Aids is known and feared around the world. Due to the fact that it has no known cure and that its results are deadly, people tend to be extra cautious in protecting themselves against it. Many are ignorant and believe they are susceptible to contracting the virus through casual contact with an infected individual. This is not true however; the transmission of HIV does not exist through casual contact as it does through the transfer of bodily fluids.
Located in the envelope surrounding HIV is a protein called Glycoprotein. This protein enables the virus to attach to a specific molecule called CD 4. CD 4 is found on most white blood cells and is not found on any other cells in the human body. It follows then that such sights as the skin and the digestive tract are unable to host HIV. Casual contact while at work, play or even in a food-service environment is therefore perfectly safe. In order to replicate, HIV must bind and enter into a host cell.
Once inside the cell, the retrovirus must copy its genetic information and encode it into the nucleus of the host. Only then may the HIV reproduce to bud newly formed viruses. The white blood cells inside the human body are ideal in executing this process and are in-fact the only possible sight for reproduction to take place. Since the retrovirus is unable to reproduce outside of the human body, it does not maintain its infectiousness and may not be transmitted through casual contact. A person may become HIV positive if their fluids are exchanged with fluids containing the virus. Exposure to contaminated cells in blood through the use of used needles is a very common way HIV is acquired.
Another rapidly increasing method of transmission is through unprotected sex with infected partners. Other fluids such as saliva and breast milk also contain traces of the virus however their concentrations are low and therefore are not as dangerous. Acquiring HIV is only possible through the exchange of fluids such as blood or semen that are carrying the virus or that contain infected cells. The spread of HIV is due to the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood and semen. The virus cannot exist outside of the human body and therefore may not be transmitted through touching or even kissing an infected person. Preventing the spread of this deadly virus is not through limiting physical contact but through the promotion of sexual awareness and needle exchanges.
Properly educating people will help stop its spread and allow others to understand how it works.