Monday, December 01, 2008

Ignorance is not bliss

Today is worldwide AIDS day so here are some facts about it:

Are HIV and AIDS the same?
No. When someone is described as living with HIV, they have the HIV virus in their body. A person is considered to have developed AIDS when the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of diseases with which it would normally cope.

Why do people find it hard to tell others they are HIV positive?
People living with HIV may find it hard to tell others about their condition as they worry that people will reject them, or they will experience prejudice from friends, family and colleagues. People living with HIV can also experience discrimination in their workplace, in healthcare settings, from members of their local community and through the media.

HIV prejudice is often the result of ignorance about how HIV is passed on and unfounded fear of becoming infected. Encouraging those around us to talk about HIV and find out the facts can help overcome this.

Is there a cure for HIV?
No, but treatment can keep the virus under control and the immune system healthy. People on HIV treatment can live a healthy, active life, although they may experience side effects from the treatment. If HIV is diagnosed late, treatment may be less effective in preventing AIDS.


The 1st of December, World AIDS Day, is the day when individuals and organizations from around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic. 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. While we have come a long ways since 1988, there is still much more to be done. Go here to read more about the campaign.

Here are some stats:

One in three people with HIV are undiagnosed.

39.5 million people living with HIV worldwide
37 million adults
17.7 million women
2.3 million children under 15

New HIV cases in 2006:4.3 million total new cases
3.8 million adults
530,000 children under 15

HIV-related deaths in 2006:2.9 million total deaths
2.6 million adult deaths
380,000 deaths among children under 15

Take action to help fight these trends among AIDS effected children HERE

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