People across the world on Saturday observed the 30th annual World AIDS Day 2018, which fall on December 1 every year. Since its inception in 1988, the day aimed at spreading awareness of the disease and to fight against the HIV/AIDS infection.
The day also shows support to those who suffered from the disease and remembers people who lost their lives due to HIV/AIDS-related illness.
Since its inception in 1988, the campaign aims to find a cure by 2030.
This year’s World AIDS Day, under the theme ‘Know your status’ focuses on the importance of HIV testing as a gateway to HIV prevention and treatment.
According to the World AIDS Day Campaign, more than 35 million precious lives have lost since its first identification in 1984, making it one of the deadliest pandemics to exists.
By 2017, around 36.9 million people were living with HIV infection, of which 35.1 million were adults and 1.8 million were children, according to the United Nations.
What is an HIV/AIDS infection?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that can lead to AIDS. AIDS is the last of the three stage of HIV infection.
AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is the third stage of the global epidemic and leads to the most severe illnesses because the virus damages the immune system over time.
Symptoms and signs of HIV/AIDS
People affected with HIV/AIDS infection, in the initial stage, may not be unaware of the status. The symptoms vary depending on the stage of infection. However, as the infection progressively weakens the immune system, a person can develop other signs, such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhoea and cough.
How HIV/AIDS can be transmitted?
HIV can be transmitted through contact with blood, semen, rectal fluid, vaginal fluid, or breast milk of a person infected with HIV disease. However, ordinary contact, such as hugging, kissing shaking hands, or sharing personal objects, food or water cannot spread the deadly virus.
Also, HIV/AIDS testing by a healthcare provider, authority, partner or family member is unacceptable as it undermines good public health practice and infringes on human rights.