What are the Causes of AIDS?
HIV Infection in Plain English. HIV and AIDS are sexually transmitted diseases that are spread by having
unprotected sex with an infected partner. The virus enters the body through the linings of the vulva, penis,
rectum, vagina, or the mouth during sex. AIDS was first diagnosed in homosexual males in the early 1980’s it
has spread throughout the world and most new cases are in the heterosexual population throughout the
This disease can be spread through contact with contaminated blood. This can through a transfusion of
blood units or of contaminated blood. This is a danger for anyone in the health care field and measures
should be taken to prevent accidental infection of HIV or AIDS. HIV is often spread among drug users who
share needles or syringes with other users. Women also are passing the HIV virus to their unborn children
during their pregnancy or while giving birth.
It is important to know that HIV/AIDS cannot be spread through casual contact with an infected person. You
cannot get the virus that causes AIDS by using food utensils that an infected person has used, and it can’t be
passed through use of bed linens or towels that have been used by an AIDS patient. Another common myth that
needs debunking is that you can get AIDS in a swimming pool, contact with a telephone, or water fountain, or from
an unprotected toilet seat. In the beginning of the awareness of HIV and AIDS, people would shun those people
who were exposed to the virus, including banning them from churches and public buildings because they have had
contact with an AIDS patient. One person who attended a church that had provided the funeral for her husband,
an AIDS patient, was educated by the pastor to allow the congregation to welcome her with open
arms…literally. The first time a member of the congregation gave her a hug, she cried. It was the first
time someone who didn’t know her had spontaneously given her a hug since her husband had been diagnosed with
AIDS. The education of the American public and the world has come a long way in the last 30 years, and
usually people know the virus can’t be passed on with casual touch.
Did You Know?
HIV Infection in Plain English
The best and most certain way of not getting HIV or AIDS is to avoid contact with body fluids
from an infected person. Contact can occur during homosexual or heterosexual activity. Body fluids
find an opening in the body and the infection is passed to another person. The virus can get into
the vagina, anus, mouth, and eyes.
A person with an open cut or wound can allow the virus into their body. If you are in the
medical profession, it is urgent you take precautions while handling patients. Gloves, masks, and
goggles are necessary to protect from accidental infection of the HIV virus.
Research on the HIV virus and the disease of AIDS has been continuing since the early 1980’s.
The epidemic is growing and scientists and researchers are constantly working on vaccines and new
therapies for AIDS and other HIV associated conditions. There are over 30 HIV vaccines are being
tested on humans and there are many other drugs for HIV or AIDS related infections are still being
developed and tested by major laboratories. Researchers are still trying to trace how the disease
progresses and how it damages the immune system.
It is important to know that people who already have an existing sexually transmitted disease are more likely to
develop HIV and AIDS. Syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea are common sexually transmitted
diseases and those who have these diseases are more likely to develop AIDS.
If you are in a relationship with a partner who is at risk, or already has the HIV virus, you should clearly take
precautions to prevent getting the virus. While researchers are still working on a chemical barrier to
prevent the spread of the virus through sexual transmission, there is still no effective way to prevent infection
with drugs or chemicals. If you are in an occupation where you will have contact with contaminated blood
there are simple procedures that will prevent you from contracting the disease. Well there you have it
information about HIV Infection in Plain English