Everything To Know About HIV/AIDS On World AIDS Day: Symptoms, Prevention & Risk Factors

Even though the word ‘AIDS’ has been common since 1988, people are not completely aware of this deadliest disease. That is why every year on 1st December World AIDS Day is celebrated. The day holds importance in everyone’s life because the symptoms of AIDS/HIV are as common as that of flu.

If ignored and left untreated then it can even cause death. As per WHO, the number of deaths due to HIV/AIDs was 680,000(480,000-1.0 million) in 2020. This is 64% less than the deaths recorded in 2004 and 47% less than in 2010. The figures are still troublesome for countries severely affected by it.

“Prevention is better than cure,” in this case because HIV/AIDS is still one of the deadliest and rare pandemics in existence. So to make you aware we are highlighting all the early signs of WHO.

History of World AIDS Day

World Aids Day

1981, the first official reporting of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) was published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of CDC. After a few days, more similar cases were recorded in the U.S. On June 16, the first patient with AIDS died and the same year more than 300 people were infected.

WHO first recognized and designated it a global concern on 1st December 1988 when James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter proposed the idea to the director of the UNAIDS– A global program on AIDS. The same day was marked as World AIDS Day with a theme “Join The Worldwide Effort.”

Also Read: How To Prevent From Zika Virus: Signs And Prevention Methods

The aim is to raise awareness about the disease and how it is spread whilst fighting the inequalities suffered by patients and highlighting the global efforts in dealing with HIV.

What Is HIV/AIDS and How It Is Spread?

symptoms of hiv, signs of aids

AIDS- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome– is a disease caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The virus majorly infects the immune system of the body and reduces its ability to fight infections.

It is contagious and spread from infected person to healthy person in the following ways:

  • Via blood, semen or vaginal fluids
  • Sharing drug needles
  • Getting tattooed using infected needles or
  • Having unprotected sex 

How HIV Is Not Spread?

world aids day

There is a common myth that one can get HIV/AIDS while hugging or shaking hands with the infected person. It neither transmits via sharing food and water nor through saliva. However, those with STI are at high risk of HIV/AIDs. Mother-to-child transmission is also possible via breastfeeding and during labor and delivery.

Also Read: Omicron Covid Variant: What WHO Has Recommended To Individuals & Countries?

7 Early Signs Of HIV/AIDS

signs of hiv, symptoms of aids

There are three main stages of HIV/AIDS and the severity of each symptom depends on the stage. The first few signs occur within 2-4 weeks of a person getting infected, in that case, one will get:

  1. Headache
  2. Fatigue
  3. Sore throat
  4. Fever
  5. Mouth ulcers or sores anywhere in genitals, esophagus, or anus
  6. Rashes on the torso that don’t cause itching
  7. Swollen lymph nodes

Symptoms get worse with time and progress in diarrhea, weight loss, and cough. In serious cases, one may get TB, cancers, and even bacterial infections.

6 Ways Of Prevention From HIV/AIDS

Taking precautions is the only way to reduce the chances of getting HIV, so do follow these prevention measures:

  1. Never engage in unprotected sex
  2. Get regular testing of HIV and STIs if you have multiple sex partners
  3. Never share drug needles with anyone
  4. Take pre-exposure prophylaxis after consulting your healthcare provider if you have an HIV infection
  5. Avoid involving in risky sexual behaviors
  6. Always use sterile drug injection equipment

Be it man, woman, children, gay or anyone can get HIV/AIDs so be cautious and prevent yourself and others from this disease. Do not shy or hesitate while consulting a doctor as it will worsen the condition.

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