World Aides Day 2009

December 1st marks more than the usual Christmas countdown this year - World AIDS Day is held on 1 December every year. It is an international day to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS around the world. Today is set aside to  bring awareness and to break down prejudice from this life taking disease. So today I wear my read ribbon in support of all those who are fighting the fight everyday, facing discrimination, lonliness, confusion, and just emotional & physical turmoil. I hope  you guys will too.

Facts about HIV:

What is HIV?
HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune system - the body's defence against diseases.

Are HIV and AIDS the same?
No. When someone is described as living with HIV, they have the HIV virus in their body. A person is considered to have developed AIDS when the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of diseases with which it would normally cope.

How is HIV passed on?
HIV can be passed on through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk.

The most common ways HIV is passed on are:
  • Sex without a condom with someone living with HIV
  • Sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment
  • From an HIV-positive mother (to her child) during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding (but with effective treatment and care the risk of transmission can be greatly reduced)

I don't know anyone with HIV... do I?
Today there are more people than ever before living with HIV in the UK, but less people report knowing someone with HIV. People with HIV generally look healthy and many do not find it easy to tell other people, so you may not realise if someone you know if HIV positive. To learn more about the different groups of people affected by HIV view the statistics.

Is there a cure for HIV?
No, but treatment can keep the virus under control and the immune system healthy. People on HIV treatment can live a healthy, active life, although they may experience side effects from the treatment. If HIV is diagnosed late, treatment may be less effective.

How can I protect myself and others from HIV infection?
Always use a condom when having vaginal or anal sex. You also may want to use a condom or dental dam during oral sex although the risk of transmission of HIV is much lower. You can get free condoms from a sexual health clinic, which you can locate at via the fpa website. Never share needles, syringes or any other injecting equipment.

The task ahead

To make this year's World AIDS Day theme "human rights and access to treatment" - a success, the following aims need to be met:

  • Non-discrimination: Those battling with HIV/AIDS should be treated with utmost equality with others and should not be discriminated against on the gourd of their HIV status.
  • Right to privacy: HIV status of the patients must be kept confidential 
  • Right to liberty and freedom of movement: Those suffering from HIV/AIDS should be protected against imprisonment, segregation, or isolation in a special hospital ward 
  • Right to education/information: Access to all HIV prevention education and information and sexual and reproductive health information and education should be ensured 
  • Right to health: There should be access to all health care prevention services, including for sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, voluntary counseling and testing, and to male and female condoms.


1 Manic Comments:

Imagination said...

I really enjoyed your website! Your blog is wonderful reading. Have you heard of Danny the Dragon? One of my favorites, and worth a visit as it is the nominee for Best Children’s Picture Book of 2009! http://DannyTheDragon.com


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