World AIDS Day is a global campaign that was started in the year 1988. Since then, it is celebrated on December 1 every year. World AIDS Day is observed with an aim to raise awareness about AIDS ( Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) and to reduce its prevalence worldwide. The need to do this arises due to an increasing number of people becoming affected by AIDS. According to the WHO, approximately 37.9 million people were living with this debilitating condition at the end of 2018. The data is concerning enough. This year this international organization is spreading awareness about AIDS with the theme ‘Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community’. Now that we have discussed so much about World AIDS Day, let us also know all about the condition.
What is AIDS?
AIDS is a life-threatening disease that is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This virus, when enters your body, gradually damages your immune system. This makes your body unable to fight against the microbes or organisms that cause diseases. The last stage of HIV infection is called AIDS. It is characterized by symptoms like recurring fever, weight loss, chronic diarrhea, unexplained fatigue, skin rashes, soaking night sweats, etc.
How HIV spreads and causes AIDS?
Basically, HIV spreads when infected blood, vaginal secretion, or semen enters your body. This can occur in various ways. For instance, if you have indulged in sex with a person who is already infected by HIV, your chances of getting the condition become extremely high. Also, receiving blood from a person whose blood is infected with HIV, can make you infected too. Sharing contaminated needles also puts you at a higher risk of getting the infection and developing AIDS. Moreover, unborn babies can get HIV infection if his/her mother already have the disease.
Diagnosis and treatment of AIDS
As far as the diagnosis of HIV is concerned, a simple blood or saliva test for antibodies to the virus can help doctors confirm the disease. Usually, it takes around 12 weeks for your body to develop antibodies against HIV. Further, the doctors will conduct some more tests to determine the stage of HIV/AIDS. He will perform CD4 T cell count, Viral load (HIV RNA), and drug resistance test to know that. Sadly, there is no cure for HIV /AIDS yet and therefore, if you have developed the disease, you are going to die.