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“The most serious disease epidemic of our
 Caused by infection with the human
immunodeficiency virus
Recently tied to wild chimpanzees through
contact with their blood around 1931
 Targets and destroys cells which
coordinate our immune system leaving us
vulnerable to diseases and cancers
By 2004, 900,00 cases in U.S. with
500,000 deaths
 Currently, 850,000 are living with HIV
 40,000 new cases a year
 Dramatic increases for teens
 Worldwide 5 million new cases a year
 42 million suffer from it
 Another 45 mil. by 2006?
HIV typically enters the body through
unprotected bodily fluid exchanges during
oral-genital, vaginal or anal intercourse
 An additional 20% contract via
contaminated needles
 Children can also contract from mother
before or during birth or through breast
Often it begins with a brief flulike illness a
few weeks after infection
 Fevers, swollen lymph glands, rashes, loss
of appetite, muscle aches
 Then bloody stools, repeated fevers, and
especially, oral candidiasis
 Eventually antibodies to the virus are
detectable through blood tests
As HIV spreads, the body loses its ability
to defend itself
 Within 8-11 years one or more severe
diseases attack
 Pneumonia, encephalitis, fungal infections,
salmonella are all common
 Now improvement in drug therapies has
slowed the former rapid descent to death
No cure
 Thousands of scientists worldwide are
trying to cure or prevent
 In 1996 a drug which inhibits the virus’
copying abilities emerged
 HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral
Therapy) has stymied the virus
 Complicated regimen, toxic side-effects
To be completely safe, no interpersonal
sexual contact or a monogamous,
mutually faithful relationship
 Short of that:
don’t share needles
avoid contact with semen
keep away from anuses, urine, sex
Preventing STD Transmission
Pleas for abstinence and dissemination of
educational materials have failed to stem
the tide
Perhaps advice concerning assessing risk
rather than insisting on abstinence is the
most practical path
Assessing Risk
 Look
to yourself first – get a
comprehensive screening
 Spend a lot of time with your
prospective partner before engaging
in sexual activity
 Swimming
against the cultural tide
 Self-disclosure
– but many lie
Obtain prior medical exams, costs can be
Use condoms
Avoid multiple partners
Wash, inspect, inform