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The New Face Of Hiv/Aids Essay

2989 words - 12 pages

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The New Face of HIV/AIDS |
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Living With HIV/Aids in Your Golden Years |

2/2/2009
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HISTORY of HIV/AIDs in AMERICA…
During the beginning of the 1980s an assortment of reports began to surface in New York area and parts of California, of a small amount of men who had been diagnosed with unusual variety of cancer or pneumonia. The cancer that was suspected was called Kaposi’s sarcoma, which normally only affected men of the Mediterranean or Jewish and young African men. The pneumonia, Pneumocystis Pneumonia Carinii is commonly only found in those with critically compromised immune systems. Nevertheless, the men were youthful and had formerly been in moderately excellent ...view middle of the document...

This included embryo fluid and mother milk.

How many?
Around 45,500 cases of AIDS were reported to the CDC in 1991. Ten years after the first cases of AIDS-related PCP was identified, AIDS had become the second leading cause of death among American men aged 25-44 years, but as the years pass, a new face of HIV/AIDS has become public, the baby boomers. There is a disturbing rate of infection among older Americans. In 2005, 15 percent of new HIV And AIDS diagnoses were among people over the age of 50, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet government recommendations call for routine AIDS screening only up to age 59, omitting the elderly population (Center for Disease Control, 2005) People 50 and over come from a cohort where the discussion of sexual intercourse was an under-the-table thing, “Nobody wants to discuss the sexual habits of older people. It’s the concept that older people stop having sex, and it’s just not a reality” (Rydwels, 2008). According to a study by the University of Chicago, 60 percent of men and 37 percent of women 50 years old and above report engaging in sexual intercourse a few times per month. Because of a general lack of awareness in older adults, they have been omitted from research, prevention and intervention efforts. Even so, because of their age, the elderly may be more at risk than young people. For older women, the use of condoms becomes unimportant after menopause. Not only are older people at risk, the symptoms of HIV are tough to distinguish because of aging. Sometimes it’s complicated for physicians to establish if a elder has the flu or is infected with the virus. Many of the premature symptoms such as night sweats, chronic fatigue, weight loss, dementia and swollen lymph nodes impersonate the natural aging process (The National Association on HIV over Fifty, 2008).
What is HIV/AIDS? HIV is a virus. A virus that infects the blood cells that makes up the human body and replicate within those cells. A virus can also damage human cells, which is one of the things that can make a person ill. HIV can be passed from one person to another. Someone can become infected with HIV through contact with the bodily fluids of someone who already has HIV. HIV stands for the 'Human Immunodeficiency Virus'. Someone who is diagnosed as infected with HIV is said to be 'HIV+ (CDC, 2006). The immune system is a assembly of cells and organs that defend your body by fighting infection and disease. The human immune system usually finds and exterminates viruses rather quickly. Diverse viruses attack different parts of the body; some may attack the skin, others the lungs, and so on. The common cold is caused by a virus. What makes HIV so dangerous is that it attacks the immune system itself; the very thing that would normally get rid of a virus. It intensely attacks a particular type of immune system cell known as a CD4 lymphocyte. HIV has a number of...

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