Dec. 1 marks World AIDS Day, and every year the nation dedicates the day to spreading awareness about the disease.

The disease is spread by infection as result of contracting HIV. Here are some facts about AIDS that you should know, courtesy of NDTV.

  1. There’s a difference between AIDS and HIV.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) leads to infection. It attacks the immune system. HIV can be transmitted via person to person.

2) The risk of HIV?

Unprotected anal or vaginal sex increases the risk of HIV infection, as well as syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea and bacterial vaginosis. Sharing needles, unsafe injections and blood transfusions also. Tissue transplantation, as well as medical procedures that involve unsterile cutting or piercing, and accidental needle-stick injuries, including among health workers.

3) How HIV is diagnosed.

The virus is diagnosed by serological tests such as RDTs or enzyme immunoassays. These tests detect the presence or absence of antibodies to HIV -1/2 and/or HIV p24 antigen. A series of HIV tests provide a positive diagnosis. They must be used in combination.

4) How HIV is treated.

HIV is treated by a combination of anti-retroviral therapy (ART). It consists of three or more antiretroviral drugs. There is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but the disease and its symptoms can be suppressed.
ART does not cure HIV infection but suppresses viral replication within a person’s body and allows an individual’s immune system to strengthen and regain the capacity to fight off infections.