AIDS - What's New ?


?
-------------------
Is the message getting through? We already know enough about AIDS to
prevent its spread, but ignorance, complacency, fear and bigotry continue
to stop many from taking adequate precautions.

We know enough about how the infection is transmitted to protect
ourselves from it without resorting to such extremes as mandatory testing,
enforced quarantine or total celibacy. But too few people are heeding the
AIDS message. Perhaps many simply don't like or want to believe what they
hear, preferring to think that AIDS "can't happen to them." Experts
repeatedly remind us that infective agents do not discriminate, but can
infect any and everyone. Like other communicable ...

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false security by
modern antibiotics and vaccines about our ability to conquer infections,
the Western world was ill prepared to cope with the advent of AIDS in 1981.
(Retro- spective studies now put the first reported U.S. case of AIDS as
far back as 1968.) The arrival of a new and lethal virus caught us off
guard. Research suggests that the agent responsible for AIDS probably
dates from the 1950s, with a chance infection of humans by a modified
Simian virus found in African green monkeys. Whatever its origins,
scientists surmise that the disease spread from Africa to the Caribbean
and Europe, then to the U.S. Current estimates are that 1.5 to 2 million
Americans are now probably HIV carriers, with higher numbers in Central
Africa and parts of the Caribbean.

Recapping AIDS - the facts: ---------------------------

AIDS is an insidious, often fatal but less contagious disease than
measles, chicken pox or hepatitis B. AIDS is thought to be caused
primarily by a virus that ...

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after first
invading human cells. When switched on, viral replication may speed along,
producing new viruses that destroy fresh lymphocytes. As viral replication
spreads, the lymphocyte destruction virtually sabotages the entire immune
system. In essence, HIV viruses do not kill people, they merely render the
immune system defenceless against other "opportunistic: infections, e.g.
yeast invasions, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr
infections, massive herpes infections, special forms of pneumonia
(Pneumocystis carinii - the killer in half of all AIDS patients), and
otherwise rare malignant tumours (such as Kaposi's sarcoma.)

Cofactors may play a crucial contributory role: ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 1/29/2007 04:43:17 PM
Category: Health & Medicine
Type: Free Paper
Words: 3362
Pages: 13

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