Written By: Zunaira Irshad
December 1st marks the designated day for the awareness of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). It is a medical condition that is caused by a virus known as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). People get this virus through contaminated syringes, specific body fluids, and mainly due to unsafe sex. It can also be transferred from mother to baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. The virus attacks T-cells in our body that are responsible for fighting against the harmful microorganisms which enter our body. The major physiological effect is the suppression of the immune system which leads to certain infections and fatal conditions. Thus, making it the 4th leading cause of death worldwide. These consequences include untreatable issues regarding the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, kidneys, bones, liver, urinary tract, and even cognition. Moreover, in most severe cases it can lead to cancer too.
It is a progressive disease and it takes almost 10 years for the HIV infection to convert into AIDS. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment (Anti-HIV drugs) can decrease the severity of the infection. It is too effective that the person can live a healthy life with AIDS till the average life span.
But, to live a healthy life with AIDS, treatment of only physiological consequences isn’t sufficient. Health is the amalgamation of sound physiological, psychological, and social being. People suffering from AIDS go through severe ignominy. Therefore, once they get diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, they keep it a secret. They don’t prefer to talk about it. Consequently, they feel shame in visiting the concerned doctors. They deny taking the necessary treatment, leaving them in a miserable state.
AIDS is considered as one of the most devastating stigmas of our society which makes the lives of suffering people the worst one. The humiliating behavior of US, the people of society, makes the people suffering from AIDS psychologically ill. The combination of this psychological and physiological torture leaves them in a devastated state of mind and body. People in the world are suffering and a little word of kindness can change lives. We should give hope to the ones who are suffering. We should raise awareness about the early detection of HIV so that it should be treated before converting into AIDS. People suffering from AIDS have the ‘’right to health’’, therefore, we should promote ‘’know your status’’ because ‘’communities make the difference’’ which will result in ‘’ ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic; resilience and impact’’.
It is the right time to join hands in breaking the stigma. We need to raise awareness about the prevention and early diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. Our supportive behavior can make lessen the misery of the ones who are suffering all alone, who are shamed in society, who are physically, psychologically, and socially deteriorating. We need to be more accepting so that the sufferings of such people can be eased. Only after this, we can make this world a better place to live.
Hence, on this December 1st, wear the red ribbon and show your support and solidarity with the people living their life with AIDS because THEY NEED YOU.