How Does Hiv/Aids Affect African American Women

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HIV/AIDS and the affects it has on African American Women The origin of AIDS and HIV has puzzled scientists ever since the illness first came to light in the early 1980s. For over twenty years it has been the subject of fierce debate and the cause of countless arguments, with everything from a promiscuous flight attendant to a suspect vaccine program being blamed. So what is the truth? Just where did Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease (AIDS) come from? In the early 1980’s gay men were developing rare or incurable diseases that were unexplainable. At this time there was no common name for the disease that so many gay men seemed to be suffering from. What was this disease? Where did it come from? Scientist and doctors had to get to work…show more content…
Not only has the disease affected gay men but it has impacted the world and affected thousands of people. AIDS has no specific gender, race, age or culture. It is not a disease that has only destroyed countries in Africa. AIDS is an epidemic that has destroyed many people. One group in particular is contracting and dealing with the disease at an alarming rate. African American women are contracting the disease 15 times higher than that of their white counter parts and 4 times higher than that of Hispanic women (El-Bassel N). Although the disease can affect anybody, why is a specific group targeted more than any other group? African American women are disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The lack of prevention interventions that address African American women plays a critical role as to why the epidemic continues to spread. What exactly is HIV? Human Immunodeficiency Virus, better known as HIV is a disease that breaks down a person’s immune system. HIV destroys a person’s CD4 cells. CD4 cells are a specific group of white blood cells that play a large role in helping somebody to fight off diseases. A person with HIV will have a weaker immune system as their CD4 cells are killed. A person can live with HIV for many years before it progresses to AIDS…show more content…
A person will be diagnosed with AIDS after they reach a CD4 count lower than 200. A person may also be diagnosed with AIDS if they experience Pneumocyatis jiroveci pneumonia, Cytomegalovirus, Tuberculosis, Toxoplasmosis, or Cryptosporidiosis (Staff). In simpler words, HIV/AIDS weakens a person’s immune system making them susceptible to different types of infections and other diseases. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV/AIDS (Staff). Other infections that are not so well known may also cause death in people who have HIV/AIDS. Since HIV/AIDS weakens the immune system, a person is unable to fight infections off. A person who does not have HIV/AIDS may be able to fight infections commonly associated with the diseases off. There are also cancers that are commonly associated with people living with HIV/AIDS. Kaposi’s Sarcoma is a tumor of the blood vessel walls. Karposi’s Sarcoma is very rare in people who do not have HIV. Most people who have pink, red or purple lesions on their skin may be suffering from Kaposi’s Sarcoma. Lymphomas is another type of cancer common to people infected with HIV or AIDS
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