Every 18 seconds, a new individual gets infected with HIV, according to Dr. Andrew Hill of Liverpool University.
HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a retrovirus that infects the human immune system, impairing it or destroying it completely. People who become immunodeficient end up becoming more susceptible to a wide range of illnesses and those with HIV are at risk of getting AIDS if left untreated.
As of 2018, 1.7 million men, women, and children have been infected with this disease. One in every 30 men who have intercourse with another man has a chance of contracting it. And despite advances in medicine, approximately 770,000 people have died from the disease in 2018. These statistics prove that the fight to end HIV and AIDS is far from over.
What can we do about it?
While there is no cure for HIV at this time, it is possible to live healthily even with the virus. What’s important is you get tested whether or not you know you have the disease. Here’s a list of clinics that offer free HIV testing.
It also helps to switch to a much healthier lifestyle—have a healthier diet, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and excessive drinking, and get regular checkups with your doctor.
Most importantly, you should always practice safe sex. Wear a condom when engaging in intercourse so that you and your partner are protected against sexually transmitted diseases. Plus, you can even help communities that are afflicted with these diseases! Durex, for example currently has a campaign where, with every purchase of their special Durex Red products, a portion goes directly to the “Keeping Girls in School” program in South Africa where 7.7 million people are currently living with HIV. This program aims to reduce new HIV infections and help young women stay in education and improve their access to sexual health and reproductive services.
(ALSO READ: The Aids and Hook-up Culture in the Philippines)
Again, we must all work together to end the stigma against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. We all have to be open to discussing these things with people, especially to our partners, and not be afraid to get judged for it. After all, it can happen to anyone. And so we need to support and educate each other so that we’re safe and protected.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!
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