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Jennifer Villegas Senior Capstone 2012

HIV/AIDS
The existence of HIV/AIDS affects any race, any age, globally and locally. The growing of this virus does not discriminate age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, for HIV/Aids everyone is susceptible, although, certain groups are in a higher in particular risk of being HIV-positive. HIV is mostly transmitted by sexual activity; most of the population around the globe is not inform of the cause that HIV/Aids have on the population now. In fact many of the people that get infected, get infected by accident this is caused by immature people getting involved in sexual activity. Accidental is the most common way HIV is passed on globally and locally. A person with HIV is most likely to say that they were unaware that they have HIV or that he or she had accidentally transmitted HIV to their partner (USDHHS). When it comes to transmitting HIV, some of the positive status people would say that they were aware of their status but they used condom and during sexual active but the condom had accidentally failed in some way (USDHHS). Research centers around the globe, are now exploring new ways to prevent and treat HIV infections. Researchers now have a better understanding of the virus, with the goal of finding a cure for HIV/Aids. In the past few months NAID and its partners made some progress in which for the virus could be called a BIG progress towards finding a new vaccine or treatment that would help prevent HIV/Aids infections better than in the past years of its existence. Over the past several decades many researches had learned more about HIV/Aid The Human Immunodeficiency virus and the disease that has caused Aids Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, but there is still time and more research needed to give the help needed by millions of people whose health continues

to be at risk because they dont have the treatment needed to control the global pandemic HIV/Aids. The existence of HIV/AIDS is a global issue and it is estimated that 90% of the people infected with HIV/Aids do not even know it. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV is a Virus that causes the slow but a constant damage to the immune system. HIV takes over certain immune system cells to make many copies of itself (USDHHS). The HIV virus weakens the immune system, destroying important cells that fight diseases and infections in the human body. HIV virus can be a lot like other viruses specially those that cause the flu or just a common cold, (USDHHS) but over time if the person has HIV may no longer seem to get rid of it like any other virus like it does with the flu even if they are very similar. As said in the previous paragraph the HIV virus takes over only certain cells to make copies of itself. Is known that HIV can hide for long periods of time in the cells of your body, (USDHHS) HIV only attacks a key part of the immune system, the T-cells or CD4 cells. The body has to have these cells in good conditions to fight diseases and/or infections, but HIV invades them and uses them to make more copies of itself, spreading among them and in time kills them. Over time HIV can destroy so many of your CD4 cells that your body cant fight infections and diseases anymore (USDHHS). When this happens, HIV infections can lead to Aids. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, to have a better understanding of AIDS is better to break it down. A is for acquired, AIDS is not something you inherit from your parents. You acquire Aids after birth, I-immuno The bodys immune system includes all the organs and cells that work to fight off infection or disease, D is for deficiency, [a patient] get AIDS when [their] immune system is deficient, or isnt working

the way it should, S-syndrome a syndrome is a collection of symptoms and signs of disease. AIDS is a syndrome rather than a disease, is a complex illness with a wide range of complications and symptoms. (USDHHS). AIDS is consider to be the final stage of HIV infections. When HIV enters the body, it starts to poke holes in the armor; the armor becomes very weak and unable to protect the body. When the armor becomes very weak or is gone, the person is diagnosed to have Aids. Generally Aids diagnosis is made when the bodys protective T-cells drop below a certain level they suppose to be in, or the HIV-positive individual begins to experience opportunistic infections (USDHHS). An opportunistic infection is an infection that would not be life-threatening to an otherwise healthy person. If people do not get any treatment for HIV, it takes an average of 8-10 years to progress from HIV to AIDS. Houston Texas is one of most visited cities in the world, Houston is also popular for the amount of HIV positive residents, with more than 1,700 square miles, nearly 3.7 million residents and the third most populated state in U.S Harris Country is also considered the number eight HIV/Aids infected county. With approximately 19,000 to 21,000 infected residents in 2004, and a case rate of 23.9 per 100,000 residents which was actually higher than the national rate of 15.0, with the city of Houston being one of the most popular cities more than 95% of HIV and Aids cases are right in Harris county. Over the past 27 years, nearly 25 million people have died from HIV/AIDS. An estimated 17,000 people died of HIV/AIDS in America in 2009, America has the largest number of people living with HIV. Tens of Thousands of people are newly infected with HIV in America every year, although the rates have declined among injecting drug users, there has been an alarming increase among men who have sex with men (GHC). American society is being affected mostly, some groups more serious than others. Today AIDS

continues to affect most directly thousands of gay and bisexual men. It also has become a serious problem among black Americans and more recently, among the Hispanic/Latino population, Over 19.7 cases of HIV/Aids have been found in Houston. HIV cases are mainly of blacks and nearly 15 times of white and 4 times of Hispanic. Every 35 minutes a woman is affected with HIV/Aids and continues to rise, today one of four Americans living with HIV are women(HMWESC) According to The Centers for Disease Control and prevention, HIV is the leading cause of death for African American women ages 25 to 34. HISD is participating in The National Women and Girls HIV/Aids Awareness Day NWGAAD, a national campaign hosted by The Office on Womens Health OWH, to bring attention on the riding of HIV/Aids epidemic among women. An estimated 4 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2005 95 percent of them in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, or Asia had been infected with HIV/Aids (USAID). In many countries as shown the number of people living with HIV/Aids is continuously to rise. In 2008, globally, about 2 million people died of AIDS, 33.4 million were living with HIV and 2.7 million people were newly infected with the virus. Epidemics are abating in some countries and burgeoning in others, More than 90 percent of people with HIV are living in the developing world (GHC). The impact on women and Girls with HIV/Aids has been particularly devastating. Women and girls now comprise 50 percent of those aged 15 and older living with HIV. In 2008, 430,000 children under age 15 were infected with HIV and 280,000 died of AIDS. In addition, about 15 million children have lost one or both parents due to the disease. The impact of HIV/Aids on children and young people had been a severe and growing problem. Poverty is both a cause and consequence of HIV/Aids, the impact of this disease is Disproportionately high in the developing world, which is home to more the 95

percent of the estimated 40 million people infected with HIV/Aids. The poverty is growing as the number of positive HIV/Aids continues to grow.

Educating the population globally and locally about HIV/Aids will result to a more, educated population and less cases of HIV/Aids, not being inform is one of the major causes by which many people get HIV and develop to get Aids as the time passes and they dont even know that this is happening, about 90% of the people locally dont know that they are HIV/AIDS positive, which hurts more the population due to Accidental, this is known to be the most popular way by which HIV id passed on, this is because they are unaware they have the virus, this cause because the people are not educated neither globally as locally. One of the errors that are committed in the everyday life is not knowing the consequences behind unprotected sexual activity. This virus can be solved by going out and letting people know the consequences behind having unprotected sex and letting know that, having unprotected sex is not the only way HIV/AIDS can be transmitted, it can also be by getting tattoos from people that dont know what they are doing and if they are doing their job right and without making any harm to the other. There are many kids who are being sexually active, which are consider to be mostly teens, many arent educated about HIV/AIDS and its consequences, this results to unprotected sex. Some teens or young adults know that HIV/AIDS has been around for a while but as the years have passed the awareness of this virus has not been as active as it suppose to, and teenagers dont know anything about what this epidemic virus even if is been around for decades and they as well dont know how this can affect their lives and the huge changes that can result in their lives if they diagnose HIV-positive. Participating and helping other get educated is the best way to give a hand to those who need it, is good to participate locally and globally.

This project comes to a result of spreading awareness to everyone as possible, but mainly for me to make this project mine and have the experience of getting to know people that live with HIV/AIDS so this way I would have more experience and it would easy for me to motivate teens, young adults, adults, and even parents to open up to this situation that could someday affect a loved one and once your there, there will be no way back. As I have learned it is important for parents to understand that they need to get educated in this subject and open to their children, the future of this world and to end this which is causing many deaths and problems around the world. My volunteering experience has given me the material necessary to open my mind to the world and be more mature, as an outcome I expect to become more responsible as an individual.