Despite scientific advances in our understanding of HIV/AIDS causes, treatments, transmission, risk factors, symptoms and prevention, the reality for many people living with HIV is grim and far from a healthy lifestyle.
HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a lentivirus that causes a certain infection which attacks the immune system. AIDS describes a set of symptoms and illnesses that happen at the final stage of HIV infection.
December 1st marks World AIDS Day, where the World Health Organization spreads awareness about its risks and prevention. It must be noted that one can be at a greater risk of HIV if one has unprotected sex, shares contaminated needles, syringes and other injecting equipment, receives unsafe injections, blood transfusions, tissue transplantation, medical procedures that involve unsterile cutting or piercing; and experiences accidental needle stick injuries including among health workers.
An estimated 21.7 million people were receiving HIV treatment in 2017. However, globally, only 59% of the 36.9 million people living with HIV in 2017 were receiving ART, according to World Health Organization.
However, Stigma and discrimination still persists in society and workplaces, even though the Human Rights clearly state that everyone should have access to proper healthcare services.
December 1st is an opportunity for everyone everywhere to unite and fight against HIV as well as show support for people living with it.