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Hiv Epidemiology Paper

1421 words - 6 pages

July 27, 2014

Epidemiology
HIV is an acronym that stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The HIV virus attacks a carrier’s immune system making a simple cold detrimental to their health. It is spread though contact with an infected individual’s blood, semen, or vaginal fluid. The two most common ways that people contract HIV is though unprotected sex with a partner who knowingly or unknowingly has HIV, or through sharing needles with regards to drug use. The HIV virus works by attacking cells called CD4+ cells. These cells make up a large part of one’s immune system. When a certain number of CD4+ cells are destroyed, the human body is no longer able to fight off infections, regardless ...view middle of the document...

1 million people living with the virus are not aware they’ve contracted the virus. Approximately 50,000 people are newly diagnosed with HIV every year. The majority of these people fall into the category of African American males who have intercourse with other males. Due to the rise of this pandemic, it is urgent that people become educated and are able to regurgitate information as to how to easily prevent contracting this virus.
It’s very important for people at high risk for HIV and other STDs to get tested regularly to protect themselves as well as their present and future partners. Ways to get tested include a blood, urine, and saliva test. The symptoms of HIV vary depending on the individual as well as the stage of HIV. Early symptoms are usually flu like symptoms including: fevers, swollen glands, sore throat, rash, fatigue, muscle/joint pains, headache, and dehydration (aids.gov, 2014). These symptoms, if left untreated can lead to other health concerns also weakening the immune system. People with these symptoms should not automatically assume that they have HIV or self diagnose because these symptoms are related to a variety of illnesses and diseases. In addition, those who have contracted the HIV virus may not always experience symptoms. Many HIV infected people do not experience any symptoms for decades. This stage, in which the person is not experiencing any symptoms, is called the latency stage. This stage has recently been proven able to be prolonged with the help of medical interventions such as ART (antiretroviral therapy).
The determinants of health are factors that contribute to a person's current state of health. These factors may be biological, socioeconomic, psychosocial, behavioral, or social in nature. Scientists generally recognize five determinants of health of a population (Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention, 2014). With regards to HIV, the health determinants are very clear with many studies and research articles to back them. Which ever you believe; biologically, psychosocial, or behavioral, a homosexual is more likely of contracting the virus. In terms of behavioral and socioeconomic, people who practice risky behaviors such as having multiple partners and engaging in intercourse without a condom are also at risk for contracting this virus. Places that are of lower economic status may not have access to condoms, or may not be able to afford them. In the United States there are many free clinics that hand out free condoms, but elsewhere in the world these clinics are less abundant or nonexistent. Also, the economical status of the geographic location tends to reflect on those who are contracted with the virus later on. Most likely those who are unable to afford condoms, are unlikely to have healthcare or access to a testing facility. These individuals are more likely to progress to AIDS faster as well as pass the virus onto other partners unknowingly.
The epidemiological triangle in terms of HIV, the...

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