STD Symptoms in Men

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in men are just as common in men as are in women. The difference is that some of these STDs are not as easily detectable in men. They can be cured through medication or through simple surgery and recurrences of the disease are unlikely. Because it is difficult to detect certain STDs in men it is advised that he gets checked on a yearly basis to ensure that he is in good health and that there are no diseases hiding within his system. This way he can get tested for STDs and begin treatment immediately.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the more common STDs a man can experience. It develops through contracting microbes called Chlamydia trachomatis. As per the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Chlamydia is the most common STD in the United States. Between 2004 and 2008, the rate of Chlamydia reported increased to 45 percent due to the advancements in STD testing methods and over the counter testing methods such as home STD testing kits. Chlamydia can typically be detected within one to three weeks after symptoms are presented.

Men infected with the disease will experience discharge from the penis, painful urination, and a burning or tingling feeling around the opening of the penis which can also be felt in the testicles. If Chlamydia is found in the rectal area, men will experience symptoms such as rectal discharge or draining and severe pain both during bowel movements and random times throughout the day if not all day. Additionally, Chlamydia can be transmitted to the throat through oral sex.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is developed through contracting specific microorganisms called neisseria gonorrhoeae. Symptoms of gonorrhea include painful urination, white, yellow or green discharge from the penis, and swollen or enlarged testicles. Gonorrhea also affects the rectum and can be extremely painful. Symptoms a man could experience include rectal discharge, soreness, tingling sensations, rectal draining, and painful, hard, solid bowel movements. If gonorrhea has been contracted via oral sex, a man will experience a sore throat that will continue to get worse due to the many different types of bacteria already in the throat interacting with those microorganisms that cause gonorrhea. Gonorrhea can also cause epididymitis which is the curved portion at the back of the testicles where sperm matures; it is the swelling of the tube that connects the testicle to the vas deferens. Side effects can take anywhere from two to thirty days after contracting the disease. If left untreated, it can leave a man infertile and unable to have children.

Syphilis

Syphilis is one of those “silent but deadly” STDs. You could have syphilis for several weeks, months, and in rare occasions, years before experiencing side effects in any stage. The first phase of syphilis presents itself as sores around the genital area. This type of sore is called a chancre sore. It will appear as a hard, indented portion on your skin and typically disappears without treatment within three to six weeks. The second phase of syphilis rears in the form of a rash on the skin and mucous layers in the body. The rash could be extremely red and harsh or as tan spots that are most commonly found on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. Other symptoms you may experience include swollen lymph nodes, fever, sore throat, cerebral pain, random male pattern baldness, significant decrease in weight, and being unusually fatigued or exhausted. The rash is the biggest indicator of how severe the disease is; while it will go away on its own without treatment, once it goes away it serves as the primary indicator that the disease is now in the advanced stages. In the late stages of syphilis, a man will not show any visible side effects. However, while side effects may not be visible, the disease will essentially “eat away” and attack the major organs. In this stage, the disease begins to attack the brain, heart, liver, bones, and joints. A man can experience loss of motion, numbness, changes in vision to the point where he may eventually become blind, dementia, and the inevitable, death.

Herpes

Herpes is the most common form of STDs. It develops by contracting the herpes simplex infection 1 (Hsv-1) or herpes simplex infection 2 (Hsv-2). However, genital herpes is most commonly developed by contracting the Hsv-2 virus. The herpes virus first presents itself as one or more rankles in the genital or rectal areas of the body. These are open sores that turn into ulcers on the genitalia and rectum and can take a man five or more weeks to get rid of the virus. When the flare up is first noticed, it is the most painful, the most intense, and the most excruciating pain a man will experience. As time goes on, these episodes are less successive and less uncomfortable.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, attacks the immune system leaving a man extremely vulnerable to catching other severe illnesses. Most times when a man who has contracted the HIV virus, he may experience no symptoms of the disease. It isn’t until he becomes ill with another type of illness that HIV is detected. Flu-like symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes can begin to rear two to six weeks after being infected with the HIV virus. Other very common symptoms of traditional illnesses that are often seen with HIV include diarrhea, unexplained weakness, mouth sores, and a rash. These symptoms may take 10 years or more to even appear if the typical flu-like symptoms don’t appear. Having additional STDs can increase your chances of contracting the HIV virus.

Testing for STDs

Getting STD testing is more accessible than it used to be. Now, you can walk into any pharmacy and buy an STD at home testing kit which will detect certain types of STDs but not all. Testing at home has become the more common method of testing to avoid the embarrassment factor of going to their doctor. If a man suspects he has contracted a more advanced STD than what a home testing kit can detect, it is imperative he be tested as soon as possible by his doctor so the disease can be treated promptly. With home STD testing kits, a man can obtain his test results online and can take those results with him to his doctor to begin a treatment regimen for the disease. If needed, additional testing will be done to pinpoint the exact STD he has contracted.

Gamble Or Abstain!

ABSTINENCE [The sure way]

There has been great awareness campaign about HIV/AIDS for the past decades and It is believed that there is nothing really new about this particular ailment, the general Public is not aware of. Part of this awareness campaign is the preventive aspect of acquiring the Virus. Though this article is centered on abstinence, it is in no way in disagreement with the other ways of protection against   transmission  of the virus.

“Abstinence, being faithful, correct and consistent condom use are the only ways to successfully reach everyone when discussing HIV prevention. I believe that the abstinence message alone does not solve the AIDS epidemic”- a quote from the American actress, Ashley Judd. This true statement of fact is in total agreement to the former first lady to the United states and as well the 2008 Democratic party presidential aspirant, Hilary Clinton who said “there is a great deal of political pressure to only talk about abstinence and to deny support for condoms and education for using them. This policy will lead to the unnecessary deaths of many people”. This is also correct. You cannot live the lives of others or monitor their activities and actions. Preaching abstinence alone and preventing the other means of protection is far from the solution. But in as much as the use of condoms and other safe practices are not condemned, total abstinence is worth the greatest attention because it is a 100% sure way of prevention, therefore preaching it is aimed at encouraging those who are doing their best possible to abstain, and as well put more light on reasons to abstain for those who believe in it, but do not practice it.. Before we hit the nail on the head, let’s go through the ways of  transmission  of the virus from an infected person to one that is not infected.

 Transmission  occurs when secretions of affected persons come in contact with tissues such as those lining the vagina, anal area, mouth or eyes ( the mucus membranes) or with a break in the skin as such for a cut or puncture by a needles. These ways are possible via sexual contact, sharing of needles, and  transmission  from infected mothers to their new born during pregnancy, labor or breastfeeding. It could also be transmitted via blood transfusion. These following ways could be classified into two major classes. The controllable or avoidable ways of  transmission  and the Uncontrollable means of  transmission . The controllable or avoidable means are these methods of contacting the virus which can be controlled or totally avoided by the person involved. Note that this definition is specific to the person who is at risk. The uncontrollable means are the ones which cannot be controlled by the affected persons. Infected new born fall into the uncontrollable means as they cannot do anything about the situation. They fall out to be unfortunate victims and to a large extent, blood transfusion can be in this category. For this category or class of  transmission , abstinence cannot be preached since it was not the fault or carelessness of the affected persons.

In the controllable category, using of new needles each time you want to take drugs and dumping the old ones after using them; is a direct formula to preventing HIV infection via injection of needles. This reduces the risk to about 99.99%. If a person not only shares needles but uses them just once, he stands a great chance to be risk free, giving the control method a good efficacy. Nevertheless, 0.0001% is still a probability and we will see how probability counts in reality. Therefore, in order to really understand what abstinence is, focus would be placed on the two major controllable means (injection and sex), especially on sex.

In sexual means of  transmission , the break in condom cannot be totally avoided in a given formula. No matter the quality of condom, there are still chances it could break during sex. Some arguments stress out that the virus is smaller than the fiber of the condom and it can still get through, especially when the male genital is very huge, stretching the condom extremely well. Therefore, it gives the probability of 85%- 95% of HIV prevention for the males and 95%- 99% for the females if used correctly.

On the contrary, Abstinence is a straight 100% preventive measure; absolutely efficient and no slight chance no matter how negligible it may be. It is safer and easier to adopt. Remember that abstinence does not mean been a virgin forever but avoidance of more than one partner, and more concretely avoidance of pre- marital and extra- marital sex. Probability is the chance of an event to occur and no matter how insignificant the value is; it does not prevent the situation involved from existing. It is believed that the cru de chat syndrome (sterile females with immature sex organs resulting from the loss or deletion of a significant portion of the genetic material) occurs once in 5000 births. This does not mean cru de chat syndrome does not exist and you can understand that, a parent who has a sick child with such a syndrome would not be ready to listen to statistics from any doctor, because the reality still remains; his/her child is suffering from it irrespective of the slim chance of occurrence.

On a general note, abstinence is the sure way to avoid the controllable means of acquiring the virus. And from the following illustration below, we can justify this simple fact. The table below shows the estimated number of cases of AIDS amongst people by  transmission  category in the 50 states of the United States of America as of 2007.

Male- to- male sexual contact — 487,695

Injection drug use — 255,859

Male- to male sexual contact with injection – 71,242

High risk heterosexual contact – 176,157

Others (Hemophilia, blood transfusion, prenatal exposure and risk not reported or Identified) – 18,266.

[taken from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm ].

The first four ways are controllable means in which aside drug use, the rest are by sexual contact. These four means account for 990,953 cases out of 1,009,219, which is about 98.2% of all cases. Meanwhile 735,094 out of 1,009,219 cases are due to sexual  transmission  alone; accounting for 72.8% of all cases. Only about 1.8% of the total incidences are due to uncontrollable  transmission .

On normal grounds, occurrence of a situation caused by uncontrollable factors should be more, when compared to the same situation caused by the controllable ones. Another insight we can get from this statistic which is an extension of the first statement is; despite the control measures and protective means available, the controlled means are still far greater in occurrence than the uncontrolled ones. This justifies the fact that the only way this can be drastically reduced is through abstinence.

A teenage girl once said, “I have created an appetite for sex and I do not think I can stop it now”. The Human nature is such that, if you allow it take part in a pleasurable event more than once and continuously, it begins to yearn after that event due to its increased appetite. Charles DIkkens, a popular English Novelist of the Victoria era quotes “subdue your appetite, my dears and you’ve conquered human nature”. Human natured is meant to be conquered and in this way we can control ourselves- hence show great abstaining ability. If we do not conquer our human nature and allow our various tastes or appetite to explode, I think mutualism would not be a reality and a ‘jungle Life” scenario would be the possible resultant situation. If we can control our appetite or taste to any or all of the following; fashion, food, clothes, fame, drinks, sports est. why not sex? Is it normal to randomly have sex with different partners? As long as the Human nature could be stretched, it could also be tamed and the only way to do this is by abstinence.

Mr Anton Zakovich, a Russian economic lecturer said “Pre- marital sex is just like tasting soup while still cooking it. You taste the soup to know how spicy it is before it is finally cooked”. What if peradventure it burnt your tongue or distorts your taste buds? Would you be able to enjoy the soup later. Sex before marriage should not be compared to tasting soup, you taste the soup to know the quality for improvements by adding more ingredients if need be. But what sort of improvement do you need in pre- marital sex that you would not still accomplish when married. Marriage is a Life time commitment and the more the improvement in all factors at stake, the better the intimacy and possibility of becoming one. As for extra marital relationships, they are not only medically wrong, but as well morally and socially bad. If you think this Idea is too conservative, then think and take a look at the exposed extra-marital affairs of some celebrities such as Tiger Woods and John Terry, in relation to the general public and their fans. Then statistics will make you understand the ‘social- contempt’, extramarital affairs can stimulate.

Abstinence is not practiced, it is perfected. As we all have the ability to abstain. Dennis Wolfberg, the late American stand up comedian and actor, once quoted to confirm this statement. “I didn’t practice abstinence, I perfected it”. The major reason why abstinence becomes a difficulty is the fact that we kill this potential ability in us. And in some cases, it goes so bad to the extreme- addiction. The only way to sexual addiction is sexual exposure from an early age leading to continuous sexual activities as the child grows to his or her late teens and even older. This is also applicable to drug addiction.

According to SADD’s MISSION statistics of the year 2005, taken from around the entire states of the United States of America, 46.8% of all high school students report that they have sexual intercourse and 6.2% of high school students have had sexual intercourse for the first time before the age 13. Not only that, 14.3% of high school students nationwide have had sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their lives.

Talking about drugs, 9.9% of youth ages 12- 17 were illicit drug users; 6.8% use marijuana, 3.3% used prescription drugs for non medical uses, 1.2% used inhalants, 0.8% used hallucinogens and 0.6% used cocaine. Also, half of teens (50%) have tried an illicit drug by the time they finished high school. Though these statistics may have been taken years back, but surely it is appalling information and most probably parents and all stake holders involved (especially the school guidance and other parties) should put more careful attention to their children.

The best part of this statistics is the fact that youths ages 12- 17 who believed their parents would strongly disapprove of their using a particular substance were less likely to use that substance than were youths who believed their parents would somewhat disapprove of neither approve nor disapprove. SO, this have to do with home/ parental training which would not be discussed as it is outside the scope of the subject matter.

The point is, children of this present generation are sexually very active even from a very early age. And for this reason, they need adequate sex education with the sermon preached, not from a formal approach but rather done in adequate love, care and full attention. Taking advantage of the relationship to a great deal of understanding between the parent and the child would serve as the tool to achieving it. If this system is practiced there would definitely be an increase in the percentage of children who would adopt abstinence.

Now in general, consider this scenario. You want to go to the shopping mall by foot which is 5km from your home but there are 3 short routes about 2.5km each in which there is the probability of coming across wild dogs in one, been attacked by hoodlums in the other and as for the last- been hit by a car due to its busy nature (though, these incidences occur once in 2 months, but they continuously happen in that rate of occurrence). Would you still take the risk to follow one of the short routes? Some of us, knowing fully well the nature of events still follow one of these short routes and if unfortunate, get bitten by a dog (or some dogs) or been attacked or hit by a car. That is what majority of us do. The shorter time of going to the mall and back home should not be more of a priority to your Life and health. This is exactly the circumstance we face in Abstinence. It is a 100% route of safety but we prefer short- lived pleasure, which we would still enjoy later in Life or are enjoying with a legal partner.

All said and done, other preventive measures are never absolute and still give room or chances for the spread of the Virus to occur. If we can abstain why not give ourselves the 100% chance to be risk free from contracting the virus? There is great gain and full advantage when you abstain be it moral, mental, religious, and of course social. It also adds fun and spice to your marriage Life in the nearest future if you are single. Usually, you enjoy to the fullest, what you have been anticipating for a long time. Some people taste the soup two, three, four times and end up decreasing or even losing their appetite, therefore not enjoying the soup later when it is done. But when the soup is tabled for you to eat- fresh and new, you take it as though you could finish a drum of it and still ask for more.

On a final note, in as much as awareness on all the protective systems of avoiding the virus  transmission  is important; it is very necessary to stress the fact that Abstinence is the best and sure way and hence treat the best as the best. Do not gamble; abstain to sustain your Life.

Motorcycle Gas Mileage

With insane gas prices, people are looking at motorcycle gas mileage. More people are considering motorcycles to reduce their gas costs. I’ve gotten over 50mpg on my 2004 Road King Custom, which has the five speed   transmission . The new six speed will no doubt give you better mileage.

As you can see by the list below, Harley-Davidson motorcycles get great gas mileage ranging from around 53mpg for the big Screamin Eagle Ultra Classic and the Screamin Eagle DYNA, both with the 110 cubic inch engine to around 60mpg for the 883 Sportster.

If you’re considering a motorcycle to lower your gas costs, keep in mind the type of riding your going to be doing. If you’re thinking about an 883 Sportster to commute to and from work, remember the types of roads you’ll be traveling on. The Sporster gets great gas mileage but I would not want to spend a lot of time on the highway with it. If you are going to be doing a lot of highway riding, I would consider something bigger. Either way, you’ll be saving money on gas and having fun doing it. Here is a mileage estimate list for Harley motorcycles.

Sportster 883 models: 60 HWY/45 CITY

Sportster 1220 models: 57 HWY/42 CITY

DYNA Super Glide: 54 HWY/35 CITY

DYNA Super Glide Custom: 53 HWY/34 CITY

DYNA Street Bob: 54 HWY/35 CITY

DYNA Fat Bob: 53 HWY/34 CITY

DYNA Low Rider: 53 HWY/34CITY

DYNA Wide Glide 105Th Anniversary: 53 HWY/34 CITY

Screamin Eagle DYNA: 53 HWY/36 CITY

VRSV V-Rod: 42 HWY/34 CITY

Night Train Softail: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Softail Custom: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Fat Boy: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Rocker,Rocker C: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Softail Deluxe: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Heritage Softail Classic: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Electra Glide Standard: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Road King, Road King Classic, Road Glide, Street Glide: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Electra Glide Classic: 54 HWY/35 CITY

Screamin Eagle Road King: 53.5 HWY/37.7 CITY

Screamin Eagle Ultra Classic: 53 HWY/36 CITY

A Buyer’s Guide to Kids ATV

Buying a kids ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) could be a confusing task. Often, most people do not know how to go about buying the ATV. There are so many factors to consider. Size, make, price and safety are examples of factors that must be taken into account. Of course, looks too play an important part. After all, your child will not accept a kids ATV that doesn’t look cool! So, how do you buy the right bike?

Size: When it comes to size, most parents make big mistakes. It is common for them to buy a kids ATV that is one size bigger so that their child can grow into the bike gradually. But, buying a quad bike that is bigger than the required size is dangerous. Your child should have comfortable access to the handle bars, brake and accelerator. If they cannot reach these parts comfortably, it could be dangerous. Parents must also consider the size of the engine. If the engine is too powerful, it could go out of control. 50cc engines are best suited for young children.

Quality: When you buy kids ATV, it is important to consider the quality of the bike. A quality bike equates to lesser number of break-downs, repairs and low maintenance costs. Reputed brands are highly conscious of the quality of their machines. Also, since kids grow out their ATVs pretty fast, you need to consider your re-selling options. A reputed brand fetches much more when you want to resell. If you are about to buy a brand that sounds new, find out more about warranties, guarantees and so on.

Safety: Kids ATV must keep to high safety standards. High quality quads have a large number of safety features. Some even have safety features that may not be present in adult ATVs. Examples include kill switches which help kill the engine in case of trouble. Remote controls allow parents to control the ATVs, in case of necessity. A safe engine keeps your child safe.

The ATV is also known as the quad or four wheeler. According to the ANSI (American National Standards Institute), the ATV is a vehicle that is equipped to travel on all terrains. It has four low pressure tires and a handlebar. The vehicle is legal in some countries and not allowed on the roads in other countries. Regardless, kids need to learn how to be safe on the kids ATV before they can graduate to more powerful ATVs.

Kids between the ages of 6 and 12 must always ride a kids ATV with a 70cc engine or lesser. As age and experience increase, they can opt for more advanced models. It is necessary to buy the ATV that suits your child’s physical make up. In this regard, you cannot accept any industry norms. The only way to find out is to take your child for a test drive. Your child must be able to shift gears if you intend to buy manual   transmission . Otherwise, go for the automatic ATVs.

How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores Fast And Resume Your Daily Life

Suddenly you feel the tingling sensation at the edge of your lip. There is no doubt in your mind that a cold sore is coming. Although you can’t cure it at the moment or prevent it completely, but you can speed up the healing with the following remedies.

Peppermint Oil

Essential oils can help your cold sores to heal faster. One study shows that peppermint oil can eliminate herpes simplex virus outside the cells in 3 hours. In other words, essential oils are not effective if the virus is hiding in the nerve. To use peppermint oil, you need to dilute it with olive oil because at high concentration, it is toxic. Apply it when you notice the tingling sensation.

Lysine

Taking high dosages of lysine has been found to speed up healing of cold sores. It replaces arginine in the cells. Arginine is the fuel for herpes simplex virus. The lack of arginine in the cells forces the virus to retreat.

You can reduce the consumption of foods that contain arginine. These include grains, chocolate, nuts, and seeds.

If you don’t want to take lysine supplements, increase the intake of lysine rich foods such as meat and dairy products. Just make sure they provide between 3000 and 9000 milligrams of lysine daily.

Abreva

Abreva is FDA-approved over-the-counter cream. It contains docosanol or behenyl alcohol that can get rid of cold sores fast. For best results, you have to use it as soon as the first symptom appear. It requires up to 5 applications per day.

Compeed

One study compares the speed of healing between Compeed Cold Sore Patches and acyclovir 5% cream. The result is that Compeed has the similar quick healing abilities as acyclovir cream. According to consumers’ reviews, many find that their cold sores clear quickly after patching their sores with Compeed. Unlike topical creams, Compeed is not messy. It is transparent so you don’t even know the patch is there. It also prevents the virus from spreading. In addition, it is an ideal remedy for pregnant women who have concerns about prescriptions.

Manage Your Stress

When you are under stress, your immune system weakens. This does not help your body to recover quickly for the herpes outbreak. If you want the cold sores to go away faster, you have to reduce your stress. Take a stroll, or join yoga classes. Modify your hectic schedule to give you time to relax.

The problem I find with today’s cold sore remedies is the timing. Most treatments will work the best if you act the moment you spot the tingling sensation. If you fail to do so, it will take longer time for you to resume your daily activities. Although the above remedies can get rid of cold sores quickly but what if you have to attend a major meeting or event tomorrow?

5 Universal Precaution Measures to Prevent HIV Transmission

Universal precautions are safety measures that are followed for the prevention of the spread of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and other bloodborne pathogens. All samples of blood and body fluids are to be considered infectious while dealing with them. In fact, it was after the discovery of HIV that universal precautions became known to be extremely important in a healthcare setting.

As an employer, it is a major responsibility to ensure that all your health care workers are adhering to universal precautions. While treating patients of HIV or AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus), all employees must have an open mind and focus on leaving all prejudices behind, following universal precautions as usual. There is no room for mistakes for such cases.

Here are five measures to prevent the  transmission  of HIV infections:

• Personal Protective Equipment: Your health care employees must be taught to always use protective clothing when handling HIV/AIDS patients. Protective gear like face masks, gowns, gloves and goggles must be used during occasions where chances of accidental splashing of blood and fluids are high. It is essential to change gloves between patients and procedures to avoid contamination. Make sure all gloves and gowns are in good condition without any holes or tears.

• Equipments and Instruments: Needles and sharp instruments must be used carefully while using them on HIV patients. If any of your health care employees gets an accidental cut or prick, immediate treatment should be started. Gloves are essential as they provide protection. Despite wearing gloves, all sharps must be handled with special care and later disposed in a sharps-container.

• Mouth-to-mouth breathing: Sometimes an HIV patient may have a sudden cardiac arrest and require administration of artificial respiration. Even though there is only a negligible chance of spread of the virus through the saliva, it is still good to be careful. There is a greater chance of  transmission  if the patient has developed a wound in the mouth. Your nurses and doctors must wear gloves and give rescue breaths through respiratory devices in such situations.

• Hygiene: Good hygiene habits must be practiced in your health care facility at all times even while dealing with normal patients. Gloves must be donned before treating a patient and afterwards must be taken off carefully and placed in marked containers. Hand washing with antiseptic soap is a must after handling any patient. In the event of any body fluid touching your skin, a disinfectant must be used.

• Injuries: You must make a rule that any health worker with personal injuries like open wounds or broken skin must avoid dealing with such patients. In case they have to, they must properly cover the injured area to decrease the chances of contracting the infection.

HIV infection results in AIDS, which is a fatal disease. There is no absolute cure for it and therefore great emphasis must be given on strictly following precautionary measures to prevent its spread. Other than the above measures, you must keep your health care employees aware of the latest protective measures used. Following these simple universal precautions can save lives and must not be taken lightly.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

Types and Characteristics of WANs

What is a WAN?

There are two prevailing definitions of a Wide Area Network (WAN). The book definition of a WAN is a network that spans large geographical locations, usually to interconnect multiple Local Area Networks (LANs). The practical definition of a WAN is a network that traverses a public network or commercial carrier, using one of several WAN technologies

What are its Main Components?

The main components for a WAN are routers, switches and modems. These components are described below in the hardware section.

CPE – Devices on the subscriber premises are called customer premises equipment (CPE).

The subscriber owns the CPE or leases the CPE from the service provider. A copper or fiber cable connects the CPE to the service provider’s nearest exchange or central office. This cabling is often called the local loop, or “last-mile”.

DTE/DCE – Devices that put data on the local loop are called data circuit-terminating equipment, or data communications equipment (DCE). The customer devices that pass the data to the DCE are called data terminal equipment (DTE). The DCE primarily provides an interface for the DTE into the communication link on the WAN cloud.

Hardware

In a WAN you will need various types of hardware components for it to function. The typical items of hardware that you will need in a WAN are:

Router – An electronic device that connects a local area network (LAN) to a wide area network (WAN) and handles the task of routing messages between the two networks. Operates at layer 3, and makes decisions using IP addresses.

Switch – A switch is a network device that selects a path or circuit for sending a unit of data to its next destination. Operates at layer 2, and uses MAC addresses to send data to correct destination.

Modem – Short for modulator/demodulator, a modem enables a computer to communicate with other computers over telephone lines. Operates at layer 1, where signals are converted from digital to analogue and vice versa for transmission and receiving.

Wan Standards

WANs operate within the OSI model using layer 1 and layer 2 levels. The data link layer and the physical layer. The physical layer protocols describe how to provide electrical, mechanical and functional connections to the services provided by the ISP. The data link layer defines how data is encapsulated for transmission to remote sites.

Encapsulation

Encapsulation is the wrapping of data in a particular protocol header. Remember that WANs operate at the physical layer and the data link layer of the osi model and that higher layer protocols such as IP are encapsulated when sent across the WAN link. Serial interfaces support a wide range of WAN encapsulation types, which must be manually specified. These types include SDLC, PPP, Frame delay etc. Regardless of WAN encapsulation used it must be identical on both sides of the point to point link.

Packet and Circuit Switching

Circuit switching and packet switching are both used in high-capacity networks.

The majority of switched networks today get data across the network

through packet switching.

Circuit-switching is more reliable than packet-switching. Circuit switching is old and expensive, packet switching is more modern.

General Routing Issues

What is a Routing Protocol?

A routing protocol is a protocol that specifies how routers communicate and exchange information on a network. Each router has prior knowledge of its immediate neighbours and knows the structure of the network topology. The routers know this because the routing protocol shares this information.

Protocol

RIP (Routing Information Protocol) was one of the most commonly uses protocols on internal networks. Routers use RIP to dynamically adapt changes to the network connections and communicate information about which networks routers can reach and the distance between them. RIP is sometimes said to stand for Rest in Pieces in reference to the reputation that RIP has for breaking unexpectedly and rendering a network unable to function.

Routing Algorithms

Distance Vector

This type of routing protocol requires that each router simply inform its neighbours of its routing table. The distance vector protocol is also known as the bellman-ford algorithm.

Link State

This type of routing protocol requires that each router maintain a partial map of the network. The link state algorithm is also know as Dijkstra’s algorithm.

IGRP

IGRP is a type of distance vector routing protocol invented by cisco used to exchange routing data in a autonomous system. Distance vector protocols measure distances and compare routes. Routers that use distance vector must send all or a portion of their routing table in a routing update message at regular intervals to each neighbour router.

Addressing and Routing

What does routing mean?

Routing is the process of deciding how to move packets from one network to another.

The directions also known as routes can be learned by a router using a routing protocol then the information is passed from router to router along the route of the destination.

IP Address’s

Every machine connected to the internet is assigned an IP address. An example of an IP address would be 192.168.0.1. IP addresses are displayed in decimal format to make it easier for humans to understand but computers communicate in binary form. The four numbers that separate an IP address are called Octets. Each position consists of eight bits. When added to together you get 32 bit address. The purpose of each octet in an IP address is to create classes of IP addresses that can be assigned within a network. There are three main classes that we deal with Class A, B and C. The octets of an IP address are split into two parts Network and Host. In a class A address the first octet is the network portion, this determines which network the computer belongs to, the last octets of the address are the hosts that belong to the network.

Sub netting

Sub netting allows you to create multiple networks within a class A, B or C address. The subnet address is the address used by your LAN. In a Class C network address you would have a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. A subnet mask identifies which portion is network and which is host. For example 192.168.6.15 the first octet three octets are the Network address and the last octet being the host(Workstation). It is important to subnet a network because gateways need to forward packets to other LANS. By giving each NIC on the gateway an IP address and a Subnet mask it allows the gateways to route packets from LAN to LAN. Once the packet arrives at its destination, the gateway then uses the bits of the subnet portion of the IP address to decide which LAN to send the packets.

Circuit Switched Leased Lines

A circuit switched network is one that establishes a dedicated circuit (or channel) between nodes and terminals before the users may communicate. Here are some terminologies associated with a Circuit switched network.

Frame relay is a telecommunication service designed for cost-efficient data transmission between local area networks (LANs)

Basic rate interference is a service used by small business for internet connectivity. An ISDN BRI provides two 64 Kbps digital channels to the user.

Primary rate interface (PRI) is a telecommunications standard for carrying voice and data transmissions between two locations

All data and voice channels are ISDN and operate at 64kbit/s

Packet Switching

http://www.raduniversity.com/networks/2004/PacketSwitching/main.htm – _Toc80455261

Packet switching refers to protocols in which messages are broken up into small packets before they are sent. Each packet is then transmitted over the Internet. At the destination the packets are reassembled into the original message. Packet switching main difference from Circuit Switching is that that the communication lines are not dedicated to passing messages from the source to the destination. In Packet Switching, different messages can use the same network resources within the same time period.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asynchronous_Transfer_Mode

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a cell relay, packet switching network and protocolwhich encodes data into small fixed-sized cells.

ISDN is used to carry voice, data, video and images across a telephone network. ISDN stands for integrated services Digital Network. Isdn also provides users with a 128kbps bandwidth. This is done through frame relay. Frame relay complements and provides a service between ISDN, which offers bandwidth at 128 Kbps and Asynchronous Transfer Mode which operates in somewhat similar fashion to frame relay but at speeds from 155.520 Mbps or 622.080 Mbps. Frame relay is based on the older X.25 packet switching technology and is used to transmit analogue signals such as telephone conversations.

PSDN stands for packet switched data network and is a data communication network. Packet switched networks do not establish a physical communication signal like the public telephone does (circuit switched network) Packets are sent on a fixed length basis and assigned with a source and a destination address. The packets then rely on the routers to read the address and route the packets through the network.

Mobile and Broadband Services

Digital Subscriber line(DSL) is mainly used to bring high bandwidth connections to homes and small business’s over a copper wire telephone line. This is can only be achieved if you stay within the range of the telephone exchange. DSL offers download rates of up to 6mbps allowing continuous transmission of video, audio and 3D effects. DSL is set to replace ISDN and compete with the cable modem in providing multimedia to homes. DSL works by connecting your telephone line to the telephone office over copper wires that are twisted together.

Asymmetric Digital Subscribers Line is most commonly used for home users. It provides a high download speed but a lower upload speed. Using ADSL, up to 6.1 megabits per second of data can be sent downstream and up to 640 Kbps upstream.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetric_Digital_Subscriber_Line

Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line is a digital subcriber line which runs over one pair of copper wires. The main difference between ADSL and SDSL is the difference in upload and download speeds. SDSL allows the same upstream data rate and downstream data rate as ADSL upstream can be very slow.

[http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0],,sid7_gci558545,00.html

HDSL High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line, one of the earliest forms of DSL, is used for wideband digital transmission within a corporate site and between the telephone company and a customer. The main characteristic of HDSL is that provides equal bandwidth in both directions.

IDSL is a system in which data is transmitted at 128 Kbps on a regular copper telephone line from a user to a destination using digital transmission.

The Local Loop enables operators to connect directly to the consumer via copper local loops and then add their own equipment to offer broadband and other services. This process involves operators accessing local exchange buildings to connect to a network of copper lines which connect them to homes and businesses. BT is an Example of a Local Exchange. The local loop connecting the telephone exchange to most subscribers is capable of carrying frequencies well beyond the 3.4 kHz upper limit.

Benefits of using DSL

DSL can provide virtually instantaneous transmission of voice, data and video over ordinary copper phone lines. A DSL connection can eliminate delays when waiting to download information and graphics from the Internet. It provides users with a cost effective high speed Internet connection. Another benefit is that a DSL connection is always on-line (like a LAN connection) with no waiting time for dialling or connecting.

There are now more than 10 million broadband connections in the UK. By December 2005 there were 9.792 million broadband connections in the UK and the average broadband take up rate during the three months to December was more than 70,000 per week.

Understanding the Different Classes of Firewalls

For the enforcement and the tight control of security and the flow of traffic within and given network or between networks, the firewall is one very important piece of software and also hardware that is entrusted with these functions. An understanding of how the firewall is able to achieve its functions through the capabilities a firewall is able to provide. These are the capabilities which determine the type of firewall to be sourced to meet a certain and specific set of security needs.

Most of the firewalls will work through the packet filtering method which is one of the most effective methods of implementing security for the network through validation of data packets. The validation of the data packets is usually based on a number of factors which are the destination and the source internet protocol (IP) addresses, protocol, type of service, the source and the destination ports and port numbers, the differentiate services code point, the time range and a host of other parameters associated with the internet protocol header. These criteria are usually tested and matched for all individual packets so as to guarantee or deny these packets. This packet filtering comes about or rather is implemented through the use access control lists (ACL) which are found on switches and routers. The ACl has the advantage of being very fast when coupled with the application specific integrated circuit. Having seen these features of the packet filtering firewalls, the most obvious strong point for this type of firewall is that it is most common and can be found in about every component of the network. The packet filtering firewall is found in switches and routers as mentioned earlier, the wireless access points, the virtual private network aggregators are other devices on the network which use this type of firewall. The downside with the packet filtering firewall is that it is static and has been exploited by hackers who channel suspicious traffic through the TCP 80 port which grants unobstructed access.

The proxy firewalls also called the application firewalls work on a more complex model which can be explained by the Open System interconnection (OSI). This model seeks to explain the   transmission  of information from one computer to another application on a second computer. The information is passed through layers to make sure security is not compromised. The information according to the OSI model is passed through seven different layers starting with the application layer (7th layer) which is usually the interface in the form of programs used on the computer. The next layer is the presentation layer which is the translator between systems and converts the application layer information to a format acceptable to various different systems. Encryption is done in this layer.

The session layer is the fifth and manages service requests between computers. The transport layer provides reliable ordering and communication of data by preparing the data for delivery to the network  transmission  control protocol. The third layer is the network layer at which data is referred to as packet and this layer is responsible for routing and IP addressing. The data link layer handles the reliability of data which at this point is referred to as a frame. Finally, the first layer is the physical layer which is now composed of the devices which we can see as well as their electrical characteristics. The application firewalls work at layer seven which is the application layer just as the name suggests and they give a buffer often acting on behalf of a client. It is also patches easily in case vulnerabilities are identified. The only disadvantage is that they are slow in the manner that they handle data and traffic.

The next type of firewall is the reverse proxy firewall which will work in a similar manner to the application firewall. The difference lies in that the reverse proxy firewalls are deployed for the servers and not clients as in the case of application servers. The effectiveness of this firewall lies in the reverse proxy understanding how the application behaves and the intelligence to do away with problems like the buffer overflow.

A last form of firewall is the packet inspection firewall which takes care of session information and is even able to perform deep packet inspection to enforce compliance and scan for viruses all the time making sure that operation speed is superb.

These are the basic types of firewalls and which are chosen dependent on security needs and on to which many features have been added by different security vendors to make them better adapted for use.

A Fragile Lifeline: Lessons I Learned Answering The Aids Hotline

Dial 1-800/AIDSNYC

Every Monday and Wednesday morning, promptly at 10 a.m., I leave behind

my daily life and turn to volunteering as an AIDS Hotline counselor at New York

City’s GMHC [Gay Men’s Health Crisis], the nation’s largest social service

agency for AIDS.

For the next four hours, my co-volunteers and I sit in front of a bank of

constantly-ringing telephones, talking to men, women, and teens who call in

from across the nation with urgent questions about AIDS, the ravaging disease

that has left 13.9 million people dead worldwide.

After almost 20 years, a whole generation, families are still facing the

heartache of tending the sick, while scientists continue to be confounded by

this stubborn, ravaging virus.

Although the federal government currently spends$4 billion per year on

AIDS research, and $15 billion worldwide, there is no cure in sight for the viral

infection and no vaccine available. Small wonder that the GMHC AIDS Hotline,

the nation’s first, is flooded with more than 40,000 calls each year.

Listening to callers 8 hours each week, I often think the Hotline is actually a

direct link to the soul of callers–an anonymous forum that allows each to

reveal secrets and fears that they might otherwise never discuss with anyone.

A Morning in May

This is the way it began: “Good morning, GMHC AIDS Hotline, can I help

you?”

“Yes…I have a question…[hesitantly] My son…he’s 21…and he just found

out…he’s HIV-positive [voice breaking] I’m…..alone, divorced. And I need some

help…someone to talk to…”

“Of course….happy to talk to you…it sounds like this has been devastating

for you….”

“It’s terrible. He told me two nights ago….he’s…he’s so young….I don’t

want him to die. He’s my only child….why did this have to happen?” [crying]

Her son, she explains, had sometimes neglected using condoms, convinced

he wouldn’t contract HIV infection from his female partners.

“How could he be so stupid?” she now asks angrily. “Why didn’t he know

how to protect himself? I don’t understand. What am I going to do?”

We talk for 35 minutes, and by the end of the conversation, I notice I’m

barely breathing. The distraught woman’s anguish is palpable. Her situation is

every mother’s worst nightmare.The life of her child is in jeopardy and she

feels helpless and afraid. I can’t imagine anything worse.

During the call, I do my best to employ the GMHC Hotline protocol of “active

listening,” which involves using silence, empathy and gentle probing with

open-ended questions. I’m also having my own emotional reaction to the panic

in her voice, and I’m worried about whether I’m doing enough.

Toward the end of the clal, when she exclaims: “I don’t want my baby to

die,” my heart plummets: “I know….I understand that, but there is hope,” I tell

her. I find myself on the verge of tears.

The Bad News

This mother’s story is too common. According to the Centers for Disease

Control in Atlanta, Ga., 40,000 Americans (half of them under 25) are newly

infected with the AIDS virus each year. Unprotected sex and intravenous drug

use remain the principal modes of   transmission .

“Teenagers,” notes AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor, “are being very hard hit.”

She refers to the three million adolescents who contract a sexually-transmitted

disease annually.

“Heterosexual teenage football players who are healthy and drink milk can

get it too!” says the 71-year-old actress, who has singlehandedly raised $150

million for AIDS research. “But teens are very ignorant and feel invincible. They

believe there’s an invisible shield protecting them from the virus, when it’s

actually aimed right at them.”

Taylor believes in addressing the problem head-on: “Tell your teenage son:

‘Maybe a condom doesn’t feel as good, but if it saves your life, it’s better than

being six feet under.’ Intelligence must replace random sex.”

Although a new generation of AIDS-fighting medications is prolonging the

lives of thousands, nearly half of the 900,000 people infected with HIV in the

U.S. cannot afford these drugs. Since the virus was discovered in l981, 410,800

Americans have died from AIDS-related complications, and the disease has left

13.9 million dead worldwide.

Who Calls a Hotline?

Not long ago I took a call from a 15-year-old boy living in a small town who

said he feels guilty about his sexual attraction to other boys and is scared to

discuss this with his parents. I ask him if there’s a school counselor or relative

he might talk to, but he says he’s too afraid to confide in anyone.

Being a teenager is hard enough, I thought, without the pressure of

keeping this kind of secret. I felt angry and saddened that this child can’t

comfortably discuss his feelings with his own parents.

I encourage him to call the Gay Community Center Youth Program in a

nearby city. In the meantime, I assured him that he could call our Hotline

anytime, that we’d be there for him.

This call was typical of the many we get from teenagers,whispering from

their parents’ homes, confiding their blossoming sexual feelings and concerns.

Our Hotline also receives calls from married men who phone from their offices,

worried about extramarital sexual encounters; gay men suffering side effects

from medications; mothers caring for a sick child or grieving for one lost to

AIDS; even health care professionals themselves confused and requiring

burnout support.

One particular morning, I’m struck by the number of single women who

turn to our hotline for help. At 10:15 a.m. a distraught young woman calls,

explaining that she had been dating someone “very charismatic,” after a two-

year period of sexual abstinence.

“At first we used condoms and I was taking the pill to avoid pregnancy,” she

says. But after her partner assured her he was HIV-negative, the couple began

having unprotected sex. A few months into the relationship, she recounts, his

behavior became “unpredictable,” until he finally admitted he was sleeping with

other women and was addicted to heroin. Now she has to withstand the

“terror” of waiting 3 months before getting an HIV antibody test. To help her

cope, I give her the names of three terapists in her area. The call lasts 43

minutes.

At 11:15 a.m. I take a call from a woman who is breathing heavily.

She says that four months earlier she’d had a brief affair with a limousine

driver, “not out of passion, but because I felt lonely. This was so totally unlike

me,” she continues. “I come from a traditional Orthodox Jewish family…”

Although they used condoms, and she has since tested negative for HIV, she

feels deeply ashamed, and has stopped seeing him. And because she has both

a persistent vaginal yeast infection and a rash on her neck, she’s convinced she

must be infected by HIV.

Although rashes, high fever, swollen lymph glands, heavy night sweats, sore

throat, or other flu-like symptoms may indicate HIV, they can just as easily

accompany the common cold or flu, or other type of infection. I encourage her

to seek medical help and counseling, but the calls ends on a down note. “I

must have it [AIDS],” she moans. I’m exasperated because it doesn’t sound

that way to me, yet I can’t get through to her. The call lasts 22 minutes.

It’s 11.38 a.m. when a well-spoken woman, who says she’s an attorney,

calls from her office, asking for the names of anonymous testing sites. At first

very businesslike, she calmly takes down all the information. I ask her why

she’s considering a test. Total silence. Then she begins to cry: “I….I can’t

talk….I’m sorry…you see, I have swollen lymph glands….[crying]….And my

doctor wants to rule out HIV…I feel overwhelmed…” Then, abruptly: “Where

can I send a donation?” She thanks me and hurries off the phone after just 3

minutes.

These were one-time callers, but, as in any epidemic, an element of panic

prevails, and our hotline also attracts an army of “chronic” or repeat callers

who are intensely fearful no matter how benign their risk, many revealing

continued misconceptions and paranoia about a disease that can be effectively

prevented. We do our best to help them, but often they’re impervious to

counseling.

Most poignant are calls we get from AIDS patients, phoning from their

hospital beds, attempting to navigate the exhausting labyrinth of insurance

and health care matters. One man, in hospice care, said he craved

companionship and missed the “good old days” when he was handsome and

healthy.

That call was a tough one for me as just the day before a close friend of

mine, Joe, who had battled HIV for 16 years, had finally succumbed. Although

at the end Joe was a mere skeleton, he was nonetheless at peace. “I’ve done

what I wanted to,” he told me on our last visit. An avid gardener, he insisted

on a final trip to his country house to see his garden one last time. For a

moment the caller’s reality and the memory of my deceased friend blurred in

my mind and I was overcome. Time for a break.

Face to Face

One of the most and unique services GMHC offers is called “A-Team

Counseling,” a one-time, in-person session that’s free and anonymous.

Recently, I was on an A-Team counselling a 26-year-old HIV-infected

mother from the Midwest. She had traveled to Manhattan by bus to find her

estranged boyfriend, who, she recounted tearfully, had kidnapped her 7-year-

old son. Disheveled, painfully thin, the woman was a disturbing sight. She’s

learned that the two had already returned home where the boyfriend was, and

the child put in his grandmother’s custory. custody of his grandmother.

Meanwhile she’d run out of money for the return trip, been refused a loan by

her family, lost her ID, gone hungry and spent two nights on the street.

Fortunately, this woman was registered at a local AIDS organization in her

town. I telephoned her caseworker and persuaded him to buy her a one-way

Greyhound bus ticket for $115.00. I also gave her subway tokens, a basket of

food, juice and coffee. Smiling shyly, she thanked me for caring.

Shaking hands good-bye with this woman was a bittersweet farewell. What

will happen to her? I wondered will her health deteriorate or improve? Will she

gain control of her life and be able to provide for her son? I’ll never know. One

thing I do know: She’d appeared with the sorrow of a difficult life in her eyes,

but when she left, she was elated at the thought of being reunited with her

child. It seems that with faith and a helping hand, almost anything is possible.

* * * * *

10 BIGGEST MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT AIDS AND HIV

(This list would probably be most effective when presented in a vertical chart,

the misconception on the left, the correct answer on the right.)

1)The AIDS virus can be transmitted through saliva, sweat, tears, urine or feces;

also through deep kissing.

1) HIV can ONLY be transmitted through four bodily fluids: blood, semen,

vaginal secretions and breast milk–and can also be transmitted from a mother

to her child before birth, during birth, or while breast feeding. The exchange

of saliva through kissing is no-risk, unless the saliva has blood in it and both

you and your partner are bleeding in the mouth simultaneously.

2) HIV may also be transmitted through casual contact with an infected person.

2) You can’t get infected from toilet seats, phones or water fountains. The virus

can’t be transmitted in the air through sneezing or coughing. You can’t get

HIV from sharing utensils or food or from touching, or hugging. HIV dies after

being exposed to the air. Therefore, touching dried blood on a shaving blade, a

toothbrush or a bathroom counter top is no risk. In any case, unbroken skin is

impermeable, like a rubber raincoat, and cannot absorb the virus whether it’s

alive or dead.

Blood transfusions and medical procedures in the U.S. are safe. Giving blood is

completely risk-free. The chance of getting HIV from dentists or other health

care providers is too low even to measure.You can’t get it from mosquitoes or

other insect or animal bites.

3) Oral sex is just as risky as vaginal or anal intercourse.

3) Although not 100% risk-free, oral sex is considered a low-risk

activity,except if: you have bleeding gums, recent dental work, open sores such

as a herpes lesion, any cut, blister, or burn in the mouth, or if you’ve just

brushed or flossed your teeth. Also, oral sex with an infected woman is riskier

if she is having her period, since menstrual blood can contain HIV. Overall,

latex barriers, (such as condoms or dental dams) used during oral sex reduce

the  transmission  of not just HIV, but other sexual transmitted diseases.

4) Animal skin, latex and polyurethane condoms are all equally effective in

preventing HIV infection and you can use ANY lubrication on the condom

desired.

4)Only latex or polyurethane condoms may be used, as HIV can pass through

an animal skin condom. With latex condoms, only water-based lubricants–like

K-Y jelly or H-R jelly–may be used. No lubricants with oil, alcohol, or grease

are safe.Petroleum jelly,Vaseline, Crisco, mineral oil, baby oil, massage oil,

butter and most hand creams can weaken the condom and cause it to split.

However, with polyurethane condoms, petroleum-based lubricants can be

used.

5) Women have to rely on men using condoms during intercourse to protect

themselves against HIV.

5) Women may employ the “female condom,” a plastic sheath that can be

inserted in their vaginas and used for protection against HIV. It can be inserted

up to 8 hours before sex, has rings at both ends to hold it in place and can be

lubricated with oil-based lubricants that stay wet longer. In addition, women

can carry conventional condoms for their male partners’ use.

6) If a woman is HIV-positive, her offspring will automatically be born infected

with HIV.

6) With no medical treatment taken, about 25% of HIV-positive women will

give birth to infants who are also infected. However, the use of anti-HIV

medications has resulted in a significant decrease of mother-to-child

 transmission  of HIV in utero and during delivery to less than 5%. (NYT 10/19/

99].

7) AIDS is fundamentally a gay disease contracted by white males.

7) Recent data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

indicate that young gay Hispanic and African-American men and heterosexual

women are the fastest growing segment of the population being infected with

HIV. Women now account for 43% of all HIV infected people over age 15. [NYT

11/24/98] African-American and Hispanic women account for more than 76%

of AIDS cases among women in the U.S.

8) Heterosexual men are not really at risk for contracting HIV, even if they

don’t use condoms.

8) The inside opening of the penis is composed of highly-absorbent, sponge-

like mucous membrane tissues, which can provide a route for HIV-infected

vaginal secretions or blood to enter the bloodstream. Proper condom use

protects men from infection.

9) The AIDS epidemic is largely over because new AIDS medications like

protease inhibitors and others have turned AIDS into a chronic, not a terminal

disease.

9) In the U.S., AIDS is the fifth leading cause of death for people 25-44 years

old. Roughly half of all those infected with HIV in the U.S. are not receiving any

medications or medical care. AIDS now kills more people worldwide than any

other infection, including malaria and tuberculosis.[NYT 11/24/98] In 1998

alone, 2.5 million people died of AIDS worldwide. 13.9 million people have

died since the virus was discovered in 1981.

10) If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV through unprotected sex, you can

take an HIV antibody test 2 weeks later and get an accurate result.

10) The standard “window” or waiting period remains a full 3 months. However,

because the widely-used HIV antibody tests (The ELISA and Western Blot) have

become so sensitive, about 95% of people will procure an accurate result 4-6

weeks after a possible exposure to the virus.

* * * *

[Note:The information stated above was reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr.

Todd J. Yancey, an infectious disease specialist practicing in New York City and

affiliated with New York Presbyterian Hospital, NY, Cornell Campus.]

THE CHILD LIFE PROGRAM

“Mommy takes a lot of medicine and Mommy’s really tired sometimes and she

can’t take you to the park as much as she used to. It’s not that I don’t love

you…and that I don’t want to…but Uncle Jack’s going to take you to the park

today.” –A mother living with AIDS, a client at GMHC, talking to her 6-year-

old son.

In New York City alone, 28,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS since the

epidemic began [NYT 12/13/98]

GMHC’s unique Child Life Program serves HIV-infected parents and their

children–who may, or may not, be infected with the virus. “We help families

strengthen their ability to cope, relieve the pressure of parenting with support

services, and teach parents how to talk to their kids,” says Child Life Program

Coordinator Alison Ferst. “Unfortunately, should a parent or child be sick

enough to be facing death, we also help them walk through it with grace and

dignity—as opposed to feeling alone, isolated and frightened.

“We also encourage sick parents to make stable legal plans for their

children who may be left behind,” adds Ferst, “and to have disclosure

conversations with the children in advance, so you don’t have a child standing

at her mother’s funeral, not sure where she’s going next.”

When an HIV-infected Mom arrives at GMHC to have lunch, attend a support

group, consult with a lawyer, or access the acupuncture clinic, she can leave

her children in a spacious playroom, decorated with fanciful murals and a giant

tree hand-painted by the famed children’s story writer and illustrator, Maurice

Sendak, who donated his art. [see photos] The program provides: child-

sitting, nutrition services, a food pantry, art and magic classes, and

recreational trips–church picnics, seasonal apple-pumpkin picking,

amusement parks, zoos, museums, beaches. Also: homework help sessions,

holiday parties, hospital visits, summer sports and weekly support groups for

HIV- positive parents and their HIV-negative children.

This unique program also features: Cooking classes for kids who sometimes

prepare meals for sick parents; Pediatric Buddies, GMHC adult volunteers who

play with sick children and also assist with family chores; Fun With Feelings

Support Group, Friday Evening Family Time, Birthday parties, and a Holiday Gift

Drive.

“Children infected or affected by AIDS,” concludes Ferst, “want to be like

other kids: They want to play with their friends, want to know that someone

will always take care of them, want to know they’re not alone, and often

wonder if it’s their fault when Mom or Dad gets sick.” These children need a

helping hand and any of us can provide one.

Hansens Lepresy

Since the beginning of time, Hansen’s disease has been recognized as a problem. Reported in Egypt in as early as 1350 BC, Lepresy is the oldest disease known to man; this is according to the Guinness World Records. Frequently, Lepers have lived outside of society. This is partly due to the fact that for a long time the disease was believed to have been caused by a divine, often times associated with demons, curse or punishment. This idea changed in the middle ages, when people started to believe that lepers are loved by God, and that it is humans that have cursed them

Another reason for secluding the Lepers what that in the past it was believed that leprosy was highly contagious. If was even taken to the extent that leprosy could be spread by the glance of a leper or an unseen leper standing upwind of healthy people. Today we know that the disease is much less contagious than we once believed in the past. Lepresy is caused by a mycobacterium that will multiply at a very slow rate. The disease mainly affects the skin, nerves, and mucous membranes. The organism has never been grown in cell culture, because of the difficulty that is involved with doing so. This difficulty is as a result of the fact that the organism is an obligate intra-cellular parasite. This means that it lacks many necessary genes for independent survival. This is also evident and provides proof for it having such a slow rate of replication.

Uncertain today, is the method of   transmission  of Hansen’s disease. Many people believe that it is spread person to person in respiratory droplets. What we do know though, is that most of the population is naturally immune to the disease. The disease is chronic, and often times patients are classified as having paucibacillary, which is a form of multibacillary Hansen’s disease.