Free essay on AIDS and its control
AIDS or Acquired immunity deficiency syndrome is caused by virus belonging to a retrovirus group. It has been given the name HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus). In this disease the viruses attack the lymphocytes (T4) and destroy them. Lymphocytes are necessary to provide immunity against any disease whenever our body gets any kind of infection. Lymphocytes are produced in large numbers and they kill the infecting microbes.
With the destruction of the lymphocytes the entire defence mechanism (immunity) is disturbed and the body will not be able to combat even ordianry infections. While AIDs does not kill the individual directly it renders the body weak and susceptible to all kinds of infections. The first few AIDS cases were reported in 1981 in Atlanta USA; since then it has spread to all countries including India.
Transmission of AIDS:
The following are the methods of viral transmission.
a. Through sexual intercourse with an infected person (homosexuals are more susceptible)
b. Through contaminated injecting needles
c. Through blood transfusion
d. Infants of infected mothers also get the disease through maternal blood.
All HIV infected persons need not show visible symptoms. The virus after gaining entry may remain dormant for a period ranging between 9-300 months. In blood transfusion cases this may be between 4- 14 months. Persons with AIDS infection can be classified into (3) categories.
1. Healthy carries:
This is the first stage; there are no symptoms. But they are capable of infecting others. They may develop full blown symptoms or may remain healthy for a long period.
2. Prodromal phase, litis is called AIDS related complex (ARC). This group has a milder form of the disease with fever, diarrhoea, weight loss and enlarged lymph glands. They exhibit supression of immune system.
3. The end stage:
Here AIDS is fully developed; the patient dies of uncontrollable infections of lung, exertin, chest pain, fever, loss of weight, severe headache, loss of memory, convulsions, development of skinmalignancy (Kaposis sacroma) etc.
Identification of AIDS:
Serological test of the blood by Elisa or Western blot will indicate the presence of anitbodies against HIV in infected patients.
Till now no cure has been found for AIDS. Drugs Azidothymidine, suramin etc., may give a temporary relief. Attempts are being made to develop a vaccine against the virus. However chances of contracting AIDS may be avoided by taking the following precautions.
A. Sterilizing the needles properly before injection or use disposable syringes.
B. Utmost cares during blood transfusion; only HIV screened blood to be used.
C. This is a moral step. Avoid sexual contact with several partners. Sexual contact to be had with only one, known partner. Homosexuality should be strictly avoided.