Monthly Archives: November 2008

HIV and AIDS: What they are and how to avoid them

PLEASE NOTE: THIS POST WAS WRITTEN IN 2008. SINCE THEN, MANY THINGS IN THIS FIELD HAVE CHANGED. WHILE THIS INFORMATION WAS RELIABLE AT THE TIME, IT MAY NO LONGER BE SO. IF YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR HEALTH INFORMATION ON HIV/AIDS IN PARTICULAR, PLEASE CONSULT A RELIABLE RESOURCE WRITTEN IN THE PAST YEAR OR TWO. THIS POST HAS BEEN PRESERVED AS A WRITING SAMPLE ONLY.

This December 1 marks the 20th World AIDS day. On this day, people from around the world come together to draw attention to this global pandemic and to encourage HIV and AIDS prevention. A primary focus for this day is to encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in high prevalence countries and around the world.

What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a type of virus that attacks our immune system, causing it to function less well or not at all. In the early stages of infection (the first 5 to 10 years), there are often no obvious symptoms: many infected people do not know they are infected. However, as the virus continues to attack the immune system, the infected person starts to get sick. This is because all kinds of “opportunistic infections”, which their bodies would have normally fought off, attack their weakened immune system. (source)

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Crohn’s disease, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome: What is the difference?

November is Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Month. Both diseases are types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which can involve either or both the small and large bowel.

Crohn’s disease occurs mainly in the large intestine (colon) and in a part of the small intestine called the ileum. It is not usually fatal, but there is no definitive cure. Medications and a good diet go a long way to controlling the symptoms of this disease. Unlike ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s can’t be completely cured by surgery.
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Diabetes and obesity: more than a casual link…

Over two million Canadians are known to have diabetes. In Ontario, nearly 9% of the population – about 850,000 people – have diabetes. In Toronto alone, over 225 000 residents are diabetic. An additional 5.8 million Canadians are considered ‘pre-diabetic’. (source)

Correspondingly or coincidentally, excess body weight and obesity – known risk factors for type 2 diabetes – have been steadily on the rise, taking on epidemic proportions. Is there a link?
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