The Red Ribbon Foundation, created to raise money for distribution to HIV/AIDS researchers, primarily in the field of pediatric AIDS research; to promote awareness of the disease through distribution of the Red Ribbon; and to educate the worldwide public through efforts such as our website, handing out informative materials on high school and college campuses, and holding events that bring an awareness of the disease. It was founded in 1993 in memory of Singer/song writer Paul Jabara, who conceived of and distributed the first Red Ribbon, and who died of AIDS. HIV stands for H uman I mmunodeficiency V irus (the resulting disease is called AIDS or A cquired I mmuno D eficiency S yndrome). It was first isolated in May 1983 at Paris by Luc Montagnier, and belongs to a group called ‘Retroviruses’. They copy their genetic material into the genetic material of human cells and, thus the infected cells, stay infected for the rest of their lives. The HIV infects key body cells called CD4 cells, which coordinate the immune systems fight against various infections. HIV / AIDS An awareness
<ul><li>GLOBAL SUMMARY OF AIDS PANDEMIC – DECEMBER 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>People living with HIV = 39.5 Million (37.1 to 47.1 Million). </li></ul><ul><li>Adults = 37.2 Million , (32.1 to 44.5 Million) </li></ul><ul><li>Women = 17.7 Million (15.1 to 20.9 Million) </li></ul><ul><li>Children under 15 yrs = 2.3 Million. (1.7 to 3.5 Million) </li></ul><ul><li>People newly infected with HIV = 4.3 Million (3.6 to 6.6 Million). </li></ul><ul><li>Adults = 3.8 Million (3.2 to 5.7 Million) </li></ul><ul><li>Children under 15 yrs = 5,30,000 (4,10,000 to 6,60,000). </li></ul><ul><li>AIDS death in 2006 = 2.9 Million (2.5 to 3.5 Million). </li></ul><ul><li>Adults 2.6 Million (2.2 to 3 Million), Children under 15 yrs = 3,80,000 (2,90,000 to 5,00,000) </li></ul>
<ul><li>How is HIV passed on? </li></ul><ul><li>HIV can only be transmitted in </li></ul><ul><li>Blood (including Menstrual blood) </li></ul><ul><li>Semen </li></ul><ul><li>Vaginal Fluids </li></ul><ul><li>Breast Milk </li></ul><ul><li>HIV can be transmitted </li></ul><ul><li>Through unprotected sex. </li></ul><ul><li>From mother to her baby </li></ul><ul><li>Intravenous (IV) drug use. </li></ul><ul><li>By contaminated Blood transfusion. </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational Exposure. (Through accidental contact with contaminated body fluids from patients of HIV, by Health care workers. Since the Virus does not survive well outside the body, the risk of transmission to Health care workers is less.) </li></ul><ul><li>You cannot get HIV from: </li></ul><ul><li>Hugging </li></ul><ul><li>Casual Kissing </li></ul><ul><li>Saliva, Tears or Sweat. </li></ul><ul><li>Touching </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing a home, Office or Class room </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing Utensils </li></ul><ul><li>Touching a toilet seat, telephone etc </li></ul><ul><li>Eating or playing </li></ul><ul><li>Through Mosquitoes or other insects </li></ul>
Awaiting the inevitable. The various stages <ul><li>THE FOUR STAGES OF HIV INFECTION </li></ul><ul><li>Although the treatment options available for HIV are limited, it can substantially affect the quality of life and extend the years of life beyond the describe period. </li></ul><ul><li>ACUTE INFECTION (0 – 3 MONTHS) The Window period is the first stage when a person comes into contact with HIV. This lasts approximately 6 – 9 weeks. Although most people do not notice it, the period starts with a short illness, soon after infection. It could be a soar throat, an ulcer in the mouth or genitals, a fever or a rash on the skin, diarrhoea, a severe headache, or rarely an attack of Meningitis as a result of severe immune suppression. During this period, an HIV test is advised. Although the test looks for antibodies of HIV, it may not be show through as, the body may not have developed any antibodies at this very early stage. Therefore, a second test is advised a few months later. The symptoms mentioned above could be caused by other infections such as a flu, glandular fever, and tonsillitis. </li></ul>
<ul><li>ASYMPTOMATIC HIV INFECTION (3 months to 10 Years) During this period the patient still does not recognize the infection and may feel comfortable and healthy. However the immune damages will be detectable only by laboratory tests. Here, two tests are advised. </li></ul><ul><li>CD4 Cell count test: A normal CD4 Cell count in a healthy person without HIV, ranges between 400 to 1600 cells/mm3. Immediately after the infection, the cell count falls to several hundred counts below the normal. </li></ul><ul><li>Viral Load Test: This test, detects the amount of HIV in blood. It is counted in the form of ‘copies’ per ml of blood. A count of 10,000, shows the level of infection as being low and, 100,000 copies per ml, denotes high presence of HIV cells in blood. The viral load can go up briefly, as the infection period advances. The HIV virus, replicates very actively during this period, primarily in the lymph nodes and lymphoid tissues, which are perfect environment for infection of CD4 cells in the body. The health of some people, decline rapidly in 2 years during this period but, 10 to 15% show no signs, for as many as 10 years. </li></ul>
<ul><li>SYMPTOTAMIC HIV DISEASE: In this stage, the immune system which was constantly in battle with the rapidly replicating HIV cells, slowly begins to lose the battle. The virus begins to destroy the CD4 cells. A, CD4 cell count will show, a rapid decline in number, and specific signs of HIV disease starts to appear. </li></ul><ul><li>THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive weight loss. </li></ul><ul><li>Diarrhoea. </li></ul><ul><li>Oral thrush and ulcers. </li></ul><ul><li>Shingles, which is a painful rash affecting the skin. </li></ul><ul><li>Meningitis or peripheral neuropathy. </li></ul>
<ul><li>AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: This is an irreversible stage where the full and final diagnosis of AIDS is made. There may be initial recovery from individual opportunistic infections but, they are likely to reappear, with increasing severity and frequency. The unfortunate victim, succumbs to the disease in 18 to 24 months, from the time of infection. Usually in this stage, the CD4 count shows as low as 200 or even below. AIDS defining illness such as TB, Cancers, such as Kaposi’s Sarcoma, Cervical cancer, Lymphoma, Pneumonia, Meningitis / Encephalitis and HIV Dementia can be detected. Approximately 80% of the people die of secondary infections, running severe complications, leading to an inevitable, tragic and unavoidable death. </li></ul>
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Get the facts and share them with friends and family. Know well, your sex partners. Ask questions about past sexual history and drug use. Be honest about your past. If in doubt, use condom / sheath for sexual intercourse. (The Aids virus does not pass through a condom/sheath if properly used or if it does not break.) Never share drug needles, even in known company of friends.
Risk factors for HIV <ul><li>Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) STIs are infections that pass from one person to another, mainly through sexual intercourse. There are lots of different types of STIs: Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Herpes, HIV, Genital warts or Crabs (lice). HIV is an STI and is the only type of STI that causes AIDS. It is the most serious STI, because the others are easily treatable and curable. </li></ul><ul><li>Getting an STI (besides HIV) increases the chance of spreading HIV because, sores on penis or vagina, assist the HIV to enter the body through the broken skin, which cannot act as a barrier to HIV. These sores can also start to bleed during sex, and this will make it easier for the HIV to enter the body. A discharge also makes it easier to get HIV. </li></ul><ul><li>An untreated STI can also make someone who is HIV positive, more infectious. For example, when untreated, Gonorrhoea can make a person with HIV, more infectious as Gonorrhoea increases the number of HIV-infected cells in the genital area and in the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. </li></ul><ul><li>Having an STI , it is important to use a condom when having sex, to prevent it spreading further. Most STIs are very easy to treat, so one has to go to the clinic or a doctor and get treated. Most STI clinics, treat free of charge in most of the advanced countries, or for a small fee. </li></ul><ul><li>Drug and alcohol abuse HIV can be spread because of bad judgement calls, when a person is high or stoned. For example, when a person is high, instead of having protected sex, he simply throws caution to the wind and have unprotected sex. </li></ul><ul><li>Alcohol doesn’t cause HIV infection . However , alcohol reduces ability to think clearly and, alcohol makes him less inhibited. As a result, he may be more likely to make impulsive decisions and have unprotected sex. </li></ul><ul><li>If one is HIV positive , note that alcohol and drug abuse, weakens the immune system. If one is HIV negative, note that a person with a poor immune system is more likely to become infected with HIV if he/she has unprotected sex. </li></ul>
<ul><li>AIDS is a disease of only black (or white) people There are many myths about HIV and AIDS only affecting people in particular social groups, like blacks, homosexuals, etc. HIV does not discriminate, and nor should you, when dealing with it. However, biologically, young girls and women are more susceptible to infection. But men are still at very high risk. If one has unprotected sex with another who is HIV positive, the likelihood is that he will get HIV, despite his race, age, gender or sexual preference. </li></ul><ul><li>HIV can be spread by mosquitoes This is not true. HIV can only be spread through unprotected sex, blood and mother to child during pregnancy and breastfeeding. So, being bitten by a mosquito cannot lead to you being infected with HIV. </li></ul><ul><li>HIV can be spread in food or through sharing eating utensils This is not true. HIV can only be spread through unprotected sex, blood and mother to child during pregnancy and breastfeeding. So, sharing eating and drinking utensils, sitting in the same room, hugging or any other activities that bring you into direct contact with a person living with HIV and AIDS, cannot result in the spread of HIV. </li></ul><ul><li>Having sex with a young virgin will cure AIDS One cannot cure oneself of AIDS once he has got it. The only way to prevent getting HIV is to not have sex. All one is doing when he rapes a young virgin is spreading the disease, not curing it. The worst thing of all, connected to this myth, is the rape of innocent babies and toddlers who don’t even know what sex is and are left seriously damaged; physically, emotionally and spiritually. </li></ul><ul><li>I only have one partner so I don’t have to have safe sex When one starts a new relationship and if he decides to have sex, it is important to use a condom every time he has sex. If he is committed to one another and remain faithful to one another, it is important to go for an HIV test before having unprotected sex to check that both are HIV negative. However, this approach still requires a strong relationship where both partners trust one another and are faithful to one another. </li></ul><ul><li>If my baby is HIV negative, then I am also HIV negative. No. Your HIV test result reveals only your HIV status. </li></ul>Myths about HIV
TAKING CARE OF SOMEONE LIVING WITH HIV. <ul><li>Some tips! </li></ul><ul><li>Do not touch body fluids such as blood, stool or urine without wearing gloves or plastic bags on your hands. </li></ul><ul><li>Wash the gloves or plastic bags in hot water every time after you have used them. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not share needles, razors or toothbrushes. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep all open sores clean and covered. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep clothes and bedding with blood, diarrhoea or body fluids away from other washing. </li></ul><ul><li>Wear plastic bags or gloves on your hands when you work with dirty washing. </li></ul><ul><li>Wash the bedding and clothes in soapy water. Hang them where there is a lot of sunshine. Make sure the washing dries well. </li></ul><ul><li>Burn any bandages that cannot be rewashed. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to keep the sick person's mattress, sheets, blankets and pillows clean. Do this by covering the mattress with a plastic sheet. </li></ul><ul><li>Wash the sheets, blankets and pillows as often as you can. Wipe the plastic sheet with a hot, wet cloth. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, these tips are part of your daily life. In many cases you may not be providing nursing care to a family member, but perhaps you are helping a colleague or friend who has cut him/herself at work. It is important to wear protective clothing such as gloves, if you are treating a wound. Remember – you cannot see if someone is HIV positive, so protect yourself. </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ You took a long breath and stopped, after a minute you took another long, long breath, like a sigh. So peaceful, no pain, no loss of dignity. We had promised you that. You trusted us all and we didn't let you down. You took two further breaths with everyone there and then your body was at peace. How peaceful and beautiful death can be, when it is a gentle release from a progressive disease ! ! !” </li></ul>Let us all be able to tell this one day to a dying soul.
Dear friends, What that made me think about making this presentation, is the recent news on the local TV in Kerala, India, about the case of 5 innocent little HIV positive children, belonging to poor families, who were ordered to be taken away from a public school, by the PTA of the same school. There were very vigorous, exhibitions of opposition, to accommodate the said children, by some, ill-informed members of the PTA. Unfortunately, some Priests of Christian community, more mindful about money matters, were also involved in this incident. Let’s not be money minded, nor unreasonably religious looking. Let’s be human beings. All this could happen to any one of us tomorrow, with just a pin prick, from a desperate victim, suffering the cruel fangs of social stigma, attached to AIDS. Sd / Jacob / Cochin / Kerala / India.