HIV awareness hits home

AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, attacks the body’s immune system. Dec. 1 was World Aids Day and on Nov. 30 there was table in the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center that handed out information on this topic. At the table there were many different pieces of information that were available for Radford University students. If you were unable to go by the table, here is some information that you missed.

Joining together with the red ribbons. Image from Creative Commons.

World AIDS Day is held so people are given the opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This is the first ever global health day to be introduced to people and the very first day was held in 1988 to bring awareness and strength to every community. Bringing people together, even for just one day, allows others to know that there are not only support systems out there to help, but there is also an endless amount of information to be learned. This way everyone’s eyes can be opened.

HIV can be passed from person to person through infected bodily fluids. There are more than 90,000 people that are infected and around a quarter of those are unaware that they even have the virus. Getting yourself tested is nothing to be ashamed of. Some people are afraid of the embarrassment while getting tested, but doctors and nurses will not judge or make fun of anyone who comes in to get tested. Knowing whether or not you have the disease is the most important way to make sure you don’t pass it on to someone else. Here are a few other pieces of information.

  • Over 90 percent of people with HIV were infected through sexual contact
  • You can now get tested for HIV using a saliva sample
  • HIV can’t be passed through spitting, biting, or sharing utensils
  • Only 1 percent of babies born to HIV positive mothers have HIV
  • You can get the results of an HIV test in just 15-20 minutes
  • There is no vaccine and no cure for HIV

Learning information about AIDS is nothing to be ashamed of and maybe if more people were to get informed, there will be less people getting infected.