That Which Takes Away ForeverAIDS
What once use to be an occupational bonus in the
business, has now become an occupational hazard. Though the summer of love is in its full
swing, the only sex worth having, if having at all, is safe sex during any season.
In the U.S. there are now approximately 1.1 million or more HIV-infected
persons and over 400,000 AIDS cases. In the 14th century, the Black Death killed 25
million people, while there are projected to be 30 to 110 million HIV cases world wide by
the year 2000. AIDS does not stand for Asphalt Instant Death Syndrome, (though the out
come is still the sameDeath); Antibody Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
The HIV virus reproduces unchecked by invading cells. Next there is a long
asymptomatic (without symptoms), period, from a couple of months to 16 years or longer,
but averaging about 8 years.
This asymptomatic period goes on for a long time before testing positive for
antibodies in the human body. This is a period of massive unchecked infection. Eventually
there are detectable antibodies (that make tests show positive) that can at least kill
some of the HIV in the bloodstream. Then the full blown AIDS develops, which happens when
the blood count of T cells (immune system cells that fight invaders) reduces to about 200
per cubic millimeter of blood and symptoms appear.
Early symptoms when AIDS arrive can include unexplained symptoms such as skin
rashes, warts, oral candidiosis or thrush, shingles, menstrual problems or early onset of
one of the opportunistic diseases such as: Pneumoncystic carinii pneumonia, T.B.
After suspected exposure to the disease, typically a blood test is given
within about 1 week to establish baselines, then after 6 weeks, then perhaps 3 months and
6 months and a year. If the most common antibody test is used, results come back a few
days after each test. But positive antibody results may not show up for months after true
exposure and infections that may be raging before the body learns how to make detectable
Prevention comes from blocking transmission routes. This means, 1. Avoiding
sexual transmission by promoting abstinence, monogamy, use of latex condoms, dental damns
and devices to block transmucosal membrane transmission. 2. Protecting the transfusion
blood supply by screening and testing. 3. Inducing safe needle use in addicts such as
through free distribution of clean needles and by education.
Rich or Poor, Male or Female, Young or Old, Black or White these are the
players of the Game of Life. AIDS and HIV does not discriminate.
In the United States, AIDS and HIV, were thought to be just a homosexual
disease. NOT. Not only does the heterosexual group remain at high risk, but AIDS is
attacking sexually active non-monogamous groups like college communities, youths, and in
fact the entire community!
Until there are effective treatments or preventions by vaccines, AIDS is a
sure fire killer. It is raging across the continents of the world, decimating many African
countries. HIV and AIDS respects no borders!
Being ambassadors of the Canyon taking ethically and culturally diverse
groups down the River, one should have total awareness of the grave dangers inherent in
the problems of having way to much fun.
There are no easy answers to this dilemma of reality. Only one of common
sense, if that can be considered in the scope of lost consciousness in the heat of the
The decisions you make shall determine your destiny. To thy own self be true.