Every year, there is a continuous rise in the number of individuals who are infected with the virus wherein most of them die from its complications. Since its discovery in 1980's, it generated a massive phobia that results to negative publicity in various mass media such as television, print media, and social media. Today, the majority of the population is still unaware of the prevalence of this disease that may risk their health and life due to the risk of being abused by other individuals including their friends and families. Today, there is still no cure for the disease, which is a concern to the public because scientists are still in the process of developing a possible cure to create a new breakthrough with the disease.
Being infected with HIV can signify that this will be the end of your life. The reason behind is that you are now living with the stigma where people will start ignoring you because you are already living in a dilemma that could harm your personal well-being. As a person, living with HIV/AIDS is a situation that will risk you to several consequences. These are abusive practices made by the ignorance of thought about the disease. It may look like an impossible scenario, but there are numerous experiences of patients who suffered physical, verbal, and emotional abuse by their friends and strangers while suffering from the disease.
|Red Ribbon tribute sign for the victims of HIV/AIDS
Regret is the ultimate consequence for a person infected with HIV that will soon turn into AIDS once the body starts to shut down its immune system. People who suffer from the disease always isolate themselves from the public or any social gatherings to prevent themselves from interacting with other individuals. Whenever an infected person is aware in their condition, they start to decline any public-related affairs where they are required to meet different kinds of individuals because they are vulnerable to consequences of opportunistic infections to their body.
Numerous healthcare organizations around the world decided to mark December 1 of each year to be the world AIDS day. This is a time to commemorate all infected individuals who are suffering from the stigma due to the social taboo that has been created by the society. World AIDS Day is also a time for those who perished from the complications of the disease to be remembered as a reminder to the present generation regarding the efficiency of disease awareness and prevention. The theme of World AIDS Day is to further intensify a campaign to decrease the number of cases infected with HIV and AIDS that will decrease the threat of the pandemic.
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WATCH: 10 Facts about HIV and AIDS infection to prevent the spread of the disease:
1. You will never be cured of the disease
What is HIV?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the main causative agent responsible for infecting millions of individuals worldwide. It is a lentivirus, which is a subgroup of retrovirus strain that can cause HIV infection. When the virus enters the body, it aims to target the immune system, particularly the CD4 cells, where it attaches itself with the cell in order to replicate and forms a new virus that will repeat the same cycle in order to multiply inside the body. Once infected, the virus will stay in your body for the rest of your life.
When the virus completely suppresses the immune system of its host, there will be little or no available CD4 cells to defend the body against pathogenic microorganisms. HIV infection will be upgraded into AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). It is a status that will then makes the host that becomes vulnerable to opportunistic infections. Several viral, bacterial, fungal, and Plasmodium generated diseases to further shorten the lifespan of the host. If your HIV status develops into AIDS, this means that you start praying because your time is already near.
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2. You can have at least four different options to be infected
Mode of Transmission of HIV infection can be transmitted through the following:
- Blood transfusion is one of the most common transmission. This is caused by a contaminated blood being transfused to an uninfected individual.
- Unprotected physical intercourse is a direct contact wherein contaminated fluid will be responsible for causing a new infection by an infected partner to uninfected partner.
- Sharing of contaminated needles by drug users as well as clinics that practice unsanitary medication administration that infects their patients.
- Childbirth is also considered as a mode when the infected mother introduces HIV to their unborn child.
3. You can transmit the disease by the following risks
Who are at risk?
- Individuals who frequently engage in an unprotected contact to earn money.
- Drug users who share contaminated needles with fellow users.
- Men having an unprotected physical contact with other men that do not practice safe sexual contact.
- Patients who immediately need a blood transfusion.
- Unborn child from an infected mother.
- Rape victims by an infected suspect.
- Hospital workers exposed to contaminated objects and other pathogens.
- Cannibals who unknowingly preys on infected individuals.
4. You will experience these symptoms to your body FOREVER
Signs and symptoms
- Acute Stage: After two to four weeks of infection, a patient may develop flu-like symptoms such as coughing, colds, and dizziness. The lymph nodes start to swell that can be felt around the neck. Gastrointestinal diseases can be experienced such as diarrhea, or vomiting. Peripheral neuropathy may also develop that can last for at least one week.
- Latency Stage: After two to three months, the patient is asymptomatic. However, CD4 cells start to decrease. Latency can last for at least between five to ten years depending upon the resistance level of the patient. During this stage, HIV can be detectable but can be controlled when the patient takes regular doses of retroviral drugs.
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: This is the stage when the person will now experience several opportunistic infections. Patients suffer from respiratory disease brought about by pneumocystis Carini bacteria, Kaposi's sarcoma showing nerve damage, viral infection, parasitic infection, and fungal infections.
5. You can only treat but will not cure it
Management of patients with HIV/AIDS
- Antiviral therapy: This is the most common and the most effective treatment for individuals who are already infected with HIV. a combination of anti-retroviral medication to decrease the number of HIV to the patient and increases the number of CD4 cells.
- Anti-infective drug treatments for opportunistic infections: Patients with HIV/AIDS usually develop opportunistic infections such as pneumonia, sexually transmitted infections, and frequent bacterial infections. Anti-biotics, antibacterial, and anti-fungal medications decrease signs and symptoms of opportunistic infections.
- Diet therapy: Eating foods that are rich in fibers and nutrients aims to strengthen the body. Natural sources of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetable helps the body to acquire additional nourishment to fight pathogenic microorganisms.
- No alcohol, no cigarette smoking, no extreme physical activities: These can further degrade your immune system, attracting opportunistic infections that can target your respiratory system, digestive system, and then your circulatory system.
6. You will regret doing precautionary measures when you were still healthy
Prevention of HIV/AIDS transmission
- Monogamous relationship: Most infected individuals are always engaged with multiple partners due to uncontrollable physiological urge. If your partner has been involved with other individuals in a sexual relationship, you should immediately terminate your relationship and test yourself.
- Use sterile needles: When undergoing any medical or surgical procedures, all medical equipment should be sterile. This is to prevent any risk for transmission of pathogenic microorganism including HIV.
- Blood screening: It is always a protocol to ensure that the donated blood for transfusion is screened not only once but twice as necessary to prevent any risk of being infected.
- Ethical dilemma during pregnancy: If you are already infected with HIV, you will suffer a long-term burden for transmitting the virus to your baby forever.
6. You can retire from your stressful work
It is our dream to be free from work and start receiving a pension. However, if you are already infected with HIV, you will be immediately terminated because your condition can cause conflicting interests with your company or institution. It is mandatory for every company for all applicants and employees to have an annual medical examination to ensure that they will monitor their health and prevent any risk of infection.
You can be also denied from traveling abroad. Most foreign countries want to ensure that any infectious diseases will not be introduced by foreigners, keeping their civilians safe. This means you will only be allowed working to your country where there are few countries that accept employees with HIV.
7. You can enjoy yourself for being a loner at last
Real friends are hard to find. If your friend will know about your situation, most of them will start ignoring you and removing you from their friend. This is a social dilemma for any society because not all people possess the character for being open-minded to accept you with open arms for whatever you are. You will realize that you have no real friends at all. You cannot deny that discrimination basing on a person's medical condition is still rampant in our society due to lack of awareness. This is the consequence when you have this type of infection.No more parties, no more meet-ups, and no more hang-outs. This is going to be really sad.
8. You will be a celebrity in the public
There are some people who love to be talked about by many. If you are this kind of person, well, it is your turn to shine baby. Prepare to be in the limelight for being the talk of the town of in hot seat because you are going to drop a bomb that can create massive attention to the public when you are now living with HIV. Once you drop a bomb, your image will be known to the public as soon as possible. You will be mentioned on several social media websites, text messages, or even on the news.
9. If you are a businessman, your business will finally close
If your customers will learn that you have had just been infected with HIV, they start having doubts if your product is safe enough for them to buy it. You cannot blame if there are individuals who are not been fully informed about the disease. They still overreact to any new issue that created a negative reaction against the person who has been the center of the issue. If this happens, more and more people will start changing the brands or the product that they use, potentially losing revenues, leading to bankruptcy.
10. You will feel that it is already the end of the world
Most people who have just been infected by the disease will start thinking about dying. Some opted to fight back in order to prevent their condition from upgrading into AIDS by taking supplements as well as maintaining their health by regularly taking anti-retroviral medications. However, some start to plan to end their life because they feel that they are no longer needed in this world.
*Please spread this reminder to protect your friends from health risks
*READ: Risks of eating processed foods on a regular basis you should know
*READ: Risks of eating processed foods on a regular basis you should know