Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Lorenda A. Naylor
HIV/AIDS is a devastating disease that disproportionately affects minorities. This entry defines HIV/ AIDS, explains the routes of transmission, examines the disparities of HIV infection and AIDS diagnosis among racial and ethnic groups, and offers explanations for these differences. It also describes some recent HIV/AIDS and crime issues. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that attacks the human immune system. It is transferred from an infected to a noninfected individual by bodily fluids, which include blood, breast milk, pre-ejaculate, semen, and vaginal fluid. HIV is transmitted by sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, mother to baby (known as perinatal transmission, including breast feeding, child birth, and pregnancy), and contaminated needles and syringes. The advanced or final stage of the fatal disease is known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). There is no known cure for HIV/AIDS, but antiretroviral drugs have been successful in increasing the life expectancy of those who are ...