World AIDS Day 2022: Every year on December 1, the world observes World AIDS Day. It is held to honor AIDS patients as well as to show support for those who are HIV-positive. World AIDS Day was established in 1988 as the first international health day. This day also serves as a call to action for people worldwide to band together in order to close the gaps and disparities that limit HIV testing, prevention, and access to care.
It is common to mix up HIV and AIDS. They are distinct diagnoses, but they are linked: HIV is a virus that can lead to AIDS, also known as stage 3 HIV.
What is HIV?
HIV is an abbreviation for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. If left untreated, the virus causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. Unlike other viruses, the human body cannot completely eliminate HIV, even with proper treatment. So once you get HIV, you’re infected for life.
What Is AIDS?
The most serious stage of HIV infection is AIDS. People with AIDS have severely compromised immune systems, which may lead to an increase in the number of severe diseases known as opportunistic infections.
The virus causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a chronic, potentially fatal disease (HIV).
AIDS, also known as stage 3 HIV, occurs when HIV has caused significant immune system damage. It is a complex condition with varying symptoms from person to person. Stage 3 HIV symptoms are related to infections that a person may develop as a result of having a damaged immune system that is unable to fight them as effectively. Tuberculosis, pneumonia, and other infections are examples of opportunistic infections.
HIV is a virus, and AIDS is a disease that the virus can cause. An HIV infection does not always progress to stage 3. In fact, many HIV-positive people live for years without developing AIDS. A person living with HIV can expect to live a near-normal life due to advances in treatment.
HIV can only be transmitted through specific activities such as:
Having sex without protection,
Infected blood transmission,
Sharing contaminated needles or other sharp objects,
During pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, from a mother to her baby.
What Are the Stages of HIV Infection?
- Acute HIV infection
- Clinical latency
- AIDS – Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.