Communicablediseases are diseases spread from one person to another through avariety of ways that include: blood and body fluids contact,breathing in of an airborne virus or contact with bugs such as lice.Mostly, communicable diseases spread through viruses and bacterialiving in the blood and body fluids for example HIV/AIDS. The HumanImmunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus causing Acquired ImmuneDeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) by attacking the body’s immune systemand weakening it. Ones the virus get into the body, they attachthemselves to the cells in the immune system Thus an infectedperson’s immune system grows weak and is prone to attack by theopportunistic diseases(Allen, Lehman, Green, Lindegren, Onorato, and Forrester, 1994 ).
HIV/AIDSis spread through exchange or contact with body fluids. There arefive body fluids capable of carrying and infecting HIV to someone.They include: breast milk, semen (including pre-cum), blood, rectalfluid, and vaginal fluid. Amongst many causes such as sharing sharpequipments, unprotected sex is the main factor leading to the spreadof HIV/AIDS. This is as a result of the direct contact or exchange ofbody fluids that enter the body through the soft or mucous membraneof the penis, anus, vagina, and the mouth during the sexualintercourse. The spread of the virus through sharing of sharp objectsis facilitated when one shares these cutting objects with an infectedperson without first sterilizing them. In addition to this, gettingexposed of to blood or other body fluids of an infected person withuncovered wounds and opening may also spread the virus (Branson1998).
Sofar, HIV cure has not been found. But with the invention in themedical field, antiretroviral therapy has been adopted. This enabledthe extension of the expectancy of people living with HIV andcontributed to a drastically drop in AIDS related deaths. With theresearch done, more than 13,000 infected people die every year inUSA, this proving that HIV/AIDS claims many lives.
SinceHIV/AIDS is mostly spread by unprotected sex, the best way ofcontrolling HIV/AIDS is by taking preventive measures. This includesadvocating for abstaining or having protected sex. The youth are themost vulnerable as a result of the risk they pose by being involvedin unsafe sex, hence encouraged to take safety measures such as useof condoms which narrows the risk of infection if they have to engagein sex (Allen et al., 1994)
Thereare factors that do stimulate the spread of HIV/AIDS, that is, whenone is in these conditions, he or she faces a higher risk ofcontracting the disease. They include drug and substance abuse andpoverty (Allen et al., 1994). The drug abuse menace most affect theyouths. One of the ways of abusing drugs is through injections andmostly the injecting equipments are shared without necessarily havingbeen sterilized. In addition to this, a person who has abused drugscannot make sound decision since he or she under the influence ofdrugs. Research shows that whenever there is poverty, HIV/AIDS spreadmore. This is because there are high immorality practices such as sextrade as they try to search for a living.
Thegovernment has implemented various measures to curb the HIV/AIDSepidemic. First, it has ensured that there is adequate supply of theantiretroviral drugs in most hospitals and health centres. The drugsare given free of charge to ensure that all the infected people getthe opportunity to access them regardless their economic status. Ithas also ensured free supply of condoms in most public utilities suchas public washrooms to facilitate the promotion of protected sex.Additionally, it has also set up free voluntary and testing centres(vct) where all have an opportunity to know their status. Thegovernment has also invested a lot in making awareness of thismenace. This is evident by the many advertisement and campaigns onways to come out of this menace. For instance, through thesensitization of the pregnant women to attend the pre-natal clinicsto prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS from the infected mother to child.
Althoughthe government and most non-governmental agencies are workingtirelessly to protect their people, there still some conditions thatlimit their efforts. First, poverty limits the access to medicalcare. The infected living in poverty cannot afford the basic livingsuch as eating healthy and balanced diet (Centres for Disease Controland Prevention, 1997). There are others who have fear of gettingtested, hence live without knowing their status. This increases theirchances of getting or spreading the virus. The infected in thesociety do suffer from discrimination and stigma. This is becausethey still think that immorality is the main cause of the spread ofHIV/AIDS, they reject them. This may lead to early deaths of theinfected by eating them away. There exist some practices in thesociety that promote and increase the risk of spreading the virus.Such practices include sharing of circumcision tools duringinitiation process and inheritance of wives.
Accordingto the centre for disease control (CDC) report, it is estimated thatthere are approximately more than 50,000 infections every year. Oneperson in every five is infected, either with or without consent. Allthe infected require is love and acceptance to help them live longer.The society should know that is you are not infected, you areaffected. The society should strive to know their status by gettingtested. Those infected should live positively and avoid spreading thevirus. Those who are not infected should take preventive measure toavoid acquiring the virus.
Allen,D.M. Lehman, J.S. Green, T.A. Lindegren, M.L. Onorato, I.M. andForrester, W. (1994). HIV infection among homeless adults and runawayyouth, United States, 1989-1992.AIDS,8,11,1593–1598.
Branson,B.M. (1998). Home sample collection tests for HIV infection,JAMA,280,19, 1699-1701.
Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention. (1997). HIV/AIDSSurveillance Report, 9(2)