Tuesday, August 15, 2006

HIV - Gross over-approximation for the sake of simplicity

I was forwarded an email regarding how a boy got AIDS because he ate paani-puri and the vendor had contaminated the "paani" with his blood from him cut in his hand (puportedly when cutting onions).

Lavanya makes some good points regarding this issue and in general how this case is fake. She has some very strong points like
* Eating HIV contaminated food, cannot infect a person because the body-fluid needs to be active unless the person has a cut in the mouth.
* Injestion cannot lead to infection because the life of the virus is limited to seconds outside an active medium.
* The virus cannot be detected for an initial period of approximately 3 months.
* Causes of infection includes intercourse, oral sex, wet kissing, blood transfusion and unsterilized needles.

The above are all very true. But there is more. All I did was read about it in Wikipedia where there is fresh research data. Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV.

For example, here are a few shockers,

1. HIV virus has been found in low concentration in saliva, tears and urine even though the actual infection rate is assumed to be low.
2. The probability of trasmission of HIV virus through any kind of sexual act with an infected person without the use of any kind of latex condom is less than 1%. The probability of transmission of HIV virus through blood transfusion is 90%.
3. There are highly successful post exposure anti-viral drugs that can help completely (debated) take out the virus. However, there have been cases where the post exposure anti-viral drugs have failed.
4. HIV causation of AIDS is first of all debated. This means that AIDS could be caused even without the exposure to HIV and at times anti-viral drugs could become toxic.

So, if Shabana Asmi advertises on TV about the humanitarian attitude toward the HIV infected people, it tries to address the social isolation of the victims. But, if you are in continuous contact with a HIV infected person, your chances of getting HIV is non-zero.

1 Comments:

Blogger Hip Grandma said...

This was a good post.

Monday, August 21, 2006 at 10:04:00 PM CDT  

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