day, a great success.

Take the test, take control” is the theme of the National HIV testing events this year. Recently National HIV testing Day took place on June 27 across U.S with the motive of raising public awareness and saving lives.

The events which promoted awareness among the people against the deadly disease also offered free testing for the people.
The Health Officials believe that 250,000 Americans are infected with HIV, but do not know it.

If these people take part in such events and get themselves tested, then a lot of awareness can be built among them so that they take care of themselves and also save lives of others from being infected.

Other than this, three HIV/AIDS testing sites in the metro Detroit area will be available today. Testing will be conducted in the metro area at these locations:

The Midwest AIDS Prevention Project in Ferndale will be testing at 429 Livernois from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. today.

The city Department of Health and Wellness Promotion will be testing at Belle Isle Casino in downtown Detroit from 10 to 5 p.m.
AIDS Partnership Michigan will be testing at 2751 E. Jefferson in Detroit, though the times were not available Thursday.
The type of test varies by location. Some sites will test using a mouth swab, while others will use the finger-pricking method. No appointment is necessary. For testing sites elsewhere in Michigan, call 800-872-2437 or go online to www.aidspartnership.org. 

Margaret Jones, HIV counselor for the Detroit Health Department feels that Prevention is the key to avoid HIV/AIDS.
“We want to prevent the spread of HIV, so it is very important that everyone knows their status”. She said.
About 350 people test positive among the more than 68,000 tested for HIV each year at Michigan Department of Community Health sites. About 7,160 people in the city of Detroit were living with HIV/AIDS in April 2007, Jones said.
But unfortunately, not many are aware of their status.
Because anyone can get HIV, CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested as a routine part of their medical care. CDC also recommends that pregnant women be tested early during each pregnancy. This will help eliminate the spread of HIV to infants.

Early HIV diagnosis is critical, so people who are infected can fully benefit from available live-saving treatments. Currently, almost 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they have already developed AIDS that can be up to 10 years after they first became infected with HIV.

Finding out whether you are infected with HIV is the first step to improving your health and the health of your partners and your family. The week of June 27 there will be thousands of organizations offering HIV testing and hosting special NHTD events. Make plans to get tested and encourage others to get tested as well with an e-Card.

Organized annually by the National Association of People with AIDS* (NAPWA), with support from CDC, this year marks the 16th Annual NHTD. The theme of campaign – "Take the Test. Take Control" – highlights the need for HIV testing.

NAPWA and other NHTD organizers reach out to communities at increased risk of HIV infection, especially African American and Latino populations. HIV exacts a devastating toll on African Americans, who account for almost half of new HIV diagnoses (49% in 2006) but only approximately 13% of the population in the 33 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting. Latinos are also hard hit, accounting for nearly 20% of new HIV diagnoses (18% in 2006) but only approximately 13% of population in those 33 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting.