Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Facts About AIDS You May Not Know

December 1 is World AIDS Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic. I didn't know some of these facts, listed below. Do you?

1. People don’t die of AIDS, they die of various opportunistic infections that AIDS prevent from curing. Most people with AIDS die from certain types of cancer, herpes, pneumonia and tuberculosis.

2. After a person is infected with HIV, there is usually no change in that person's health for quite a few years. This period is normally around 10 years, with an average range of some 8 to 12 years in length. Rarely, a person can begin to show evidence of the infection as early as 5 years after the infection.

3. Also saliva carries some load of HIV virus, the risk of infection even through open-mouth kiss is considered negligible. There is only one recorded case of possible HIV transmission through kissing that involved two people with significant gum disease with open sores in the mouth.

4. Fast spreading of AIDS in Africa in recent years was caused not only by wars, but also by a myth that AIDS can be cured through sexual intercourse with a healthy virgin.

5. Some trials have shown that male circumcision lowers the risk of HIV infection among heterosexual men by up to 60%. It is expected that this procedure will be actively promoted in many of the countries affected by HIV, although doing so will involve confronting a number of practical, cultural and attitudinal issues.

6. HIV can survive at room temperature outside the body for hours if dry and for weeks if wet.

7. The risk of transmitting HIV from the mother to the unborn child is between 15-30%. However, this may be reduced to just 2-3% with proper treatment.

8. People over 50 make up a rapidly growing segment of the HIV and AIDS population.

9. Even if you consider yourself and people of your circle living outside of group of risk, spreading information about AIDS can make a difference, because you never know how far your word can reach.

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