Would start by calmly saying Happy new month, Merry Christmas and lastly “Happy World AIDS day.
Growing up, Whenever I hear HIV/AIDS I am just worried oh the individual has limited number on earth just because of the way the viral disease was projected but now?
Thanks to Medical school I do know one can live a long time with the virus,it doesn’t spread via merely talking to someone and funnily there are different types of it : HIV1 and HIV type 2 with AIDS as the last stage of progression.
A little bit on HIV/AIDS
HIV is a virus that damages the immune system. Normally The immune system helps the body fight off infections but when the immune level is low and immune system becomes under functional the Untreated HIV infects and kills CD4 cells, which are a type of immune cell called T cells.
It is transmitted through
- vaginal and rectal fluids
- breast milk
And not air or talking to someone as I was meant to believe initially while the possible routes are
- Vaginal or anal sex — which is the most common route of transmission, more especially among men who have sex with men.
- Sharing needles, syringes, and other items for injection drug use.
- sharing tattoo equipment without sterilizing it between uses
- Sharing of salon tools without equally sterilising in between use, whether Nail or Hair salon.
- during pregnancy, labor, or delivery from a woman to her baby
- during breastfeeding
- through “pre-mastication,” or chewing a baby’s food before feeding it to them
- through exposure to the blood of someone living with HIV, such as through a needle stick which is common among Health professionals.
There are different types
- HIV 1
- HIV 2
However, there’s currently no cure for both types as of when this post was written and Without treatment, an individual with HIV is likely to develop a serious syndrome called AIDS.
At that point of the disease, the immune system is too weak to fight off other diseases and infections.
Untreated, life expectancy with AIDS is believed to be about three years. Nevertheless With antiretroviral therapy, HIV can be well-controlled and life expectancy can be nearly the same as someone who has not contracted HIV.
HIV progresses through three stages:
- stage 1: acute stage, the first few weeks after transmission
- stage 2: clinical latency, or chronic stage
- stage 3: AIDS
Commonest Symptoms of AIDS but not limited are:
- recurrent fever
- chronic swollen lymph glands, especially of the armpits, neck, and groin
- chronic fatigue
- night sweats
- dark splotches under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids
- sores, spots, or lesions of the mouth and tongue, genitals, or anus
- bumps, lesions, or rashes of the skin
- recurrent or chronic diarrhea
- rapid weight loss
- neurologic problems such as trouble concentrating, memory loss, and confusion
- anxiety and depression
Treatment is carried out with any or combination of antiretroviral medications and are grouped into six classes:
- nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)
- non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)
- protease inhibitors
- fusion inhibitors
- CCR5 antagonists, also known as entry inhibitors
- integrase strand transfer inhibitors
Summary HIV is a virus and AIDS is a syndrome and
Can people with HIV live a normal life? Yes
Can they even live longer than those without HIV? Yes
Can they date ? Yes, even date those with or without the viral disease
Can they marry? Yes
Can they give birth? Yes
Can they raise kids? Yes
They can do all that and some more without infecting anyone as long as they are on their antiretroviral drugs and with normal range of CD4 cell count, hence they shouldn’t be stigmatized for some have contracted the viral disease even having lived “a decent life”.
They are human and should be allowed to exist just like you and I.
So on this day being World AIDS day as celebrated worldwide on every 1st December every year:
- let’s take an intentional decision to reach out to anyone suffering from the viral infection or syndrome .
- Let’s Rock the Ribbon together and show support.
- Let’s be alot more kind to them
- Let’s take up roles in our communities leading to the fight against AIDS.
- Let’s get tested today to know our status .
- Let’s practice safe sex.
- And importantly let’s share this post to create more awareness that people can be affected by it.
Till my next blog post stay safe and don’t forget this is an awareness post on existence of AIDS.