AIDS awareness

World’s Aids day- Raise your support to save women from the killer!

Observed on the 1st of December since 1988, World’s Aids day is recognized all over the world to raise awareness about the infection and the transmission of the deadliest HIV, especially to women living in poor socio-economic conditions.

Reports state that India has the third largest AIDS struck population and has been more common among women. Though constant efforts were put to reduce the HIV infection among the general population, the number of female victims have been increasing due to multiple factors, with forced marital sex being on the top of the list.

The reasons why women are more vulnerable to AIDS

Gender inequality has been the potential driver of HIV risks among women. Especially, in the underdeveloped parts of India where sexual intercourse with the spouse is not a choice but a perspective of duty and a way to survive. The groups of people who are more likely to get infected include adolescent girls who are both single and married, sexually active single women, sex workers and survivors of sexual abuse and rape. Unfortunately, a huge number of these victims are from underprivileged backgrounds and most of them have the least idea about AIDS infection and ways to prevent it.

These women, living in poor conditions have been into forced sexual life with older men, multiple men and transactional relationships in order to survive in society.

Application of drugs and unhygienic medical conditions have also contributed to HIV in women. Having sex with an infected male not just leaves the woman infected but also makes her pregnant with a diseases fetus. Drug use with contaminated needles is another way HIV can be acquired by women.

How does Human Immuno Deficiency Virus affect women?

Throughout the world, the killer disease is transmitted through sexual intercourse performed without contraceptive facilities like condoms, cervical caps etc. Blood, seminal and vaginal fluids help in transmitting the deadly virus into the human body. The fragile tissues surrounding the female genitalia and the anus region can be damaged easily and they provide an easy entry to HIV. This means women and men who perform anal sex are more likely to be hit by HIV.

Once HIV enters the body (both male and female) it damages the immune system and thus paving way for the invasion of other diseases. Though the symptoms are common for both the sexes, there are few that are specific to women

Infected women develop yeast infections around their genitals. They are more likely to suffer from pelvic inflammatory diseases. HIV increases the chances of cervical cancer.

The AIDS virus is transmitted to the child from a pregnant mother. Medications and treatments have shown positive results to protect the child from being an HIV victim.

Is there a way to treat AIDS?

There is no way to cure AIDS completely. But antiretroviral drugs have been reported to control the infection of HIV and improve the human immune system. Attempts have been taken to decrease the transmission of HIV to others. Any person (male/female/transgender) who has shown positive to the disease is eligible to receive antiretroviral treatment.

An attempt to spread awareness

Handling the epidemic of AIDS is categorized into three ways

  1. Short term solutions and administration of drugs to treat the HIV infected persons and methods to prevent it from spreading to others. Helping pregnant, HIV struck women to deliver safe babies.
  2. Educating people to prevent the transmission of deadly diseases. Usage of condoms can stop the HIV from entering the body as the virus-carrying fluid is held back. Saying no to drugs, employment of infected needles, screening of blood during transfusion will reduce the risk of HIV infection
  3. Long-term solutions like infusing the root causes of HIV in the minds of common people. Addressing the problems of gender disparities, treating the transgenders with equality and expressing basic humanity to the victims can help to eradicate HIV and allow the victims to live with dignity.