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This World AIDS Day, make sure to know what it is all about

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The current generation is the first to have never experienced a world without HIV and AIDS. In the United States, young people aged 13 to 24 account for more than one in every five new HIV diagnoses. Around 51% of HIV-positive youngsters were uninformed of their status at the end of 2016. In 2015, gay and bisexual males accounted for the majority of new HIV diagnoses among youth; 54 percent of newly diagnosed males were black, 25% were Hispanic/Latino, and 16% were white. Youth with HIV are the least likely of any age group to be linked to care.

Challenges being faced in prevention from HIV

  1. Low risk perception- In a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, the majority of 15- to 24-year-olds in the United States stated they were unconcerned about being diagnosed with HIV, implying that they may not take precautions to protect their health.
  2. Low testing rates- Only 10% of high school pupils have had their HIV tested. Only 21% of male students who have sexual contact with other males had ever gotten their HIV tested.
  3. Condom use is uncommon- The last time they had sexual intercourse, 43 percent of all sexually active high school students and 49 percent of male students who had sexual contact with other guys did not use a condom.
  4. The total number of partners- In comparison to 12 percent of all students who had ever had sexual contact, one-third (33%) of male students who had sexual contact with other guys reported sexual intercourse with four or more people over their lives.
  5. Use of drugs- 22 percent of the 34 percent of sexually active students in the United States had consumed alcohol or used drugs prior to their most recent sexual encounter.

 

Symptoms

HIV symptoms vary from person to person and are also affected by the stage of infection. Despite the fact that HIV patients are most infectious in the first few months after infection, many do not realise they are infected until much later. In the first few weeks after infection, people may have no symptoms or symptoms that are similar to influenza, such as fever, headache, rash, or sore throat. When the virus weakens the immune system, further symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhoea, and cough may appear. In the absence of therapy, they could get serious illnesses such as tuberculosis (TB), cryptococcal meningitis, bacterial infections, and cancers such as lymphomas and Kaposi’s.

The disease can be spread in a variety of ways, including:

 

  1. Via infected people’s bodily fluids, such as blood, breast milk, sperm, and vaginal secretions.
  2.  From a mother to her unborn child.
  3. By engaging in unprotected sexual activity.
  4. Sharing or exchanging contaminated needles, syringes, or any other injecting equipment.

Treatment

HIV damages the immune system, decreasing the body’s defences against diseases and malignancies that healthy immune systems are able to resist. According to the World Health Organization, HIV infection has no treatment. HIV infection has become a manageable chronic health condition, allowing people living with it to enjoy long and healthy lives, largely to greater access to effective HIV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Treatment with antiretroviral (ARV) medicines can help manage HIV. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) can not cure HIV infection, but it does decrease viral replication in the body, allowing the immune system to recover and fight off opportunistic infections and some cancers.

 

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