Every 1st of December, the world comes together to show support and stand with the millions of people living with HI. #WorldAidsDay is an avenue for people to learn more about the disease and the resources devoted to combating it, here are some facts that you must know about HIV/AIDS.

1.Transmission: HIV can be transmitted through the following means;

  • Unprotected sexual intercourse or oral sex with an infected person;
  • Transfusions of contaminated blood or blood products or transplantation of contaminated tissue;
  • Sharing of contaminated injecting equipment and solutions (needles, syringes) or tattooing equipment;
  • Use of contaminated surgical equipment and other sharp instruments;
  • Transmission between an infected mother and her baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

2. Prevention: To reduce your risk of HIV infection, use protection correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Don’t inject drugs. If you do, use only sterile injection equipment and water and never share your equipment with others.

  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention option for people who don’t have HIV but who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV (people with HIV positive partners, health workers etc.). PrEP involves taking a specific HIV medicine every day, PrEP should always be combined with other prevention options.

3. Cure and Control: There is no cure for HIV infection yet, however, effective antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can control the virus and help prevent transmission so that people with HIV, and those at substantial risk, can enjoy healthy, long and productive lives. More grounds has been covered on the control of HIV to include the prevention of a newborn from getting infected from his/her HIV positive mother, some mothers can even practice exclusive breastfeeding with their infants. If you are or anyone you know is HIV-Positive and pregnant, inform relevant authorities and visit a PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) clinic near you.

4. Privacy: It is now illegal to expose another person’s HIV status to the public or other people without their permission, thanks to the  HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act 2014 that was passed into law in Nigeria this year, to reduce HIV stigmatization and discrimination.. HIV stigmatization is inhuman, the disease isn’t a death sentence and people living with HIV are still people!

5. Let’s tell others and get checked: Awareness and early detection goes a long way in curbing the dangerous effects of HIV, It is estimated that currently only 60% of people with HIV know their status. Go check your HIV status today and tell everyone around you to do same.

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