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World AIDS Day


On 1 December every year we recognise World AIDS Day, which is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) pandemic caused by HIV infection and remembering those who have passed away due to the disease.

The HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) attacks the immune system of the patient and reduces how resistant they are to other diseases. This happens because it kills off white blood cells, which are important in fighting off infections. With almost 40 million people worldwide living with HIV, it is one of the world’s largest public health issues.

AIDS is the final and most serious stage that a person develops when they contract HIV. The good news it that not everyone with HIV will develop AIDS. While there is no cure for HIV, recent developments in antiretroviral treatment (ART) have significantly reduced the death rate as this treatment works to stop the virus replicating in the body.

HIV symptoms come on in stages, increasing in severity. For weeks after infection, a person may experience fever, chills, rash, fatigue, and a sore throat. People may then go 10-15 years with the HIV infection but often have no symptoms at all, though they can still transmit the virus. Eventually the virus will weaken the immune system and AIDS will develop, which can lead to symptoms including rapid weight loss, extreme fatigue, sores, rashes, and more.

These symptoms can often look like other illnesses, so an HIV test is the only way to know for sure if you have the infection.

Head to https://worldaidsday.org/ to learn more.

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