The Search for a Cure
The worldwide phenomenon that has affected the lives of millions of people is known as AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and it is a medical condition in which a person’s immune system is too weak to fight off illnesses and infections (AIDS. 1). AIDS was first discovered in the year of 1981, and since then more than 25 million lives have been taken (AIDS. 2). Although the amount of deaths is a significant number, the search for the cure of the AIDS pandemic has become reachable throughout the years.
I. Prevention of AIDS
There are several possible ways for a person to become diagnosed with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. One of these ways is through perinatal or vertical transmission (Providers 1). This transmission refers to the mother passing down the infection through birth, breastfeeding, or simply during pregnancy (Providers 2). For pregnant women who are HIV positive, it is essential that they receive antiretroviral drug therapy, which helps to reduce the transmission of AIDS to their baby (Providers 1). In recent studies, after pregnant women took initiative and participated in the therapy, dropped the rate of overall perinatal transmission to only 2% (Providers 1).
Another possibility of becoming infected is through unprotected sex. For years condoms have been available to help protect one’s self from sexually transmitted diseases, one of these
STD’s being HIV/AIDS. In the United States, approximately 53% of new infections come from sexual contact (AIDS Research… 1). Since it is expected that not everyone can, or will, use protection during intercourse, microbicides were developed to decrease the transmission of sexual diseases (AIDS Research… 2). Microbicides can be applied to the areas that may become infected during intercourse, and they have the possibility of eliminating HIV on contact as well as protecting cells that may be more vulnerable than others (AIDS Research… 2).
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