HIV and AIDS remain a persistent problem faced by almost all over the world, especially by the United States. In many countries, women have been worst affected by this disease since the beginning of the global HIV epidemic. Since March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, it is right time to make people know the basic facts about HIV/AIDS.
Know about the Disease:
HIV is a human immunodeficiency virus that attacks our immune system and destroys the T cells, a type of white blood cells, completely. This will develop into AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) due to which the immune system is too weak, thus by making people susceptible to infections and diseases. Is this disease a curable one? Even though there is currently no permanent cure, with early diagnosis and the right treatments like antiretroviral, people with HIV can live long and healthy lives. If left untreated, this will lead to death. How is HIV transmitted? This virus is found in semen, blood, rectal, vaginal fluids. Transmitted through sexual behaviors, sharing of needles and syringes, breastfeeding if the mother is living with HIV, and also blood transfusion. Why are women and girls particularly at higher risk? Mainly because of lack of access to health care services, gender inequality, cultural, social and economic status and violence faced by women and adolescent girls in the society. Poverty is also one of the reasons for trafficking and sexual exploitation of young women and adolescent girls who may be less educated and no knowledge about the risks of HIV.
Ways to Protect Women and Girls:
It is all the more important to create awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS to prevent and protect women and young girls. There are many ways you can do this.