Education Is The Key To
Stopping the AIDS Epidemic
The key to stopping the rapidly spreading epidemic of AIDS is education and prevention. The more a person,
family, or nation knows about HIV and AIDS the easier it is to teach preventive measures to stop the spread of
There are several ways of passing the HIV virus from one person to another. Some of the more prevalent and
most common ways are through unprotected sex between two individuals. This sexual intercourse can happen
through heterosexual or homosexual unprotected sex. The virus can also be spread through oral sex with an
infected person. Although it is rare in the United States since 1985, you can get the virus by having a
contaminated blood transfusion. Since 1985, steps have been taken to limit that problem. Tests on blood
supplies are now routinely done to check any donated blood for signs of the HIV virus.
Another common way of passing the HIV virus is by using needles that others have also used. This is found
in areas where intravenous drug use is prevalent. Sharing needles with other drug users poses a danger of
getting the HIV virus. It is important if you have done this in the past that you are checked by a medical
doctor or an anonymous clinic.
Did You Know?
The signs of symptoms of AIDS or HIV are different depending on what stage the
infection is in. When a person is first infected they may have flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph
nodes but recover quickly.
This flu-like sickness may occur two to six weeks after being infected and is not always associated
with the possibility of HIV infection. Even if you do not have any of these symptoms until years
later, you can still infect other people with the virus.
Once your body is invaded with the HIV or AIDS virus, your immune system is under attack. Even
though you may not be having any symptoms, you can still pass the disease on to another person.
Meanwhile, even if you are symptom free, your cells that coordinate your immune system are slowly
You can remain this way for as many as ten years but during that time you will begin it experience
more frequent infections as your immune cells are destroyed.
You may experience chronic symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, shortness of breath, cough,
fever, and unexplained weight loss.
If you work in a career field where you could be exposed to blood from a contaminated person, you should take
precautions to prevent this from happening. Rubber gloves, and sometimes more than one layer of rubber gloves
are needed to keep you from being exposed to the HIV and AIDS virus. It is possible for anyone working in the
medical field to be stuck with a contaminated needle or be exposed to contaminated blood flow. If a
contaminated person’s blood contacting any open sore that is not protected.
Two other ways of contacting this virus is by having artificial insemination when the donor is infected.
Organ transplants can accidentally transfer the HIV virus from one person to another.
Newborn babies are also at risk for having the HIV and AIDS virus passed to them from their mother either during
birth, or by breast-feeding. Many children in underdeveloped nations have been born with the HIV virus passed
down to them from infected mothers.
Keeping your body in the best physical shape and not putting yourself at risk, will help keep
you from getting infected and developing AIDS.
Remain healthy, eat a healthy diet, exercise and get plenty of rest. If you know you are at
risk, watch for the earliest signs and see a doctor immediately.
Here are some methods you can use to help prevent the spread of AIDS.
* Only have sex with one partner who is also committed to only one partner. A protective barrier should also
* Never share needles if you are a drug user.
* Use caution if you are a professional to not touch blood or body fluids that could be contaminated.
* If you have a history of actions that could put you at risk for having the HIV or AIDS virus, have a test before
you become pregnant. If you find you are HIV positive, special prenatal care is needed and there are
medications that will help decrease the risk your child will be born with HIV.