In spite of the multiple campaigns on sexual education, AIDS is a disease that advances in silence. We could say that it is a wrongly stigmatized disease . Many people think that HIV is something that only the homosexual community contracts. And it is an error. It is a mistake of attitudes, of focus and understanding.
According to data from the Ministry of Health of Spain, and through work on monitoring HIV and AIDS, 53% of carriers are homosexual men between 24 and 34 years.
In the rest, in that 47%, anyone who commits the risk of unprotected sex, or who makes shared use of injected drugs, can enter.
Today in our space we invite you to make us all aware of this disease that, up to now, has taken the lives of 34 million people.
A virus that does not understand races or sexual orientation
HIV advances and the responsibility belongs to everyone. In Spain, and only by way of example, it is known that 10 people with the HIV virus are diagnosed every day . This implies an increase of 3% compared to 2014.
And the same happens in the rest of the countries. Have we neglected? Why do not we become aware of the need to maintain relationships with protection? 80% of cases have sexual contact as an infection route , which is why health organizations carry out so many information campaigns.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, one in every 20 adults is infected with the HIV virus
- To this day there is no cure for HIV infection
- The disease can be controlled as long as the patient leads a healthy , controlled life and with an adequate treatment with antiretroviral drugs.
- Treatment with antiretroviral drugs is very expensive, which is why in some countries many people with low or middle income have excessive problems to maintain their therapy.
What is AIDS?
- We have to differentiate between the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS.
- The disease is caused by a virus, HIV, which attacks the immune system, weakens it, so that the patient is unable to cope with infections and some types of cancer.
- As the virus progresses and we have fewer functional immune cells, our body becomes immunodeficient. All this will be determined by the number of immune cells that remain, defining the degree and the state in which the disease is found.
- It is precisely in the most advanced phase of HIV infection when we already acquire the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS.
- AIDS takes between 2 and 15 years to become evident. Meanwhile, we will be carriers of the HIV virus.
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You know someone and at that moment you trust …
This is the phrase most often heard of people who have been diagnosed with HIV. Since 80% of infections are sexually transmitted, we must take into account these aspects:
- HIV is transmitted through contact with body fluids of infected people, such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions or breast milk.
- Nobody is infected by saliva, by kissing, by simply touching their hands or by sharing food or glasses.
- The biggest source of infection is to practice unprotected sex.
- We also have to be careful when using injections or syringes. We should never share them.
- The transmission of HIV by punctual accidents with syringes by health personnel is also common.
- Receiving unsafe blood transfusions, or undergoing certain medical procedures, can also transmit the disease to us. However, contagion through this route is, in general, very low.
Europe registered more than 142,000 cases of contagion last year
We could talk about record, but the word indirectly denotes some kind of triumph. And, of course, this data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) is not.
There are parts of Europe, as is the case in Eastern Europe, where the figures have doubled . The health institutions are alarmed at this figure, because 142,000 registered cases only give us an approximate clue as to what the reality may be.
The reason? If we take into account that the disease does not give clues until 2 or 15 years, there are many people who are carriers and do not know it.
Another fact to keep in mind is that, although HIV is getting stronger, mortality rates have dropped significantly.
One can live as a carrier without developing the disease, however, as we have indicated before, we must undergo a costly but effective treatment. Antiretrovirals are the best protection against HIV.
Therefore, whatever age we are, regardless of our sexual orientation, we need to be aware of the following:
- The use of condoms
- Undergo HIV testing (they are painless)
- Be careful with the use of syringes.
- Transmit this same information to our children