Communicable Disease HCS/457 August 30, 2010 Rachaline Napier Communicable Disease What is a communicable disease? A communicable disease is an infectious disease that can be transmitted from one person to another either directly by contact or circuitously by fomites and vectors. HIV/AIDS is one of the many communicable diseases in the world. Throughout this presentation, a detailed analysis will be given on HIV/AIDS. I will also recommend different ways a community can educate individuals in order to help prevent this disease. HIV, also known as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that attacks the immune system. If the immune system is not strong enough, it is hard for the body to fight off the virus. White blood cells are an imperative element of the immune system. HIV assaults and obliterates CD4+ cells. When a numerous amount of CD4+ cells are destroyed, the body can no longer protect itself against infection. This stage of HIV infection is AIDS, also known as, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Individual that has AIDS show a low number of CD4+ cells and get contagions of cancers that seldom arise in vigorous individuals. Having HIV does not indicate that you have AIDS. No one can just get AIDS. A person may get tainted with HIV, and then later develop AIDS. It takes longer for HIV to develop into AIDS, even without any treatments. Medications can slow the process or even stop the damage to the immune system if an individual has been diagnosed with HIV before it becomes AIDS. With the right treatments, people are able to live long active lives with HIV. HIV is contracted many different ways. The most common way an individual contracts HIV is through infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids. Sharing drug needles with someone that is infected is another general way of contracting the virus. HIV can also be passed along from mother to child during pregnancy, child birth, and breast feeding. It is known that HIV cannot endure outside the body. HIV cannot be spread through informal contact such as kissing or sharing a drink with a person that has been infected. Symptoms of HIV may not show in the early stages. Individuals can possibly mistake the symptoms for mono or the flu. Common symptoms that may occur in the early stage include: headache, swollen lymph nodes, fever, skin rash, sore throat, muscle aches and joint pains. These symptoms may emerge from a couple of days to various weeks after an individual has primarily contracted the virus. Once the premature symptoms are gone, an individual that is infected with the virus may not have these symptoms again for years. At a definite point, symptoms resurface and then linger. These symptoms usually include: night sweats, weight loss, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and excessive tiredness. AIDS associated symptoms include brain tumors, other health problems, and serious weight loss. These infections can result in death without any treatments.
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