Thursday, 1 December 2011

World Aids Day

The Red Ribbon is the representative of AIDS awareness

Every year since 1995 on this day- 1st of December is proclaimed World AIDS Day, it is a day to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic which is caused by the spread of HIV infections. It is also common to hold memorials for those who passed away from HIV or Aids today.

What is AIDS?

AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, which is a disease that weakens the human immune system caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) A person with AIDS are more likely to get infections and illness because their immune system are basically non-functioning, their conditions will get worse with time. Although there are treatments that could slow down the course of the disease but there is no cure for it as yet, having the disease will eventually lead to death. Therefore it is highly important to spread awareness about the dangers of AIDS and ways to prevent it.

What causes HIV?

HIV can be be transmitted through Anal, vaginal and oral sex. It is a common perception that AIDS are transmitted only through sexual acts, but that is not the only way HIV can spread. Blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding can spread HIV from mother to baby. Any contact with an infected person's blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breast milk can cause the spread of HIV. 

What you can do?

What you can do is to find out more facts about HIV/AIDS and use this knowledge to protect yourself and others from HIV infections. The point is to spread awareness about it so that more people can learn to protect themselves.

How to protect yourself from HIV/AIDS?

  • Do Not have unprotected sexual intercourse. Always wear a condom if you are unsure about your partner's sexual histories. Birth control pills can help prevent pregnancy, but it would not protect you from getting HIV/AIDS or other STD's (Sexually Transmitted Disease) Don't forget oral sex and anal sex could also spread HIV/AIDS. 
  • Always be faithful to your partner. Don't go and pluck the wildflowers at the roadside. People can get  HIV/AIDS from sleeping with multiple partners or sleeping with prostitutes.
  • Get Tested, get yourself and your partner tested for HIV/AIDS regularly and be honest with your partner about your status. 
  • Make sure not to share needles with anyone. If you're getting shots at the hospital or clinic, make sure the doctor or nurse are using new hypodermic needles, also make sure that the used needles are disposed properly. If you suspect the medical assistants are reusing the needles, you can reject from getting the shots. 

Fight discrimination to HIV/AIDS Victims:

There are many cases of discrimination for AIDS/HIV patients, they are fired by employers, kicked out of schools, erosion of rights, poor treatment in health care, prejudice, abuse, maltreatment, scorned, ridiculed and even violence towards them. This sort of social stigma should be stopped as it would interfere with the attempts to fight against HIV/AIDS. People are afraid they will be associated with behaviors such as homosexuality, drug addiction or prostitution, therefore they are reluctant or ashamed to seek help. Or family members shunning HIV/AIDS victims for fear of shaming the family. Many victims are suffering in silence, it is difficult to fight against the disease if people are not willing to seek help. This is due to the fact that people are having misconception about HIV. 

Learn more about HIV/AIDS:

About World AIDS Day: 
About fighting discrimination against HIV/AIDS victims:

From this year-2011 and on wards, the World AIDS Day theme is 'Getting to Zero', which is the hope to spread awareness to cut down the AIDS pandemic to Zero, one step at a time. You can do your part starting by protecting yourself and people you love. 

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