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Monday, December 1, 2014

World AIDS Day (December 1st)

The noise and media coverage of the Ebola scourge has led us to forget a more devastating killer...HIV/AIDS. According to WHO statistics for 2013,
  • HIV is the world’s leading infectious killer, 
  • Globally, an estimated 35.0 million people were living with HIV in 2013, 
  • 3.2 million of these were children. 
  • An estimated 2.1 million people were newly infected with the virus in 2013. 
  • Nigeria accounts for 3.2 million (2013). 
  • The vast majority of people living with the virus are in low- and middle-income countries. . 
  • 39 million people have died from AIDS-related causes so far, including 1.5 million in 2013. 

The US has been leading the fight against HIV in low and middle income countries through its funding through PEPFAR program. There were fears and rumors that this funding would be cut off. However, contrary to fears of the purported withdrawal of American government from HIV/AIDS funding in the country, the United States government recently announced additional $500 million for HIV/AIDS programmes in Nigeria.  Meanwhile, the US representative stated that it is unfortunate that many Nigerian youths could not answer five HIV/AIDS-related questions correctly because education on the virus was inadequate

Stigmatization
It has been said that stigmatization kills faster than the virus itself because it scares victims, prevents them from seeking help and hiding themselves. People living with HIV have needs:

Some of the common needs of people living with HIV and AIDS are:
  • Health and medical supplies and skilled medical services.
  • Counseling to reduce isolation and promote acceptance.
  • Community support groups to provide a safe place where feelings and advice can be shared.
  • Social acceptance to help people living with HIV and AIDS by visiting them and treating them like friends.
  • Physical care such as bathing, cleaning their homes when they are sick, and any other thing they are not able to do on their own.
  • Nutritional help so that families improve their diets using cheap and available foods.
  • Safe clean water that has been boiled or treated with chlorine.
  • Accurate information about HIV and AIDS.

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (answers at bottom)
  1. Everyone who has HIV also has AIDS  (True/False)
  2. It is possible to get HIV by getting a tattoo (True/False)
  3. HIV can be spread through oral sex (True/False)
  4. All people who have HIV will develop aids within 10 years (True/False)
  5. HIV destroys both red blood cells and white blood cells in the body (True/False)
  6. Which of the following does not contain HIV virus: Semen, Breast milk, Sweat, Blood 
Finally, I am using this medium to tell travelers out there to be careful, HIV/AIDS is not a myth anymore. It's real! Protect yourself!

Hope this is useful. Do not forget to drop your comment or like our facebook page: www.facebook.com/travelarmy

**Answers: 1. False 2. True 3. True 4. False 5. False (only white blood cells)  6. Sweat**
What's your score?  Share in the comments section.

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