World AIDS Day 2019: Every year, December 1 is observed as World AIDS Day. This day is looked at as an opportunity for people worldwide to unite for fighting against HIV and to commemorate those who have lost their lives from AIDS-related illness. World AIDS day was founded in 1988 and was the first ever global health day. According to World Health Organization, 37.9 million people live with HIV (end of 2018). Of these, only 79% received testing, 62% received treatment and 53% were able to suppress HIV with reduced risk of infecting others. This success can be attributed to endless hard work of community health workers, members of HIV networks. On World AIDS Day 2019, the WHO aims at highlighting the efforts these communities are making in order to put an end to HIV epidemic.
Videographic on the AIDS virus. The UN’s AIDS organisation have hailed an increase in the numbers of HIV-positive people getting treatment, and credited community-based programmes as the key to fighting the disease.
World AIDS Day: What you should know
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus which causes damage to the immune system. The immune system is responsible for helping the body fight infections. If HIV goes untreated, it can kill CD4 cells, a kind of immune cells. The more number of CD4 cells HIV kills, the more you are at risk of getting different types of infections.
Also read: Important HIV Facts And Figures
1. HIV can be transmitted through breast milk, vaginal and rectal fluids, blood and semen. It is a lifelong condition which cannot be cured. However, with proper treatment and management, a person can live with HIV for many years.
2. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that can develop in people with HIV. AIDS is considered to be the most advanced stage of HIV. However, just because a person has HIV, it doesn’t mean that s/he will develop AIDS too. As mentioned above, HIV kills CD4 cells. In healty adults, CD4 cells range from a count of 500 to 1500 per cubic millimetere. A person with HIV whose CD4 count falls below 200 per cubic millimetre will be diagnosed with AIDS.
3. You can also be diagnosed with AIDS if you are HIV positive and develop an infection or cancer that is otherwise rare in people with HIV.