HIV stands for human immune deficiency virus. This is a lentivirus that causes HIV
infection; there have been widespread increase in the rate of HIV amongst youth. Replication
occurs when the HIV virus floating on body fluids and encounters a CD4 cell. These are well
known as T helper Lymphocytes (Arnoczy, et al, 2012). They play an important role in immune
response whereby they promote the activation of other immune cells in the body to combat
Each T helper Lymphocyte has a CD4 marker. The HIV virus attacks the CD4 marker
and uses it to gain entry into the body cell. Once it is in the body system, the virus replicates
spontaneously and it is transferred throughout the body system.
This handout targets the youth especially those in learning institutions that are at a high
risk of acquiring this virus. According to research by Castillo-Chavez, the rate of HIV
transmission among youth is rising at an alarming rate (Castillo-Chavez, 2013). The research
puts the rate of transmission of HIV in the United States amongst youth accounting to
approximately twenty six percent of the total population. This has been linked to the youth
engaging in unprotected sexual activities at a younger age. The youth also engage in drug and
substance abuse whereby they end up sharing sharp objects with other peers. Ignorance plays a
major part in the spread of HIV hence the youth should be taught on ways in which the HIV
virus is spread in order to curb infection.
Transmission of HIV virus:
HIV is a pandemic whose virus begins by attacking the immune system. A person
infected with HIV virus can look and feel perfectly well for many years and may hardly know
that they are infected, but over a period of time it is likely that the HIV will damage the immune
system, this makes the person attacked vulnerable to other diseases referred to as opportunistic
diseases, which may eventually lead to the patient’s demise (UNAIDS, 2012).
Aids can be transmitted through these various ways;
Unprotected sexual intercourse
Unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person could result in the transmission of
the pandemic; this is because of the high possibilities of fluid contact particularly if there are
either cuts sores or both (HIV and LONG, 2012). This increases the possibilities of fluid contact
through the mucus membranes. It is hence advisable to use protection such as condoms.
However, the best preventive measure especially for couples is to know there status and be
advised accordingly by a trained official.
Sharing of sharp objects
Sharing of sharp cutting instruments especially needles, piercings, tattoo needles and
other instruments used during medical services and surgery could result in transmission of the
disease (Arnoczy, et al, 2012). This could only happen in the case where one person is infected
with the disease resulting in fluid contact when another person is cut by the same object. It is
therefore advisable for people not to share these objects. Also sharp objects should be disposed
properly to avoid accidental cuts.
Drugs and substance abuse
Misuse of drugs by the youth has also contributed to the transmission of the virus. This is
because it results in sharing of common objects such as syringes and needles to inject themselves
the drugs into their veins which then lead to blood contact. Cases of rape have also been reported
from drug addicts as sometimes they fail to make rational decisions thereby increasing the risk of
transmitting the disease. Youth are advised to visit health centers from time to time so that they
may now their status as well.
HIV/AIDS has led to the decline in the world’s work force; it has also led to the loss of
energetic and promising youth of this country. Who would like to die of an avoidable cause?