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World Aids Day 2023: Here's why raising awareness is a key strategy in HIV prevention

Raising awareness is a crucial strategy in preventing the spread of HIV. HIV, which stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that attacks the immune system and can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).

Kristina Das Edited By: Kristina Das @ New Delhi Published on: November 30, 2023 6:30 IST
World AIDS Day 2023
Image Source : FREEPIK Know why raising awareness is a key strategy in HIV prevention.

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is often surrounded by stigma and misconceptions. In India, such myths have been widely believed. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that weakens the body's ability to fend off infections, making individuals more susceptible to various diseases. HIV spreads through contact with specific bodily fluids, and if not treated, it can progress to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), the advanced stage of HIV infection where the immune system is severely damaged.

Fortunately, HIV can be effectively managed and prevented with antiretroviral therapy (ART). This treatment involves antiretroviral medicines that stop the virus's replication, allowing the immune system to recover and prevent further harm. Early detection is crucial in this fight against HIV. Encouraging routine testing, especially for high-risk groups, pregnant women, and those engaging in unprotected sex, can significantly reduce the risk of transmission and slow down the virus's progression.

According to Dr Krutharth Kanjiya, a Fever and Critical Infection Specialist, raising awareness is a key strategy in HIV prevention. By conducting targeted campaigns in schools, communities, and online platforms, we can emphasize the importance of HIV testing and treatment. It is vital to dispel myths and eliminate the stigma associated with HIV, fostering open discussions, and making testing a normalized part of healthcare.

Community engagement plays a pivotal role in HIV initiatives. Establishing support groups and resources can empower individuals living with HIV, creating an environment for peer-to-peer education. “Prevention being better than cure,” - these efforts collectively contribute to building a society that is well-informed, supportive, and proactive in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Moreover, raising awareness helps combat the stigma surrounding HIV, which often prevents people from getting tested and seeking treatment. It also promotes understanding and acceptance of people living with HIV, encouraging them to seek proper medical care. 

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