Healthcare for migrants is a challenge

Understanding health trends among people who migrate is difficult. In most cases migrants fall outside health systems planning and may struggle to access health care facilities.

Oct 03, 2016
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Children could point the way to new HIV treatments

Children with HIV who can resist the disease progressing could point the way to new treatments for HIV infection that are more widely applicable to infected adults and children alike, an international team of researchers ...

Sep 29, 2016
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Scientists discover how we sense 'stiffness'

Every day, people use their hands effortlessly to assess an object's stiffness, like the ripeness of a piece of fruit. For the first time an international team of scientists led by University College London, have discovered ...

Oct 13, 2016
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Genetic signature linked to cancer prognosis identified

Researchers from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge have identified a genetic signature related to metabolism associated with poor patient prognosis. The results of the analysis ...

Oct 10, 2016
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Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The illness interferes with the immune system making people with AIDS much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections and tumors that do not affect people with working immune systems. This susceptibility gets worse as the disease continues.

HIV is transmitted in many ways, such as anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. It can be transmitted by any contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid that has the virus in it, such as the blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, or breast milk from an infected person.

The virus and disease are often referred to together as HIV/AIDS. The disease is a major health problem in many parts of the world, and is considered a pandemic, a disease outbreak that is not only present over a large area but is actively spreading. In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there are 33.4 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with 2.7 million new HIV infections per year and 2.0 million annual deaths due to AIDS. In 2007, UNAIDS estimated: 33.2 million people worldwide were HIV positive; AIDS killed 2.1 million people in the course of that year, including 330,000 children, and 76% of those deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNAIDS 2009 report, worldwide some 60 million people have been infected since the start of the pandemic, with some 25 million deaths, and 14 million orphaned children in southern Africa alone.

Genetic research indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. AIDS was first recognized by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1981 and its cause, HIV, identified in the early 1980s.

Although treatments for HIV/AIDS can slow the course of the disease, there is no known cure or HIV vaccine. Antiretroviral treatment reduces both the deaths and new infections from HIV/AIDS, but these drugs are expensive and the medications are not available in all countries. Due to the difficulty in treating HIV infection, preventing infection is a key aim in controlling the AIDS pandemic, with health organizations promoting safe sex and needle-exchange programmes in attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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