Raise a Red Ribbon for Awareness: World AIDS Day
In this day and age, being aware and informed is more important than ever. And if there's anything we have to be much knowledgeable about, it's our health.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a syndrome caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which gradually attacks the immune system. This virus can be found in the body fluids of an infected person (semen, blood, vaginal and anal fluids, and breast milk) and cannot be transmitted through sweat, saliva, or urine. If left untreated, it can take around 10 to 15 years for AIDS to develop, which is when HIV has severely damaged the immune system.
The most common way for someone to become infected with HIV is by having anal or vaginal sex without a condom according to UK statistics. With an early diagnosis and effective anti-retroviral treatment, people with HIV can live a normal, healthy life.
There is currently no cure for HIV or AIDS. However, with the right treatment and support, people can live long and healthy lives with HIV. To do this, it is especially important to take treatment correctly and deal with any possible side-effects.
2016 reports from the Philippine Department of Health shows 25 people are diagnosed with HIV per day. In January to March 2016, 2,291 new HIV cases were reported. 290 of which are diagnosed with AIDS. 2,211 of these are male while 80 are female.
AIDS is the last stage of HIV infection where the body can no longer defend itself and may develop various diseases, infections, and if left untreated, death. Which is why it is important that we take this opportunity to continuously raise awareness to prevent the increase of people who acquire this disease.
December 1st is World AIDS Day, the first-ever global health day held for the first time in 1988 - an opportunity for the world to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and to remember those who have died.
Globally, there is an estimate of more than 35 million people who have died of HIV or AIDS making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
It is important to understand that most still do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others fighting stigma and discrimination that remain a reality for several people living with this condition.
This day is important because it reminds the public that HIV has not gone away, that it is still necessary to continue researches, increase awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education.
So today, mark the start of a gratifying holiday by wearing a red ribbon to show your support and solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV.
Let us continue to spread the word about prevention of this disease and be catalysts of change for a healthier and happier world.