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December 1st is world AIDS awareness day and December is often considered AIDS awareness month. Even though AIDS is unfortunately a common disease there are still many that do not know the facts, such as how it is contracted, aids symptoms and also what can be done. As medical advances have been made AIDS is no longer a death sentence as it once was as there have been vast improvements in available medications and care for AIDS sufferers. However, HIV/AIDS is still being transmitted and it is important to be aware of all of the facts of how it can be transmitted and what the symptoms and signs of aids are.
AIDS which stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is a disease that affects the immune system of individuals that have been infected with it. AIDS starts as HIV which is transmitted primarily through unprotected sexual intercourse, blood, needles, and other bodily fluids. Some individuals have contracted HIV/AIDS through contaminated blood transfusions and it can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. One of the best ways to prevent HIV/AIDS infection is through safe sex and to avoid the sharing of needles.
There are different signs and symptoms of AIDS depending on the stage of infection. AIDS symptoms begin to appear in the most advanced stages of the HIV disease partially because the immune system of the infected individual has been badly compromised at this point. Symptoms can include thrush, yeast infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, frequent infections, tiredness, headaches, light-headedness, and dizziness. Other common signs are a loss of 10 or more pounds in a short period of time, easy bruising, frequent diarrhea, fevers and night sweats, discolored or purplish growths on the skin or inside of the mouth, and unexplained bleeding. There are many other signs and symptoms associated with AIDS and it varies from individual to individual.
There are many aids statistics but some of the most poignant are that over 1 million individuals in the United States are living with HIV and 1 in 6 individuals is living with HIV and does not know it. Another statistic that drives home the importance of being tested is that about every 1 in 4 new HIV infections is among individuals that are of ages 13-24 and most do not know that they are infected.
It is important to get tested for HIV/AIDS and there is no better time than during AIDS awareness month. For individuals that are living with AIDS there is medical jewelry such as bracelets that are not only stylish and beautiful but they are great to have in case of an injury or accident, and are a great way to keep yourself and others safe.
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