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Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the most unwelcome visitor of the 20th Century. It has been disturbing and posing a great threat to human race and world population. Since the discovery of AIDS in 1981 in America, there has been tremendous rise in the cases the number of deaths. The prediction of doom by some local and international organization like the United Nations is turning into reality. The future is so uncertain as to what will become of developing countries like Nigeria where the scourge is gradually taking its tell on the population.
1.1.1 WHAT IS AIDS
AIDS is a very serious disease that affects the body’s ability of defend itself against certain other diseases. It caused by virus HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus). It is retrovirus which affects and takes over certain cells of the immune system. The HIV virus penetrates immunity enhancing cells. It then makes new copies of itself and from there, goes on infecting other immunity cell. This causes the infected cell to function improperly and prematurely. This leads to weakening of the immune system thereby permitting all kinds of infection.
1.2 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.2.1 THE ORIGIN OF AIDS
No one knows exactly where the AIDS virus came from but many scientist think it originated in Africa. One theory is that AIDS virus evolved from a similar, through harmless virus found in African Green Monkey. According to this theory, soemtime in the past, one of the monkey viruses underwent a change mutatim that enabled it to survive in the human body. This mutation was passed on to the virus’s “offspring” and eventually same of the mutated viruses found their way into the human body, perhaps as a result of a person being bitten by a eating a monkey (monkey brains are popularly found in Africa). Once inside the human body, the virus may have mutated further until it become the virus known today as the AIDS virus. Regardless of exactly where it started, AIDS is now a world wide problem.
AIDS was first discovered in America in the year 1981 by Dr. Montegor of the California University. But today, AIDS has been reported in over 100 countries of the world.
1.2.2 CAUSES OF AIDS
Most scientists believe that AIDS is caused by a type of germ known as a virus. The virus has been given a number of different scientific names including: HTL V – III, LAV, ARV and HIV. The most commonly known among these is HIV.
HIV stands for
H - Human
I - Immunodeficiency
V - Virus
1.2.3 SYMPTOMS OF AIDS
It depends on which disease the person develops as the immune system break down.
Most common symptoms are:
i. Prolonged diarrhea
ii. Swollen Lymph glands in the neck, armpits or elsewhere
iii. Unexplained weight loss
iv. Persistent dry cough
v. Severe skin rashes which comes and goes
vi. Night sweat
vii. Extreme tiredness
viii. White patches inside the mouth
ix. Shortness of breath
x. Proneness to different kinds of diseases like tuberculosis, cancer, pneumonia, chest infection, Meningitis.
1.2.4 MODE OF SPREAD OF AIDS
i. Sexual Intercourse (homo, heterc)
ii. Prenatal transmission from mother to new born
iii. Blood transfusion
iv. Use of unsterilized equipment and contaminated needle
v. Contact with blood of infected person
1.2.5 HOW TO AVOID AIDS
i. Avoid casual sex
ii. Use condom if you must do it
iii. Treat sexually transmitted disease (STD) immediately
iv. Use screened blood and blood products
v. Use sterilized equipment
1.2.6 CURE FOR AIDS
Although a lot of claims have been made concerning discovery of cure of AIDS, there is AS YET, NO CURE OR VACCINE FOR AIDS. Only symptoms or diseases manifested by AIDS have cure that can prolong the life of the HIV Patient for a year or two. But, they are extremely expensive, costing over $1,000 - $6,000 for a years does. Thus, the way to combat AIDS is prevention through enlightenment.
An epidemic is a disease out break for a period of time in a particular place or community. And a pandemic is a disease outbreak across the globe. HIV/AIDS is much worse than a pandemic. An epidemic is controlled after sometime. But even 241 years into the pandemic, the number of people affected by HIV/AIDS continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. HIV/AIDS simply spreads like wildfire. According to the United Nations Agency in AIDS (UNAIDS) nearly 5.5 million Nigerians live with HIV and an estimate of 350 thousand Nigerians have died of AIDS with more than 2.1 million children orphaned presently.
Nigeria has prevalence rate of 5.4 percent and comparatively one Nigerian is infected with HIV every minute. Nigerians aged 15 – 39 account for more than 70% of all infections. Nearly 85 percent of all HIV transmission occur through heterosexual contact. It is clear that HIV/AIDS disproportionately agewise, affect future leaders of Nigeria. The above information motivated me to ascertain how the pandemic is devastating the various are classes and whether the huge amount of money invested on the campaign against the pandemic by the federal, state and World Health Organization have any significant effect on the rate of spread of HIV over the years under study.
1.7 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
a. To find how the pandemic affect different age classes and class making the highest contribution toward the measuring response.
b. To determine if the HIV/AIDS cases occur more in females than males
c. To establish the trend of reported cases of HIV/AIDS pandemic in Nigeria
d. To forecast the expected number of HIV/AIDS victims in Nigeria in the next three (3) years.
e. To infer valid conclusion about HIV/AIDS in Nigeria and make necessary recommendation in a way to further reducing it.
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