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Monday, December 1, 2008


On World AIDS Day I'm providing some information about HIV. & Wish you all a very Happy & Save Life

HIV facts & Stats

The number of people living with HIV is continuing to rise in every part of the world - including in the UK. There are now 33 million people living with HIV worldwide and 80,000 people living with HIV in the UK.

What is HIV?

HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune system - the body's defence against diseases. The latest research suggests that between 70 and 90 per cent of people may experience symptoms of infection a few days after having been infected. Three symptoms occurring together: fever, rash and a severe sore throat should always be considered a potential indicator of HIV infection. These symptoms usually disappear within two or three weeks. Other people may not have symptoms to start with. In all cases, without effective treatment the immune system will eventually become very weak and no longer be able to fight off illnesses.
Are HIV and AIDS the same?
No. When someone is described as living with HIV, they have the HIV virus in their body. A person is considered to have developed AIDS when the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of diseases with which it would normally cope.

I don't know anyone with HIV... do I?
There are approximately 80,000 people living with HIV in the UK and about a third of these don't know that they are infected. The epidemic is still growing in the UK with around 7,000 new diagnoses every year. Even if someone you know is living with HIV, they may not feel able to tell you.
Is there a cure for HIV?
No, but treatment can keep the virus under control and the immune system healthy. People on HIV treatment can live a healthy, active life, although they may experience side effects from the treatment. If HIV is diagnosed late, treatment may be less effective in preventing AIDS.
What's it like living with HIV?
If people with HIV are diagnosed early and respond to treatment they can be healthy, work and have relationships like anyone else and have a long life expectancy.
Coming to terms with an HIV diagnosis and getting used to treatment can be very difficult however, and people living with HIV will often need support from healthcare providers, friends and family, employers and support organisations.
Why do people find it hard to tell others they are HIV positive?
People living with HIV may find it hard to tell others about their condition as they worry that people will reject them, or they will experience prejudice from friends, family and colleagues. People living with HIV can also experience discrimination in their workplace, in healthcare settings (e.g., GPs and dentists), from members of their local community and through the media.
HIV prejudice is often the result of ignorance about how HIV is passed on and unfounded fear of becoming infected. Encouraging those around us to talk about HIV and find out the facts can help overcome this.
There are lots more facts about HIV - including real life stories - at NAT's main website

HIV prevention

How is HIV passed on?
HIV can be passed on through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk. The most common ways HIV is passed on are:
  • Sex without a condom with someone living with HIV
  • Sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment
  • From an HIV-positive mother (to her child) during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
Can you get HIV through oral sex?
Oral sex carries a much lower risk than penetrative sex, but HIV can still be passed on through cuts, gum problems or ulcers in the mouth if they come into contact with infected bodily fluids.
Can you get HIV from kissing?
No. HIV cannot be passed on through:
  • Kissing or touching
  • Spitting, coughing or sneezing
  • Toilet seats, swimming pools, or shared facilities or utensils
Can women living with HIV still have children?
Yes. HIV can be passed from mother to child, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the possibility of the child contracting HIV to less than one per cent, including giving the mother and child antiretroviral HIV drugs, delivering the child by Caesarean and not breastfeeding the baby.
Could I get HIV?
If you are sexually active or share needles you could be at risk from getting HIV. Although anyone can become infected, some communities in the UK have higher rates of infection, such as gay and bisexual men and black African men and women.
How can I protect myself from HIV?
Always use a condom when having vaginal or anal sex. You also may want to use a condom or dental dam during oral sex although the risk of transmission of HIV is much lower. Always use a condom that carries the European CE safety mark. You can get free condoms from a family planning or sexual health clinic, which you can locate at www.fpa.org.uk/finder/. Never share needles, syringes or any other injecting equipment.
What do I do if I think I have put myself at risk?
If you think you have placed yourself at risk from infection by HIV you can ask for a free and confidential test at your local sexual health clinic, which you can locate at www.fpa.org.uk/finder/.
If you are within 72 hours of an incident of possible exposure to HIV, ask for PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) treatment from a sexual health clinic or at your nearest hospital accident and emergency department. PEP treatment can help stop you becoming infected with the virus after you have been exposed to HIV. The sooner treatment is begun the higher the probability the treatment will be effective. Find out more about PEP at www.tht.org.uk/pep.

HIV Statistics

The number of people living with HIV in the UK has trebled in the last 10 years.

UK Statistics

People living with HIV:
  • More than 80,000 people living with HIV in the UK
  • One in three people with HIV are undiagnosed
  • One in every 360 pregnant women in the UK is HIV positive
New HIV cases in 2007:
  • 7,700 new diagnoses in the UK in 2007
  • 2,700 new diagnoses among men who have sex with men
  • 3,500 new diagnoses among people from black and minority ethnic communities
All figures from the Health Protection Agency report: UK HIV New Diagnoses, August 2008.
HIV is increasing in every region of the world

International Statistics

People living with HIV:
  • 33 million people living with HIV worldwide
  • 30.8 million adults
  • 15.5 million women
  • 2.0 million children under 15
New HIV cases in 2007:
  • 2.7 million total new cases
  • 2.3 million adults
  • 370,000 children under 15
HIV-related deaths in 2007:
  • 2.0 million total deaths
All figures from UNAIDS.
More detailed statistics are available through NAT.

WAD: 21 years
Twenty-one years ago, a summit of health ministers realised that a united global effort was required to halt the spread of HIV. As a result, World AIDS Day emerged as the first international health day in December 1988.
The aim of World AIDS Day is to bring to people's attention the worldwide challenges and consequences of the epidemic - ultimately halting the spread of HIV and improving the lives of people living with the virus.
Each year the campaign is an opportunity for organisations throughout the world to highlight the HIV pandemic in order to raise awareness and bring about change
What is the theme for World AIDS Day 2008?
The UK theme for World AIDS Day 2008, "Respect & Protect", is inspired by the UNAIDS and World AIDS Campaign ongoing international theme, "Leadership". The international theme is developed as an overall theme which each country is encouraged to adapt to suit more specific issues around the epidemic in their region.
Each year NAT translates the international theme into a slogan to reflect HIV issues in the UK, developing a theme and call to action relevant to HIV in the UK, and producing new and unique visuals and materials to accompany the theme. By consulting our customers, young people and people living with HIV, Respect & Protect translates the global theme "Leadership" for a UK audience, setting out an agenda for individuals to take the lead in their own life.
Respect & Protect is inclusive and highlights the responsibility everyone has to transform attitudes to HIV and encourage actions that stop its spread.
Respect & Protect inspires individuals to consider the different roles they can play:
  • Show respect by always treating people living with HIV fairly, respecting their confidentiality and challenging prejudice wherever it occurs.
  • Respect themselves and their partners by always practising safe sex to protect their sexual health.
  • Find out the facts about HIV, spread the Respect & Protect message and encourage others to do the same.
What is NAT's role in World AIDS Day?
NAT has played a co-ordinating role for World AIDS Day in the UK since 1988. Each year we work with people living with HIV and other organizations to develop an appropriate theme for World AIDS Day, design posters and information resources and develop and manage the World AIDS Day website, the main source of information for World AIDS Day in the UK.
Information on World AIDS Day events going on throughout the UK can be found on the events section of this website. World AIDS Day posters, leaflets, red ribbons and other campaign materials produced by NAT are available at our online shop and are displayed in a wide range of community settings including health centres, youth clubs, schools and GP surgeries around the country.
Why do we wear red ribbons to mark World AIDS Day?
The red ribbon is worn as a sign of support for people living with HIV. Wearing a red ribbon for World AIDS Day is a simple and powerful way to challenge the stigma and prejudice surrounding HIV and AIDS that prevents us from tackling HIV in the UK and internationally.
The red ribbon has been an international symbol of AIDS awareness since 1991. The Red Ribbon Project was created by the New York based organisation Visual AIDS, which brought together artists to create a symbol of support for the growing number of people living with HIV in the US.
The red ribbon is the result of collaboration between community artists who wanted to create a non-copyrighted image that could be used as an awareness-raising tool by people across the world.
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