(in relation to Philadelphia film)
This “syndrome” is probably one of the most controversial of the last decades. As we all know, scientists have really put their effort into finding the cure, but HIV virus isn’t any simple.
Knowing one has aids, is even worse than finding out that one has cancer, because someone with cancer, at least has a possibility ofsurviving; whereas someone infected with HIV doesn’t even have a chance to carry on.
In this paper I will try to expose everything I can about AIDS in a few words, as well as the way that AIDS entails in society. I will also make room to write a little about homosexuality (which is wrongly considered the “cause” of AIDS spreading) and the way people around them react to that (also wrongly called)“abnormal behavior”.
First, I would like to expose a synthesis of aids origins and its involvement in society, so I can explain more widely my point of view afterwards.
What is AIDS?
AIDS is the final stage, and most severe of HIV infection, which produces a severe damage to the immune system. Immune system is composed by a collection of biological mechanisms to protect the human body frominfections (bacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic) by producing specific antibodies to attack and destroy the infection agents (depending on the infection). Immune system involves different kinds of cells, and HIV attacks specifically lymphocytes CD4, which are a type of white blood cells, that play a very important role in human defense mechanisms. That way, the body can’t destroy antigens so itbecomes even more susceptible to get a disease. Therefore, people die, not because of a virus itself, but for the pathogen agents that cannot be destroyed.
HIV can be transmitted from one person to another by human fluids, such as blood, vaginal fluids, semen and from mother-to-child (in uterus during pregnancy, intrapartum at childbirth, and breast milk). There are HIV viruses in saliva, urine andtears, but they’re not a source of infection.
The actual origin of AIDS is still an enigma. There are various theories about it, but none of them is proved yet. I’ll expose the one that I found more remarkable.
1. HIV virus comes from monkey’s blood, which were hunted and were transmitted to humans in the last century. A contaminated vaccine(with that monkey blood) against poliobegan the pandemic in Africa, approximately in 1957.
There’s no proof of a case of AIDS before the vaccines were given, but as I said, it’s not definite that this vaccine started AIDS.
In the U.S. it was thought that it was a gay disease, because the first persons that started showing Kaposi’s sarcoma, pneumocystis carnii pneumonia (PCP), and other uncommon diseases were in fact homosexuals. Butthis “theory” was deceased when scientist observed that it was common in drug-addicts, hemophiliacs, and people that had gotten blood transfusions.
The way people react
How to treat a seropositive person is such a delicate and complex subject. Most of the people that have an infected friend or relative, react in the wrong way; judging them, harassing them with lots of questions, and abandoningthem progressively. This behavior is a result of prejudice, fear, and most importantly: ignorance. That’s why it’s really important to get to know well the disease; the way of transmission, what can be done and what cannot be done.
Some people that already know how it’s spread, are still afraid of getting infected anyway, that’s why I think it’s also important to say how it CAN’T betransmitted:
• There is no virus in hair, consequently there is no risk of infection when: using the same hair comb and hair brush, shampoo, bathing cap, or caressing one’s head.
• There is no virus in skin, consequently there is no risk of infection when: shaking one’s hand, hugging, kissing, wearing the same clothes, sitting in the same toilet or chair, using the same soap or towel