World AIDS Day is observed on the 1 st of December every year since 1988 in order to spread the awareness regarding this deadly disease and also to grieve over those who have lost their battle of life to this disease. The word AIDS stands for “acquired immune deficiency syndrome” that means that it is basically contracted from some other source and the immunity is affected by it with an attack of multiple diseases (syndrome). It’s a viral disease and its causative agent is HIV (Human Immunodeficiency virus) that is usually spread through the body fluids.
Scientists believe that the first case of the AIDS was reported back in 1940s when there was a viral outbreak of SIV virus (similar to HIV virus) in Chimpanzees and the hunters contracted the virus from them. Then after many years of the sex trade and other sources, there came an outbreak of AIDS among human beings in the early 1980s. This way AIDS was the new viral endemic that was silent but dreadful.
Mode of Transmission
The mode of transmission is quite simple. It spreads by the body fluids like saliva, semen, vaginal fluids, breastfeeding and through infected syringes or instruments. It can also be caught by the baby during delivery from an infected mother.
AIDS is most common between those who have multiple sexual partners or those who are drug addicts and use infected syringes. It can also be spread by unsterilized instruments or equipment or through blood transfusion.
Mechanism of Action
The mechanism of action or disease of AIDS is simple. It penetrated our CD4 or T cells. These are the white blood cells in our body that help us to fight against the infections. As a result of the attack on out CD4 or T helper cells, they begin to decline as a result immunity level starts falling and a person becomes susceptible to all kinds of infections.
There are no specific symptoms in the beginning to specify AIDS, in fact, the symptoms occur as:
1. Primary Infection
- Joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
2. Symptomatic HIV infection
- Oral Infections
- High Fever
- Weight Loss
3. Progression towards AIDS
- Persistent weight loss
- Night Sweating
- Rashes and bumps
- White spotting on the tongue
- Chronic Diarrhea
As the immunity is declining slowly and steadily an HIV positive patient can get infected by any of the following diseases:
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Meningitis (inflammation of brain meninges)
- Candidiasis (oral yeast infection)
- Kidney Diseases
- In worst cases, Cancer
Prevention is far better than cure hence:
- Always have protected sexual intercourse
- Never use used syringes; always ensure that the staff uses a new syringe
- Avoid blood transfusions as much as you can
- Do not breastfeed if you are infected
- Contact a doctor if you are HIV positive and pregnant as well
"The world needs our help to spread awareness regarding this issue. Do not consider it a taboo to talk about such diseases. Deliver more knowledge than you can to make this world a better and safe place to live."
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