Today we deal with the biggest HIV/AIDS outbreak in the world and its epicenter is in sub-Saharan region. Find out why Nigeria leads by the death toll and how to prevent HIV/AIDS.
What is AIDS? Why has it become so widespread? Is Nigeria a vulnerable place? Stop being afraid of disease and learn how to deal with it and how to prevent HIV/AIDs!
As many other people, you probably feel scary about such incurable disease. However, if you know essential things about it, possible measures of prevention and HIV protection, and ways of its transmission, you can successfully avoid the danger.
Origin of AIDS
There are many debated concerning origin of HIV. First, you should understand term and where it has come from. Only after this, we will be able to discuss how to prevent HIV/aids. HIV, known as human immunodeficiency virus, is kind of virus, which attacks the immune system. In a similar way, the SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) attacks the immune systems of monkeys and apes. Recent studies show that there is much in common between them.
According to the scientists, there exist two main types of this virus – HIV-1 and HIV-2. They are different and have various origins and reasons. The only thing that is vital to know is that it has come from monkeys. SIV was first found by scientists in 1999 in chimpanzees. It was very close to the virus, identified in humans.
You may ask how it could transfer to people. One of the theories says that it might have happened, when some of the hunters killed and ate a sick monkey. The other very close approach claims that the virus could transfer through the cuts into the blood. In several cases, the organisms were able to fight it, while in the others HIV adapted itself to a human body. This has actually become HIV-1. Besides, there exist several strains of it, as it might have developed in various ways in people's organisms.
The second type of virus (HIV-2) is transferred in similar way, but from the other kind of monkey (mangabey). It is much less infectious and rarer type. It is more widespread in such West African countries, as Nigeria, Mali, Sierra Leone, and so on.
Nigerian issue with HIV
Unfortunately, Nigeria is one of countries, which is very prone to such terrible disease. It is listed the second in world rating by number of people having AIDS. The epidemic situation is different in various parts of the country. Young people are considered more vulnerable. Besides, women are even more prone to the virus than men are. The death rate is higher among the people between 15 and 50 years. There are several factors, which may contribute to the HIV spread. They are:
- high-prevalence of sexual infections,
- high-risk hetero and homosexual practices,
- irregular blood screening,
- international trafficking of women.
What is more, Nigeria still tries to overcome post war consequences. The government is working on making health care services and medical assistance equally available across every zone. Special programmes must be created and controlled on the federal and local levels.
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Causes of HIV/AIDS
To find out, how to prevent HIV/AIDS, you must know all the possible reasons of it and the ways of its transmission. The common reasons of the virus transmission are:
Sex. Any type of sex might be dangerous, whether it is vaginal, anal, or oral. As soon as the infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids get into your body, you become infected. It may even enter through mouth sores and small tears, although kisses classically considered pretty safe way of contact that does not transmit infection. Nevertheless, it is better to avoid any interrelations with ill person in order to be surely secured.
Needles sharing. Those, who take drugs, are much more vulnerable. HIV might be transferred through needles and syringes contaminated with infected blood. It is also possible to be infected by other diseases this way.
Pregnancy/delivery/breast-feeding. In cases when mother is infected, she can do the same to her child. Nevertheless, the risks may be lowered with the help of special HIV treatment.
Blood transfusions. To avoid it, the blood must be very carefully screened for HIV antibodies.
HIV is virus, which actually provokes the disease itself. And if you want to know how to prevent AIDS, try to avoid being infected. Otherwise, it will start to destroy CD4 – specific white blood cells. They allow your organism to fight the illnesses of all types. As they are being destroyed, your immune system will get weaker. It may take years, before it finally transforms into AIDS. However, there are complications, which can make this process faster.
How can you prevent HIV
Nowadays there are effective prevention methods, which allow to say healthy and to avoid such terrible disease. Let's consider them:
- Get tested. Check yourself and your partner. It will allow to avoid being infected. Don't be afraid of asking him or her for that, because it may save your lives. It's advisable to get tested for other sexually transmitted infections as well, as they make do the risks of HIV higher.
- Less risky sex. Oral sex if thought to be the safest, while the anal one if the most dangerous one. Besides, control the number of partners. If a person has many of them, it makes him or her more vulnerable. If you still want to have more than one, get tested regularly. Monogamy with not ill partner will also protect you from the disease.
- Condoms. Many people ask do condoms prevent HIV? The answer is a bit complicated, as in the majority of cases, they do. However, if you ask does condom prevent HIV 100 percent, it will be hard to give positive answer and the most true one will be “no”. Reason is that some people cannot use them correctly. The other cause lies in the possible damages of such things. If it is possible to get pregnant with condom, then it is possible to be infected as well. Condoms may slip down during the intercourse or even tear apart. In addition, any fat grease or lubricate lowers the protection rate of the condom. That's why it is necessary to consider the other preventive measures.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis. People, who are more liable to such infection, may require special treatment, which will allow them to stay healthy. They usually need to take specific HIV medicine.
- Avoid drug injections. As it's one of transmission causes, it's better not to take the drugs at all and never start doing that. You will also feel better without them.
These are the key points of AIDS protection. Follow them, and you'll always be healthy. Otherwise, the effects of this virus might be horrible. Some people may live a long life with it, while the others die in several years.
Now you know all the necessary HIV facts, including ways of its transmission and prevention methods. That's why you can change your lifestyle, while it is not too late. Make your beloved one aware of the dangers and keep safe together.
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