WHAT IS AIDS ?
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus also known as HIV.This disease weakens the immune system undermining the body’s ability to fight against other diseases and infections. Some majorly caught diseases include TB, Pneumonia, Cancer, etc. Leading to death. Mild flu, recurrent fever, headaches, fatigue, continuous weakness, swollen lymph nodes, rashes, weight loss, diarrhea are few of the symptoms regularly occurring with this syndrome. Memory loss and blindness are few of the late complications of AIDS. There is no definite treatment of HIV and we use antiretroviral drugs currently. So it is neccessary to spread awareness regarding the same. There are so many myths and misconceptions about how AIDS get transmitted. So let us clear what transmits HIV and what NOT.
SPREAD & PREVENTION OF HIV
What Transmits HIV and should be stopped is Having unprotected sexual intercourse with HIV positive person; Sharing Razor/ blade/ syringes of HIV infected person; Drug addicts use the same syringe with their mates; HIV can transmit from mother to her fetus thus should conceive only after consulting the doctor; HIV also transmits from an infected mother, breastfeeding her infant; Most importantly, HIV transmits from blood to blood contact , thus cease it. And one has to be careful during blood transfusions which is one of the major causes of spead of HIV. Therefore one should go to a trained and skilled hospital staff/ doctor for injections, and careful blood transfusion. Apart from stopping these causes of spread , we can take a few more measures such as spreading awareness, using sterile or sealed needles and syringes, not using used instruments with blood contact, and always using condoms and hence avoiding unprotected sexual intercourse. Because PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.
CLEARING THE MYTHS
What does NOT transmit HIV is using public toilets, touching, hugging, shaking hands, sharing food stuff, cough, sneeze, mosquito bite, kissing, even sharing a living place. CONCLUSION Thus we need to treat the patients with respect and remember that they too have dignity and right to live. We should motivate them, sympathize and take care of their needs. Remember not to discriminate with them. Give them Will to Live, because “Where there’s a will, there’s a Way. “
-Dr. Pramiti Rastogi