In the world today, a total of 33.2 million now live with HIV/AIDS. Last year alone, 2.1 million people have died as a result of this disease. While there have been many initiatives made to cure this dreaded disease and alleviate the plight of those afflicted by it, it still is a sad reality that these initiatives as well as the advances in medical technology have not been able to reach those who need it the most - individuals from developing countries where there are inadequate facilities and a less then satisfactory health care system.
In Asia, on the other hand, another continent where the world's poor may be found, 432,000 people became newly infected, raising the total number of infected people to 4.8 million. While there have been some increase in the number of HIV/AIDS victims in the more prosperous parts of the world like Europe and the United States, the increase in the developing countries are sharper and therefore more alarming.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is a virus that infects human cells and the virus grows and reproduces by feeding of the nutrients of healthy human cells. HIV is the virus that leads to AIDS which stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus, and in this case, the body's immune system breaks down and can no longer ward off infections that come in. These infections that come in are called "opportunistic infections" because they take advantage of a deteriorating immune system.
The virus can be transmitted via sexual intercourse - this could be vaginal, anal or oral - whether in heterosexual or homosexual relations, sharing needles or syringes or infection during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
There are plenty of global initiative ...