I chose this topic because HIV and AIDs infection rates have been growing rapidly over the past few years and a lot of people are uneducated on this topic. I have no family relations to this topic, but I thought that it would be an interesting subject to learn about and to share with other people my age. I used to think that HIV and AIDs were different diseases, and that they were not contagious. I used to think that HIV and AIDs could only be transmitted at birth, and could not transfer to other people. I knew that they were incurable, but I didn’t know what they were. This connects to past learning in wellness, because last year (6th Grade) we learned about keeping our bodies healthy and away from diseases. HIV and AIDs are also diseases, but we have not learned about them yet. This is relevant to teenagers and kids our age, because many kids are having unprotected sex at very young ages, and can be be infected by HIV and AIDs without the right treatment and protection.
I learned that HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This virus gradually attacks our immune system, which is our natural protection against infections and diseases. HIV destroys a white blood cell called the T-Helper cell/CD4 Cells and makes copies of itself inside of them. There are two main types of HIV; HIV-1, which is the most common form of HIV in the world, and HIV-2, which is commonly found in West Africa, but in some cases found in India and Europe. AIDs stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This is when HIV is very advanced and is at it’s final stage. AIDs is when the body can no longer defend itself and may develop various infections and diseases. If HIV and AIDs are not treated correctly, they can lead to death. There is currently no cure for HIV, but if treated properly and with the right protection, people can live a long healthy life, even if they have HIV. This virus cannot be transmitted through sweat, saliva, or urine. But, can be transmitted through infected needles, syringes, unprotected anal, vaginal, and oral sex. It can pass through mother-to-child pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding.
This expanded my learning because I did not know what these diseases were and what they did to our body, and now that I know I can teach other people about it and help them know more about the damage of this disease. I was surprised that a disease that can cause death can go 13-15 years undetected in a human’s body without symptoms and/or side effects. A lot of people think that the only way you can get HIV/AIDs is by birth, and that it is not contagious, but the truth is that there are many ways of getting infected by these diseases. HIV and AIDs have no cure as of January 2016, but let’s see what the future of medication holds for us! I thought that wellness would all be about nutrition and/or medical health, but I realized that wellness can be about all sorts of different things, varying from major food groups, to major diseases, and how to prevent them.