AIDS and offer solutions to managing the problems. AIDS is a devastating disease that began in Africa and has spread around the world. It attacks the immune system and makes it difficult for the body to fight off other diseases, and there are few treatments that actually work long-term against the disease. A solution must be found to the AIDS problem because it continues to spread, it is deadly, and it affects over 40 million people worldwide.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is actually caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). HIV kills or damages cells in the body's immune system, which in turn makes the body unable to fight disease and infection. AIDS is a deadly disease, made even more frightening by the fact that it is misunderstood by so many people. In many countries, it heavily affects the gay population, so many people believe that it is only a "gay" disease, but that is not the case. In reality, AIDS affects a wide segment of people around the world, and in many countries, children are some of the most common victims of the disease. In America, over 1 million people suffer from AIDS, and around the world, the figure tops 40 million (Editors, 2008). AIDS is spread through sexual contact, sharing needles with another drug user, a pregnant mother can pass it on to her child through breast milk and body fluids, and in rare cases, blood transfusions. AIDS is not transmitted through hugging, kissing, swimming pools, or many other areas of common myth. AIDS must spread through body fluids, period.
No one really seems to know where or how AIDS originated, but it was first diagnosed in Africa in infected chimpanzees. It seems to have jumped to humans from here, because people in the area hunted the chimpanzees for meat, and became contaminated from the chimpanzee's blood (Editors, 2007). It came to America in the late 1970s, and was first identified in 1981, when some gay men began suffering from a rare form of cancer. About 40,000 Americans are stricken with AIDS every year, down from a high of about 150,000 each year during the 1990s (Editors, 2007). One of the reasons there are fewer cases today is that research has produced new drugs to help combat HIV / AIDS, and many of those stricken with the disease are living longer, happier lives. More public awareness has also helped to contain the disease, because fewer people are having unprotected sex that can lead to the disease.
One of the biggest problems in treating and preventing AIDS is that the symptoms take so long to show up, and are often similar to many other symptoms of disease, that the disease is not diagnosed immediately. This means those infected with the disease can pass it on to others without even knowing it. This is especially troubling in undeveloped nations such as many countries in Africa, where prostitutes spread the disease, and then it attacks entire families, who do not even know they have it or what it is. Many people think of Africa when they think of the disease, but countries in Latin America, such as Brazil, are now the most heavily populated countries suffering from the disease, in fact, almost half of all the cases in Latin America and the Caribbean are located in Brazil (Da Cruz, Da Cruz & Hammers, 2007). This area of AIDS in undeveloped countries is still uncharted and uncontrollable, and one of the reasons a solution must be found to the AIDS crisis around the world. This is also the reason AIDS attacks so many children in undeveloped countries. Mothers do not know they have been infected, and then pass it on to their newborn babies, the most innocent and heartbreaking victims of the AIDS epidemic.
There are several solutions to the AIDS problem, some that are already underway, and others that need to be implemented if AIDS is ever going to be truly controlled. AIDS is a pandemic, which means it is an epidemic spread over a wide area, and thus, treatment and eradication is made more difficult. There are two proposals that seem especially valid in…