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Everything You Need To Know About ‘WORLD AIDS DAY’- December 1st

The writer is a Med-students who is passionate about writing articles that motivate the readers and help them explore their inner self!

everything-you-need-to-know-about-world-aids-day-december-1st

Introduction:

Are you familiar with a disease that is caused by a virus, which hampers the immune system and makes the person prone to infections which ultimately leads to death. Yes! It’s none other than Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome abbreviated as AIDS. It was first described in 1981 in a patient in the USA, who died of a lung infection. It has claimed the life of around 6 lakh people in 2021 around the world. Therefore, it is very crucial for everyone to be aware of this life threatening disease.


The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared December 1 as the WORLD AIDS day which has been celebrated every year since 1988, to both create awareness, and also mourn the loss of those who died of the disease. Every year, The WHO chooses a unique theme and for the year 2022, it is “End inequalities. End AIDS”. It focusses on addressing the inequalities that prevail in the world with respect to the access to HIV related services.


The Red Ribbon was accepted as a symbol of solidarity with HIV positive people and those living with AIDS.

Course Of Disease:

  • The HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus belongs to a group of viruses called Retroviruses. It has 2 single stranded RNA as its genetic material.
  • It infects humans through contaminated blood and body fluids( semen, vaginal secretion, etc). However, it is not present in the saliva.
  • The Virus enters the bloodstream and attacks the host cells. It replicates inside the host cells by integrating its DNA with the host cell DNA.
  • As more and more HIV viruses are formed, they attack the CD4 T- helper cells which are a type of white blood cells(WBC), as a result of which the immune system gets weakened.
  • Now, the person becomes prone to opportunistic infections such as candidiasis, pneumonitis, tuberculosis, etc and also has chances of malignancies such as Kaposis Sarcoma.
  • The death of an AIDS patient is usually due to the severity of the contracted opportunistic infections, and not actually due to AIDS.

RED RIBBON CLUB:

It is always wise working on the prevention of a disease, rather than later focussing on its cure, especially when AIDS Is concerned. Since it is almost always spread through the transfer of blood and body fluids, making people aware of different means and sources through which the infection can be contracted becomes a vital part in the prevention of the disease.


The Red Ribbon Club with the motto “ PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE”, created by the Government has become a powerful medium to reach out to young people across the country. It is a voluntary on-campus intervention program for students in educational institutions.

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everything-you-need-to-know-about-world-aids-day-december-1st

Aims And Objectives:

  1. To reduce new HIV infections among YOUTH by raising their risk perception through awareness on safe sexual practices.
  2. To induce among youth the spirit to help and support people living with AIDS/HIV and thereby reducing stigma and discrimination against them.
  3. To motivate Youth and build their capacity as peer educator and change agents by developing their skills on Leadership, Negotiation and Team-building.
  4. To promote voluntary and Non-remunerated blood donation among youth.


GENERAL STEPS TO PREVENT HIV INFECTION:

  1. Ensuring safe sexual practises.
  2. Screening of blood before transfusion.
  3. Making sure sharing of needles is prevented both in health care and in commercial sectors like tattoo parlors and by IV drug abusers.
  4. Health care workers should take precautionary measures before treating infected patients.
  5. Mother to offspring transmission of infection can be prevented by ensuring prophylactic measures.



everything-you-need-to-know-about-world-aids-day-december-1st

CONCLUSION:

Even though the health care professionals can help in prolonging the years of survival and help improve the quality of life, once a person contracts this infection, it is incurable and he/she has to live with the disease for their entire lifetime. So, frequent screening of people in the risk population is essential for identification of potential cases and timely intervention.

Although a lot of people know about this disease, still a large number of people in the world lack awareness and therefore they lead to development of new epicenters of disease with arising new cases. Hence, It is critical for eachone of us in the society to co-operate by following the preventive measures and thereby participate in the mission of completely eradicating HIV from the world. Let us pledge together to create an AIDS-free tomorrow.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Jayapriya Arumugam

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