Although in small quantities it may be initially stimulating or irritating, alcohol is classified as a depressant. The first area of the brain that alcohol affects is the area which regulates inhibitions, judgment, and self-control. It is the lack of such restraints that causes the apparently stimulated or uninhibited behavior.
It is true that alcohol was called the miracle of life when the distillation process was discovered around the 14th or 15th century. This claim never held up, however, and there are currently only very limited medical uses for alcohol.
The more one drinks or uses the drugs, the less one's sexual ability. "The depressant action of alcohol lowers inhibitions; therefore, the drinker may respond more freely to sexual stimulation. But, too much of any drug reduces performance abilities.
There's no simple rule of thumb. Drug dependence is a state of mind. There are two kinds of dependence: physical and psychological. They may occur separately or together. Both types of dependency are real.
Using more than one drug at a time can be extremely hazardous. The effects may be additive, multiplicative, or unknown. Many drug overdoses and deaths are related to combining different drugs, including alcohol.
Marijuana is a powerful drug that affects the mind. Marijuana contains more substances that cause cancer than tobacco, an it produces dependence. Chronic marijuana smokers are more susceptible to disease and experience a lack of motivation as a result of their using the drug.
Sometimes a little bit of a drug can be good, but increasing the dosage can lead to undesirable and severe effects. Directions on the container or from the physician, nurse, or other care provider should always be followed precisely.
Any drug can be abused. While the Federal government regulates the use of drugs, being labeled legal does not mean that the drug is safe. Drugs with the most potential for abuse are controlled more strictly
All drugs, including alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, barbiturates, and many common over-the-counter medications, may have a dangerous effect on pregnancy. This is because these drugs cross the placenta barrier and actually enter the developing fetus. Breast-feeding women should refrain from drug use because many drugs pass directly to the baby through the milk.
Drug dependence show no favorites. Although some groups of people are at less risk than others, alcoholism and drug dependence are found among both sexes and all classes and ages of people. Very few abuser conform to the stereotype of the skid row bum. Further, the proportion of women to men drug abusers has been increasing in recent years.
Drug addiction, including alcoholism is a medical problem. People who are sick need help-medical attention, counseling, education, and therapy- something that jail doesn't provide in a comprehensive way.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. Prolonged infection with the virus leads to a condition known as AIDS. Belonging to the family of retroviruses, this virus infects the CD 4 cells also known as the T helper cells of the human immune system. Through this process the virus multiplies and subsequently compromises the immunity.
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Prolonged HIV infection leads to AIDS, a condition wherein the immune system is compromised to the extent that it is unable to ward of infections. Persons in this stage fall prey to multiple infections also referred to as “opportunistic infections” This conditioned is determined when there is a decrease in the CD4 count, which should be around 400-1200 in a normal healthy individual. When the CD4 counts of a person living with HIV drops to 200 he is said to be in the stage of AIDS.
HIV is transmitted through the exchange of certain body fluids namely blood, semen, vaginal secretions, spinal fluids and even breast milk.
Infection occurs when such infected fluids enter the bloodstream of another person. The transmission routes are as follows:
Unprotected sexual intercourse with someone who has HIV:
During unprotected sexual intercourse be it heterosexual or homosexual if one of the partners has HIV then there is a possibility that infection can pass to the other partner. Women are at greater risk of contracting the infection and where anal sex is practiced there is a greater risk of transmission due to the fact that the lining of the rectum is very thin and can be ruptured during sex thereby providing an entry point through which infected fluids can pass.
Through blood transfusion:
One unit of HIV positive blood, if given in a transfusion, has nearly a 100% chance of infection. Most blood given by hospitals is now tested for HIV, but it is still important to ensure it has been tested, and that the blood has been got from a government recognized or licensed blood banks.
Infection during pregnancy, childbirth, or breast-feeding (mother-to-child transmission):
Any woman who is pregnant or considering becoming pregnant and thinks she may have been exposed to HIV-even if the exposure occurred years ago-should seek testing and counseling. Those who test positive can get drugs to prevent HIV from being passed on to a fetus or infant, and they are counseled not to breast-feed.
Sharing needles or syringes with someone who is HIV infected:
Sharing of infected needles or syringes is a potent transmission route and intravenous drug users are prone to this transmission route when they share injecting equipment. Today it is strictly advised to use disposables only and reuse is never permitted.
The only way to know is to get a blood test for HIV done. Today there are many tests available that provide results in a matter of minutes. In case one has a doubt of having been exposed to HIV they can opt for a test.
A person can live for a minimum of 10-12 years before developing AIDS. However this is also influenced by various other living conditions. Access to health care, good nutrition, and healthy lifestyle are some factors that can contribute immensely to enhancing this timeline.
Yes it is a treatable condition. While there is still no known cure there is treatment available for controlling the replication of the virus.
This treatment is commonly known as anti retro viral therapy and the Government of India makes this treatment available free of cost at select government hospitals across the country.
When a person CD 4 count drops to 200 and below he is eligible for treatment. Once on treatment the person starts to gradually respond and very soon the persons health condition starts to improve.
Regular consultation with your doctor can go a long way in terms of monitoring ones condition and going on to treatment at the right time.
As of date no. It is treatable but not curable. Research is underway but there are no indicators of a cure in the immediate future. People living with HIV should beware of false claims of cure as many quacks exploit the psychological inclination of such persons for their financial gain alone.
If and when a cure is found it will be supported by evidence and it will be made available to those requiring it.
Vaccine trials are underway but no successful breakthrough has been made. If and when a vaccine is found it will have to be followed up with an intensive immunization drive which will take a lot of time.
HIV and other STDs can impact upon each other. The presence of STDs in an HIV infected person can increase the risk of HIV transmission. This can be through a genital ulcer which could bleed or through increased genital discharge.
All people are prone to contracting HIV when they are involved in any of the risk behaviors. It does not matter who you are or from where you hail, HIV will transmit if you give it the opportunity to do so.
Women’s vulnerability is influenced by biological, social & cultural factors. Women lack empowerment and most often are unable to influence their male partners to use a condom. Women in the Indian context have to do what their male counterparts instruct and very often their health needs are neglected in the interest of their family.
Youth who are sexually active are always at risk due to their age and mindsets. They are more prone to experiment and peer pressure also influences them to indulge in risky behaviors. Youths who also indulge in either alcohol or drug use are more prone to getting into risky sexual encounters. The younger sexually reproductive age groups are at greater risk to contract HIV.
An HIV negative person who has an STD can be at increased risk of becoming infected with HIV through sex. This can happen if the STD causes ulceration or breaks in the skin (e.g. syphilis or herpes), or if it stimulates an immune response in the genital area (e.g. chlamydia or gonorrhoea). HIV transmission is more likely in those with ulcerative STDs than non-ulcerative.
Using condoms during sex is the best way to prevent the sexual transmission of diseases, including HIV.
If instruments contaminated with blood are not sterilised between clients then there is a risk of HIV transmission. However, people who carry out body piercing or tattooing should follow procedures called 'universal precautions', which are designed to prevent the transmission of blood borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B.
When visiting the barbers there is no risk of infection unless the skin is cut and infected blood gets into the wound. Traditional 'cut-throat' razors used by barbers now have disposable blades, which should only be used once, thus eliminating the risk from blood-borne infections such as Hepatitis and HIV.
Transmission of HIV in a healthcare setting is extremely rare. All health professionals are required to follow infection control procedures when caring for any patient. These procedures are called universal precautions for infection control. They are designed to protect both patients and healthcare professionals from the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and HIV.
No, it is not possible to get HIV from mosquitoes. When taking blood from someone, mosquitoes do not inject blood from any previous person. The only thing that a mosquito injects is saliva, which acts as a lubricant and enables it to feed more efficiently.
Deep or open-mouthed kissing is a very low risk activity in terms of HIV transmission. HIV is only present in saliva in very minute amounts, insufficient to cause infection with HIV.
There has been only one documented case of someone becoming infected with HIV through kissing; a result of exposure to infected blood during open-mouthed kissing. If you or your partner have blood in your mouth, you should avoid kissing until the bleeding stops.
Across the globe there is an estimated 40 million people who are living with HIV. Of this projection a large number are not aware of their status. In India alone as per the latest statistics released an estimated 2.5 million people are said to be living with the virus.
Sexual transmission of HIV can be prevented by using condoms.
HIV infection through contaminated blood can be prevented by accepting blood only from recognized blood banks where blood is screened for HIV before the transfusion.
To prevent HIV from contaminated needles, use disposable syringes/needles at all times.
HIV infection from a mother to her foetus can be prevented through ART prophylaxis to mother and child both pre and post delivery.