25 December 2011

Highest Hiv/Aids Affected Nation Swaziland

HIV is a world wide epidemic and has been responsible for millions of deaths all across the globe. Africa is one of the most severely hit regions, with Swaziland being one of the top most affected countries, with an HIV prevalence rate of 42.6%.

With the average life expectancy dropping drastically, HIV/AIDS was soon declared a national disaster by King Mswati III in 1999. However, despite this, HIV continued to increase its spread and the average life expectancy continued to fall; so much so, that currently it stands at less than 32 years. It may sound unbelievable, yet it is true. Add to this a declining economy and you have a perfect recipe for disaster.

Some of the major reasons for such a disastrous journey are as follows:

1. A major reason for the widespread damage that has been caused by the virus is stated to be lack of proper knowledge in regard to the spread of HIV at such an alarming rate amongst people of Swaziland. As it is, the majority of the population has little or no access to proper education, leading to unawareness in this regard. A result of this; HIV continuing its spread.

2. Lack of proper testing facilities is another cause, as to why HIV has affected Swaziland to such a large extent. Lack of proper infrastructure is a main cause for the inadequate number of testing facilities; as a result of which, this virus has spread to such an enormous extent.

3. Also, Swaziland being a poor nation is not in a position to afford the costly medical treatment, which is required in such cases. So, while the rich nations have been able to upgrade their medical facilities to increase the average lifespan, Swaziland has to remain content with outdated medical facilities, which are many a time, of absolutely no use.

4. With the rising death toll, the economy has been severely affected, which makes it further difficult to address the situation. So, lack of proper nutrition leads to rapid growth of the virus. As a result AIDS strikes faster than what it would usually do, as the immune system is already weakened due to lack of proper nutrition.

Swaziland is on a high alert and the situation is getting murkier with every passing day. One needs to realize the fact that our brothers and sisters residing in Swaziland really need our help and it is our duty to help them, on humanitarian grounds. Therefore, my personal request to you; donate generously for the cause.

18 December 2011

AIDS Virus and Black population in Africa

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is spreading at a very fast rate. In near future, the number of deaths due to AIDS is expected to increase at an alarming level; and may even exceed the total number of deaths recorded in both the world wars. It is due to this reason that proper and timely action needs to be taken, to reduce the impact that this virus is potent of causing.

As it is, the black population is one of the worst affected. There are several reasons for it. The following are the main reasons as to why the black population is severely affected by this virus:

1. The first and foremost reason which is stated is that, the genetic build up of the colored race is more vulnerable to getting infected by the virus. Although there are no conclusive proofs to justify this logic, a large number of scientists all across the world believe it to be the primary cause of the mayhem that HIV has caused in the black community.

2. Another major reason for the widespread damage that has been caused by the virus is stated to be lack of proper knowledge in regard to the spread of HIV at such an alarming rate amongst people of the black community. As it is, the majority of the black population resides in the developing nations, who are not equipped with adequate resources, to spread further education in regard to HIV.

3. Lack of proper testing facilities is another cause, as to why HIV has affected the black community to such a large extent. Lack of proper infrastructure is a main cause for the lack of proper testing facilities; as a result of which, this virus has spread to such an enormous extent.

4. Also, poor nations are less likely to afford the costly medical treatment, which is required in such cases. So, while the rich nations have been able to upgrade their medical facilities to increase the average lifespan, poor nations of Africa have to be content with not so advanced medical facilities, which anyway, they would not be able to afford.

5. Widespread rumors are also the cause of the spread of HIV amongst people of the black community. A very widespread rumor, which severed the condition, was that having sexual intercourse with a virgin could treat AIDS. A number of young girls and children were eventually raped in order to get rid of the virus. However, this further aggravated the situation, further passing on the virus to many more people.

As it is, the need of the hour is to lend a helping hand to those affected by the virus, irrespective of their racial status. Although quite a few organizations have come forward for the rescue of the black community, as far as HIV is concerned; there is still a lot of work to be done to save our fellow colored brethren.

11 December 2011

Preventing HIV/AIDS and Other STDs With Safe Sex

HIV is an incurable disease and sadly does not have any cure till date. Therefore, it becomes all the more important for you to take precautionary measure, so that you do not get infected by this fearful disease. It is worth noting that there are a number of ways which can prevent you from being infected with HIV.

Sexual intercourse is by far the most common mode of transmission in case of HIV/AIDS infection. It therefore becomes very important for you, to practice safe sex, in order to save yourself from getting infected with HIV.

The following are some of the safe sex practices, which can help you in prevention from HIV infection:

1. Sexual abstinence
One of the major reasons for spread of HIV at such a rapid rate is unprotected sex. Therefore the best thing to do for you, if you do not wish to be infected with it is, to go for total abstinence from sexual activity, till you are married to a person who is tested free of HIV.

2. Monogamous relationship
 You always have the chances of getting infected with HIV, if you are having sex with a number of people. So, a monogamous sexual relationship with a person tested free of HIV, considerably reduces your chances of HIV infection.

3. Sexual protection measures
It may be so that you may not overcome the urge to have sex. However, you should never indulge in unprotected sex. Although condoms do not completely eliminate your chances of HIV infection; they surely do reduce your chances of infection by a considerable margin.

In case of condoms and other barriers of infection, it is better, to take care of a few things. First of all, you must use a different condom, every time you have sex. You must always use latex condoms. For lubricants; avoid using oil based lubricants, or petroleum jelly. They can damage the rubber of your condom. Use water based lubricants instead.

4. Avoid open cuts and wounds
Open cuts and wounds considerably increase your chances of contacting HIV. It is therefore advisable to refrain from open cuts and wounds. It is worth mentioning that, although HIV transmission has not found to take place in case of kissing; some cases have been reported where HIV transmission took place, due to bleeding gums.

Safe sex is an option that you can hardly forego, if you do not wish to be infected with HIV infection. Accepted, that it is rather tempting to go for unprotected sex, but you should always consider the grave danger to your life, which poses in the form of HIV/AIDS. Therefore play safe and avoid AIDS.

04 December 2011

Protection Against HIV Virus- Birth Control Pills

A very popular misconception among some people is that if they take birth control pills, they are protecting themselves not only from getting pregnant but also from infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Such misconceptions further aggravate the situation, by spread of the virus. Instead of adopting safe sex practices, people tend to use birth control pills, under the impression that they are taking proper precautionary steps.

It is therefore important to eradicate such misconceptions, in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Unprotected sexual intercourse is one of the major causes of spreading of the disease. It therefore becomes necessary to use a barrier, to reduce the risk of getting infected with HIV/AIDS, which is not the case with birth control pills. As it is, the male condom is by far the most important barrier that we have today. Apart from that, female condoms too play a very vital role in preventing the spread of the virus, via sexual intercourse.

Using a condom, does not in any way implies a risk free sexual intercourse, but it definitely reduces the risk of getting infected by a significant margin. However, there are a few things that you need to remember, before you go for a condom. The following are some of these factors that you must always consider:

1. The first thing that you need to see is that your condom needs to be a latex condom and should not be made of any other material, such as lambskin. This is because; latex or rubber would provide you with the maximum amount of protection during sexual intercourse.

2. Another important aspect that you should always keep in mind is that, your condom should be big enough to cover the entire penis. Any condom which does not cover your entire penis is actually increasing the chances of getting infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

3. Apart from that, you should see to it that, you are using a different condom, every time you are having sexual intercourse. This is very important and you should always remember it.

4. You should also check the packaging of the condom and see to it, whether it actually says anything about disease protection. Fancy and stimulating condoms which do not say anything about disease prevention should be avoided.

5. Proper storage of the condom would also play a very important role in prevention from getting infected. This is because, unless the condom is properly stored, then it might give way during sexual intercourse.

Using a condom lowers your risk of infection by a great margin; and although the safest form of sex is no sex at all, using a condom would greatly reduce your risk of getting infected. Birth control pills do not in any case provide any kind of protection against HIV as well as other sexually transmitted diseases.

01 December 2011

Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment for Hiv/Aids Disease

An HIV positive person has to undergo extreme physical trauma, during the later stages of the infection. HIV does not strike immediately, but lies dormant in your body for a considerably long time. During this period, it continuously weakens your immune system. Once your immune system is weak, it strikes in the form of AIDS, giving the victim absolutely no chances of survival.

A very unfortunate aspect of this deadly disease, is that, we still do not have any cure for HIV/AIDS, although, a number of antiretroviral drugs have been developed in recent times. These drugs can delay the arrival of AIDS, by a fairly long margin.
Apart from these retroviral drugs, a number of other alternate medicinal techniques have shown considerable promise. Ayurveda is one such therapy. Studies have suggested that many natural components, used in Ayurveda can be very effective in the treatment of HIV.

Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine, which originated in India, more than 6000 years ago. Ayurveda means the science or knowledge of life. Ayurveda makes use of a number of plants and herbs, along with minerals as well as many animal derivatives, such as milk and milk products, honey etc. for its medicinal purposes. These medicinal components are used individually as well as in combination and also with minerals, for treatment of a number of ailments, as well as for general health benefits. The following are some of the herbs, which are commonly used for the treatment of HIV/AIDS:

1. Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)

Amalaki or amla, or Indian gooseberry, is perhaps the richest known source of Vitamin C, which plays a very vital role in enhancing the immune system of the body. It has traditionally been used for curing number of diseases, such as inflammation, cancer, age-related renal disease, and diabetes. Nowadays, it is also used for the treatment of HIV.

2. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng, or Winter cherry has been traditionally used in Ayurveda, as a herb, which works to increase health and longevity. It is also considered to be a nontoxic herb that is said to normalize physiological function. Today, it is one of the most important components in HIV treatment.

3. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)

Tulsi extract has traditionally been used in Ayurveda, as a remedy for a number of ailments like common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria. Its usage in Treatment of HIV has shown promising results, resulting in a number of patent right applications.

Although Ayurveda is herbal and non cosmetic and has shown great results so far, it would be wrong to expect a miracle. In fact, unlike antiretroviral remedies, they would not show quick results. Apart from that, since they use a number of herbs, they may not also go along with your antiretroviral therapy. It is therefore; better, to go for proper consultation, before opting for Ayurvedic medicinal methods.

21 November 2011

Top 5 Deadly Diseases of the Developing World- Public health enemies

Public health refers to organized efforts, on part of government, as well as non government organizations, bodies, communities, as well as individuals, along with the society as a whole, in prevention of diseases, improving life span and maintaining over all health of the nation. As it is, public health plays a very vital role for the well being of a nation. In fact, it also plays a very crucial role in the economic development of the nation as well.

However, there are a number of diseases, which are very much dangerous for public health. The following is a list of major public health enemies, which kill a number of people each year:

1. HIV/AIDS
This is one of the most dreaded enemies of public health. It has been responsible for a number of deaths in the past few years and continues to do so at present. The most dangerous aspect of HIV/AIDs is that, we still do not have any cure for them, and thus, the only way of cure, is prevention from getting affected.

2. Cancer
Cancer has always been a major cause of concern, as far as public health was concerned. Despite all the medical advancement, in the last few years, cancer still continues to scare the wits out of us. This is because; it is still a deadly disease and continues to kill people with ease.

3. Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most deadly diseases of mankind. It is a silent killer, which does little, to warn a person, before it is too late. Many people, who are suffering from diabetes, are not even aware of it. This makes the situation, all the more difficult. With absolutely no control over the blood sugar level, the blood sugar level may at times lower drastically, resulting in serious repercussions.

4. Heart disease
Heart diseases are perhaps the most common cause of death in the United States. So, while you lay down on the couch, munching on potato wafers and watching the latest movie, did you ever realize the danger called heart disease? The answer might well be no. but while you continue with your erratic lifestyle; a word of caution for you. Heart disease is a major cause of death in America.

5. Osteoporosis
Millions of people in America suffer from osteoporosis. A direct result of poor bone health caused by nutritional decencies, such as lack of proper intake of vitamins B6, C, D, K, folic acid and minerals like magnesium, zinc, and cooper.

Public health is a major area of concern. It is worth reminding that not just the government; we as a nation need to stand up and wage a war against these enemies of public health.

15 November 2011

Herbal and Natural Treatment for Hiv Aids Disease

An HIV positive person has to undergo extreme physical trauma, during the later stages of the infection. HIV does not strike immediately, but lies dormant in your body for a considerably long time. During this period, it continuously weakens your immune system. Once your immune system is weak, it strikes in the form of AIDS, giving the victim absolutely no chances of survival.
A very unfortunate aspect     of this deadly disease, is that, we still do not have any cure for HIV/AIDS, although, a number of antiretroviral drugs have been developed in recent times. These drugs can delay the arrival of AIDS, by a fairly long margin. Along with these retroviral drugs, studies have also suggested the presence of many natural components, which can be very effective in the treatment of HIV.

The following are some of the most common herbal and natural treatments which are used by HIV infected people:

1. Licorice
Licorice has good quantities of glycyrrhizin acid. According to recent studies, it was found that, glycyrrhizin acid or GA as it is more popularly known as, can be quite effective in destructing cells which are latently infected with Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpes virus.

Now Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpes virus, or KHSV, is a virus, which is characteristic feature in cases of HIV/AIDS; and it supposedly helps the Human Immunodeficiency Virus to survive in latent stage. Therefore, it is suggested by many people that, licorice may ultimately emerge as a great tool for finding a cure for HIV. However, licorice needs to be taken in proper dose. A high intake of licorice may cause serious repercussions.

2. Garlic
Garlic is another major natural component, which is often used in case of natural treatment of HIV. Garlic has long been used for medicinal purposes in many cultures all across the world. However, in recent times, it has become quite popular as a natural HIV treatment in recent times. Garlic consists of good quantities of allicin, which is supposed to have strong antibacterial, antifungal, anti-clotting, and lipid-lowering effects.

3. Hypoxis (African potato)
Hypoxis or African potato, as it is most commonly known as, has been used for medicinal purpose for fairly long time in the treatment of internal tumors, urinary infection, along with nervous disorders, as well as many forms of cancer. Unconfirmed reports suggest it to be quite helpful in enhancing the immune system.

Although, many of these herbal therapies may be quite effective in improving your immune system; any herbal cure can not get you rid of HIV/AIDS. Any person claiming a 100% cure is actually fraud. Apart from this, many of these herbal cures may not go along with antiretroviral treatment. Therefore, before you go for any of these herbal supplements, you need to consult your physician.

11 November 2011

World Aids Day and Hiv Aids Awareness

As you must be aware of the fact that, HIV/AIDS is one of the most dreaded diseases of all times and is capable of wreaking havoc in a far more destructible manner than any terrorist outfit. It therefore becomes very necessary for us to act in a responsible manner and try to prevent the spread of this deadly virus.

A number of steps have been taken in the last few years by national as well as international organization to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Observing 1 December as the International World AIDS Day is an important step in this direction.

The first World AIDS Day was observed on 1 December 1988, as an initiative step by the World Health Organization (WHO). The event was supported by the United nations General Assembly and the International AIDS Conference in1988. As a result the International World AIDS Day came into force. The idea was to spread education in regard to how HIV gets spread and how to save oneself from getting infected with HIV.

In the initial years, however, the focus remained mainly around children and young people, but gradually, AIDS began to be addressed as a universal disease and other sectors of the society were also involved.

In 1996, another important step was taken in this regard and the United Nations program on AIDS (UNAIDS) came into force and took over the responsibility of organizing the World AIDS Day. As it is, in order to tackle the grave situation, which AIDS posed before us, it was decided, to create a universal campaign which could function, all through the year in educating and preventing the spread of the disease further. That was how the World AIDS Campaign came into force in 1997.

In 2004, however, the World AIDS Day became an independent organization. As it is, the World AIDs Day became something which everybody could take part in.

However, despite the best efforts of the organizations all across the globe, HIV continues to spread and affect a number of people all across the world. In the year 2007 itself there were more than two million new cases of HIV infection reported. Therefore, it becomes important that we as responsible world citizens realize this fact, that no organization can actually stop AIDS, until we act in a responsible manner. We should therefore take extensive steps in promoting the cause of the World AIDS Day and extend our full support in making this event a huge success, not only on 1st of December, but throughout the year.

There are a number of things that you can do. As it is, many people have organized charity events, art shows, musical shows etc. to gather funds for this cause. Also many people manufacture and sell red ribbons which are a universal symbol of AIDS awareness. You can take part in similar activity, by getting your event registered with the World AIDS Day. By doing so, you would do a great service to humanity.

04 November 2011

Fight Against Hiv/Aids viral diseases by UN

Although it is a relatively new disease, HIV has already killed millions of people all across the globe. With more than thirty three million infected people all across the globe, the role of the UN becomes all the more important.

As it is, UN has played a very vital role in addressing the problem called AIDS. In fact, it was one of the very few organizations which took initiative in this regard and took some concrete steps to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. The following are some of the important steps which were taken by the UN to lower the impact of HIV/AIDs:

1. World AIDS Day
Observing 1 December as the International World AIDS Day is by far the most important step in regard to promoting awareness as well as prevention of HIV/AIDS. The first World AIDS Day was observed on 1 December 1988, with support from the United nations General Assembly. As a result the International World AIDS Day came into force. The idea was to spread education in regard to how HIV gets spread and how to save one self from getting infected with HIV.

2. UNAIDS
In 1996, another important step was taken by the UN and the United Nations program on AIDS (UNAIDS) was formed. It was further decided, to create a universal campaign which could function, all through the year in educating and preventing the spread of the disease further. This resulted in the World AIDS Campaign in 1997.

3. International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA)
Formation of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa is another important step in this regard. As you might know that more than ninety percent of those affected with HIV are inhabitants of third world nations of Asia and Africa, it becomes very important to focus on these areas to prevent the spread of HIV to unmanageable limits. It was due to this reason that the ICASA was set up to address the grave situation posed by HIV in Africa.

As it is, UN has been playing a very vital role in spreading education about HIV/AIDS, all across the globe. The idea is to teach people about transmission, prevention and treatment facilities in regard to HIV/AIDs. This has been quite helpful in addressing the current situation, which may appear bleak today, but definitely gives us enough scope for a silver lining in future; thanks to UN for the effort they have taken on their part to curb this problem called HIV/AIDS.

UN warns Asian countries for Hiv/AIDS viral diseases

In the last few decades, since HIV became a sort of epidemic, the United Nations Organization has played a very vital role in addressing the problem called AIDS. In fact, it was one of the very few organizations which took initiative in this regard and took some concrete steps to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

By way of providing education to the people in regard to HIV, the United Nations has played a key role in trying to curb the problem of HIV/AIDS. In the last few years, it has engaged in providing medications to people affected with HIV.

However, despite the best efforts on their part, HIV is still affecting a lot many people, than what was expected. As it is, Asia is stated to be the next most affected region after Africa. It therefore needs timely action on the part of the Asian governments.

In fact, UN has recently warned that, Asia is slated to face the worst HIV crisis in the history of mankind, if these nations do not take adequate actions in this regard. This statement indeed seems true. With a huge population and lack of proper medical facilities in many region; HIV is a perpetual time bomb ticking away and unless timely action is taken, it can blast away huge populations and then the situation would be beyond any body’s control.

Although, Asia has still not been as badly affected, as Africa, it is just a matter of time, when the virus catches up in this region as well. Added to this, the stigma associated with AIDs/HIV in most cultures across Asia, can keep most people from getting an HIV test done, resulting a perfect recipe for a catastrophe.

According to a rough estimate, there are around seven million people in Asia who have been infected with HIV. This is an official estimate. Unofficial estimates however, say that the actual number is already at an alarming level. Further, this number could rise to absurdly high levels in near future. With thousands of new cases of HIV infections reported every year, Asia is on the verge of a major AIDS epidemic.

Another disturbing piece of statistic is that, there has been the rise of HIV cases in children up to fourteen years of age, by more than forty percent. This factor, may lead to more than two million HIV and AIDS related deaths each year.

It therefore becomes very important to address this problem in an adequate manner. Timely action on the part of the governments of Asia can actually help in preventing a major catastrophe from taking place. Otherwise, the situation would go beyond control.

12 October 2011

National HIV Testing Day

HIV/AIDS is one of the biggest challenges that we face in the modern times. As it is, the situation is getting worse day by day. A major reason for this is the fact, that, most people are not aware of the fact, that, they are infected with HIV.

This has changed the situation from bad to worse. As we see all around us, the world is filled with undetected cases of HIV infections. This is a potential danger. People most often, unknowingly infect others, who in turn pass the virus to someone else. This way, the cycle continues.

The best way that we have in our hand, to deal with this problem, is HIV testing; which can prove to be an important tool in stopping the disease from spreading further. An active step in this direction is the National HIV testing day.

National HIV testing day is being held on June 27 each year, for the past many years. The idea of this program is to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS, among the people, so as to minimize the spread of HIV.

Typically, HIV testing has a number of advantages. Some of them are as follows:

1. The first and foremost advantage of HIV testing is that, it stops you from spreading the virus any further, if you have knowledge of your infection. This means that you can save your partner from getting infected with the disease, by taking necessary precautions.

2. Longer life span is the second advantage of HIV Testing. Studies have shown a considerable improvement of the life span amongst those, who were affected by HIV/AIDS; where proper medication has actually slowed the progress of the virus. As a result, the life expectancy of the patients increased by as many as five to six years. This is a commendable thing, especially when it takes eight to ten years for HIV to develop into AIDS.

3. Thirdly, if you are a pregnant woman, infected with the virus, you have chances of lowering the risk of infecting your unborn child. Also, you can stop the virus from spreading to your children by way of breast milk.
According to a rough estimate, more than two hundred and fifty thousand people in America are infected with this disease; and a major portion of them are not even aware of it. This makes it a potent disaster waiting to happen. However, you can actually lower its impact. All you need to do is to register yourself for HIV testing and make the National HIV testing day, a great success.

Take the test, take control” is the theme of the National HIV testing events this year. Recently National HIV testing Day took place on June 27 across U.S with the motive of raising public awareness and saving lives.

The events which promoted awareness among the people against the deadly disease also offered free testing for the people.
The Health Officials believe that 250,000 Americans are infected with HIV, but do not know it.

If these people take part in such events and get themselves tested, then a lot of awareness can be built among them so that they take care of themselves and also save lives of others from being infected.

Other than this, three HIV/AIDS testing sites in the metro Detroit area will be available today. Testing will be conducted in the metro area at these locations:

The Midwest AIDS Prevention Project in Ferndale will be testing at 429 Livernois from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. today.

The city Department of Health and Wellness Promotion will be testing at Belle Isle Casino in downtown Detroit from 10 to 5 p.m.
AIDS Partnership Michigan will be testing at 2751 E. Jefferson in Detroit, though the times were not available Thursday.
The type of test varies by location. Some sites will test using a mouth swab, while others will use the finger-pricking method. No appointment is necessary. For testing sites elsewhere in Michigan, call 800-872-2437 or go online to www.aidspartnership.org. 

Margaret Jones, HIV counselor for the Detroit Health Department feels that Prevention is the key to avoid HIV/AIDS.
“We want to prevent the spread of HIV, so it is very important that everyone knows their status”. She said.
About 350 people test positive among the more than 68,000 tested for HIV each year at Michigan Department of Community Health sites. About 7,160 people in the city of Detroit were living with HIV/AIDS in April 2007, Jones said.
But unfortunately, not many are aware of their status.
Because anyone can get HIV, CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested as a routine part of their medical care. CDC also recommends that pregnant women be tested early during each pregnancy. This will help eliminate the spread of HIV to infants.

Early HIV diagnosis is critical, so people who are infected can fully benefit from available live-saving treatments. Currently, almost 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they have already developed AIDS that can be up to 10 years after they first became infected with HIV.

Finding out whether you are infected with HIV is the first step to improving your health and the health of your partners and your family. The week of June 27 there will be thousands of organizations offering HIV testing and hosting special NHTD events. Make plans to get tested and encourage others to get tested as well with an e-Card.

Organized annually by the National Association of People with AIDS* (NAPWA), with support from CDC, this year marks the 16th Annual NHTD. The theme of campaign – "Take the Test. Take Control" – highlights the need for HIV testing.

NAPWA and other NHTD organizers reach out to communities at increased risk of HIV infection, especially African American and Latino populations. HIV exacts a devastating toll on African Americans, who account for almost half of new HIV diagnoses (49% in 2006) but only approximately 13% of the population in the 33 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting. Latinos are also hard hit, accounting for nearly 20% of new HIV diagnoses (18% in 2006) but only approximately 13% of population in those 33 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting.

Gay Men and Hiv Aids Facts

HIV/AIDS is one of the most dreaded diseases of all times. As it is, it ahs effected a number of people all across the globe. In the initial years, when the retroviral drug therapy was not evolved, it was responsible for millions of deaths all around the world.

With the advent of the antiretroviral therapy, there has been a significant decline in the number of deaths due to HIV/AIDS. Along with this there has been significant development in relation to imparting education among people, in regard to HIV/AIDS. Many organizations have played a vital role in this regard.

However, despite their best efforts, to educate people, about, spread, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, there has been a rise in the number of myths and misconceptions regarding HIV/AIDS.

One of the most popular misconceptions, which have been there for a very long time, is that, HIV/AIDS is a gay disease. Now this is a misconception and the fact remains that, it is a disease, which affects gays and straight people alike. However, it is also true that, gays are more vulnerable to getting infected with HIV, mainly because, people involved in anal sex are more vulnerable to HIV, than those involved in vaginal sex.

This because, anal sex causes more breaks in the skin, which leads to an easy access for the virus to enter into the body. Apart from that, the virus can go up via the anal route and enter the colon; making infection a lot easier than it would have been in case of vaginal or oral sex.

It may be due to this reason, that HIV affects gays more than they affect other people. However, it needs to be mentioned, that people in heterosexual relationships are not a safer lot. In fact, you may feel safe, but at the end of the day, HIV does not actually differentiate between homosexuals and heterosexuals.

According to a survey conducted in 2005, it was revealed that a large number of homosexual males were infected by the virus. This led to a rise in awareness among gay right groups, who contributed a lot in imparting education related to the transmission, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
With this spread in education, many gay people were reported to have changed their sexual preferences and stay away from anal sex.

However, the problem does not end here, as a major cause of the spread of the virus, is unsafe sex. This needed to be addressed as well. Gay right groups made a huge contribution in this regard as well, by spreading awareness in this regard as well. These initial efforts were quite helpful in saving a lot many people from getting infected with the virus.

All this said and done, the need of the hour is to spread education in regard to HIV/AIDS and to protect your self from getting infected with the virus, irrespective of whether you are straight or you are gay. In case you are already infected, then in that case, it is your moral duty, to see to it, that you do not spread the virus further.

Hiv Aids Treatment- Healthcare Provider

Diagnosed with an HIV infection can indeed be a very traumatic experience. If your HIV tests show that you are an HIV positive person, then the experience can be really painful. In most cases, patients lose all hope and suicidal tendencies may even creep in.

As it is losing hope can never be the solution and the best thing to do is not to surrender. Since you are a born fighter, all you need to do is maintain your spirit and keep a cool head in such overwhelming times. You must always remember that panic would cause more damage to you than the virus.

It is worth mentioning that even if you have been detected with HIV, you still have many more years to live. In fact by way of proper medication, you can definitely improve your lifespan; and who knows, we may even find a cure for HIV during this period.

Now, that you are ready to take the bull by its horn, a healthcare provider can prove to be quite helpful in your fight against HIV. A healthcare provider is a trained professional, who has specialization in treating people living with HIV. Typically a healthcare provider would be of great use for you in the following ways:

1. Emotional support
If you have recently been diagnosed with HIV, then you would definitely need a lot of emotional support. A major concern for you at this stage would be how to disclose this fact to your family and friends. A healthcare provider can be of great help in this regard. He can provide you with regular counseling which can be of extreme help to you.

2. Extensive experience in medication
Since a healthcare provider is equipped with proper experience in regard to dealing with such cases, you can utilize his experience in this regard. He/she would make you aware of the latest medication which is available to you and how you get benefitted by using them.

He would also provide you with information in regard to the side effects of using these drugs and what kind of therapy would suite you the best, on the basis of your affordability.

3. Other information
Along with the above benefits, a healthcare provider would provide you with a lot more information, which can be extremely helpful for you, such as a healthcare provider would give you information in regard to the charitable organizations providing support to people in regard to treatment etc.

Despite all the benefits of a healthcare provider, he/she can not be of any use, unless and until you are ready to take up this fight against HIV. Your belief and spirit are the most important tools for you, in this fight. So, do not let your spirit die before an organism, which is so small that it is not even visible to you through naked eyes.

Non-Profit Organization helping African from HIV AIDS

When it comes to the AIDS epidemic, Africa is perhaps the most affected place on earth. Scientists have attributed this to a genetic code which makes them more vulnerable to the virus along with lack of proper infrastructure, as far as prevention from the disease is concerned.

According to a rough estimate more than ninety percent of those living with HIV reside in the developing nations, with an absurdly large chunk of this population residing in Africa. It therefore becomes all the more important for us, to strengthen our fight against HIV, with Africa being a region of prime focus.

Of late a number of non-profit organizations have come up, in order to support the cause of spreading education in regard to HIV/AIDS, as well as providing medical as well as other aids to those suffering from HIV.

Unfortunately many of these organizations are actually fraudulent. It is really sad to see that even in this hour of crisis; some unscrupulous elements indulge in fraudulent activities and misappropriation of resources.

However, most of them are actually doing a lot of good work in this regard. Most of these non profit organizations focus on rehabilitation of orphans, who have lost both of their parents to HIV. Others try to provide AIDS education, in order to prevent the disease from spreading further. They also try to eradicate the myths surrounding HIV, which is also of great help in prevention.

Since Africa is an underdeveloped region, therefore, it is very unlikely that, people here can afford to pay for the antiretroviral therapy. Some non-profit groups have also sprung up to address this problem. So you have many non-profit groups providing medication to the HIV affected people free of cost.

Despite this, when we look at the situation, we find all these efforts to be grossly inadequate in dealing with the situation. As it is, a majority of these groups employ semiskilled employees, with little or sometimes absolutely no medical knowledge, making the situation really dangerous.

Apart from this, another problem, which these groups face, is lack of funds, due to which, there activities get restricted to a few areas. Not just that, it also puts restrictions on their ability to employ skilled labor.

As it is, the situation in Africa is absolutely critical and the services of these non-profit groups are absolutely peanuts as compared to what is actually required. It therefore, requires us to move across the boundaries of race, culture and nationality; and extend our help to the cause of these non profit organizations.

What is A Vital Part of HIV Nutrition

HIV being such a deadly virus, with no cure till date, the only thing that an HIV positive person can do to increase his/her lifespan is to improve upon the immune system of the body. As it is, vitamins can play a major role in this.
HIV is a virus that weakens our immune system. It therefore, becomes very important for a person suffering with HIV to keep his immune system in good shape, in order to delay the arrival of AIDS.

Since the primary aim should be to keep your immune system in good shape, therefore, proper nourishment plays a very vital role in this regard. As it is adequate nutrition in the form of Vitamins, minerals and more importantly in the form of carbohydrates and fats can play a very pivotal role in delaying the onset of AIDS, thereby improving the lifespan of the patient.

Vitamin C is by far one of the most essential vitamins as far as strengthening the immune system is concerned. You can get a good supply of Vitamin C, by including lots of citrus fruits like lemon and tomatoes in your diet chart. However, vitamin C has its own disadvantages in case of antiretroviral drug therapy.  It would be therefore better, to consult a physician, to know about your ability to intake Vitamin C.

Vitamin B12 is another vital nutrient for an HIV positive person. Studies have shown that proper intake of Vitamin B12 can help in fighting problems like deficiency could lead to anemia, depression, neuropathy, rashes, and fatigue, along with serious problems like lymphocytes. Products like beef and chicken are rich in vitamin B12.

Along with these, proper dosage of Vitamin A can help in enhancing the production of helpful body chemicals that fights off the ill effects of HIV. As it is, Beta-carotene can be very effective for an HIV positive person in delaying the arrival of AIDS. Products like eggs, fish and milk are good sources of vitamin A.

Along with these, vitamin B1 and B6 can also prove to be very good for you in warding off the ill effects of HIV.
A major aspect of HIV infection is acute weight loss. Proper intake of carbohydrate and fat can help you in overcoming this problem. In fact, it has been found that, people with HIV infection burn more calories than average. Due to this reason, an above average intake of carbohydrates and fats is often recommended.

Protein is also another important nutrition that should be a part of your diet chart. This is because, people with HIV infection, tend to have a very low lean mass count. An adequate dose of protein can help you deal with this problem.

With the help of proper nutrition, you can improve upon the immune system of your body and increase your life expectancy as well. However, you must always remember, that, a more than required intake of nutrition can also be quite harmful. You should therefore, consult your doctor, to know about your proper dose of nutrition.

What Is a Serodiscordant Relationship

A serodiscordant relationship is a relationship, is one of the most challenging aspects of HIV infection. A serodiscordant relationship is a relationship in which, one partner is HIV positive and the other partner is HIV negative.

With a rapid growth in the number of HIV positive cases, such relationships have become quite common in recent times. Needless to say such relationships involve lots of feelings and quite often lots of stress. Most of such relationships do not last for a very long time; and the love and mutual understanding begins to crumble as soon as the HIV positive person begins to show signs of weakening.

Things may turn out to be pretty ugly at the time of diagnosis. When the HIV negative partner comes to know about the infection of the other partner, a number of thoughts spiral his/her mind. The very first thought that may appear in mind that this was a result of infidelity on the part of the HIV positive person, or may be due to drug abuse. As it is, in both the circumstances, the relationship is not likely to be continued for very long time.

Another challenge that is quite common in such relationships is that, one partner may constantly feel threatened of being infected with the virus. With still no cure for HIV, this is quite normal. Despite using protective barriers during sexual intercourse, there is always a significant amount of risk involved. Due to this reason, the HIV negative person may not be very keen on continuing the relationship, which may result in a feeling of being neglecting in the HIV positive partner.

Even if the relationship continues, the HIV positive partner is always under constant guilt of putting the other partner’s life at risk. This may further result in frustration and in many cases, severe depression.

However, it is better to accept the fact rather than grueling your mind as to WHY ME syndrome. Once you accept it, life would become much easier for you. As it is, in any relationship, the emotional aspect plays a more vital role than the physical aspect.

Due to this reason the number of serodiscordant relationships has taken a rise in recent years. Along with this, the stigma associated with HIV infection has also drastically reduced in recent years.

Nevertheless, serodiscordant relationships have a significant amount of risk involved in spreading the virus to the other partner, mainly through sexual intercourse. It is therefore advisable to practice safe sexual intercourse in a serodiscordant relationship.

A serodiscordant relationship involves a number of emotions. It is therefore required to go about with such relationships in a sensitive manner.

28 September 2011

Hiv/Aids and Condom

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the most dreaded disease of our times. The most dangerous aspect of HIV is the fact that it affects the immune system of the body, leaving you exposed to a number of diseases, with virtually no protection of any kind. Now, since the immune system of our body is responsible for warding off potential threat to the body, in the form of external factors, such as virus, bacteria and protozoa.

Since the immune system itself is damaged, an HIV+ patient has little hope. This is because HIV is still an incurable disease till date; and though we have many scientists claiming to find a cure, we still lack conclusive evidence on their part. Therefore, the best way to fight HIV/AIDS is to save you from getting infected.

Unprotected sexual intercourse is one of the major causes of spreading of the disease. It therefore becomes necessary to use a barrier, to reduce the risk of getting infected with HIV/AIDS. As it is, the male condom is by far the most important barrier that we have today. Apart from that, female condoms too play a very vital role in preventing the spread of the virus, via sexual intercourse.
Using a condom, does not in any way implies a risk free sexual intercourse, but it definitely reduces the risk of getting infected by a significant margin. However, there are a few things that you need to remember, before you go for a condom. The following are some of these factors that you must always consider:

1. The first thing that you need to see is that your condom needs to be a latex condom and should not be made of any other material, such as lambskin. This is because; latex or rubber would provide you with the maximum amount of protection during sexual intercourse.

2. Another important aspect that you should always keep in mind is that, your condom should be big enough to cover the entire penis. Any condom which does not cover your entire penis is actually increasing the chances of getting infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

3. Apart from that, you should see to it that, you are using a different condom, every time you are having sexual intercourse. This is very important and you should always remember it.

4. You should also check the packaging of the condom and see to it, whether it actually says anything about disease protection. Fancy and stimulating condoms which do not say anything about disease prevention should be avoided.

5. Proper storage of the condom would also play a very important role in prevention from getting infected. This is because, unless the condom is properly stored, then it might give way during sexual intercourse.

Using a condom lowers your risk of infection by a great margin; and although the safest form of sex is no sex at all, using a condom would greatly reduce your risk of getting infected.

How the Fight against HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS has grown into a sort of epidemic in today’s times. What makes it so deadly, is the fact that, it is a life threatening disease, which still does not have any cure. Although we have a number of retroviral drugs and medications, which help in increasing the lifespan of an infected person, it can not definitely be said to be a cure.

Now sadly, we do not have too many options that we can think of, when we consider a fight against HIV/AIDS. So, until the day, we are able to find a cure for HIV, the best way to fight this disease, is to prevent oneself from getting infected.

The following are some of the ways of prevention from HIV infection:
1. Blood transfusion
 In case of blood transfusion, you should always get the screening details of the blood. Similarly in case of organ transplantation screening would save you from getting infected with HIV.

2. Use sterilized needles
You should always use sterilized needles and disposable syringes, if you do not wish to be infected with HIV. By doing this, you significantly reduce your chances of infection. It is better to avoid piercing and tattoos; and even if you do wish to get a tattoo or piercing job done, then make sure, that the needles are properly sterilized.

3. Sexual abstinence
Unprotected sex is one of the major reasons for spread of HIV at such a rapid rate. Therefore the best thing to do for you, if you do not wish to be infected with it is, to go for total abstinence from sexual activity, till you are married to a person who is tested free of HIV.

4. Monogamous relationship
Having sex with a number of people would always increase your chances of getting infected with HIV. So, a monogamous sexual relationship with a person tested free of HIV, considerably reduces your chances of HIV infection.

5. Sexual protection measures
You should never indulge in unprotected sex. Although condoms do not completely eliminate your chances of HIV infection; they surely do reduce your chances of infection by a considerable margin.

6. Avoid open cuts and wounds
Open cuts and wounds considerably increase your chances of contacting HIV. It is therefore advisable to refrain from open cuts and wounds.

7. Precautions in case of pregnancy
 If you are pregnant, it is better to get an HIV test done. There are a few medication facilities, which considerably lower the chances of transfer of HIV from a mother to her unborn child. Also take advice from your doctor in regard to breast feeding, if you have been infected with HIV.

Apart from these basic steps, a considerably important step in regard to your fight with HIV is spreading awareness. Since unawareness is one of the major reasons for the wild spread of HIV, a major step in our fight with HIV, would be to spread awareness in this regard.

AIDS virus and the race war

One of the most significant developments in light of the gradual growth of HIV/AIDS as a killer epidemic is the floatation of a number of conspiracy theories. Most of these conspiracy theories harbor on the idea that, HIV/AIDS is a man made disaster.

As it is, further debates on this topic have led to a general boost to the already prevalent race war among the people. The following are some of the race related theories which have been floated for some time:

Conspiracy theory one: - AIDS/HIV is a virus designed by the US Government to eliminate the entire black race.
This theory is one of the most common theories of all times and has been in the circuits, for more than a decade. The theory has also found favor with a majority of people from the black community, as Africans and Afro-Americans are among the worst hit people. According to a recent survey, more than ninety percent of those affected by HIV/AIDS live in the developing and underdeveloped world.

Due to these reasons, the conspiracy theory that the HIV/AIDS virus was evolved in the US laboratories, as a well planned genocidal move to eliminate the non-white race. Irresponsible comments by many members of the Congress have added further fuel to the controversy.

Many more related conspiracy theories, suggesting the involvement of the WHO in the mass murder and genocide of the colored people have also surfaced in recent times. As it is, there were even claims that the vaccination program conducted by the WHO is a conspiracy to inject the black race with HIV/AIDS virus.

Conspiracy two: - HIV/AIDS was a laboratory experiment conducted on the black race.
This is another theory, which has become very popular in recent times. Supporters of this theory claim that the HIV/AIDS virus was actually part of a laboratory program, which went wrong. As it is the experiment was conducted on a number of people belonging to the black community. However, the experiment went wrong and HIV began its journey and continues to do so. People also suggest that, even when the experiments went wrong, practically no steps were taken to prevent it from spreading further. This was primarily because, the people at stake were not from the white community and so, the US government chose to play it down.

Conspiracy theory three: - HIV/AIDS is not at all a virus
This is by far the most bizarre theories of all times. Of late, it has been able to find favor with a number of people all across the globe. Supporters of this theory suggest that, HIV/AIDS is not at all a virus, but instead it is a result of certain drugs and vaccines which have been administered to the public and primarily to the black race.

There have been a number of conspiracy theories, related to the evolution and spread of HIV/AIDS. As it is, HIV/AIDS is one of the biggest problems till date and instead of focusing on who and why it started; it would be much better to focus on how to end it.

About AIDS and population control

With HIV becoming the biggest epidemic to challenge mankind, it is time to take some concrete steps in this regard. However, most people seem to be more concerned with the origin of the disease, rather than think of ways to stop the menace from getting out of control.

A major blockade to all the efforts of controlling the growth of HIV/AIDS, is the floatation of a number of conspiracy theories. One of the most popular of these theories is that, HIV/AIDS is in fact a man made disaster and has been developed by the US Government to control the population of the non whites.

This is one theory which has done great harm to the efforts undertaken by the UN to control the growth of HIV. As it is, the theory readily found favor with a majority of people from the black community, as Africans and Afro-Americans are among the worst hit people. This is very much evident, as according to a recent survey; which stated that more than ninety percent of those affected by HIV/AIDS live in the developing and underdeveloped nations of Africa and Asia.

As it is, the conspiracy theory revolves around a perception that the HIV/AIDS virus was evolved in the US laboratories, as a well planned genocidal move to eliminate the non-white race.

As if this was not enough, irresponsible comments by many members of the Congress have added further fuel to the controversy. Along with that, every now and then we have a retired CIA official or a retired FBI agent coming up with exclusive news in this regard.

These people claim to be forced by their conscience, into bringing such matter into the notice of the public. It is such an irony that these people do not get a call from their so called conscience, while they are still in office.

So, they come up with secret information, exclusively for the notice of the public on the basis of classified documents, which they had access to, while they were in offices. You are bamboozled by this latest piece of information and curse the government for its purely racist approach.

It would be interesting to know that, not just the US government, but even the WHO was not spared. As it is, the supporters of this theory have also suggested the involvement of the WHO in the mass murder and genocide of the colored people. There were claims that the vaccination programs conducted by the WHO in the 1960s and 1970s were in fact a conspiracy to inject the black race with HIV/AIDS virus.

Such theories have been quite detrimental to the world population, not only by way of deepening the racial divide, but have been very instrumental in jeopardizing the UN cause of controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS. In fact, in recent years many HIV infected people from the black community have stayed away from antiretroviral drugs under the suspicion that it may further worsen their condition.

National HIV Testing Day

HIV/AIDS is one of the biggest challenges that we face in the modern times. As it is, the situation is getting worse day by day. A major reason for this is the fact, that, most people are not aware of the fact, that, they are infected with HIV.

This has changed the situation from bad to worse. As we see all around us, the world is filled with undetected cases of HIV infections. This is a potential danger. People most often, unknowingly infect others, who in turn pass the virus to someone else. This way, the cycle continues.

The best way that we have in our hand, to deal with this problem, is HIV testing; which can prove to be an important tool in stopping the disease from spreading further. An active step in this direction is the National HIV testing day.

National HIV testing day is being held on June 27 each year, for the past many years. The idea of this program is to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS, among the people, so as to minimize the spread of HIV.

Typically, HIV testing has a number of advantages. Some of them are as follows:

1. The first and foremost advantage of HIV testing is that, it stops you from spreading the virus any further, if you have knowledge of your infection. This means that you can save your partner from getting infected with the disease, by taking necessary precautions.

2. Longer life span is the second advantage of HIV Testing. Studies have shown a considerable improvement of the life span amongst those, who were affected by HIV/AIDS; where proper medication has actually slowed the progress of the virus. As a result, the life expectancy of the patients increased by as many as five to six years. This is a commendable thing, especially when it takes eight to ten years for HIV to develop into AIDS.

3. Thirdly, if you are a pregnant woman, infected with the virus, you have chances of lowering the risk of infecting your unborn child. Also, you can stop the virus from spreading to your children by way of breast milk.
According to a rough estimate, more than two hundred and fifty thousand people in America are infected with this disease; and a major portion of them are not even aware of it. This makes it a potent disaster waiting to happen. However, you can actually lower its impact. All you need to do is to register yourself for HIV testing and make the National HIV testing day, a great success.

Take the test, take control” is the theme of the National HIV testing events this year. Recently National HIV testing Day took place on June 27 across U.S with the motive of raising public awareness and saving lives.

The events which promoted awareness among the people against the deadly disease also offered free testing for the people.
The Health Officials believe that 250,000 Americans are infected with HIV, but do not know it.

If these people take part in such events and get themselves tested, then a lot of awareness can be built among them so that they take care of themselves and also save lives of others from being infected.

Other than this, three HIV/AIDS testing sites in the metro Detroit area will be available today. Testing will be conducted in the metro area at these locations:

The Midwest AIDS Prevention Project in Ferndale will be testing at 429 Livernois from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. today.

The city Department of Health and Wellness Promotion will be testing at Belle Isle Casino in downtown Detroit from 10 to 5 p.m.
AIDS Partnership Michigan will be testing at 2751 E. Jefferson in Detroit, though the times were not available Thursday.
The type of test varies by location. Some sites will test using a mouth swab, while others will use the finger-pricking method. No appointment is necessary. For testing sites elsewhere in Michigan, call 800-872-2437 or go online to www.aidspartnership.org. 

Margaret Jones, HIV counselor for the Detroit Health Department feels that Prevention is the key to avoid HIV/AIDS.
“We want to prevent the spread of HIV, so it is very important that everyone knows their status”. She said.
About 350 people test positive among the more than 68,000 tested for HIV each year at Michigan Department of Community Health sites. About 7,160 people in the city of Detroit were living with HIV/AIDS in April 2007, Jones said.
But unfortunately, not many are aware of their status.
Because anyone can get HIV, CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested as a routine part of their medical care. CDC also recommends that pregnant women be tested early during each pregnancy. This will help eliminate the spread of HIV to infants.

Early HIV diagnosis is critical, so people who are infected can fully benefit from available live-saving treatments. Currently, almost 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they have already developed AIDS that can be up to 10 years after they first became infected with HIV.

Finding out whether you are infected with HIV is the first step to improving your health and the health of your partners and your family. The week of June 27 there will be thousands of organizations offering HIV testing and hosting special NHTD events. Make plans to get tested and encourage others to get tested as well with an e-Card.

Organized annually by the National Association of People with AIDS* (NAPWA), with support from CDC, this year marks the 16th Annual NHTD. The theme of campaign – "Take the Test. Take Control" – highlights the need for HIV testing.

NAPWA and other NHTD organizers reach out to communities at increased risk of HIV infection, especially African American and Latino populations. HIV exacts a devastating toll on African Americans, who account for almost half of new HIV diagnoses (49% in 2006) but only approximately 13% of the population in the 33 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting. Latinos are also hard hit, accounting for nearly 20% of new HIV diagnoses (18% in 2006) but only approximately 13% of population in those 33 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting.

07 August 2011

How to Help Women to Be HIV Free

Since HIV is such a lethal disease and more than that, it is still an incurable disease, therefore, prevention form HIV infection is the only option that we have on this day. HIV spreads through mainly three ways i.e. through seminal/vaginal fluids, through infected blood or syringes and from a mother to her child, during her pregnancy as well as through breast milk. The idea of prevention from HIV focuses around blocking HIV trespass through these modes. As it is protection for women are more or less the same as that of men. The following are some of the ways of prevention from HIV infection:

1. Sexual abstinenceUnprotected sex is one of the major reasons for spread of HIV at such a rapid rate. Therefore the best thing to do for you, if you do not wish to be infected with it is, to go for total abstinence from sexual activity, till you are married to a person who is tested free of HIV.

2. Monogamous relationship You always have the chances of getting infected with HIV, if you are having sex with a number of people. So, a monogamous sexual relationship with a person tested free of HIV, who is equally faithful to you; considerably reduces your chances of HIV infection.

3. Sexual protection measuresYou should never indulge in unprotected sex. Although condoms do not completely eliminate your chances of HIV infection; they surely do reduce your chances of infection by a considerable margin. If your partner is not using any barrier, then you always have the option of a female condom.

4. Avoid open cuts and woundsOpen cuts and wounds considerably increase your chances of contacting HIV. It is therefore advisable to refrain from open cuts and wounds.

5. Use sterilized needles If you do not wish to be infected with HIV; then in that case you should always use sterilized needles and disposable syringes. This too reduces your chances of infection by a significant margin. Avoid piercing and tattoos; and even if you do wish to get a tattoo or piercing job done, then make sure, that the needles are properly sterilized.

6. Blood transfusion basics In case of blood transfusion, you should always get the screening details of the blood. Similarly in case of organ transplantation screening would save you from getting infected with HIV.

7. Lesbian activityA number of sexual activities like fingering, as well as by way of sharing sex toys have reported to have caused HIV infection among lesbians.

Although HIV is growing at a very fast rate, you can always save yourself from getting infected with it. Therefore, save not just yourself, but others as well by sharing the above information.

Approved Vs Unapproved Home HIV Test Kits

HIV testing has a number of advantages. Firstly, it stops you from spreading the virus any further, if you have knowledge of your infection. Secondly, timely action can improve your life expectancy by a large margin. Results have shown a considerable development in this regard, where proper medication has actually slowed the progress of the virus; due to which, the life expectancy of the patients have increased by as many as five to six years. Also, if you are a pregnant woman, infected with the virus, you have chances of lowering the risk of infecting your unborn child. Also, you can stop the virus from spreading to your children by way of breast milk.

However, since most people are scared to go to a clinic for HIV tests, it has further worsened the condition, as far as spread of HIV is concerned. In order to address this problem, the HIV home test came into light. An HIV home test kit enables you to know the results, at your home. You will find a number of HIV home test kits in the market. Also, you can order for a home delivery.

There are basically two types of HIV home test kits, which are available in the market, i.e. FDA approved testing kits and non-approved testing kits.

Approved test kits contain several components, such as specimen collection, as well as specified mailing envelope to send the specimen to a designated laboratory. It basically relies on a finger prick system, in which, the user pricks his/her finger and deposits his/her blood on a designated paper. This paper is then sent to a laboratory with a personal identification number and usually takes around three days to get the result.
Approved tests are extensively examined by the FDA and results show, that they are capable of detecting HIV-1virus, in an effective way. Also, approved HIV home test kits provide pre and post testing counseling, which is very necessary, not only for providing emotional support, but for lowering the inhibition of going through the tests.

Unapproved home test kits on the other harm are not examined by the FDA and hence the results, which they show, are always under doubt. An unapproved kit may rely on a finger prick system or saliva test and claim to detect HIV antibodies within fifteen minutes or less. The mode of testing involves collecting the blood, or saliva sample on a designated paper and a solution is placed on it, to test the strains of HIV in it. The samples are not sent to a laboratory, for inspection.

As explained earlier, these tests do not guarantee any results. So, a user always has a chance of getting wrong results. Also, no pre or post counseling is provided by these kits, making situations worse, as a person could further spread the virus, unaware of his/her actual status.

Since, HIV is such a dreaded disease, it should therefore, never be taken in a callous manner. It is therefore, advisable, to opt for an approved HIV home test kit, to get a proper report.

06 August 2011

Steps To Follow Before And After Hiv Tests

Being asked by your physician to undergo an HIV test done may result in a lot of anxiety and stress. In many cases, patients may assume him/her to be infected, even before they actually go for the tests. Due to social as well as personal causes, a patient may feel insecure and go through a broad range of emotions. Most often people panic and refuse to go for the test, due to the fear of testing positive.

It therefore, becomes very important to take a few steps before the tests are conducted, in order to provide emotional succor to the person undergoing an HIV test. The following are a few steps which can be taken to do so:

1. Pre-test advice

a. The first thing that you need to do, before undergoing an HIV test, is to get mentally prepared fro it. This is because, unless and until you are mentally prepared for it, there are always chances of you getting panicked and refusing to go for the tests at the last minute.

b. You can go for a pre test counseling to overcome the wide rang of emotions that you may be going through. This would help you in going through the test without any mental fatigue. By giving a boost to your confidence level, a pre test counselor would ensure that you face the test with no or less anxiety and fear.

c. Another thing that you can do is to spend some time with your family and friends. Watch a movie with your buddies, or help in setting up a tree house for your kids. Such activities would help you a lot in lowering your stress level and help you in facing the test with full confidence.

d. You must always remember that, irrespective of what might be the outcome, you would always enjoy life the way that you did earlier, minus the risks that you had been getting yourself into.

2. Post-test advice

a. Even if your initial tests confirm you to be HIV negative, you must always wait for the second tests, which would typically happen after six months to the first tests. During this period, you need to get your self mentally prepared to face the results.

b. If you have been diagnosed with HIV, then in that case, you would definitely need a post-test counseling, to overcome the trauma that you might be going through. Such a session would help you realize the fact that all is still not lost and there is still a lot that you could do.

c. Along with this, you can get in touch with some healthcare provider, which would help you in getting information regarding proper medication and other facilities. As it is, you would get to know about the various antiretroviral drug therapies which are available to you.

Life is so beautiful, that it does not end with an HIV infection. All you need to do is realize this fact. Even if you are an HIV patient, there is a lot that you could do. The best thing is to spread awareness in regard to HIV. Also, you yourself can provide pre and post counseling sessions to those who are undergoing HIV tests and help them get out of the trauma.

How Hiv Virus Attacks Your Immune System

What makes HIV such a lethal virus, is the fact that it affects the immune system of the body, leaving you exposed to a number of diseases, with virtually no help of any kind from your immune system. Now, because the immune system of our body is responsible for warding off potential threat to the body, in the form of external threats (such as virus, bacteria and protozoa), therefore a weakened immune system would mean that even medicines would not work. This means that an HIV+ patient has little hope. This is because HIV is still an incurable disease till date; and though we have many scientists claiming to find a cure, we still lack conclusive evidence on their part.

So, how does the Human Immunodeficiency Virus actually affect your immune system? The answer lies in the complex nature of HIV. As it is, HIV is a part of the family of Retroviridae and is an RNA virus. Unlike the human cells, which store information in the form of DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid, HIV stores its information in the form of RNA or ribonucleic acid.

Now, once the virus enters the human body, it performs an unusual function of converting the RNA into DNA. This it does so, by entering a target cell and then converting RNA information into double stranded DNA by way of a reverse transcriptase, which is already present in the virus particle. Once this happens, the contaminated DNA is then integrated into the cellular DNA by way of integrase.

The primary focus of HIV is to infect vital cells in the immune system, such as CD4+ T cells and dendritic cells. This results in lowering of the levels of CD4+ T cells. With the CD4+ T cell count going below a critical level, the immune system of the body of the body weakens and you are vulnerable to a number of diseases and infections.

Now let us see how, does the virus lower your CD4+ T cell count. It does so, in mainly three ways. First, by inflicting direct damage to the cells, secondly, by increasing the rate of apoptosis (the rate of natural death of cells) in infected cells and thirdly, by way of killing infected CD4+ T cells.

A major difficulty in finding a cure for HIV is its genetic variability, which is very high. The main reason for this is variability is the fast replication cycle of the virus, which results in producing as many as with the generation of 109 to 1010 virions per day. Add to this a very high mutation rate and you have a lethal situation leading to the formation of many variants of HIV in a single infected patient in the course of one day. The situation gets more complex, in case if a single cell is simultaneously infected by two or more different strains of HIV.

Importance of Aids Education

HIV/AIDS has the potential to cause far more damage than any terrorist attack. It is a lethal disease and sadly, it still does not have any cure. As it is the only way to cure it is by way of prevention. A major cause of the spread of HIV at such a fast rate has been the lack of awareness. It therefore becomes very important for us to spread education in this regard. This is because; the higher the numbers of HIV positive people, higher are the chances of others to get infected by this disease.

Due to this reason, it is very important for us to spread education in this regard. Typically, AIDS education would help us in the following ways.

Prevention
Since HIV is still an incurable disease, therefore, prevention from HIV/AIDS is the only solution that we have, as far as curing the disease is concerned. By spreading AIDS education we can help in prevention of this disease.

The best way of prevention from HIV infection through sex, is to go for total abstinence from sexual activity. So, by staying away from sexual activity till a person is married to another person who is tested free of HIV; would save him/her from HIV infection via seminal/ vaginal fluids. Apart from this, many people indulge in unprotected sex. A condom can be an effective way to avoid HIV.

Apart from that, open cuts and wounds are another mode of HIV infection. Also, usage of sterilized needles and disposable syringes can also be an effective way of avoiding AIDS. In case of blood transfusion, it is always better to get the screening details of the blood. Similarly in case of organ transplantation screening would save a person from getting infected with HIV.

By spreading education about all the above modes of prevention, we can effectively stop the spread of the virus.

TreatmentTreatment is another area, where AIDS education can play a very vital role. This is because, although HIV is an incurable disease till date, various medications facilities are available which can help conditions from getting worse and delay the arrival of AIDS.

With the help of theses medications an HIV infected person can lead a fairly normal life for a considerably longer period of time. HIV medication helps in preventing the virus from spreading further for a considerably long time. It tries to stop the virus from growing further, as well as stopping it from infecting the unaffected cells. So, AIDS education can help an HIV positive person to live longer.

As it is, by way of spreading awareness, about HIV/AIDS, we can considerably lower the chances of it spreading further. Not just that, AIDS awareness can be an effective tool eradicating various myths and misconceptions regarding AIDS and help those affected with HIV, in leading a normal and healthy life.

Late Stage Symptoms of Hiv Aids

A person with HIV infection may look to be perfectly alright in initial stages. However, signs begin to show, with the onset of AIDS. Typically it takes eight to ten years for HIV to develop into full fledged AIDS. With effective medication available in the form of antiretroviral drugs, onset of AIDS may be further delayed by five to six years.

However, HIV will finally develop into AIDS and when this happens; you will suffer from a number of physical ailments. Although initial stages of AIDS may not show too many symptoms, but with AIDS severely damaging your entire immune system, you would come across a number of symptoms in the later stages.

Typically, an AIDS patient in the later stages would show a number of symptoms, some of which are as follows:

1. The most common symptom that marks the arrival of a later stage in AIDS is frequent exhaustion along with giddiness. Although such symptoms may be present in early stages as well, but conditions tend to get severe in the later stages.

2. Another common sign of the later stage arrival is distorted vision. This is a common feature among AIDS patient. However, all the patients may not show such symptoms.

3. Later stage symptoms, may also show severe numbness in the limbs along with constant weakening in the form of loss in muscular control and strength.

4. Continuation of high degree of fever, along with shivering is a common feature. Conditions begin to deteriorate with the passage of time and may even prevail for weeks. Since the immune system is already corrupted, there are few chances of getting rid of such conditions.

5. Women suffering from AIDS may suffer from acute vaginal infection along with swollen lymph nodes. Such situation may also be present in earlier stages as well.

6. Acute weight loss is another condition, which is a common feature in such stages. With frequent weight loss, the chances of revival are very low.

7. Another common feature in case of AIDS is infection of the ears, nose and the throat. Such infections are very common especially among children and may take a long time to heal. In some cases, they do not heal at all.

8. Appearance of white patches and rashes all over the body are some other common symptoms which may be present in such circumstances.

9. Several forms of cancer are also prevalent in the onset of the last stage of AIDS. Cervical cancer and Kaposi’s sarcoma are some of the most common cancers in such conditions.

10. Along with these, memory loss along with a loss of cognitive abilities may also be prevalent among the patients. In many cases, these symptoms are accompanied by personality as well as behavioral disorders.

AIDS states the onset of a very arduous and difficult journey. However, it definitely means you have to give up. We all know the end result in such conditions, but a true fighter never gives up; and as we say defeat never comes to you unless you accept it.

Aids Hiv Doctors and Treatment

AIDS is one of the most dreaded diseases of our times. The most dangerous aspect of HIV is the fact that it affects the immune system of the body, leaving you exposed to a number of diseases, with virtually no protection of any kind. Since the immune system of our body is responsible for warding off potential threat to the body, in the form of virus, bacteria and protozoa, a damaged immune system itself, leaves an HIV+ patient with little hope for recovery. This is because AIDS is still an incurable disease till date; and though we may have significant advancement in this regard, we still have a long way to go, before we are actually able to find a cure.

Therefore by the time we are able to come up with a cure, the best way to fight it of course is to save yourself from getting infected.

Doctors and medical practitioners are some of the most vulnerable people, as regards to HIV infection is concerned. This is mainly by virtue of the constant exposure to people with HIV. As it is, doctors and medical practitioners are at constant risk of getting infected by HIV. The following are some of the risks, which doctors and medical practitioners get exposed to:

1. Open cuts and wounds are an important cause of concern for many doctors and medical practitioners. Getting exposed to open cuts and wounds without proper protection can cause infection. It is therefore advised to get proper protection to those who are exposed to open cuts and wounds.

2. Accidentally pricking yourself with a syringe is another cause of concern as far as exposure to HIV is concerned. A number of cases have been reported, where doctors and medical practitioners were infected with the virus, when they accidentally pricked themselves with a syringe, which was earlier used to inject an HIV patient.

3. Blood transfusion is also another area of concern. Due to lack of proper screening facilities at many places, doctors and medical practitioners are constantly exposed to blood, which has been contaminated with HIV. As a result, this too poses a grave risk to them and exposes them to a dangerous situation, which can cause HIV infection.

4. Some scientists have even stated that unlike what is perceived, HIV can actually survive in the environment for a fairly long time. Although we do not have any conclusive proof in this regard; but if at all this theory is found out to be true, then in that case, medical practitioners are definitely under high risk of getting exposed to HIV/AIDS.

It therefore becomes all the more necessary for doctors and medical practitioners to take adequate steps of protection, in order to save themselves from getting exposed to HIV infection.

05 August 2011

Hiv Aids Infection Vaccine

As we see millions of deaths taking place, as a result of HIV infection, the need for an HIV vaccine is getting stronger and stronger, making it an absolutely indispensable necessity in recent times. Due to this very reason, many tests have been conducted, all across the globe. Although these results have failed to show any positive results so far, yet research work is under progress. As a matter of fact, it becomes all the more necessary to develop a vaccine with large number of undetected cases, moving around.

It is to be noted that a few vaccines have been developed in the past. However, these vaccines have been rendered useless due to the fact that HIV is a highly mutable virus. It is also the ability of the virus to thwart the pressure extended by humoral as cellular immunity system, which is making it difficult to develop a vaccine. Along with this, HIV isolates are also highly variable, which is degrading the situation further. Thus, any vaccine needs to be broad enough to deal with the highly variable characteristic of the disease, to be effective enough.

Currently, there are around 80 vaccine candidates undergoing tests in phase one trials, expectedly five in phase one/two trials and one in phase three trial. In most of these trials, focus lied on the HIV envelope protein; which resulted in the evaluation of at least ten different candidates belonging to the gp120 and gp160 categories, in tests, which were conducted by the AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Group.

An important development in this regard was the STEP study which kick started in 2004. As many as 3000 candidates were selected and the study was conducted by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network in association with Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases along with Merck & Co. which is a Pharmaceutical company. Merck & co. is known for the development of the experimental vaccine V520 which was supposed to stimulate cellular immunity, by advancing the growth of T cells that kill HIV infected cells.

However, V520 was soon found out to be ineffective, as it contained only three HIV genes. Apart from that, it also appeared that conditioned worsened in case of HIV1 infections. This lead to the discontinuation of trials, related to V520 in 2007. Latest development in this regard has been the development of Modified Vaccina Ankara. Trials suggested that it provided partial protection in some models.

Laboratories all across the globe are trying to find a vaccine for HIV. If at all a vaccine is developed, then it would be a great step in the direction of eradication of HIV/AIDS.

Confidential Hiv Aids Testing

HIV is one of biggest problems that we face today, causing millions of deaths all across the globe. Sadly, HIV still does not have any cure till date, which makes it a very difficult situation for us to handle. A major factor which has changed the situation from bad to worse is unawareness. As we see all around us, the world is filled with undetected cases of HIV infections. This is a potential danger. People most often, unknowingly infect others, who in turn pass the virus to someone else. This way, the cycle continues. More so, the number of undetected cases may be far more than what our rough estimates may suggest.

To deal with this situation, the HIV testing can be a safe bet. It can prove to be an important tool in stopping the disease from spreading further. As it is, HIV testing are confidential and names of those, who are found to be HIV positive are closely guarded secrets and are not revealed to anyone, except in situations, when the HIV patient is putting others to the risk of infection.

As it is, you can go for a confidential HIV testing via two modes.

Confidential HIV testing at an HIV testing centerAn HIV testing center is the best place to go for HIV testing. As it is HIV testing involves collection of your blood and saliva samples. Results are told personally, so no one except you knows about the outcome of the tests.

It has to be noted here that although you may have been infected by HIV, you may not show any visible symptoms and tests may even suggest that you are HIV negative. Due to this reason, a second test is conducted after six months to arrive at a valid conclusion. This because, it may take three to five months for HIV to grow up to detectable limits; after you have been exposed to it.

Confidential HIV testing with the help of an HIV Home testing KitAnother mode of confidential HIV testing is to go for a home HIV testing kit. In a home HIV testing kit, you are required to take samples of your blood and saliva at home, with the help of an HIV home testing kit and send them to an HIV testing center. Also, new kits are also available, which do not even require you to send your samples to a testing center. They would readily show you the results within a few minutes.

Although such kits are quite helpful in maintaining confidentiality; to arrive at a valid conclusion, you will have to go to an HIV testing center. This is because, most of these testing kits in the market are not approved by the FDA and may give you wrong information.

Confidentiality is an important aspect of HIV testing. This is done to avoid discrimination which can be meted out to the affected person. Therefore, Government has made strict rules regarding confidentiality.

04 August 2011

First Sign Of Hiv Aids Infection

According to a recent report more than thirty three million people across the globe today; are living with the HIV virus. A major reason for this widespread advance of HIV is that in most of the cases it is not actually accompanied by any visible symptoms in the initial stages.

So, a person may be infected with the virus and may still live a very healthy life for a very long time. However signs begin to show, once the immune system breaks down, and the person is on the verge of developing AIDS. By this time, it is already too late.

A person infected with HIV may show some or all of the following initial signs:

1. Sudden weight loss- This is a major symptom which is quite visible and hence should not be taken lightly. An infected person may lose weight drastically, often within a few weeks time. Therefore if you have lost weight drastically over a short period of time, it is better to get an HIV test done.

2. Bouts of extreme exhaustion- A person infected with HIV may suffer from extreme bouts of exhaustion, which are often unexplained. Such unnatural occurrences may happen any time and are warning signs for the patient. As it is, bouts of exhaustion may be due to other reasons, but whatever may be the reason, it is always better to consult a physician.

3. Fever- Fever or Pyrexia refers to a condition where a person suffers from increased body temperature i.e. a body temperature higher than 98.6 degree F. It is accompanied by an increased heart rate, muscle tone, as well as shivering. In case of HIV infection, the patient gets fever on a frequent basis.

4. Night sweats- Night sweats can be referred to as severe hot flashes which occur during the night, resulting in severe perspiration. At times patient gets totally drenched in sweat. Such a stage may last between 30 seconds to several minutes as well. Night sweats may occur due to a number of reasons, but if such a condition occur on a frequent basis, then you need to get your HIV test done.

5. Chronic Diarrhea- A person infected with HIV, may suffer from chronic diarrhea, which may last for a month or more. Such a condition is extremely critical and needs immediate action. In most circumstances, when medicines do not work in such circumstances, you must get your HIV test done.

6. Easy bruising- A person suffering from HIV may develop easy bruising on the body. This may happen any time and are often unexplained. As the immune system is already damaged, the bruises do not heal easily and may result in open wounds.

7. Chronic yeast infection or thrush- A person infected with HIV may develop chronic yeast infection and thrush, which is an infection of the mucous membrane of the mouth, caused by Candida (a fungal genus). Yeast infection may occur due to many reasons and are pretty common especially among women.

It is always better to get your self tested for HIV, so that you do not spread the virus to your loved ones. It is therefore; better, to get an HIV test done if you suffer from the above symptoms. It might be possible, that you may suffer from the above symptoms, without any HIV infection, but nevertheless, timely detection can improve the lifespan of the patient by a very great margin.