World Aids Day is observed on December 1 every year dedicated to raising awareness of the pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Theme for AIDS 2014 is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.” World Aids Day allows us to honor the 36 million people across the world who have died because of this virus.
Government and health officials, non governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control. AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is caused by a virus called HIV (Human Immuno Deficiency Virus). The disease affects the immune system, making people unsafe and prone to infections and other illnesses. The condition worsens as the disease progresses.
In an estimated report, half of the 33.3 million adults living with AIDS and HIV in the world are women. India has the third largest epidemic in the world. The HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person, in semen, vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk. The virus is passed from one person to another through blood transfusions and sexual contact. Also, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their babies during expectancy, delivery of the baby and through breast feeding.
The World Aids Day is not just a day to remember the dead victims of the illness or celebrating in order to combat the disease, but it is a day for every individual, public and organisations to realise the fact that the disease still prevails all over the world and needs to be worked upon its curbing out altogether. There is currently no cure for HIV/AIDS. Treatments can slow the course of the disease and therefore, some infected people can live a long and relatively healthy life. The World Aids Day was first held in 1988, the stigma remains for the 34 million living with the virus. Even though effective vaccinations or medicines are available, it might not work for everyone. Similarly, how deadly an infectious disease is, it will not harm or kill everyone exposed to it. The reason behind it is the genetic makeup of every individual is different.
AIDS should be treated and cured if possibly known at the correct stage. Hence, lessons about the disease should be developed within an individual at an early level at school or home. Schools should impart HIV education and likewise, parents should prepare their children on lessons about safe sex.
With early HIV infection, immediate antiretroviral therapy appears to be more beneficial than putting off treatment until patients meet clinical guidelines. The most common ways of HIV infection is making out with an infected person without the use of condoms, having multiple sexual partners, sharing needles and syringes and other equipment used to prepare illegal drugs. It is also easier to contract if one has another sexually transmitted disease(STD). Unprotected sex is the major cause of AIDS, thus using condoms is essentially important to be safe. When it comes to choosing a condom, latex condoms are for the best protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Female condoms are available too in order to raise awareness and protection against AIDS and other STDs.
In India and many other parts of the world, people having HIV/AIDS face discrimination in places including households, community and workplaces. At times children are denied the right to go to school too. Sex work is practised at many parts of India.
It is crucial for patients to take medication correctly and take steps to avoid illness. Patients should seek to improve their general health and reduce the risk of falling ill by practicing regular exercise, healthy eating, not smoking and no intake of alcohol.
People are not aware of the occurrence of HIV infection at earlier stages, thus, AIDS infection can be detected through a blood test and can be treated with some medicines but there is no absolute cure for the disease. Studies are going on and there have been several attempts for the treatment of the dreadful disease. Government and NGOs along with public and individuals are carrying out campaigns, spreading awareness and creating a mass appeal to deal seriously with the effects of the illness. World Aids Day presents an opportunity for people living with the illness while honoring the memories of those who have died of the ailment.