The United Nations' World AIDS Day is held on December 1st of each year to honour the victims of the AIDS pandemic and to focus attention on the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS related conditions.
On this day each year, many national and international leaders and pioneers encourage the support and treatment of people living with HIV and AIDS and stimulating research into the treatment of these conditions.
What is HIV?
The immune system can’t get rid of viruses out of your body in the way that a healthy immune system could, like after you get a cold. Scientists are still trying to find out why. A deficient immune system can't protect you. HIV weakens it by destroying important cells that fight infection and disease.
How does HIV lead to AIDS? I thought they were the same thing?
There is a key part of your immune system that fights disease and infections, HIV uses cells to make copies of itself and then destroys them. After a long period of time, HIV can destroy so many of your cells that your body can no longer fight diseases or infections at all, and this is when HIV can lead to AIDS.
What is AIDS ?
· AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection. People at this stage of HIV disease have badly damaged immune systems, which put them at risk for opportunistic infections such as pneumonia, other parasitic, viral and fungal infections, and some types of cancers. AIDS is a condition which results from the damage done by HIV to the immune system.
AIDS is a syndrome, rather than a single disease, because it is a complex illness with a wide range of complications and symptoms. You get AIDS when your immune system is "deficient," or isn't working the way it should. AIDS is not something you inherit from your parents. You acquire AIDS after birth but you can be born with HIV, which really sucks.
How is it transmitted?
HIV can only be transmitted between people through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the blood stream with a bodily fluid. Basically, vaginal fluids, blood and semen.There's been a lot of stigma around the spread of HIV and people living with HIV and AIDS. Especially the incorrect notion that only homosexuals can get AIDS which, ridiculously, is still the thought of some uninformed and paranoid people.
You can buy a World AIDS Day bracelet supporting the cause of this website: http://utac.org/order It's the little steps that can make the huge difference. The more people that get involved with the cause and help spread the word to raise awareness is a step in the right direction.
The 1993 American drama film, Philadelphia, was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality and homophobia. It was ground breaking in bringing the audience's attention to the attitudes of people towards the condition and the serious abuse and injustice done on towards human beings with the syndrome. Anyone who is interested in getting a very realistic view of how someone is inflicted with AIDS, is persecuted from having the illness and how it progresses this is the perfect movie to watch. It also features Tom Hanks, whose excellent performance won the Academy Award for Best Actor.
- Since the start of the epidemic, almost 60 million people have been infected with HIV and 25 million people have died of HIV-related causes.
- 33.3 million people are living with HIV/AIDS and 7.5 percent of those millions are children under the age of 15.
- HIV/AIDS is a "young people disease" with approximately 40 percent of new infections each year occurring among people aged 15 to 24.
- In the United States, by race, new infections occurred among African Americans at 45%, 35% in whites and 17% in Hispanics.
- While African Americans represent about 12% of the U.S. population, they account for 46% of people living with HIV in the U.S., as well as 45% (nearly half) of new infections each year.
- The results of a study show that at some point in their life, approximately 1 in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV, as well as 1 in 30 black women.