500+ Words Essay on AIDS
Can you believe that around 38 million people in the world are, currently, suffering from a disease, which had already taken the lives of around 35 million in the past! “Dangerous” is the first word that we associate with this disease from these figures; but still, what is more dangerous, is that, despite being such a deadly disease, it is one of the most “taboo” diseases of the world! This disease is called “AIDS”. Its name may mean ‘to help’, but it just helps a person to die!
AIDS, which is a short-form for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is one of the most fatal diseases of the world. AIDS is caused by a virus named HIV, i.e. Human Immunodeficiency Virus. We can get an idea about the work of this virus from its name itself.
It weakens our immune system by getting into White Blood Cells also called WBCs (White Blood Cells), which are involved in protecting our body from infectious diseases and foreign invaders, and then destroying WBCs and the T-helper cells (T-helper cells helps other cells in our immune system to fight off the invading viruses).
This results in the weakening of the body’s immune system, which becomes more susceptible or likely to catch other diseases too! Eventually, as the body is not able to fight off the diseases, it leads to the final stage of this disease, AIDS.
History of AIDS
The first cases of AIDS were found in the Western parts of Africa, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It later on spread outside of Africa, during the early 20th century, when the urbanisation was at its peak in Africa.
Later on, when some deaths were reported late 20th century in America, it was taken as a serious issue.
Types of HIV
There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2.
HIV-1 contributes to 90% of the cases, while HIV-2 is very rare. Hence, generally, when we are referring to HIV, we are talking about HIV-1.
Generally, HIV transmits in one of the 3 ways :
- Sexual transmission
Blood: The transfusion of HIV through blood was very common in its initial spread. By reusing of needles, we can transmit this virus from an infected person to a healthy one. But nowadays, stricter norms have led to fewer cases due to this reason.
Prenatal: Prenatal transmission is possible through an infected mother to her child while breastfeeding, during delivery of a baby or even during pregnancy.
Sexual Transmission: Sexual transmission occurs through body fluids while having sexual activity or unprotected sexual intercourse through oral, genital, or rectal parts.
According to the UN, “India has the 3rd largest number of people living with HIV in the world,” i.e. around 2.1 million at the end of 2013.
Symptoms of AIDS
As HIV attacks on the WBCs of the body, the overall immune system of the human body is reduced, and due to that, the infected person is at risk of catching other diseases very easily.
Normally, it takes 0-12 years for symptoms to appear rapidly, and the common symptoms are fever, fatigue, loss of weight, dysentery, swollen nodes, etc. Hence, a person can live with this disease for around 10 years, without knowing that he/she is suffering from it!
Also, this disease doesn’t just affect a person’s health life, but its social life too! The social stigma and trauma that follows this disease are also worse.
AIDS – Prevention and Treatment
Currently, there’s no cure for this disease. But its growth and spread in the body can be controlled by a drug therapy called ART or Anti-Retroviral Therapy. Still, a person has to learn to live with this virus.
1st December is known as World AIDS Day, to spread awareness of this disease, as this is the only way to fight off this disease. As more awareness will make people take medicine in the early stage of this disease itself. The governments of various countries and the World Health Organisation (WHO), have taken various steps to increase the awareness of this disease, globally.
The life of an AIDS patient is never too easy, but with various technological and medical advancements like ART, patients can live a long, normal and a happy life. Still, the battle is not over; the fight against this virus must not slow its pace.