World AIDS Day 2020: Awareness is the only antidote

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World aids

1st December, World AIDS Day, a day dedicated to those people who are suffering of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease AIDS. Let’s spread the awareness. Read more to know about HIV, AIDS, Symptoms, Myths and Reality, Treatments and prevention.

world aids day
Picture courtesy: National Today

“We live in a completely interdependent world, which simply means we cannot escape each other. How we respond to AIDS depends, in part, on whether we understand this interdependence. It is not someone else’s problem. This is everybody’s problem.”

Bill Clinton

What is HIV ?

HIV or human immunodeficiency virus causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the human body. Initially this virus is targeted the immune system of the human body and later on in advanced stage HIV cause AIDS. This disease considers as the ‘most important global public health issues’ in world history. AIDS is basically an epidemic disease, every year million of people are dying due to HIV infection. According to UNAIDS, 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV in the last year and around 690,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2019.

A few years ago, more peoples were died due to HIV, but according to WHO (World Health Organization), HIV has become a manageable condition now. How?? Virologists are introducing a new therapy called Antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection and according to the UNAIDS report, 26 million people were accessing this therapy as of the end of June 2020.

HIV virus belongs to Retroviridae family and its a enveloped RNA virus, quite similar to Coronavirus. Once this virus entered in human body they attack immune cells called CD4 cells and here single standard RNA genome is converted to double standard DNA with the help of reverse transcriptase enzyme. Now this DNA genome is integrated into a host chromosome and further infection is developed in the human body. Slowly the immunity becomes weak and body increases the risk and impact of opportunistic infections.

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Picture courtesy: Genetic Engineering and biotechnology News

What is AIDS ?

In the advance stages of HIV infection, AIDS, disease occurs in the human body. In the early stage of HIV infection people should start the treatment, otherwise AIDS likely develops and body’s immune system gradually wear down. AIDS can trigger other severe disease like Cancer in effected human body. So before it’s too late, if you know that your body is affected by HIV virus, immediately consult with your doctor and take precautionary measures.

How HIV transmits ?

The HIV virus can find in several body fluids such as blood, semen, breast milk, vaginal fluids and rectal fluids or anal mucous. Generally, HIV can not transmit through saliva or sweat or through urine. AIDS basically comes under STD (Sexually transmitted diseases). Most of times HIV can transmit through unprotected sex. During sex, if one partner is carrying the HIV virus then it 100 percent chance that HIV virus is transmission takes place through anal or virginal intercourse. Apart from unprotected sex, HIV may get into the human body through injecting equipment or through broken skin or during child birth and breast feeding.

hiv transmission med
Picture courtesy: Bioninja

HIV infection Symptoms:

The HIV virus can effects on any kind of human body, but the progression of HIV is varied from one body to another body. Sometimes few factors like a person’s age, body immunity, genetic resistance are affecting HIV progression in host. So, What are the symptoms of HIV infection?

In early stages, 80% peoples are experiencing normal flu like symptoms such as fever, chills, weakness, joint pain, muscle aches, throat infection, enlarge glands, etc. These are very common symptoms, initially most of the people are ignoring these symptoms. Then when people will become serious? Once the HIV progression is started, the affected body weight is unintentionally reduced.

Sometimes HIV may Asymptomatic, means it’s not at all showing any kind of symptoms in effecting body, slowly the progression occur. In this kind of situation patient may survive 8-10 years without any treatment.

In late stage patient can suffer serious illness. That time patient may experience various kinds of symptoms such as blurred vision, night sweats, shortness of breath, continuous fatigue, weight loss, dry cough etc. In late stage only AIDS are forming in effected human body. AIDS patients may survive only 3 years after treatment.

Myths and Reality :

So many myths are rumored in our society on HIV or AIDS. First of all HIV is not Airborne so if you visit any kind of HIV hospital or patient care unit please don’t be panic. Secondly, HIV not able to transmit through touch. Most of the people are behaving very rude to HIV positive people. This is not correct! They are also a human being and they are suffering from a deadly virus. We should understand their feelings and also try to help them. In WHO guideline also its mentioned that HIV not transmitted through kissing or hugging and sharing towels or cutlery or water, etc. So try to behave empathetic to HIV positive patient.

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Picture courtesy: Financial Express

Treatment of HIV infection:

Initially, if any person are experiencing any kind of HIV symptoms, they should immediately contact to a doctor. Although in market many HIV kits are available, with that also people can check HIV infection appearance in the body. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NATs) can detect HIV infection as early as 10 days after exposure, many rapid tests are also available and antigen- antibody blood test is the best option for any kind of viral infection including HIV.

In early stage detection may stop HIV progression in effected human body. HIV is not fully curable, still so many research are going on, but through antiretrovirals treatment doctor may reduce the risk of transmission in effected human body. Few medicines like Evotaz, Kaletra, Vitekta, Ziagen etc. are prescribed to treat HIV. Among them few are Protease inhibitor or Integrase inhibitor or Nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors. HIV treatment is cost effective in few countries.

HIV drugs
Picture courtesy: San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Prevention of AIDS:

There are many ways to prevent HIV infection. If people become more aware or careful then someday HIV virus is extinct from nature. During sex were condom, in some countries PrEP (HIV drug) is available so take that, avoid sharing injectable equipment, before any organ transplantation, take HIV test results from donor, avoid external contact with any kind of body fluid.

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Picture courtesy: The Conversation

Since 1988 we are World AIDS Day aimed to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by HIV virus infection. The red ribbon is symbol of awareness and support of HIV. So, according to hiv.org, 2020 AIDS day theme is ‘Ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic: Resilience and Impact.’ This theme is a tribute to that people can achieve a thing and if they make a joint effort to deliver high-quality services for treatment and prevention of HIV, to the ones who are in need. Already year 2020, experience the pandemic situation due to Coronavirus. So it is a high time to raise your voice against HIV transmission, and spread the awareness worldwide.

No need to go anywhere outside, just click one button and share the awareness through social media. Remember your one click may save one person’s life.

SO #STAYHOME #STAYSAFE #SPREADAWRENESS !!

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