Sunday, July 17, 2011

Prevention of HIV/AIDS, An Overview

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) occurs from infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Here the disease manifests through many faces or diseases; where the host defense mechanism is crippled.
 Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) DiagramImage of HIV 
Till now many treatment options are available but, the cure still eludes us. Many Governments supply drugs free/subsidized to their patients. The drugs are costly and not free from adverse effects. Government agencies and NGOs are trying hard to spread awareness about the disease in the population. Still the disease has not been contained to the extent of our expectations. Vulnerable people are also been screened and counseled.
The age old saying,"Prevention is better than Cure", still holds good. Options available are;
  • Abstinence from sex, an impractical solution though; practiced by some.
  • Not using un-sterile hospital disposables like syringes.
  • Not using untested blood and blood products for HIV.
  • Use of microbial vaginal jelly.
  • Circumcision. The exact mechanism by which circumcision prevents transmission of HIV/AIDS is not known. Most probably;
  1. Excised foreskin creates an hostile environment for colonization and growth of virus. That is because the moist inside surface of foreskin is lacking.
  2. Tough scar that forms after surgery prevents easy cracking of the surface.
  3. Lack of foreskin deprives a large surface to get injured during sexual intercourse and the chance of HIV entry.
  4. Penile surface becomes dry after circumcision.
Still, I suggest; having a dedicated single sex partner, sterile hospital procedures; use of safe blood and blood products; and strict quality control for possible contamination of drugs those have a chance of getting contaminated with serum during production.
Those having one partner suffering from HIV/AIDS can have sex, if the partner getting treatment; along with concomitant use of condom, microbial vaginal jelly and the newly developed once a day pill.
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