When an avid motorcycle-rider realizes that his pilot road 3 tires have been punctured, he can’t help but panic. In the same manner, whenever we hear the word AIDS, fear inevitably shoots through our system.
What’s even causing more concern is an editorial just recently released in a medical journal, saying that Chagas, a tropical disease spread by insects, is “the new AIDS of the Americas”.
Over 8 million people, mostly from Latin and Central America, have been infected with Chagas.
According to the Public Library of Science’s Neglected Tropical Diseases, Chagas shares a lot of similarities with AIDS. Both illnesses are chronic conditions which need long-term and expensive treatment, and they both affect impoverished people.
Unlike HIV though, Chagas is not sexually transmitted. It is caused by parasites which find their way into the human body through blood-sucking insects.
CNN reported that the parasite-carrying insects like to bite one’s face. Thus, it has earned the name “kissing bug”. When the bug bites, it ingests your blood and sets parasites loose at the same time. When you scratch the itch, the parasite begins to infect you.
At this point, Chagas is “hard or impossible to cure”, says the Times.