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HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) destroys fundamental cells in the human immune system, particularly the CD4 using lowering their levels thus cell-mediated and antibody-mediated immunity is compromised. Consequently, the human body is prone to any opportunistic infection. Therefore, this paper seeks to present some of the common misconceptions about HIV, a brief history of HIV, as well as a recommendation on essential information about HIV/ AIDS.
Since the first documented case of HIV in 1981 in America, a myriad of myths has been created to define it. A few examples of these myths are: HIV is Witchcraft, HIV is a curse, the belief that mosquito causes HIV.
Some religious people, who form a considerable number of our society, strongly believe HIV enigma is a punishment from God due to sexual perverseness on earth. This belief should be discouraged because scientifically HIV occurs when body fluids that carry the virus come into contact not necessarily by sexual contact. For instance, Nurses have contracted the virus while helping the HIV-infected patients absolutely without any act of sexual contact.
Since the things which cannot be understood by people tend to be associated with well-known things, it is not a wonder that a lot of cultures have perceived HIV/AIDS as a curse. Some argue that if this virus is transmitted through blood, therefore, mosquitoes can spread it as well. This is erroneous because HIV-infected blood cannot by any means be chemically transmitted by the proboscis of a mosquito (Dyk, 2008).
The first HIV encounter was reported in America in 1981, whereby five young gay men were diagnosed with what was then thought to be unusual pneumonia (Cook, 2009). The infected revealed that they had unprotected sexual contact with different partners. This case provoked many scientists to keenly scrutinize the origin of the virus, but not until 1985 when Abbott developed the first blood screening for HIV which was used to screen blood for transfusion. It is in the year 1986 that the killer virus was found a name of (human immunodeficiency virus, HIV) (Grundy-Bowers, & Davies, 2006). Upon realizing that this epidemic had the guts to obliterate the whole human race, in the year 1989 many agencies and governments began to mobilize community-based organizations to care for the people with HIV.
1990 is a very significant year in the history of HIV because the first-ever drug was discovered, namely antiretroviral (ARV). Although the ARVs did not eradicate the virus, they greatly prolonged the lives of the HIV-infected (Kapoor, 2011). In 1991 a step was made to sensitize people about HIV by introducing a red ribbon as the global symbol of AIDS awareness. As if to answer the call of the HIV awareness campaign, a great conference took place in South Africa in 2002. This was the first of its kind on African soil. Its objective was to intensify the HIV epidemic campaign. The years that followed were immensely hit by the Virus reaching an approximation of about 42 million infected people globally. This was expected to rise in the successive years. (Macmillan, 2006). The search for a cure continues.
In conclusion, everyone should know that HIV is not a myth as it has been presented but an epidemic that continues to ravage humans irrespective of religion, color, or race.
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