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Mass awareness vital for AIDS prevention

News Desk Workout 2023-11-30, 7:21am

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AIDS has killed 40 million people worldwide.



AIDS or Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome is a group of symptoms caused by the HIV or Human Immuno Deficiency Virus that weakens the human body's immune system. As a result, an AIDS patient can easily become infected with any contagious disease, which can eventually lead to his death. AIDS does not always occur with HIV infection.

Initially, influenza-like symptoms may be seen in certain cases. After that no symptoms were seen for a long time. As the HIV virus attacks, the body's immune system weakens and the infected person may develop common infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, opportunistic infections and tumors, which only affect people whose immune systems do not work. This stage of infection is called AIDS.

At this stage the patient often loses weight unintentionally and excessively. Since HIV has not yet been completely eradicated once it has entered the body, AIDS is almost inevitable if infected with HIV. World AIDS Day is an international day. This day has been celebrated on 1st December every year since 1986. The day has been chosen to raise awareness against the spread of the AIDS epidemic for HIV infection. The day is being observed by government, health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world to raise awareness about AIDS prevention and control.

World AIDS Day is marked by the World Health Organization as one of eight special days declared for the purpose of World Public Health Awareness. According to 2022 estimates, AIDS has killed 40 million people worldwide, and an estimated 39 million people is living with HIV infection, making it one of the most important public health issues in the world. With the recent use of advanced therapy in many parts of the world, the death toll from the AIDS epidemic has dropped. Most AIDS patients live in sub-Saharan Africa.

AIDS is currently considered an epidemic that exists across a large area of the world and is actively spreading. The HIV virus was probably originated in West-Central Africa in the late 19th century or early 20th century. The disease was first identified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981, and then the HIV virus was identified as the cause of the disease in the early 1980's.

If blood is taken from a person infected with the HIV virus, or by using an injection syringe or needle and the baby of a pregnant mother infected with the HIV virus is also more likely to be infected. However, using medicine can reduce this risk, and breast milk can be given to the baby because if the mother does not get breast milk, the baby born in a poor house is more likely to die from HIV. Having unprotected sex with someone infected with the virus can lead to AIDS.

In fact, most of the body fluids secrete HIV. HIV does not live long outside the body. For this reason, the risk of HIV infection is very low if blood or sexual discharge does not enter the body directly. Just touching, eating together, even wearing the same clothes or mosquito bites never spread HIV. So HIV infection is not contagious. In 1981, the outbreak of two rare diseases, Pneumocystine carini and Kaposis sarcoma, escalated dramatically and CDC became alarmed. Finally, in 1984, scientists in France and the United States identified the virus.

French scientists named it lymphadenopathy-associated virus. Americans call it the human T-cell lymph node-oriented virus. The virus was renamed HIV in 1986. The HIV virus attacks the T-helper cells in the human body, which are vital for the body to fight disease. AIDS has now spread worldwide. Three-quarters of the world's AIDS-infected people die in sub-Saharan Africa and the economically backward regions of Africa.

Most patients infected with the HIV virus carry the disease without any symptoms. However, sometimes 6 to 7 weeks after being infected with the virus, some indefinite symptoms may appear such as fever, sore throat, headache, swollen lymph glands, etc. These symptoms go away without any treatment, due to which the patient is not aware of the virus. The HIV virus can live silently in the human body for a maximum of 10 years without any symptoms.

No cure for AIDS has yet been found. Researchers have so far discovered many drugs. The first type of drug is called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, which delay the transmission of the HIV virus. There are many misconceptions about HIV and AIDS. The three most common misconceptions are: 1) AIDS can be spread through normal contact, 2) having sex with a virgin can get rid of AIDS, and 3) HIV can only be transmitted to gay people and drug users. The number of AIDS patients in Bangladesh is still not very high, 0.1 percent of the total population.

However, the number of new patients is increasing. The spread of HIV is increasing among sex workers and drug addicts through injections. However, in the last five years, HIV infection among housewives and pregnant women has also increased. The spread of HIV among women is seen globally as a sign of an epidemic. AIDS was first identified in Bangladesh in 1989. A survey of 4,000 people engaged in hazardous work found that Bangladesh is on the brink of an AIDS epidemic.

The study, conducted by the ICDDR, B and National AIDS Prevention and Control Program found that at least two out of every 100 drug users in Bangladesh are carriers of the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Also, at least one in every 100 sex workers has HIV. The situation is deteriorating due to lack of guidance on how to build immunity against HIV. Inadequate health awareness and the use of the same needle by multiple drug addicts are also major causes. It is feared that the spread of AIDS in Bangladesh will be rapid like in African countries, if the trend is not stopped with timely and proper prevention measures.

AIDS patients are spread in all districts of Bangladesh. However, the scope of surveillance in this regard is limited in the districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts. Millions of Bangladeshi workers have migrated to the Middle East and Europe, where they are mainly engaged in manual labor. Studies have shown that migrant workers are more likely to be infected with HIV and it is on the rise.

It is possible to prevent AIDS by creating awareness about the ways to transmit HIV. The measures that can be taken to prevent AIDS are: 1) to check if there is HIV in the blood before blood transfusion or organ transplant, 2) to use new needle / syringe every time for injection, 3) to refrain from unprotected sex, 4) to consult a doctor in case of adoption or breastfeeding of a mother infected with HIV / AIDS, 5) not using blades used by others and 6) maintaining religious, ethical and social values.