People Living with HIV and AIDS and HIV Life Expectancy
If you were diagnosed as HIV positive, was one of your first questions–How long will I live?" You’re not alone. There is an HIV AIDS campaign regarding information on HIV life expectancy. Before the current medications became available in the late 1990s, many people had the expectation that AIDS was an automatic "death sentence." In the terrible "old days," people who were infected usually developed full blown AIDS within ten years of becoming positive, and then would usually lose their battle in less than two years. Sadly, this is still the case with many other countries where the newer medications are not readily available.
However, an HIV AIDS campaign regarding HIV life expectancy will give most people in North America a great sense of hope. The reality is, most people here who carry the virus will most likely not die of AIDS, but like others who are HIV negative, eventually pass away from human realities, such as heart disease and injuries.
Another important teaching for people living with HIV and AIDS, is an HIV AIDS campaign regarding HIV life expectancy will give the good news the same things that will protect those who are HIV negative—reducing risks—a healthy diet—quitting smoking—regular exercise—will also protect people with the virus. This emphasizes the importance of looking out for high blood pressure, and for those who also have hepatitis, monitoring liver damage to make certain these non-HIV problems don’t develop into serious health challenges.
While overall, things are looking up, a small number of people are unable to tolerate the newer medications. For these individuals and for those who do not receive treatment, or are unable to afford it, their life expectancies will be closer to that of patients at the start of the AIDS epidemic.
You may ask yourself–how did this all start?
Where did HIV come from? According to WebMD.com, "AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1981. That’s about half the number of people who died in World War II. And it’s not over. 1.1 million Americans are among the 33 million people now living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS."
Somewhere around the start of the 20th century, scientists believe a hunter in West Central Africa killed an infected chimpanzee, and in the process, the virus entered into the hunter’s bloodstream. The virus spread among human hosts, but the deaths were associated with other diseases. By 1981, the disease was first identified among gay men in the United States, but the HIV AIDS Pandemic was soon recognized as impacting all genders and sexual orientations. In 1985, the term "HIV" was internationally recognized as the accepted term for the infection. Sadly, this is also the time of some of the greatest panic and prejudice directed towards people living with HIV. In fact, it has only been this year, 2010, that the federal government has lifted the ban against allowing citizens of other nations who are HIV positive, to freely enter the United States.
Between 1996-1997, a new type of drug intervention reduced the death rate of Americans with HIV by more than 40 percent. Sadly, the HIV AIDS Pandemic continues to ravage other national populations that cannot afford the new drugs. By the start of this decade, AIDS became the world wide number one killer of people between the ages of 15-59.
The HIV AIDS Pandemic has also recently been reflected in a soaring of infection rates in the United States. In 2008, new HIV rates were up by 11 percent from what they were in 2003.