World AIDS Day is celebrated every December 1st every year. And it is set aside in order to spread create awareness on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which is spread by infection from a virus called human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV). The World Health Organization has set this day as a global public health campaign.
Most people are unaware of their status. You can know your status when you go for a test. Most people don’t know their status because of fear-fear of dreaded nature of the disease and its devastating nature as well as the fear of stigmatization.
But the truth is this, getting tested for HIV is now faster than you can think of and you can come out relieved or armed with the right knowledge to improve your health. So, why not confirm your status and keep living your life to the fullest.
Below are some facts you need to know about AIDS
- HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This virus leads to infection and it attacks the immune system. While HIV can be transmitted between people, AIDS is a condition that is acquired only after a person has contracted the HIV infection. AIDS is the final stage of the HIV infection.
- HIV can be suppressed by combination anti-retroviral 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 were receiving HIV treatment in 2017. However, globally, only 59% of the 36.9 million people living with HIV in 2017 were receiving ART, according to World Health Organisation.
- Testing is the best way to determine whether you have HIV, but some of the early symptoms are fever, chills, rash, night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes or mouth ulcers.
- HIV self-testing is a process whereby a person who wants to know his or her HIV status collects a specimen, performs a test and interprets the test results in private or with someone they trust. HIV self-testing does not provide a definitive HIV-positive diagnosis – instead, it is an initial test which requires further testing by a health worker.