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#WorldAIDSDay2017: What You Need To Know To Stay Alive By Avalon
Date Posted: 01/Dec/2017
Friday December 1st 2017 marks World AIDS Day, a time to pay our respects to those we've lost along the way and to show solidarity to those living with HIV. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. 
 
#WAD2017 #WorldAIDSDay2017: “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships”  
 
More than 35 million people have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today – you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding.
 
Although World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to get the public talking about HIV, we need to remember the importance of raising awareness of HIV all year round. In the view of this, its actually quite shocking and disheartening that most youths in Nigeria still do not believe or accept that AIDS IS REAL and that HIV can be gotten through unsafe practices.
 
On the 9th of November 2017 at about 8:26pm, I came across an article on Nairland with the header: HIV/AIDS Conspiracy Theories: Do You Believe The Virus Is Real? By Urenna Nkoli. In her write up she said that while having a disscussion with some friends at work about HIV shockingly not all agreed on whether the virus was real or not with some saying it was a development from the American government to wipe out the African population backing it up with the following theories:
 
1. Why is test results not always constant. They said whatever result you take, its all lies. Why is it that you get tested in a hospital and it reads positive. To clear your doubts, you move to another hospital the following day to get a test and it reads negative
 
2. Many people who have multiple sex partners never get the virus. (forget about theories that some people are immune to the virus) But a first time who decides to have unprotected sex contacts the virus. Isn't that unfair  Aunty yetunde who is a prostitute is negative while sister chiamaka the choir mistress is positive.
 
3. Some said HIV might be real but doesn't leads to aids. Its the ARV drugs you take (supposedly developed but the western world to decrease population) that leads to AIDS.
 
4. The virus was an initial experiment but somehow escaped from the lab 
 
5. Some said its real and have a cure but the pharmaceutical industries are after financial gain. They'll make more profits with patients managing the virus rather than an instant cure. Ever heard of HIV DENIALISM ? Some denialists reject the existence of HIV, while others accept that the virus exists but say that it is a harmless passenger virus and not the cause of AIDS. 
 
The writer continued "... all the same, protection is key, abstinence is the best. If you test positive today, its not the end of the world. Life goes on." Ending her article with: My own candid view is that the HIV virus is real, But I don't believe it leads to AIDS. 
 
A: Why are HIV test results not always constant?
The ideal HIV screening assay would correctly identify all HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals 100% of the time. While real-world procedures are extremely accurate, they do not achieve 100% accuracy. Inaccurate test results fall into two categories: falsely negative and falsely positive.
 
A false negative result is one that fails to detect antibodies or antigen in a person who is in fact HIV-infected (i.e., a result which incorrectly identifies an HIV-positive individual as HIV-negative). This is most likely to occur during the window period, when antibodies and antigen are not yet present at detectable levels.
 
Conversely, a test that incorrectly returns a positive result in an HIV-negative person is known as a false positive. This may happen if non-HIV antibodies are incorrectly identified as antibodies to HIV.
 
Because of the risk that a positive result from a single test is, in fact, a false positive, many doctors prefer to talk about the result being 'reactive' rather than 'positive'. The result will need to be replicated in confirmatory testing before an HIV-positive diagnosis can be made.
 
A: What leads to greater risk of HIV?
Unprotected anal or vaginal sex. Sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and bacterial vaginosis.
Sharing contaminated needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
Receiving unsafe injections, blood transfusions, tissue transplantation, medical procedures that involve unsterile cutting or piercing
Experiencing accidental needle stick injuries including among health workers
 
A: Difference between HIV and AIDS?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This virus leads to infection and it attacks the immune system. While HIV can be transmitted between people, AIDS is a condition that is acquired only after a person has contracted the HIV infection. AIDS is the final stage of the HIV infection.
 
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment. So once you get HIV, you have it for life.
 
HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. Untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body, making the person more likely to get other infections or infection-related cancers. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. These opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS, the last stage of HIV infection.
 
A: On Drugs
HIV can be suppressed by combination anti-retroviral therapy (ART) consisting of 3 or more antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. ART does not cure HIV infection but suppresses viral replication within a person's body and allows an individual's immune system to strengthen and regain the capacity to fight off infections.
 
HIV can't be cured, but effective antiretroviral regimens (ARVs) can significantly slow the disease's progress as well as prevent secondary infections and complications.
 
A: An Escaped Experiment?
It been accepted that the HIV-1 virus, the dominant cause of Aids, crossed into humans from a virus, SIV-cpz, carried by chimps. But most researchers maintain that the transfer happened as the result of an accidental blood-to-blood infection, when a native hunter with an open wound was catching or slaughtering a chimp for food - the "natural transfer" theory.
 
A: Difference between HIV and AIDS?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This virus leads to infection and it attacks the immune system. While HIV can be transmitted between people, AIDS is a condition that is acquired only after a person has contracted the HIV infection. AIDS is the final stage of the HIV infection.
 
How can HIV be diagnosed?
Serological tests, such as RDTs or enzyme immunoassays (EIAs), detect the presence or absence of antibodies to HIV-1/2 and/or HIV p24 antigen. No single HIV test can provide an HIV-positive diagnosis. It is important that these tests are used in combination and in a specific order
 
Is There a Cure for HIV?
No effective cure currently exists for HIV. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. Treatment for HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, ART can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of infecting others. Before the introduction of ART in the mid-1990s, people with HIV could progress to AIDS (the last stage of HIV infection) in a few years. Today, someone diagnosed with HIV and treated before the disease is far advanced can live nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV.
 
In Conclusion
There is life after being HIV positive. Yes, you will feel very terrible and bad once you have had that diagnosis, but you've got to continue to have a positive, optimistic attitude towards the rest of life, because life doesn't stop after your diagnosis. As life goes on you have to keep that attitude of optimism and not just look at the bad things related to HIV. It's not a death sentence. You can live with being HIV positive. You can live longer than most people being HIV positive. But you have to acquire the knowledge. You have to get a good primary care physician. You have to have a good support network in order to deal with this. 
 
To someone who's newly infected that, guess what? You have a choice. You can either die of the virus or you can live with the virus. I would say, Choose the latter. Choose to live with the virus. Go get health care. Get your nutrition right. Take care of yourself. That's it.

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