My presentation is about AIDS because I want to tell you what it really entails, because many people don't know. So I'm now going to tell you.
The source of AIDS is still not totally clear. The AIDS virus has probably was hosted in the begining by African monkeys. It's possible that someone was bitten by a monkey and so he got the infected blood in his body.
AIDS was regocnized in the USA in 1981. There were 250 people who died from the same strange symptoms The strange thing about it was that it only happened to homosexual men.
The disease was called AIDS, an abbrevation of Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This means that the normal resistence to disease is broken down. The name for the virus is HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
If you're healthy, you've got a resistance built in in your body. It resists many diseases, but not all of them. So you need to get vaccinated for diseases like polio or German measles so you're immune to it. If you are infected with HIV your resistance will become weaker and weaker, so that you're an easy prey to dangerous diseases and your body isn't able to fight them. It is a very serious disease that can not be cured with medicines. Instead of that there are many treatments nowadays to take away the pain and lenghten the lifetime. The HIV virus destroys the cells in your body that right disease so they cannot to their job properly. The virus is in the white blood cells of your body so it can only be carried by blood, mother's milk, vaginal fluid from a woman or in the sperm of a man.
If you're infected, your status is very serious.
In general everybody can get AIDS unless you keep up to some rules. But there are two groups of people, who have a bigger risk on getting HIV:
- homosexual men
- intraveinous drugs-users
These are risk groups because AIDS is spread by sexual contact, especially anal sex, so homosexual men have a bigger risk of getting infected. It is also spread by blood, so the drug-users who use dirty needles from others have also a big risk to get infected by the HIV.
But just like I've said, anybody can get AIDS, even the heterosexuals. But if they use condoms, the risk is very low. If a mother has AIDS, there's a big chance her child would be infected too. And even if it's not, the mother's milk will carry the virus to the child. That's why there also can be AIDS-epidemics.
There have always been contagious diseases, but in the past people didn't know how they spread or how to cure them. The doctors thought the causes were the evil ghosts and vapours. That's why they burned tar barrels and if they visited someone who was ill they wore white clothing. They put a cap on their head and had a bird mask on their face. In the mask was an sponge that was soaked in acid and herbs in order to scare the evil ghosts. The doctors thought they were well protected if they were dressed like that. Doctors tried this in response to the infamous Black Death. It spread all over the world and in the 14th century almost a quarter of the population of Europe died of this disease. In 1664 it happened again. After those two catastrophes, the doctors found out that the virus was carried over by fleas and rats. Fortunately this disease rarely appears in the modern age, and if it does there are treatments and cures for it.
To keep safe from AIDs, people need to follow some basic rules:
- drug-users should not use dirty needles.
- homosexual men should use strong condoms, specially made for them, because the normal condoms aren't enough for their protection.
- Women who are infected with the HIV are advised not to have children because her child won't live long and it wouldn't be healthy. But if they really want to be a mother they can always adopt one.
- This is for everybody: have save sex if you aren't sure that your partner isn't infected with HIV. If you have sexual contact without a condom, there is always a risk on getting infected. And if you want to know if you or your partner has AIDS, you can do a blood test at the doctor.
To fight against AIDS there are many foundations. They advertise how to fight against AIDS, but also what can happen if you're infected with the virus. If you want to know more about AIDS you can get posters and little folders and you can also call the AIDS-telephone no. Every year there is a 'World AIDS day' and on that day there are done many things for the sick people so they don't have to think all the time about their illness. Last year this day was on December 1st, and maybe you saw reports about it on TV.