Do you know, what is World AIDS Day? It is a day followed on the 1st of December every year as a day that provides the best opportunity for people from around the world to get together in the fight against the deadly HIV virus. It is also followed as a day of togetherness to show the support to the people with this disease and also to remember the people, who have lost their lives to this disease. This day was announced in the year 1988 and it the first ever international health day.
Why is this day important?
Reports state that more than 34 million people from around the world are fighting with this disease every day and the report further adds that more than 35 million people from around the globe have lost their lives to this disease. Now, there is advancement in the field of medicine for treating HIV and also there are laws these days to protect the interest of patients struggling with this deadly disease. Even though, people have understood about this disease, still the understanding is not enough and many people do not know how to stay protected against the deadly HIV virus that causes the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Even though, laws are prevailing in many countries of the world to protect the interest patients with this disease, still they are shown discrimination. The World AIDS day is important because of the fact that it reminds the public and government that HIV is still in this world and there is still need to increase awareness and to raise money for helping patients with this disease in one way or another. As we are fast approaching this day, it is important that people should develop at least some fundamental knowledge about this disease:
What is AIDS?
It is actually a disease in which there will be severe loss of immunity, thereby increasing the chances of infections and malignancy. It is expanded as Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. Here, acquired means that the person gets infected with this HIV Virus and immuno deficiency means a weakness in the body to fight against infections. Syndrome is a term that brings the meaning as a group of health problems that make up a disease. Now, you know what the disease is all about, but do you know, how do you get aids. Let us find out:
How an individual gets this disease?
How do you get aids? It is actually transmitted from an infected individual to another through direct contact of bodily fluids like blood, which includes even menstrual blood, semen inclusive of precum and ejaculate, vaginal secretions, rectal fluids and breast milk.
These fluids from the body get in touch with your mucous membrane or even your affected tissue or even directly injected on your blood stream through a syringe. Mucous membranes are soft and moist areas of the human body that are located just inside the opening of the body. These membranes can be found in mouth, opening of penis, vagina and inside the rectum. When you doubt whether you might be infected, you can get tested at a lab close to you. Even, there are home test kits available these days to get tested at your home.
What are the ways in which this disease is transmitted?
Now, after understanding how do you get aids, you might be wondering about how is aids transmitted and here are the circumstances under which the transmission of virus happens from an infected individual to an healthy individual:
- Loving making with an infected person is stated to be the important reason for transmission. In addition, lovemaking with multiple partners and having STDs can also increase the chances of an individual to get HIV.
- Sharing rinse water, needles, syringes and other equipment used for preparing injections with an infected person is another most common method of transmission of this disease.
Less common ways of transmission:
Even though, the above-mentioned two are stated to be the important and major contributors towards transmission of AIDS infection, there are also other ways in which the disease transmits from an infected person to a healthy individual:
- The child delivered by an infected mother can get this disease as the infection might pass on when the baby is growing in the womb, during birth or during breastfeeding. But, nowadays, medical field states that this transmission can be avoided with the right treatment from the initial stages of pregnancy.
- People working in the health care field are at the risk of being stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp objects.
- Getting blood transmission or organ or tissue transplantation that is contaminated with HIV. This risk is smaller because every hospital thoroughly tests the blood before transmitting it to a patient.
- Eating foods that were pre-chewed by an infected person, but this will also happen rarely as no one likes to chew the foods chewen by others.
- Being bitten by an infected person, but there will not be any risk if the skin in the bitten area is not broken.
- Oral sex
- Contact with broken skin or wounds of an infected person.
- Open mouth kissing with an infected person. Even though, the transmission will not happen through saliva, if the infected person has wounds or bleeding sores in the mouth, the infection can transfer.
When understanding how is aids transmitted, it is also important to understand how it is not spread. Yes, HIV is not spread through:
- Water or air
- Insects inclusive of mosquitoes or ticks
- Sweat, saliva or tears
- Casual contact like shaking hands, hugging or sharing drinks or glasses
- Toilet seats
As the HIV cannot live outside the human body, this virus will not spread through air.
If an individual has HIV, does it mean that he has AIDS?
No, it is not essential that when an individual is diagnosed to have HIV should have AIDS. Even though, both terms are used interchangeably HIV is the term used for denoting the virus, while the term AIDS is used to denote the final stage of the HIV infection. When the immune system of an individual with HIV infection is severely affected and is not able to fight against diseases and certain type of cancers, he/she is known to be AIDS patient. But, the thing to remember here is that an individual with HIV infection can quickly progress to AIDs within a few years. But, nowadays, most patients with HIV positive infection when treated are not moving to AIDs. The reason for this is that when the individual takes ART in a consistent manner, he/she can keep the level of HIV at low in the body. This will improve the strength of the body and will bring down the likelihood of progression to AIDS.
Symptoms of AIDS:
After understanding some details about this disease, it is important to be aware of aids symptoms:
It is recommended not to rely on symptoms to tell whether an individual has this disease or not. However, it is better to be aware of the early symptoms of hiv aids:
- Swollen glands
- Sore throat
- Muscle and joint pain
These symptoms might not be treated or might be coming back frequently due to poor immune system health be the reason behind. When these symptoms are experienced frequently, it is better to get tested for HIV Infection.
How about AIDS Cure?
When it comes to AIDS cure, it is generally taken to mean clearing the body out the HIV Virus from the body. Generally, this virus can make new copies of itself in the body by inserting its genetic code into the cells in the body, specifically the type of cells called as CD4 cells. In general, the infected cells begin to produce a wide range of HIV particles and they soon after this they die.
History of AIDS:
When analyzing the history of AIDS, it is found that it existed right from pre-1980s and it is widely believed that it originated in Kinshasa, in the democratic Republic of Congo around 1920. During this period, it is believed that it passed to humans from Chimpanzees. Even though, no cases were registered before, it was found that many cases were documented in the mid to late 1970s. By 1980s, it was already spread to five other continents.
So, this deadly disease has a long history and many of us in the mid or early 30s were born even after the birth of this disease. Even though, this is stated to be a life-threatening disease, it is important to be aware of this disease on the World AIDS Day that medicines are available to postpone the death of an individual with this health issue.