Topics: HIV, AIDS, Africa Pages: 5 (1667 words) Published: March 24, 2013
HIV is a virus most commonly caught by having unprotected sex or by sharing infected needles and other injecting equipment to inject drugs. (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hiv/pages/introduction.aspx) Scientists believe HIV came from a particular kind of chimpanzee in Western Africa. Humans probably came in contact with HIV when they hunted and ate infected animals. Recent studies indicate that HIV may have jumped from monkeys to humans as far back as the late 1800s. (http://aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/what-is-hiv-aids/) Symptoms: Most people who are infected with HIV experience a short, flu-like illness that occurs two to six weeks after infection. After this, HIV often causes no symptoms for several years. It's estimated that up to 80% of people who are infected with HIV experience this illness. The most common symptoms are fever, sore throat and body rash. Other symptoms can include tiredness, joint pain, muscle pain and swollen glands (nodes). The symptoms, which can last up to four weeks, are a sign that your immune system is putting up a fight against the virus.

Professor Harold Jaffe – University of Oxford. (www.nhs.uk/conditions/HIV) “HIV is an abbreviation for the human immunodeficiency virus which is the virus that causes AIDs. We know it is transmitted sexually, by exposure to blood and from mother to child. We also know that over time it weakens the body’s immune system, so that an infected individual becomes susceptible to a whole variety of serious infections and even some cancers. But that happens relatively very slowly, perhaps over 5, 10 or even more years. The people most risk for HIV really depends on what part of the world you’re talking about. So in this country, in the UK, the most at risk is homosexual men, also recent immigrants from the sub-Saharan Africa and their sexual partners. There is also an epidemic associated with injection drug use and that’s been seen particularly in the southern parts of Europe”

During this time, known as asymptomatic HIV infection, the virus continues to spread and damage your immune system. This process can take about 10 years, during which you will feel and appear well.

How is HIV spread?

HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person, which includes semen and vaginal fluids, blood, inside the anus and breast milk. HIV cannot be transmitted by saliva alone. But the saliva of a person with HIV can be infectious if it contains blood or other body fluids, for example HIV cannot be passed kissing, spitting or being bitten. The most common way of getting HIV in the UK is by unprotected sexual contact with a person who has HIV. This can include vaginal, anal and oral sex. According to statistics from the Health Protection Agency, 95% of those diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2010 acquired HIV as a result of sexual contact. (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/HIV/Pages/Symptomspg.aspx) With the contagious diffusion model, HIV is spread by direct contact via anal or vaginal sex, so the risk of being infected lessens with distance point of outbreak. Also the hierarchical diffusion model explains that HIV/AIDs is spread through a particular class or group. For example, the disease might break out in large settlement and gradually spread to progressively smaller ones. For example, a spread of HIV/AIDs from major cities of Beijing to Xi’an.

The road to death in China.
China is facing an HIV/AIDS epidemic that in some areas has already left 80% of the population infected. The spread of the infection had been particularly aggressive along a main road that runs across almost the whole country. What is now known as the ‘road to death’ starts in the heroin fields on the border with Myanmar and ends in Beijing. Along the route of the road live thousands of drug dealers and hundreds of thousands of addicts, most of whom are taking heroin intravenously. Needle-sharing plays a major role in the transmission of HIV.

But two factors are playing their...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free