December 1 is observed universally as World AIDS Day, by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The primary target of this annual campaign by the WHO is to spread awareness amongst the general public about AIDS - the deadly disease.
It also lays emphasis on the advanced treatment options available for HIV positive patients in primary healthcare centers and the methodology of effectively eliminating AIDS.
The theme declared by the WHO, for World AIDS Day 2019 is, "Communities Make The Difference". This endeavor highlights the valuable contributions by communities worldwide, in bringing an end to the HIV epidemic.
Of the nearly 40 million people all around the globe affected by AIDS, more than 50 percent have received a significant reduction in the HIV infection by antiretroviral treatment.
Understanding the basic pathology of this debilitating condition and taking preventive measures is of foremost importance, inefficiently lowering the occurrence of AIDS in people of all ages. Also Read: World Aids Day 2017: Everyone Counts
What Is HIV And AIDS?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, which attacks the immune system in the body of an individual. As a result, the affected person becomes unable to efficiently combat any microbial pathogens invading the body and cannot control the progression of grave disorders like cancers and neurodegenerative ailments like Alzheimer's, dementia etc.
This leads to the patient becoming immunodeficient, meaning they develop a compromised immune system with weakened defenses against any foreign components targeting the body.
When the HIV virus evolves to the maximum extent in the body of the affected individual, it manifests itself as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This condition causes certain severe cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, reproductive malfunctions, and metastasizing infections.
How Does The HIV Virus Spread?
The HIV virus spreads from the infected person to a healthy person via body fluids namely blood, semen, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and even breast milk. The most frequent means of transmission is therefore by sexual intercourse, pregnancy or dirty and used needles in injections. Also Read: World Aids Day: Protecting An Unborn Child From HIV
How Can HIV And AIDS Be Treated?
Antiretroviral drugs are the primary course of treatment for those affected by HIV. These medications control the spread of the HIV virus in the body of the patient and also effectively avert the transmission of HIV and AIDS onto other healthy individuals.
What Are Ways By Which HIV Transmission Can Be Prevented?
The best ways to prevent the spread of HIV and avert contracting the fatal condition of AIDS is to limit exposure to the risk factors.
The general public can actively engage their community and take strides towards remarkably decreasing the incidence of HIV and AIDS amongst people of all age groups, be it young adults, middle-aged or the elderly.
Some effective measures in this regard comprise:
- Use of condoms while engaging in sexual intercourse
- Frequent testing for signs of any STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)
- Ensuring fresh syringes and needles are used in hospitals, both by healthcare providers and for use in patients
- Checking blood transfusion equipment to make sure it is sanitized and hygienic, prior to donating or receiving an infusion of blood
Finally, every person residing in every segment of society must be aware of the hazards of unprotected sexual intercourse and the serious complications it can result in. In this manner, the spread and occurrence of HIV and AIDS infections can be reduced significantly.