World AIDS Day: Why you need to know your status

World AIDS Day: Why you need to know your status

By Jimisayo Opanuga

This year, World AIDS day will be celebrating its 30th anniversary and this year’s theme is “Know your status”. It is very essential as an individual to go for HIV/AIDS test twice in a year to know your status. Your status can either test positive or negative.

HIV/AIDS positive indicates you are infected with the virus while HIV/AIDS Negative means you are not infected.

What’s AIDS
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV damages the body’s immune system supposed to help fight various kind of infection. As the body’s immune system degrades, the risk of having common infections like tuberculosis increases while the body becomes increasing susceptible to other diseases. The final stage of the symptoms of infection is referred to as AIDS.

Nigeria has recorded more than 100,000 AIDS cases per day. According to the latest figures from WHO, about 36.9 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2017, and about 35 million people have been killed by the deadly virus. UNAIDS estimate that about 3.1 million adults and children live with HIV in Nigeria.

HIV/AIDS is marked as the most important global health issue in history.

How HIV/AIDS is spread
By unsterilized instrument (like needles, syringes, razor blade etc).

By infected to mother to baby, pregnancy, labor, or nursing.

By having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

By blood transfusions with an infected blood.

Symptoms
The symptoms of HIV and AIDS depend on the phase of disease. Mostly people infected with HIV develop flu-like illness within a month or two after the virus enters the body. Possible signs and symptoms include:
Fever
Headache
Muscle aches and joint pain
Rash
Sore throat and painful mouth sores
Weight loss
Fatigue

Diagnosis
HIV/AIDS is diagnosed by blood or saliva testing. Unfortunately, there is no cure exists for AIDS, but strict adherence to antiretroviral regimens (ARVs) can dramatically slow the diseases progress as well as prevent secondary infections and complications.

World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day has been globally celebrated since 1988 on every 1st of December, to create awareness on AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. On this day Government and non-governmental organisations come together to educate people on the prevention and control of AIDS.

Credit: The Guardian

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