AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) has become a prominent health issue not only in the United States but around the globe. Finding a cure would be ideal, however the best way to combat AIDS is to arm people with knowledge about the disease. To spread awareness about AIDS, the month of December has been dedicated to educating people on the disease, how to prevent it, and how to live with it.
AIDS is caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) which is a virus that attacks the immune system by destroying cells that help you to fight off diseases. HIV is transmitted from human to human through bodily fluids. These fluids include, but are not limited to, blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluids. HIV can be spread by sexual contact, needle sharing, or any other transfusion with infected blood.
Although there is no cure for AIDS, it can be treated and prevented. Some ways to prevent the contraction of HIV includes practicing safe sex, using new/clean needles, and knowing your HIV status along with the status of your partner(s). Getting tested for HIV is simple and often time includes getting a blood sample drawn via a needle or a mouth swab. The arrival of test results range anywhere from 20 minutes to a few days.
The theme this year for World’s AIDS Day is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.” The Getting To Zero Campaign continues until 2015 with a goal of Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination, and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. World Aids Campaign is encouraging AIDS/HIV organizations to select one of the three zeroes as their focus for the next two years.
Knowledge is power, so this month gain awareness about AIDS/HIV and decrease your chances of contracting a disease that is preventable. For more information about AIDS awareness visit AIDS.gov.
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