- Today is ‘World Aids Day’
Mangaluru: ‘World AIDS Day’ is celebrated on Dec 1st. in 2018, 30th anniversary of the celebrations were conducted. Specially, this year, it was celebrated with the message “Know UR Status”. Everyone needs to join hands to spread awareness on AIDS worldwide and take precautionary measures to push away the disease and to create a healthy society.
Amidst poverty, unemployment and inequality, health problems too haunt human beings in many ways. Of them, AIDS is one. This is not visible to the eyes, but rips of a person’s peace and happiness from within by taking hold of his life, with the possibility of claiming his life one day. This disease attacks the fetus as well as the elderly without any discrimination and since no definite medicine has been discovered to treat it with, this disease remains still remains as a big question in the field of medicine.
Though there is no medication for AIDS patient, a strong self-confidence in itself is a medication. Therefore, awareness on AIDS is being effectively inculcated worldwide. Due to unsafe lifestyle, HIv (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) enters the body only after which AIDS is identified in the body. Later, the patient gets infected by several diseases following which, he eventually dies.
In order to spread awareness on this disease worldwide, December 1st is celebrated as the World AIDS Day. On this day with an especially themed message, several special seminars and Jatha’s are conducted to spread awareness.
In 1987, the special officers of WHO’s AIDS programme Thomas Nettar and James W Bun for the first time pointed out the necessity to spread awareness on AIDS and take care of the patients suffering from the syndrome. They requested that Dec 1st be celebrated as World AIDS Day. As a result, since 1988, Dec 1st is celebrated worldwide as the ‘World AIDS Day’.
The AIDS awareness day being celebrated in 2018 is special since it is the 30th year of its celebration. Importantly, it is being celebrated with the message of “KNOW UR STATUS”. Last year it was celebrated with the message “Our Health, Our Right”. The first ‘World AIDS Day’ was celebrated in 1988 with the message “Communicate or Reveal without hesitation”.
India and AIDS
The first symptoms of AIDS were identified in 1981 amongst the sex-workers in Chennai. This is the first time, AIDS was recorded in India. In 1987, close to 52,907 were subjected to tests of which 135 people were identified with the disease. According to the recent reports, AIDS has spread throughout the country the highest number of patient suffering from AIDS in Karnataka are in Bagalkot, as per the latest release. Also it stands third in the country for the number of affected patients.
Reasons for AIDS
HIv (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) and there are two types of the virus, namely HIV 1 and HIV 2. Of the two, HIV 1 is more prevalent and belongs to the retro virus family. And primarily attacks the CD4+T cells of the WBC’s (white blood corpuscles) which are also known as helper cells.
The CD4+T cells help in maintaining the immune system of the human body. But HIV attacks these cells and destroys them. Thus if the level of T cells drops in the human body, correspondingly, the immune system also weakens. Hence, a door opens for other diseases to attack the body thereby leading to AIDS.
Mode of spread
The virus spreads in many ways including mostly due to having unsafe sex with a HIV positive person, getting blood form a HIV positive person, use of same syringes which might be infected by a HIV positive person while taking drugs. HIV is transferred by a pregnant woman to its fetus, during labour and also while breast feeding the child. The virus can also be transmitted through unnatural sex practices and through the needles used for tattooing.
70 million people are suffering from AIDS in the world of which, 35 million have already died, while 37 million are suffering from the disease. Of these, 22 million people are getting treatment for their condition, states a recent report.
In 1991, AIDS awareness day was celebrated in a special way. Then, red ribbons were tied in New York USA as a global sign for AIDS awareness. The message of “Connection to blood and the idea of passion – not only anger, but love” was spread through the red ribbon. The 11 the ‘World AIDS Day’ was celebrated in 1995 and by then, there was a reduction by 60-80% of the number of AIDS patients. Therefore, during a convention then, it was informed that the drop in the number of cases was the effect of the celebration of the awareness day.
AIDS patients are not untouchables
AIDS patients are considered as untouchables in the society. This only further dents their self-stability. They too can live like everyone else. Set aside wrong/misinformed thoughts and view them as everyone else. They act as if the sky has fallen on their heads and due to fear stop eating food and surrender themselves to worry. In such a situation, they desperately require courage. Those who should live for another decade or two lose their lives within a couple of years due to worrying. Hence by comforting them, they should be brought into the main line.
Symptoms of the disease
First stage: After being infected by HIV, a few display symptoms of flu. Later they get healed. The symptoms of this are fever, headache, joints pain, lethargy, ulcers in throat and mouth and itchy skin. During the last stages of HIV AIDS, the number of CD4+T cells in the body fall drastically thereby making the immune system almost entirely ineffective. Normally after being infected with HIV, the symptoms of AIDS come to the surface in 8-10years.
Symptoms: Drastic reduction in body weight, recurrent fever, cough with phlegm, vomiting, acute fatigue, white spots in the mouth, diarrhea, ulcers, amnesia, headache and giddiness.
Article by Shiva Foundation Math, Preeti Bhat translated into English by Aaron Dmello