AIDS is one of the few diseases that have no cure even after so many years of research. This means that once a person contracts AIDS, he/she has to live with that disease for the rest of his or her life. Millions of people get affected by this disease each year all over the world. In this article on HIV and AIDS facts, we will learn a few things about this dreadful disease.
HIV and AIDS Facts 1-5
1. HIV and AIDS are different. HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that causes dreadful disease, AIDS. Remember, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
2. HIV attacks the immune system of the body. This results in immunodeficiency. The body becomes vulnerable to diseases that are rare among people with good immunity.
3. Diseases that are linked with immunodeficiency are considered to be opportunistic infections because they take advantage of a weak immune system.
4. AIDS stands for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. HIV attacks the immune system of the body and hence, the disease shows infections and symptoms that are associated with the acquired deficiency of the immune system.
5. AIDS is the last stage of HIV infection. A person who is infected with HIV reaches the last stage, that is, AIDS after 8 to 10 years.
HIV and AIDS Facts 6-10
6. A person who is immediately infected with HIV may or may not show any symptoms. If a person shows any symptoms, it will be fever, rash, joint pains, etc.
7. Irrespective of the fact that a person infected with HIV doesn’t show any symptoms, the person can spread the disease to others.
8. The disease has four stages. Stage I is completely asymptomatic and is not considered to be AIDS.
9. Stage II brings a set of recurrent respiratory tract infections and other mucocutaneous diseases.
10. Stage III brings pulmonary tuberculosis, bacterial infections, and chronic diarrhea which lasts for over a month!
HIV and AIDS Facts 11-15
11. Stage IV brings deadly cancers to organs like the esophagus, trachea, bronchi, etc. Toxoplasmosis of the brain takes place in this stage.
12. It must be noted that all the diseases that occur in various stages are purely opportunistic infections meaning if the person’s immunity was not compromised, he/she would not have acquired these infections/diseases.
13. The average time from infection to the showing of symptoms of Stage IV (AIDS) is 10 to 15 years. However, this timeframe varies from person to person.
14. The virus is transmitted through sexual intercourse (both anal and vaginal), sharing contaminated needles, blood transfusion, from mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
15. There is no evidence that kissing can spread the virus. Tattooing, on the other hand, can be risky especially if the instruments are contaminated and not sterilized for the next use. Sharing razors is also not advisable.
HIV and AIDS Facts 16-20
16. There are around 36.7 million people who are living with HIV all over the world as of 2015. 1.8 million of these are children. Majority of the people who are infected with HIV hail from low- and middle-income groups.
17. 2.1 million fresh cases of HIV were reported in 2015 alone. As of 2015, 36 million people succumbed to this dangerous disease worldwide.
18. In 2015, 11% of the 10.4 million people (1.2 million) who have TB were HIV positive all over the world. In the same year, there were 390,000 reported deaths from TB. All of them were HIV positive.
19. In 2018, 62% of the adults and 54% of the children who were infected with HIV are from low- and middle-income groups.
20. In the same year, 770,000 people died of HIV-related diseases and 1.7 million new cases were registered.
HIV and AIDS Facts 21-25
21. Young women and adolescent children of southern and eastern Africa are more vulnerable to HIV infections. Indigenous groups of some communities are also under greater risk.
22. New infections of HIV fell by 37% from 2000 to 2018. Deaths related to HIV fell by 45%.
23. 20% of the new infections of HIV are caused by heterosexual intercourse.
24. African-Americans make up just 12% of the entire population of the US but they make up nearly 50% of the cases of HIV in the United States of America.
25. Since 1981 (beginning of the epidemic), 70 million people are infected with HIV. Out of the 35 to 36 million people that died, 675,000 people were from America.
HIV and AIDS Facts 26-30
26. 1 in every 25 adults in sub-Saharan Africa is infected with HIV.
27. The numbers in America are decreasing but there is an increase in HIV infections in some groups like Latino homosexual and gay, and Hispanic groups.
28. There are two types of HIV. HIV 1 is more prevalent in the United States of American and HIV-2 is more prevalent in West Africa. HIV-2 is not likely to lead to AIDS.
29. In the USA alone, there are 1.1 million cases of HIV which means 1 in every 7 Americans don’t know that they are infected with HIV!
30. If those numbers are not scary, then there is another one for you. One person is being diagnosed in the US for HIV every 9.5 minutes!
HIV and AIDS Facts 31-35
31. As of 2007, 74% of the people infected were males and the rest i.e. 26% are females.
32. Bisexual and gay men are the most vulnerable groups of people for HIV infection.
33. 70% of the adults and 91% of the children infected with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa.
34. Federal funding to fight HIV was over $34.8 billion in 2018 alone.
35. Hispanics and Latinos make up 18% of America’s population and they make up 26% of the HIV infected cases.
HIV and AIDS Facts 36-40
36. 66% of HIV infected cases in America are gay men.
37. The testing of HIV is available all over the world especially in America but 46% of them were not tested for HIV even once!
38. 27 of the 50 states of the USA have HIV criminalization laws in 2018.
39. Most of the HIV infections are seen in American cities. Northeast and South regions of the USA are more affected than other regions.
40. 1,000 young women are infected with HIV each day! This makes 40 women being infected with HIV each hour!
HIV and AIDS Facts 41-45
41. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 65% of new infections worldwide and it accounted for 70% of deaths related to HIV worldwide.
42. In 2017 alone, 282,000 young women were infected with HIV which makes more than 750 in one day.
43. Young women are twice more vulnerable than young men in sub-Saharan Africa.
44. According to the American Psychological Association, 63% of the millennials say that the government should spend more on prevention and treatment of AIDS and 50% of them say that they want more information about HIV and AIDS.
45. There are many tests one can use to know whether they are infected or not. There are also home sampling or home testing kits available that you can use at the comfort of your home.
HIV and AIDS Facts 46-50
46. If the test is positive, then further tests are conducted to confirm the infection.
47. There is no vaccine or cure for HIV to date. Antiretroviral medicines are used for treatment.
48. These medicines stop the virus from replicating. This allows the immune system to repair and strengthen itself. These medicines come in the form of tablets.
49. If a person is infected with HIV, then he/she should maintain a healthy diet and must exercise regularly. He/she should quit smoking and should go for regular tests to keep him/her abreast of any new opportunistic infections.
50. Some of the preventive measures are using condoms when having sexual intercourse, using post-exposure prophylaxis, and pre-exposure prophylaxis.
HIV and AIDS Facts 51-55
51. ART i.e., Antiretroviral Therapy is doing wonders. This can increase the life span of HIV positive patients. This even prevents the spread of virus from mother to baby.
52. As of June 2019, 24.5 million people are receiving ART. 62% of the total HIV positive cases are receiving ART and 53% of the total positive HIV patients have achieved the suppression of the virus with no risk of infecting others.
53. The cost of ART has significantly reduced from $10,000 to $75 for one person in 15 years.
54. In 2013, there were 2 million new cases of HIV positive. However, in 2017, this number decreased to 1.8 million new cases. This is a 10% decrease.
55. HIV transmitted from a chimp to a human in the 1920s. This incident took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Chimps were carrying the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) which is similar to HIV. The humans who hunted these chimps for meat got in contact with infected blood and acquired SIV. This virus has mutated in the human’s body as HIV.