December 1st 2019 is recognized globally as World AIDS Day.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that targets cells of the immune system that fight infections, known as CD4 cells. It weakens the immune system increasing the risk of infections and other diseases. It continues to be a major global issue, having claimed more than 32 million lives. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the most advance stage of HIV, which progressively develops if the infection is left untreated. HIV/AIDS is spread through unprotected contact with bodily fluids if an infected person. These include blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, vaginal fluids and even breast milk.
With a large population of persons living with the disease worldwide, great attention is geared towards education about HIV transmission, prevention, treatment and care.
Nearly 40 000 new infections being diagnosed worldwide each year and thus there is emphasis on routine screening for HIV/AIDS.
Everyone between the age of 13 and 64 should be tested at least once and every pregnant woman must be tested routinely during prenatal or initial antenatal assessment. Persons at high risk should be tested annually. Sexually active homosexual and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing, that is, every 3-6 months.
Lets learn the most common FACTS and MYTHS about HIV/AIDS.