AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome which is a disease is caused by the human immune deficiency virus, known as HIV. Once it is inside the body, this virus invades the white blood cells, which normally fight off disease, then it multiplies and destroys them. It also breeds inside the brain. Between 1 in 10 and 1 in 3 of those infected with HIV are likely to develop AIDS. Three to four years normally elapse between infection with HIV and any subsequent development of the symptoms associated with AIDS. As yet there is no cure for AIDS which usually progresses through various infections and stages of increasing debility to the eventual death of the sufferer.
As AIDS develops the body’s natural defenses become depleted, and the AIDS patient is increasingly likely to contract diseases that a healthy body would normally ward off.
The virus is present in body fluids:
Sometimes AIDS patients are attacked by several infections at once such as:
- rare forms of cancer
- the brain may succumb to increasingly severe dementia
The most common way of contracting the disease is through anal intercourse with an infected partner
The second most common way of contracting the disease is through infected blood:
- hemophiliacs injected with the clotting agent collected from infected blood
- drug addicts using infected needles
To become HIV positive you do not have to be homosexual or promiscuous, a drug addict or a hemophiliac. Heterosexuals are also at risk. Even a in a steady relationship heterosexuals stand the risk of contracting the disease if their partner has been infected in a previous relationship.
Always use a condom
Avoid anal sex
Do not share needles, toothbrushes, razors, or any instrument that might transfer blood from cuts or abrasions