December 1st is celebrated as World Aids Day every year globally. This year marks the 30th anniversary of AIDS Day. The day is observed to highlights the worldwide efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and support the ones living with the condition or those who died of the disease. One of the most-stigmatised subjects, HIV and AIDS need as much awareness as possible. Talking about the scenario in India with regards to the incurable diseases, statistics show that the awareness about HIV and AIDS is very low and most people don't even know the difference between HIV and AIDS and often use the two interchangeably. UNAIDS Report Says 9.4 Million People Don’t Know They Are HIV Positive! and a lot has to do with lack of awareness about the disease.
What is the Difference Between HIV and AIDS?
1. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus whereas AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
2. People with HIV can enjoy a long and healthy if they take antiretroviral treatment on time whereas AIDS can be very barely managed, has no cure and can lead to death.
3. AIDS is the last stage of HIV, and when one has AIDS, their immune system has extremely weak, so much so, that it cannot fight off infection and the patient develops specific defining symptoms and illness.
4. HIV is found in semen, blood, vaginal and anal fluids, and breast milk whereas AIDS exhibits last-stage symptoms.
5. HIV can’t be transmitted through saliva, sweat or urine.
6. While HIV is the infection, AIDS is a set of symptoms and illnesses that form the result of advanced HIV infection which has damaged the immune system almost entirely.
7. These days, fewer people are developing AIDS because of the advanced treatment options available to manage HIV.
Recently, the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced the HIV AIDS Act 2017 that has been implemented from September 10, 2018, onwards. The act will focus on safeguarding the human rights of the people afflicted by the human immunodeficiency virus by penalising those who indulge in discriminatory behaviour against them.