The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome otherwise called AIDS is undoubtedly a threatening disease in Nigeria inspite of the fact that some people will believe it is a myth meant to scare people from enjoying themselves. However, medical practitioners have confirmed that AIDS is actually present in Nigeria.
There are still controversies about how AIDS developed and where it developed from. For some racial reasons, the whites have claimed that AIDS developed in Africa through a sexual union between man and some other animals. Of course, Africans have denied this and strongly maintained that AIDS did not and in fact could not have developed in Africa. Their argument is based on the fact that its spread was initially more rampant in the western world. However, the problem is no longer where AIDS developed from, but how to stop its harmful effects on the human race.
AIDS is caused by the HIV virus which destroys the immunity of the body against disease. This means that once a patient gets the virus, the virus destroys all antibodies. Medically, every human body contains white blood cells which protect the body against harmful diseases. However, once the virus is contracted, it destroys the body immunity provided by the white blood cells and renders the body helpless against infectious disease.
Medical research has further shown that the virus can be contracted through a number of ways. The most popular mode of contracting the infectious disease is through casual sex or having sex with somebody who already has the virus. Other means of contracting the virus is through the transfusion of infected blood, the use of unsterilized needles or any other sharp object which is itself infected. It is however not medically possible to contract the virus through body contact like handshake with an infected person. The virus can also not be contracted through food or water. In spite of the awareness programme of the government on the need to avoid this incurable disease, more cases of its infection are heard every day.
The patient infected with the virus does not die immediately. The virus in the patient continues to develop and destroy vital body immunity organs until it develops into a full blown AIDS when it has virtually destroy all body immunity. At this stage, the patient cannot resist any minor infection because his body immunity has been destroyed. This is when an AIDS patient dies although this may take up to eight years after the patient originally contracted the virus.
Despite frantic scientific researches, no cure has been found for AIDS. Claims and counter claims by researchers have proved that the cure for it still eludes man. As a result, the best way to minimize its effect is to abstain from contracting the disease. This can be done by keeping to only one sexual partner and refusing to accept blood transfusion until the blood has been certified safe. Also, patients going to the hospital for any medical problem should insist on the use of new or properly sterilized needles and equipment. This way, the spread of AIDS can be stopped. This is most important because if AIDS is allowed to continue it can kill faster than we imagine. It will drastically reduce the population of a country, especially that of the youth.
There’s no vaccine to prevent HIV infection and no cure for AIDS. But it’s possible to protect yourself and others from infection. That means educating yourself about HIV and avoiding any behavior that allows HIV-infected fluids — blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk — into your body.
Everyone must cooperate to eradicate the acquired immune deficiency syndrome for the good of the society.
Written and submitted by- Adeyanju Sunday