World AIDS Day: Useful facts you must know

World AIDS Day is observed every year on 1st December to raise awareness about the disease AIDS which is an acronym for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The disease is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which infects a person’s immunity and deteriorates it further.

AIDS exposes people to vulnerable infections and diseases. Ever since AIDS and awareness surrounding the disease has been widely spread across the globe, the air around misconceptions has also been cleared.

Here are some of the most surprising facts about AIDS that you must know:

1. AIDS remained an undiscovered disease

In the early 1980s in the United States, there were many deaths from unusual infections reported and the patients had mysteriously failed immunity system. But the reason behind this public health crisis was associated with the spread of HIV/AIDS virus. And the discovery of this virus didn’t come in light until 1983. Three years!

2.HIV came from chimpanzees 

Yes! You heard it. The HIV virus mainly originated with simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs)—viruses in chimpanzees and monkeys. It is believed that human hunters became the bridge by eating the meat of apes and monkeys or by coming in contact with their blood.

3. You can be infected with HIV and still feel fine 

Did you know? HIV infection may not show any symptoms for several years. People can be infected for more than a decade and feel fine. However, during this stage, infection can be spread from one person to another.

4. Many people with HIV don’t know they have it 

That’s true! There are many people who are not even aware that they are infected with the AIDS causing HIV virus. Many medical practitioners don’t even offer to screen their patients for HIV. The pandemic disease has massive stigma attached to it and it makes people live in the denial of their risk. However, the situation is a lot better than what it once used to be.

5. It’s not just gay men’s disease 
During its discovery in the initial years, AIDS was largely considered to be a gay man’s disease. While the majority of HIV infection is reported in men who have sexual intercourse with men, there are many people who acquired the virus through heterosexual intercourse. Injected drugs can also lead to the transmission of HIV.

6. People are still dying of AIDS 

AIDS isn’t behind us. Although there are various medical advancements that have made it possible for HIV infected people to have a perfect, happy, healthy and long life, yet the death count due to AIDS is still being reported. In 2011, HIV/AIDS killed over 1.6 million people around the world. The countries with low income see more deaths due to HIV/AIDS.