HIV/ AIDS epidemic

January 12, 2012
By , Oak Creek, CO
The disease that is known as AIDS is a blight upon this world and needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later. The AIDS disease is not an infection itself, but a symptom of the virus known as HIV. There are many different approaches to dealing with the disease; some are easy and simple but not very trustworthy, others are still in the process of being created and tested.
The HIV/AIDS virus works like any other virus by injecting a host cell with its own DNA and using the cells RNA to “read “ the virus’s DNA instead of its own thereby creating more of the virus until the cell explodes. The reason this virus cannot be disposed of like any other virus, is because the virus is cloaked in a sugar, making it “invisible” to the body’s immune system. If the virus cannot be detected by the body then there is hardly any resistance for the virus making it virtually invincible. Another reason why HIV/AIDS is so hard to battle is because it is a virus and viruses change. Even the slightest change in the virus can render a cure for one strain of the virus useless to another strain. One technique has been successful to prevent transmission of the disease from parent to offspring. This is a big step but it still does not shield people from getting HIV or cure people that already have HIV. There needs to be a better cure, one that can rid HIV from people who already have it and protect people. In the world about thirty three million people are currently infected and if something doesn’t happen soon most of them will die by the infection, possibly leaving even more children orphaned.
One recent idea to battle the HIV virus is, instead of having a vaccine to build up the body’s defenses to a specific virus, scientists have instead started injecting experimental mice with the gene to combat the virus and so far every mouse tested has had one hundred percent protection against the HIV virus. Vaccines work by injecting the virus that cannot reproduce otherwise known as a “dead virus” then the immune system builds up the antibodies to defend against those specific viruses. ORNL Scientists have identified antibodies and proteins that can defend against HIV, but the body has difficulties creating those antibodies. Instead, scientists inject subjects with the gene that can create the antibodies. This study has so far been very effective but it has yet to be tested on humans. There have been many different attempts to create a cure for this virus but most of them have not been completely successful or only protected from one certain type of the HIV virus.
The main approach to stopping or at least slowing down the AIDS infection from spreading is to use protection, only have one sexual partner or do not do it. These are good guidelines for the common person; however, there are many people who either cannot restrain their selves, do not care or do not know about the disease or ways to prevent it. The other side of the guidelines is that if everyone followed those rules then the human population would rapidly drop so there must be an alternative way to stop it.
HIV/AIDS is a very serious problem, but not so much a problem in the us as it is in third world countries, because of the fact that most U.S. citizens are pretty well informed on just about everything that goes on in the world. Third world countries do not have nearly as much connection to the world as others resulting in less knowledge about serious issues in the world. A common saying is ignorance is bliss; however, in cases like these the more people know the better off they are to prevent the spread of this disease and preventing many unnecessary deaths. Every year there are 1.8 million people who die of AIDS and countless children are orphaned.
The common guidelines are a good simple start, but should not be the solution to the problem because it is hard to trust every one and there will always be some infected person who does not follow the rules. Rather than trusting people, I think the solution lies with the scientists who were testing mice by injecting the actual gene that creates the antibodies that can combat the virus. The only other option that has been tested is to have the body try and create the antibodies by using the “dead virus”. I feel that this problem is very serious and depending on what I decide to do in the future I believe I could help by either donating money to help with research of the virus or perhaps become a scientist and help fix this problem directly.

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