As we get closer to 2019, the excitement of the holidays, shopping sprees and discount seasons are
getting higher and a whole lot that comes with the holidays.
But in the midst of all this; a very important day is dawning with the new month; the day the whole
world shines a light on one of the biggest epidemics we have ever had worldwide. The World AIDS
Day is celebrated on the first of December every year to shine the light on the very real scourge of
HIV and AIDS that is affecting a lot of individuals especially in developing countries such as Nigeria.
Despite strides that have been taken to minimize the spread of HIV and AIDS with proper
sensitization; over 130, 000 deaths, adults only, were recorded in the year 2017 from AIDS. With a
whooping 1.8 million children orphaned from AIDS, there is no doubt the menace is far from over.
The HIV and AIDS pandemic can only be effectively curbed with the proper and efficient
dissemination of information.
The WHO and UNAIDS are working with a concerted effort toward ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.
The World AIDS Day 2018 is dedicated towards HIV testing. According to the UNAIDS, 75% of HIV
infected people know their status. But nevertheless, the remaining 25% run into millions of people
and at-risk lives.
The goal remains to reach these ones to know their status and learn how to live with it.
Also; a good number of people living with HIV have a reduced viral load which makes them relatively
non-infectious. If more people know their status and take their meds, there will be much less
occurrences of new HIV infections.
Individual Actions to Contribute.
Some of the aims of proper sensitization include
1. Debunking popular myths about AIDS AND HIV.
2. Education about safe sex practices as well as correct information on HIV and AIDS
3. Stopping stigmatization of people living with HIV.
Some Basic Facts about HIV and AIDS
1. Direct contact with a carrier or even kissing or sharing eating utensils will hardly result in
contracting the virus.
2. People living with HIV can have a full and long life as long as it doesn't degenerate to AIDS.
3. Females are more receptive to contracting the virus by unsafe sec with an infected person.
4. There are now drugs which can protect a negative person from contracting HIV and these drugs
are given to at risk people especially those caring for or married to infected individuals.
5. Mother to child infections are 100% preventable with proper care and since most of those
infections are via breast milk.
6. People with STIs are more susceptible to contracting HIV as well as people with HIV are
susceptible to other STIs
Remember that a positive test result is not the end of the world. About 47% of people living with HIV
have a suppressed viral load. All it takes is some proper information and access to medication.
You can only know your status by getting tested in a trusted lab or hospital. Follow up tests should
be carried out every 3months.
Stay safe; get tested and always protect yourself. HIV is real.