AIDS ( Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ) is a deadly disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which gradually destroys the immune system of the infected person. HIV makes it difficult for the body to fight infection, by breaking down the immune system, thus enabling various diseases, viruses, and infection to attack the body.
World AIDS Day is observed on 1st December all over the world to create public awareness, fight against the diseases, show support for people living with AIDS, and honor those who have died of it. World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day and was observed in 1988. This year, the theme is “Hands Up for # HIV Prevention.
The first signs of an HIV infection may be swollen glands and symptoms of flu. These may come and go a month or two after the infection. More severe symptoms may appear months or even years later. Typical symptoms include fever, chills, rash, night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, mouth ulcers, and weight loss. AIDS is detected by blood and urine tests.
Transmission of AIDS
Around 21lakh Indians are living with HIV and 25% of them do not receive proper treatment, often because of ignorance, stigma, and ostracization. The virus can be transmitted from person-to-person through:
Sexual contact Blood or, more often, by needle sharing
Mother to child – a pregnant woman can give the virus to the fetus through their shared blood circulation or a nursing mother through breast milk
HIV does NOT spread by sharing cut fruits/soft drinks or cola bottles.
It does NOT spread by:
• Shaking hands
• Hugging or kissing
• Touching unbroken skin
• Using the same toilet
• Sharing personal items (towel, clothes, etc)
But the stigma related to AIDS can spread easily! This stigma could lead to:
• Harassment and abuse
• Poor health services
• Lack of access to treatment
There is no vaccine to prevent and no medicine to cure AIDS, but it is possible to protect yourself and others:
• Get tested immediately if you suspect anything and know your partner’s HIV status too.
• Use a new condom every time you have sex. Always use a clean and Sterile needle.
• Always use a clean and sterile needle.
• if you are pregnant get a medical test for HIV.