December 1 is celebrated as the World Aids Day in order to raise awareness about the illness. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a major health problem because approximately 36.9 million people in the world live with HIV, as per the reports of 2017 data. This year’s theme for World Aids Day is ‘Know your status’. This has been decided as the theme of the year in order to make people check their HIV status.
While HIV refers to the virus which causes HIV infection, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is considered the most advanced stage of the infection. It causes very low CD4 cell count. If it is not treated in time, then it can even damage the immune system leading to AIDS.
Below are the four ways in which you can make a difference this year.
THEME OF THE YEAR
The theme for 2018 is self-explanatory. Knowing the HIV status can be extremely helpful. All one needs to do is get HIV test done even if one has got already got it done some time ago. HIV test should be taken often because it spreads through blood, semen, vaginal fluids and even breast milk. If one knows his HIV status, then you won’t spread it further to anyone else.
SPEAK UP AGAINST THE STIGMA
Speaking up against the general stigmas which are associated with HIV and AIDS is also a step which will help people be aware of the problem. Such stigmas cause discrimination and worsen the condition of the person suffering from the illness. Speaking up also means that one is helping to raise awareness about the problem. It also prevents people from believing anything wrong, especially the youth who is at great risk.
If you know anyone who suffers from HIV or AIDS, make sure you speak to them and listen patiently to what they have to say about their feelings and emotions. Make them feel comfortable and provide support and hope to the person. Help them get the resources which are important for them, and also encourage them to stick to the health measurements.
You can also donate to the organizations which work on the causes which lead to AIDS and also raise awareness about HIV and AIDS among the youth and the students especially. One can also donate to the HIV research and funds.