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Aids - Not Just Someone Else's Problem Anymore

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Essay title: Aids - Not Just Someone Else's Problem Anymore

AIDS is a rapidly growing, and almost uncontrollable, problem in society today. AIDS starts out as a virus, HIV, and then turns into AIDS when one’s body can not fight the virus anymore. What started out as a small scare in the 1980’s has grown into a full blown epidemic that any sexually active person has the right to be scared of. AIDS did not seem like a very big issue at first, but it is now visible in our rear view mirror, and it does not look like there is much people can do to make it go away. Although the problem is of national proportions, there are things that can be done locally to educate the people in our community, because AIDS is a problem that affects people everywhere. Informational sources like pamphlets and websites are always helpful, and they can be even more helpful if new ways are found to implement them, or put them into effect. Donations are also very helpful for raising awareness about a certain situation, but many people may feel that their donations either go unnoticed, or that they are pointless. Raising local awareness of AIDS is not that hard of a problem, but to get more people interested, there has to be more efficient and interesting ways of getting the message around.

Some people refuse to believe, or do not realize, that AIDS is a big issue today because it does not effect them. However, the truth is that AIDS can affect anybody.

There are one million people currently living in the United States with AIDS, and there is thought to be as many as 40,000 new infections each year (Vital). It does not matter how old a person is, anyone is susceptible to catching the HIV virus. Any one person could be sexually active for years and never catch it, and someone else could be abstinent for a very long time and contract HIV from only one sexual encounter. The HIV/AIDS problem is growing rapidly in our state and local area because Katrina has displaced many people from New Orleans who are sexually active, and they continue to spread the disease (Doctors). Most victims with AIDS are males, and 65% of those males infected are homosexual (HIV/AIDS). The chance for the HIV virus to be spread to homosexuals is vast. In fact, the only openly homosexual relative I have is currently living day-to-day with the HIV virus. Despite that most people catch HIV/AIDS from sex, others can contract the virus from intravenous drug use, or drugs taken by shared needles. Drug use has accounted for 36% of AIDS cases in the United States alone, while many third world countries contract the virus mostly from intravenous drug use alone (NIDA). HIV/AIDS is not only serious because it is deadly, but it is also very intimidating knowing that there is more than one way to catch it.

One way to inform people about AIDS is through pamphlets. Pamphlets are those little informative booklets people can find at the doctor’s office that usually provide some unpleasant information about a disease, and AIDS should have its own pamphlet, too. Many pamphlets hold a lot of helpful information, and may help a person very much, but it is hard to find that one person who wants to read them. In other words, making them effective would be a hard task. It is hard enough to get anyone to read for their own

pleasure today anyways. To make them more effective, the pamphlets themselves should be brighter, the information inside does not have to be different, but one has to do something to make them interesting or even seen by people. After that is accomplished, those pamphlets have to find their way out of the doctor’s office and into social places. Thousands more people will have access to the information if the pamphlets were relocated to somewhere like the mall, the movies, or even big corporations like Wal-Mart. These informational pamphlets should include statistics on AIDS, what it is like living with AIDS, information on free screenings, and anything unpleasant about AIDS which would scare people into abstinence. The good thing about these pamphlets would be that they would spread the knowledge of the HIV/AIDS problem. The problem would be easier to control if everyone is aware of it. The only downside would be that some people would go to extreme lengths, under any measure, to avoid any kind of informational pamphlet. Some people just seem to lack an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, or have no use for knowledge at all, whether it would help them out considerably or not.

Another way of spreading the knowledge about HIV/AIDS is through the juggernaut that is MySpace! MySpace is a website on the internet that serves as a communication median between friends. Creating a website would help, but how are people supposed to find it? That is where MySpace comes in. I do not know one person, except myself, that does not have an account, or wastes their life, on MySpace. If I were to make a website, and send the URL of my website to

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