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HIV: Public Health Awareness

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection continues to be one of the major public health crisis. Through time the number of people living with HIV has increased, thus, more people have become aware of the infection. People living with HIV has helped spread the awareness in order to prevent the increase of the people infected with HIV. People living with HIV are being linked and stayed under the medical care for HIV patients, they begin their treatment and get virally suppressed. The availability of the interventions for HIV preventions has increased, thus, it can also provide prevention to their partners.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) comes from a particular virus that can only infect humans, it can weaken the immune system of the body by attacking the T-cells, which is the most important cell to fight against infections and illnesses. The virus takes over the host cells through its rapid reproduction.

It can be transmitted through blood, vaginal discharges, anal fluids, semen, and breast milk. We should stop the misconception that it can be transmitted through urine, sweat, or saliva. The best way to prevent acquiring HIV is to use condoms during sex and use clean needle and syringe when you inject drugs.

Flu-like symptoms are experienced by those on the early stage of HIV, these symptoms may last for a few days to several weeks.

  1. Fever
  2. Chills
  3. Night Sweats
  4. Rash
  5. Muscle aches
  6. A sore throat
  7. Fatigue
  8. Mouth ulcers
  9. Swollen lymph nodes

For people living with HIV that are not taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), it may progress to AIDS. This is the late stage of HIV infection in which they experience symptoms like:

  1. Rapid weight loss
  2. Extreme and unexplained tiredness
  3. Profuse night sweats or recurring fever
  4. Pneumonia
  5. Sores of mouth, genitals, or anus
  6. Diarrhea that lasts more than a week
  7. Prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the groin, armpits, or neck
  8. Depression, memory loss, and other neurologic disorders
  9. Blotches on or under the skin or inside the nose,mouth, or eyelids

Those people who are living with HIV that suffers infections and disease from opportunistic microorganisms are considered to have Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It happens since they are immunosuppressed, moreover, it can be because of the antiretroviral drugs they are taking. These treatments do not cure HIV or AIDS, however, it can give them a chance to live long and healthy lives.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can be prevented, it just needs an effective prevention treatment to reduce the transmission of the infection. It is a global outlook to cut the social stigma with people living with HIV, the lack of education hinders treatment options and preventive measures for HIV.

HIV infections were stabilized and mortality rates have declined even though most of the HIV and AIDS population does not have access to antiretroviral medications, this is due to the ongoing public campaigns for awareness of safe drug use and safe sex.

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