WORLD AIDS DAY: A DAY TO PREVENT AND TREAT THIS TRAGIC DISEASE
AIDS today is not a death sentence. It can be treated as a chronic illness, or a chronic disease. – Yusuf Hamied
World AIDS Day is designated each on December 1st as a day to unite the whole world to fight against HIV. It is a global initiative to raise awareness, fight stigma, and improve education about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Across the world, over 37 million are suffering from HIV. Many people infected with HIV do not know they have it. World AIDS Day is absorbed to raise awareness about it, encourage people to get tested, and take action to support people, who are suffering from it.
In 1988, World AIDS Day was established by the WHO. People are encouraged to stand against the HIV and increase awareness of the continuing epidemic across the globe. It is also an occasion to reflect about the more than 25 million people who have died from it over the past decade, to consider how to better care for the rest of millions of people and reach out to families, friends and other people who have been affected.
An Overview of AIDS
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS is a chronic, potentially life-threaten condition; it is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight the organisms that cause after damaging your immune system.
These are white blood cells move around the body, detecting faults and anomalies in cells and infections. When HIV targets and infiltrates these cells, it decreases the body’s ability to combat other diseases.
Though, this is a sexually transmitted infection it can also be speeded by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding. If you are not taking medication, it may take before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS. There is no complete cure for it, but there are few medications that can slow the progression of the disease. In developed nations, these drugs have reduced AIDS deaths.
Cause of AIDS
AIDS is mainly caused by HIV infection. The virus attacks the immune system leaving an individual susceptible to life-threaten infections and cancers. With healthy immune systems, common bacteria, yeast, parasites, and viruses do not cause any serious disease but they can turn deadly for AIDS patients.
Anyone can contract HIV. The virus is transmitted in bodily flues including:
- Vaginal and Rectal Fluids
- Breast Milk
Other ways HIV is spread from person to person.
- Sharing needles, syringes, and other items
- Through vaginal or anal sex
- Using already used tattoo equipment without sterilizing
- During pregnancy and breastfeeding
- The exposure to the blood of someone having HIV
Symptoms of HIV Infection
After contracting HIV, several people do not develop any kind of symptoms. So they remain undiagnosed until the symptoms of AIDS appear. It could be up to 10 years later. 50% or more people living with HIV may develop mild flu-like symptoms within 2-4 weeks. Possible signs and symptoms include:
- Sore Throat
- Joint Pain
- Muscle Aches
- Sore Throat
- Swollen Glands
The symptoms of HIV infection may last from a few days to weeks. They may go away on their own. Besides, these symptoms can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Though, the amount of virus in your bloodstream is high at this time. As a result, the infection spreads easily during primary infection than during the next stage.
HIV is diagnosed using a blood test. Some tests may not detect the virus during the first 2 to 4 weeks of HIV infection. You can still pass the virus to others during this infectious stage. Your health care provider may say you repeat the test if it is negative and there is a possibility you have HIV.
In this advanced world, some effective treatments are available to control HIV infection. If you start the treatment at an early stage, it can help you live a healthy life.
For HIV, patients are mainly treated with antiretroviral medications as part of antiretroviral therapy. These medications support in lowering the level of HIV in your body; it decreased the spread of the virus in your body and helps your immune system fight off other infections. HIV treatment can improve the health of people and can prevent HIV transmission also.
Best preventive ways is to adopting safe sex measures, avoiding the use of illicit drugs or shared needles or syringes, using masks and goggles to avoid contact with blood and fluids etc.
HIV-positive women who want to be pregnant, they may need therapy while they are pregnant to prevent transmission to their babies. Also, talk to the health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis; this is an HIV prevention option for people who do not have HIV but who are at higher risk of getting infected with it.