HIV and AIDS Facts: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

The discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the 1970s has added to man’s distress. As per statistics, over 12 million people have lost their lives battling the HIV disease. There is a constant rise in the number of individuals who has fallen prey to the painful symptoms of HIV – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Unfortunately, AIDS is a lifelong disease. Therefore it is vital to be educated about HIV and AIDS facts.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus belongs to a group of virus called retrovirus, which damages and eventually kills the cells once it gets into the human body. A lot of people are not aware as they do not notice symptoms after being infected. This is because the latent period of the virus is variable. HIV is transmitted from individual to individual through body fluids. Although it is an incurable disease, people may lead a healthy life with medical treatment that can keep the virus in check. To avail the immediately required medical attention, one must be aware of the basic HIV-AIDS facts.

Causative fluids of HIV: Semen, blood, vaginal secretion and breast milk. HIV transmission occurs due to these infected fluids from infected to healthy person. It is important to understand the various transmission methods of these fluids. Sexual contact (and not exchange of saliva) leads to transfer of body fluids. A common transmission method is the callous reuse of syringes and needles that have been infected by the HIV virus. Pregnant women who have been infected may pass the disease to offspring through delivery and breast feeding. Blood transfusion from people infected with HIV symptoms may also pass the virus. Prior knowledge about these HIV-AIDS facts is imperative so as not to spread the symptoms further.

A lot of people are left in the dark because the symptoms are unobserved for unknown periods. The development varies from person to person though. Headache, lymph-node enlargement, fever, flu-like conditions and fatigue are common HIV symptoms and normally disappear on their own within few weeks leaving the person feeling healthy. This kind of asymptotic phase may last forever.

Once you have your HIV-AIDS facts right, you know that all has not been lost upon detection of HIV symptoms. A variety of drugs have been developed to fight this disease. Antiretroviral drugs may be availed from any drugstore to treat the HIV disease. However, prognoses are not effective because an average patient will succumb to progress of disease in 10 years. It is therefore advisable to consult the doctor about preventive measures instead of suffering from symptoms of HIV.

Technology Continues to Fight AIDS

In 2008, Sub-Saharan Africa was populated with over 22 million HIV+ inhabitants, and currently there are over 5 million Southern Africans infected with the virus. Worldwide, there are upwards of 40 million people infected with HIV, a very frightening number. But with the coming of the 22nd annual World AIDS Day, it’s important to take note the progress that has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. At the same time, it’s very vital we familiarize ourselves with a couple great HIV research and technology investors.

Granted, there have already been major advances concerning affordable microbicides and vaccines as preventative measures against the virus. Similarly, the introduction of low-cost antiretroviral drugs has allowed people already infected to lead longer, healthier and happy lives.

This can most certainly be attributed to tremendous associations like the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative). The Clinton Global Initiative has put a tremendous amount of money into AIDS research. Known for his work in raising money for Hurricane/Tsnuami victims, former President Clinton and his close personal aide Doug Band also have great interest in tackling one of the deadliest STDs in the world, HIV/AIDS. Back in 2006, Clinton helped open people’s eyes to the severity of the disease in foreign states by traveling deep into Burma with the crew of 60 Minutes.

Before this however, he introduced CHAI (Clinton Health Access Initiative), outlined specifically as “a global health organization committed to strengthening integrated health systems in the developing world and expanding access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.” Their main objective was to travel to these third world countries like Burma, and distribute various treatments, which weren’t currently available to sufferers. Since it’s beginning, the organization has helped more than 2 million people gain access to medicines needed for treatment. But the efforts of Former President Clinton and his close personal aide did not end there. The CGI continues to receive funding for HIV related projects in third world countries like Southern Africa.

In their latest endeavor, they’ve joined forces with HP (Hewlett Packard) to deliver technologies that will capture, manage and return early diagnosis for infants. This translates to indentifying the virus in an infant within one to two days, which is a huge improvement from previous paper based systems. How is this important? Newly borne are especially susceptible to the disease as their carriers can very easily transmit. Similarly, it’s very crucial that they begin treatment as soon as possible to ensure survival; without, they are typically unable to survive past age two. In a statement to the press, Clinton stated, “I’m pleased HP’s technology and expertise will enable the partnership with CHAI to save the lives of more than 100,000 infants in Kenya each year, and in the process, demonstrate how the private sector can and should operate in the developing world.”

Within their first year, HP is expected to return results concerning HIV testing for nearly 70,000 infants in Kenya. The technologies introduced will also allow for real-time medical data, which will be viewable to health professionals across Kenya.

Known for it’s incredibly high number of HIV+ citizens, Africa remains one of the greatest challenges for organizations like CHAI/CGI today. Recent advancements in technology have helped lessen casualty rates and permitted people to live more productive lives. And although a cure remains unfound, HP and the CGI have provided great technological steps in the right direction towards eliminating the virus for good.

AIDS Awareness Poster

AIDS Awareness Day is marked not only by memorial events and public manifestations, but also by wearing the red ribbon or bracelet and by printing and promoting AIDS Awareness Posters. The purpose of any poster is to influence the public attitude, to change the behavior of those who see it and make them get more involved. AIDS Awareness Posters are created mainly to give an alarm signal and bring an improvement in AIDS Campaigns.

Posters are created to inform the public of what they can or must to in order to prevent the spreading of a virus and in response to the outbreak of a disease. This principle is valid for AIDS Awareness Posters as well. Each year, a different theme is chosen for these posters, but the message behind the drawings has to be, in the end, the same: it is time for you to do something against AIDS spreading!

There are several AIDS Awareness Posters pinpointed at specific groups. Some of them are more explicit, referring to drugs injections or unprotected sexual relationships, which are known to be the main causes for HIV spreading. But there are also AIDS Awareness Posters containing nothing but the red ribbon symbol, and their main purpose is to put an end to ignorance.

Cautionary posters are great tools of awareness, as they promote prevention and curative measures. In order to receive enough attention, these AIDS Awareness Posters have to keep the balance between aesthetics and communication. Of course the message is very important and has to be clear enough, but if the image is too shocking or abstract, then the purpose of the poster might not be achieved.

As a conclusion, AIDS Awareness Posters aren’t the ones that stop the disease or the virus spreading. This is a certain thing, but they can surely make a difference! Depending on where they are placed, who they impact and how are they done, AIDS Awareness Posters can be great prevention tools in AIDS Campaigns.