Saturday, February 3

Role of Youth in Controlling “HIV/AIDS “

Disease is a sickness of body or mind . It can be a mild as a soar throat or as serious as cancer or a heart attack . It can strike almost any part of the body and affect a persons mental and emotional health . There are different kinds of diseases like infectious, fungal, viral etc . Cancer , Tuberculosis , Brain Tumor , AIDS , etc are some of the diseases which are really deadly and life threatening . But among them AIDS is the most dangerous and threatening .

AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome . It is final, life threatening stage of infection with human immune deficiency virus {HIV}. AIDS refers to fact that HIV severely damages the immune system, the body, which is the most important defense against disease . Cases of AIDS were first identified in 1981 in America and since then millions of AIDS cases have been diagnosed world wide .
AIDS is basically caused by two viruses that belong to a group called retro viruses . These viruses infect certain WBC’S including T helper cells & macrophages which play keyrole in the immune system . Basically , people who have been infected with HIV virus have to go through three stages of infection , which are ;

1] acute retroviral stage & asymptomatic period
2] symptomatic HIV infection

Length of time any person stays in each stage varies greatly & depends upon many factors including medical treatment . AIDS can be transmitted during all the stages of infection , even when no symptom occurs . The acute retroviral stage gets flulike illness & usually goes away without any treatment . Second stage however may show mild or severe symptoms like rashes and dental illness , which may last from few months to many years . The progressive breakdown of immune system eventually leads to death usually within few years .

If compared to other diseases like malaria, TB, pneumonia, AIDS is relatively a new disease that involves sex and drugs and mainly affects young adults . For this reason , it has created a widespread social concern. Some efforts to deal with AIDS or to prevent HIV transmission have provoked controversy . Seeing the severity of this disease to prevent its transmission, care centres nowadays tell doctors , dentists and other workers to wear gloves, masks, and other protective clothing during many examination. However even if such safe effective steps & other medical methods against HIV are taken , AIDS cases would still occur for many years. This is because millions of individuals in the youth are already infected with the disease . This worldwide problem has really put a challenge in front of scientists who are attempting to develop a vaccine to boost the immune system of individuals infected with HIV .

The most important factor in transmission of HIV is the sexual contact between the youths . Due to excitement which is very common in todays youth , they have sexual contact with a number of partners . Thus if a youth has sexual contact with anyone who is or who might be infected with the virus he transmits it . Such stuff should be avoided . The most important and effective preventive strategy is to refrain from all the sexual intimacy or to restrict sexual intimacy to one uninfected person,who in turn has no other sexual partner . Most effective strategy to stay away from HIV/AIDS is to use condoms everytime during intercourse with a person who is infected with HIV or whose infection ststus is unknown . Young individuals can significantly reduce the risk of infection by using such protective measures during sex . They can also avoid it by not having sex with prostitutes , who have a number of sex partners & other high risk patients . But even then youth begin sexual activity at an early age , with many sex partners or have sex with prostitutes , without using condoms , and then face the consequences . Now what can one do with such individuals ??

Education to such youths about AIDS , has hence become the chief approach to prevent infection . Some education institutions have even set up health clnics that give knowledge about use of condoms , to its students . However at many places such type of classroom discussion of condom use has been opposed . This is because , they feel it implies acceptance of sexual intimacy of marriage . Even the local and national government has understood the importance of giving education about AIDS and hence they have started public health clinics . These clinics offer counseling & HIV antibody testing to individuals who have symptoms or are at the risk of infection . Such health centres also provide funds for AIDS education , treatment & confidentially notify the infected persons sexual or needle sharing partners of their risk . Once notified , they too can receive preventive counseling tests and medical service . Todays youth also have the advantage of public awareness programmes started by international organizations like the RED CROSS ,which work to increase awareness of AIDS among young people . The youth should take all possible advantage of such programmes , to avoid that deadly menace , AIDS . By conducting such programmes , surely greater awareness can be created .

Preventing drug abuse and educating young drug users about AIDS are important approaches to control HIV infection . Drug users share needles , syringes , towels , razors & other equipments . AZT reduces risk of transmission from an infected mother to her foetus or baby . Hence nowdays efforts are being made to educate drug users about health and sex education as well as needle & syringe exchange programmes . However these types of programmes have been criticized as seeming to imply acceptance of drug use . Now a days even stars and celebrities have helped raise public consciousness of AIDS . Many well known people have participated in education and fund raising efforts . The epidemic also has gained attention as a result of several well known people , including tennis star Arthur Ashe , ballet dancer Rudolf Nareyev becoming infected with HIV or dying from AIDS . Due to such awareness programmes , these days many individuals were a red ribbon to show support for people with AIDS .

Some individuals infected with HIV have been injustly lost or denied education & jobs . To prevent such things , government has made laws . Preventing discrimination against AIDS patients is important not only for moral reasons but also to maintain public health . When people are’nt afraid of discrimination they are more likely to seek earlier couselling and to be tested for HIV infection. This leads to less risky behaviour & earlier diagnose .

Thus if youth can understand the menace of AIDS clearly & can take steps to prevent its transmission , this evil can surely be wiped out of this world .

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Prashant Uday Manohar said...

This essay is informative. You should encourage more people to go through it.

POOJA said...

what is the conclusion to this topic "youth as an agent in preventing hiv/aids ?"

Sharada said...

youths read dis>>>>>

pranav said...

you are right youth is power to change every thing