AIDS is a Three Dimensional Disease
Sun Apr 2, 2006 16:30

AIDS is a Three Dimensional Disease

- Al-Haz Dr. M. A. Matin -
- Principal Section Officer -
- Institute of Social welfare and Research -
- Dhaka University -
-  -

After Twenty years, the first clinical evidence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was reported, AIDS has become the most harmful disease humankind has ever faced. Since the start of the epidemic, more than 60 million people have been infected with the HIV. Some worst effected region of sub-Saharan Africa where HIV/AIDS is now the leading cause of death.

The environmental closeness of Bangladesh to Myanmar and consequently, the Golden Triangle drug trail has made it a major transit route for drug smuggling and its easy availability in the area. However, the transmission route of HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh is no longer confined to the IDUs but spreads further to the female sexual partners of IDUs and their children. This is not surprising as women are mostly vulnerable to HIV infection and other sexually transmissible diseases because of geographical and socio-cultural factors including economic, educational and legal discrimination and unequal gender relations.

Women are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. Biology and gender inequality conspire to drive the spread of the disease, and forces women to bear the brunt of the social and economic costs. Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation have found that male to female transmission appears to be 2 to 4 times more efficient than female to male transmission, because semen contains a far higher concentration of HIV than vaginal fluid. Young girls are particularly vulnerable. Their immature cervixes and low vaginal mucus production presents less of a barrier to HIV, all of which have been seen in many settings to be contributing factors to the rapid spread of HIV.

People with AIDS are mainly prone to developing various cancers, particularly those caused by viruses such as Kaposis sarcoma and cervical cancer, or cancers of the immune system known as lymphomas. These cancers are usually more harmful and difficult to treat in people with AIDS. Signs of Kaposis sarcoma in light-skinned people are round brown, reddish, or purple spots that develop in the skin or in the mouth. In dark-skinned people, the spots are more pigmented.

Children with AIDS may get the same opportunistic infections, as do adults with the disease. In addition, they also have severe forms of the bacterial infections all children may get, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), ear infections, and tonsillitis.

In children younger than 13 years, the definition of AIDS is similar to that of adolescents and adults, except that lymphoid interstitial pneumonitis and recurrent bacterial infections are included in the list of AIDS-defining conditions.

In many developing countries, where diagnostic facilities may be minimal, epidemiologists employ a case definition based on the presence of various clinical symptoms associated with immune deficiency and the exclusion of other known causes of immunosuppression, such as cancer or malnutrition.

Many people are so debilitated by the symptoms of AIDS that they cannot hold steady employment or do household chores. A small number of people first infected with HIV 10 or more years ago have not developed symptoms of AIDS.

AIDS researcher Mr. Mohammad Khairul Alam said, “HIV/AIDS is a three dimensional disease. It spreads out by three major causes:- such as unconscious or unsafe sexuality, blood exchange(needle) /transfusion for patients, infected mother to child. HIV/AIDS direct by impact on the human body - it paralyze the physical condition, psychological morbidity and destroy social value. It also wipes out three things, such as it affects adults in their productive prime, severely hampers economic growth of person, and hampers his family, at last by rotation it destroys countrys progress. Every one can protect it by avoiding risk behavioral sex (multi-partner sex, unsafe sex practice etc), by avoiding injectable drug (needle sharing is a burning cause of it), by avoiding getting blood without test. Nation wide programme is also needed to take three major strategies:- top to bottom awareness programme of HIV/AIDS, gender discrimination programme to ensure girls and women rights, poverty reduction programme”.

References: UNAIDS, World Bank, Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation


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