I hope this post finds you doing well and you had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday! Today is World Aids Day and I am doing my part to bring awareness. The following information was pulled directly from Aids.gov and CDC.gov websites.
According to Aids.gov, there are over one million Americans living with HIV/AIDS today. Worldwide, the figure is over 33 million. Effective HIV care, including antiretroviral drug therapies and regular access to primary health care, can help people manage their HIV disease and live longer.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). By killing or damaging cells of the body's immune system, HIV progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers.
HIV is not transmitted through day-to-day activities such as shaking hands, hugging, or a casual kiss. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, drinking fountain, doorknob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets. You also cannot get HIV from mosquitoes.
HIV and AIDS are life threatening conditions. The transmission of HIV occurs through three well documented means:
1) having sex with someone infected with HIV;
2) sharing needles and syringes with someone infected with HIV;
3) being exposed (fetus or infant) to HIV before or during birth or through breast feeding.
HIV transmission can be prevented through avoiding behaviors that expose someone to the means of transmission and by taking preventive measures if identified risk behaviors occur.
There is no cure for HIV or AIDS yet despite the large efforts underway to develop a preventative and therapeutic vaccine. However, research has advanced HIV/AIDS treatments greatly since the early days of the epidemic, and HIV drugs can slow down the virus’s attack on the human immune system. People with HIV/AIDS can now live healthier, longer lives.
Living with HIV/AIDS requires consultation with an HIV doctor who can help individuals with treatment and drug decisions. The decision to start drug treatment is a very personal decision and one that should only be made in consultation with a health care provider based on clinical status (symptoms), immune system health (CD4 count and viral load), whether a diagnosis of AIDS has been made, and whether a treatment plan can be maintained (treatment adherence). While treatment has its benefits, it also has its risks, such as multiple side effects from HIV drugs and therapies, potential toxicity from drug treatments, as well as possible resistance of HIV to drugs over time.
In August 2008, CDC published the first national HIV incidence (new infections) estimates using new technology and methodology that more directly measure the number of new HIV infections in the United States. Check out the Center For Disease Control (CDC) to learn more about HIV's incident data.
HIV/AIDS affects us all, regardless of race, gender, income, or even where we live. Please take the time to become more educated on HIV/AIDS and help to educate those you know and love. Cactus & Ivy was honored to be a part of the WTT Smash Hits that raised over $400,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and the Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund. Hopefully, one day, there will be a cure for HIV/AIDS.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!Lisa M. Rodgers
Cactus & Ivy