AIDS - the plague of our times (essay) - AIDS - zaraza naszych czasów (esej)
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Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease caused by a specific virus. Because of its influence, the immune system becomes less effective and individuals are more susceptible to infections.
The AIDS pandemic is a scientific fact nowadays. In 2007, 33.2 million people lived with it worldwide, and it is estimated that AIDS killed 2.1 million people at that time. Three out of four deaths caused by the disease occurred in Africa. An awareness of being infected with HIV is not common in many regions, especially in developing countries. For instance, the vast majority of adults in Africa has never been tested. Likewise, most of pregnant women there are not even counselled, let alone being tested.
This is what makes the AIDS problem very serious. To make matters worse, even though there are treatments for the disease that can weaken its impact, no efficient vaccine or cure is currently obtainable. The already existing, imperfect treatments are expensive and, as a result, not in every country proper medication is available. Since there are many difficulties faced in treating the infection, preventing it becomes a priority as far as controlling the AIDS pandemic is concerned.
However, slowing the spread of the virus is not an easy task. Although strategies of effective prevention (like using condoms) have been thought over in developed countries and should be well-known among their residents, some reliable studies show that a substantial minority of young people tend to underestimate the risk of being infected. In spite of their knowledge, they continue practices, which may easily lead to an infection.
We should be concerned about such facts. The increasing number of those infected may affect our lives in many ways. Apart from the fact that some day we can fall victim to AIDS too, it may make a significant impact on the economy of many countries – especially those of them, in which the majority of citizens suffer from the disease.
The more people infected and finally dying, the less people working and bringing home the bacon. This may lead both to economic and social problems. Many companies may experience serious difficulties – their employees will need much time off to look after sick relatives. Some of them can also become infected. The lack of their knowledge and experience can result in companies’ losses, since they will be forced to hire inexperienced persons.
Some countries’ economies may at last collapse, since there will be too few workers paying taxes. Even countries not being influenced by the AIDS pandemic in such an apocalyptic way, will be subjected to its evil powers. If their policy of prevention does not prove effective, the increasing number of infections will result in lower productivity, growing public expenditures on treatment, sick pays and the need to provide for orphans.
As we can see, the AIDS pandemic makes a very significant problem, which can affect even developed countries in many ways. Therefore, it is vital to monitor the situation and create new solutions to prevent the spread of the virus. The danger must not be underestimated. The virus' resistance to subsequent methods of treatment shows that we still have to put a lot of effort to deal with one of the most dangerous diseases of our times.
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