Today is World AIDS Day

In case you’re wondering, the red ribbon stands for solidarity with HIV and AIDS patients.

Statistics have reported that AIDS and HIV cases have risen over the years. This is very alarming, as the said disease or causative agent still does not have any reliable and documented cure. Fortunately, we can be involved in a temporary solution: By spreading awareness, taking action in causes, and promoting responsibility.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease wherein the human body’s immune system is affected. The immune system is the body’s main defense against disease. It involves the white blood cells, antibodies, and the body’s natural filters like the kidneys and the lymphatic nodes. The cause of said disease is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It is spread through bodily fluids—blood, saliva, semen, vaginal excretions, and even breast milk. Methods of transmission involve blood transfusion, vaginal, oral, or anal sex, through contaminated hypodermic needles, through mother-and-fetus nutrient and blood exchange (in pregnancy), childbirth, breastfeeding, or any other form of exposure.

Symptoms of the disease are manifested in diseases that are otherwise not seen in persons with healthy immune systems. They can be respiratory like from the simple cough or colds to pneumonia and tuberculosis. They can also be gastrointestinal tract infections or diseases. Another outlet for disease would be neurological (the brain) or psychiatric (behavior). It is essential to note that people with HIV are at risk for incurring malignancies and cancers. So, it should be no surprise if both AIDS and a certain cancer has been diagnosed in a person.

Most people would say that the death of an AIDS patient would be by AIDS itself. This is not true. The cause of death will be from the aforementioned diseases/symptoms. Because AIDS patients have a weakened immune system, they are unable to combat the diseases that they get—even the simple cough and colds. These diseases would continue to worsen with the malfunctioning immune system until their bodies give up. This is why it is important for an AIDS patient to remain healthy, safeguard his/herself from infections, and lessen contact with disease-infected individuals.

There are reported drugs utilized in the treatment of AIDS, but these only slow down the prognosis of the disease—it means that the period for the disease to spread throughout the body is slowed, just to give more time for the patient. They don’t decrease the fatality of the disease. THERE IS STILL NO KNOWN CURE.

How do you avoid the disease? Simple. Never get into injected drugs, or any prohibited drugs for that matter. Aside from the addictive and negating effects of prohibited drugs, they can also the site of HIV transmission if the needles are shared with an unsuspected HIV carrier. Abstain from sex. You may not know it, but your partner may have HIV. Sex is not meant to be done before marriage. Sure, we are sexual beings, but that doesn’t mean that we can just fool around. Wait until after getting married. It’s much more romantic that way. Consent to HIV testing before getting married. It will save your life. If you or your partner has a positive result, talk about things. It will test the strength of your relationship (which is always good) and bring you closer together (despite some pain). Stick to one—or, don’t be monogamous. Multiple partners or participants in orgies can have HIV and they may not know it. Sure, species of the animal kingdom have sex with a lot of partners, but that doesn’t mean that we should bring ourselves down by being like them. We are on top of the food chain, we are supposed to be superior. If you really can’t help it, consider safe sex—condoms. Take note that the withdrawal method is not very effective as there still is raw contact with vaginal or seminal fluids.

You may laugh at this post. You may be a sexually active person or a drug addict. But once you get the disease and you finally realize your mortality, everything is not a laughing matter anymore. Take my advice, don’t let yourself succumb to irresponsibility, indifference, last-minute regrets.

For more information, here is the AIDS Society of the Philippines website.

This is the World AIDS Day website.

And, this is the AIDS 2010 website.

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Published by

Recis Dempayos

Budding YouTuber / vlogger, occasional blogger, aspiring multimedia artist.

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