Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a member of lentivirus, which belongs to the retrovirus family, that can lead to AIDS ( Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome). It's the time when the patient's immune system becomes weak and easily infected with opportunistic infections, leading to various lethal complication. In all cases, without effective treatment the immune system will eventually become very weak and no longer be able to fight off illnesses.

Are HIV and AIDS the same?
No. When someone is described as living with HIV, they have the HIV virus in their body. A person is considered to have developed AIDS when the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of diseases with which it would normally cope.

How does HIV transmitted?
By bodily fluid. There are blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk.
Major routes for the transmission trough unprotected sexual intercourse (oral,vaginal, anal), needles sharing, blood transfusion, breastfeeding, and mother to baby at birth ( vertical route).

Can you get HIV from kissing?
No. HIV cannot be passed on through:

  • Kissing or touching
  • Spitting, coughing or sneezing
  • Toilet seats, swimming pools, or shared facilities or utensils
Can women living with HIV still have children?
Yes. HIV can be passed from mother to child, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the possibility of the child contracting HIV to less than one per cent, including giving the mother and child antiretroviral HIV drugs, delivering the child by Caesarean and not breastfeeding the baby.

Global Trends
The number of HIV infected people is still growing.

Regional statistics for HIV & AIDS, end of 2007

How does the patient suffers?
HIV affects almost every organs. The immune system becomes poor and tend to get opportunistic infection ( bacterial, viral, fungal, parasital), and also have a higher risk of developing cancer such as Kaposi sarcoma, cervical cancer and lymphoma. Patients will have flu-like symptoms such as, fever, chills, sweats(usually at night), weakness, swollen glands, weight loss

Is there a cure for HIV?
No, but treatment can keep the virus under control and the immune system healthy. People on HIV treatment can live a healthy, active life, although they may experience side effects from the treatment(diarrhea, fatigue, malaise nausea). If HIV is diagnosed late, treatment may be less effective in preventing AIDS.
Currently used treatment is HAART (highly acvtivated anti-retroviral therapy). HAART allows the stabilization of the patient’s symptoms and viremia, but it neither cures the patient of HIV, nor alleviates the symptoms, and high levels of HIV-1, often HAART resistant, return once treatment is stopped.
Anti-retroviral drugs are expensive, and the majority of the world's infected individuals do not have access to medications and treatments for HIV and AIDS.

If you were wondering, this picture was produced by the French Government. Some time ago they released an advertising campaign highlighting the plight of AIDS and unsafe sex with this hard-hitting, provoking and memorable graphic.

Prevention of HIV
abstain - avoiding any sexual activities that could cause transmission of HIV.
Be faithful - The risk could also be reduced, through avoiding sexual intercourse other than with a mutually faithful uninfected partner.
Condom - or through the correct and consistent use of condoms.

Visit the World AIDS day org site.


Gorgeous Ol' Eve Loves Vanilla. You? said...

The French government surely has a way to deliver their speech. Damn scary pics!

just apple said...

poisonous insects..>< play safe everyone..:D hey feel free do drop me a comment for the latest Apple Awards 2008!~ty~~

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