AIDS explained to my children!

AIDS, also known as HIV (for the human immunodeficiency virus), is a serious disease transmitted by a virus. This disease is serious and could possibly be fatal. And if it is unfortunately so famous, it is that we cannot cure it yet.

What is a virus ?

By definition, a virus is a microscopic parasite that needs to infect a living being to live. For example, it must infect the body of a human or animal to survive and develop. It consists of an outer envelope which is called a capsid. Inside is his DNA. In other words, a huge molecule that determines its appearance, shape, and functions.

Viruses are caught by rubbing shoulders with infected people, in other words, sick people. For the flu virus, sometimes it is enough to be near a sick friend who coughs, blows his nose and does not wash his hands. When he coughs, he ejects a multitude of viruses into the air, which we too can breathe.

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A Virus

It is a microscopic parasite that enters our cells and makes us sick.

Capside

It is the envelope or the shell which contains the DNA of the virus.

Once in our body, it will try to parasitize us by sticking to our cells and injecting its DNA into them. The virus can be seen as a bully who forces the attacked cell to work for him. In reality, it will force our cells to reproduce it in large quantities, like a photocopier.

Our bodies fight viruses by causing fever. As we fight against viruses, we get tired faster and we feel weaker. But our organism is clever. To recognize the virus in the future, it creates antibodies. It’s like sentries capable of recognizing and detecting the virus.

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How does our body defend itself?

To defend ourselves, we have our immune system. It’s like an army of tiny microscopic soldiers attacking any foreign microbe. This army is made up of white blood cells. The soldiers who rid us of viruses and bacteria by eating them! Scientists speak of phagocytosis.

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The immune system

It is our defense system present in our blood. Like a miniature army.

White blood cells

These are the soldiers who make up our immune system. They eat the viruses and bacteria that get inside our bodies.

What does the AIDS virus do?

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The AIDS virus is dangerous because it attacks our immune system. This means that it destroys our defense system, which is so effective against viruses and bacteria. The lower white blood cells can no longer fight external invasions as well, our body is weaker. As a result, the risk of getting sick increases in people with the AIDS virus.

There are also naturally occurring bacteria in our body that help us digest or function well. When the body is infected with the AIDS virus, it is no longer able to control them. These viruses and bacteria become a danger because they can develop serious infectious diseases.

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How does one get AIDS?

You can kiss or shake the hand of someone with AIDS safely.

On the other hand, AIDS is caught by contact with different fluids such as blood, semen, preseminal fluid (the fluid that flows from the penis), vaginal secretions (fluid that flows from the vagina), and maternal milk.

This contact usually occurs during unprotected intercourse. During this time, fluids from the male penis and the female vagina mix. If one of the partners is sick, the virus will infect the other partner by entering their body.

Contaminated syringes can also transmit AIDS. Indeed, people who inject drugs sometimes pass the syringe between them. Even the smallest amount of blood is a huge risk.

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Semen

White fluid produced by men and containing spermatozoids.

Preseminal fluid

It is the fluid coming out from the penis

Penis

It is the scientific word to say “willy”.

Vagina

It is the conduit through which the penis enters or the baby is expelled during delivery.

How to avoid getting AIDS?

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When you don’t know your beloved partner, it’s important to use condoms. This plastic cap which deploys around the penis prevents contact between the different fluids. Claiming the use of a condom is perfectly normal and this request must be respected. The partner must respect this request. If refused, it is normal for the person to refuse to have sex.

Condoms can be bought in supermarkets, pharmacies or distributors. You might as well have one in your wallet just in case. Be careful with the expiration date anytime.

Condoms are also distributed free of charge in family planning centers or are sold in supermarkets or pharmacies (£1 for condoms).

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How is AIDS treated?

The virus proliferates in the body of its host to weaken it more and more. If we do not yet know how to cure AIDS today, it is still possible to slow its progression. This is called triple therapy. This treatment helps reduce the amount of virus in the body. It is still present in the body, but in smaller quantities.

Patients can live longer, but their daily lives remain difficult, as this treatment has many side effects. In any case, despite triple therapy, sick people who want to have sex must protect themselves for life with a condom.

Can you have babies when you have AIDS?

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A man and a woman infected with the AIDS virus can have children but under certain medical conditions.

If only the man is sick, his sperm must be cleaned before being introduced into the woman. This is done following medical support to increase the chances of success for the expectant mother to get pregnant.