I'm currently doing my revision on AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). While reading, I personally beginning to have mixed feelings about this disease. When I was younger, I heard many comments by the elder generations about this disease." Yerrr.. 'Ai Je Bing'! Surely have multiple partners and always visit prostitute". People are actually having misconception on what AIDS really is. Now that I'm studying about this, I feel pity for those having the disease. Firstly is that, there's no cure at all for this disease, only prevention. Secondly, people with this disease are always looked down upon as, having multiple sexual partners that's why they get AIDS.
However, the pure fact about this disease is..well, of course it's related to sex..as unprotected sex is ONE of the WAY OF TRANSMISSION of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). So those having multiple partner with unprotected sex, the risk of transmission of the HIV virus increases. The virus can also be transmitted to another person through blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk and other fluids with blood.
What AIDS really is? It's not a sexual disease, just to clear things up. It's a disease due to breakdown of immune system and causing multiple infections and opportunistic infections. Infections causes body system to be affected, and slowly cause malabsorption of nutrients from food. When nutrients are not sufficient, immune system further weaken and infections will continue to occur.
The first 1 to 2 decades of life are not really obvious for HIV carrier as the symptoms are not so obvious. There are 4 stages in AIDS:
1) Acute HIV Infection (4-7 weeks): Infections are short and symptoms are flu-like, immune system reacts to HIV virus and antibody produced to protect body from infection. A -ve HIV result when HIV test are done at this stage.
2) Asymptomatic Chronic HIV Infection (months to years): No symptoms, HIV level drop low but still detectable
3) Symptomatic HIV Infection: Over-time, immune system will slowly weaken as it becomes too tired fighting HIV virus all these while, HIV virus also becomes mutant and pathogenic and attacks antibody. Body cannot replace the antibody fast enough results in decrease immune system function = increase infection risk (opportunity infection)
4) AIDS @ Advanced HIV: Immune system destroyed with antibody <14% in body.
From the readings, this makes me so fear for this disease. I think people should put down their 'color glasses' and try to support those with HIV or AIDS because some of them, don't really want to be carrying the disease. Some got it from their mother (innocent right?). Some get from accident or due to small cut or wound and exposed to blood with HIV without notice...It's just so pitiful..
God bless these people, help them to be strong to withstand the disease!