World AIDS Day; Things to Know

December 1 is observed as World AIDS Day. The motive behind the celebration is to spread awareness among the people regarding lethal disease and its gruesome impact on society. Human Immune Viruses (HIV) actually spread the disease. This can be spread via unhygienic means for example by sharing contaminated needles or syringes, blood transfusion, tissue transplant, medical proceedings including unsterilized cutting and piercing, accidental needle stick injuries, and intercourse. The day is marked by the World Health Organisation as a global public health campaign.

HIV spreads infection and attacks the immune system of an infected individual. A person is said to acquire AIDS once he gets a protracted HIV infection. HIV can be suppressed by a combination of antiretroviral therapy (ART) consisting of 3 or more antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. ART does not cure HIV infection but suppresses viral replication within a person’s body and allows an individual’s immune system to strengthen and regain the capacity to fight off infections. An estimated 21.7 million people are getting HIV treatment as of 2017. About 15 million people were infected with HIV viruses as of 2015.

39.5 million people are living with HIV as stated by the World Health Organisation in 2017. The endemic infection can be avoided by applying safe procedures during medical care and surgery. Safe use of syringes is particularly recommended to do away with the disease. Awareness must be spread among literate and illiterate sections of the society.

There is no particular dose to curtail the disease but proper medication can reduce the timely impact and can minimize the patient’s suffering. Swollen lymph nodes, night sweating, aches, sore throat, mouth ulcers, chills, and fever are some of the symptoms of the disease. It can also be tested through medical testing or testing in a private mode i.e. self-testing in which a person collects the specimen and perform the tests and interpret the test results thereafter.

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