December 1 is World AIDS Day.
HIV infections are steadily rising.
In Asia Pacific, one of the reasons of the increasing number of people infected with human inmmuno-deficiency virus is the use of social networking technologies.
Some mobile dating apps allow individuals to engage in spontaneous casual sex. Furthermore, a study showed that some of these individuals are minors. 1
More and more people are using a smartphone to access the Internet. Some are setting up a profile online to find a group that can help them arrange for sex. The internet has become a hub where people can have unlimited sexual opportunities. 2
In the Philippines, the country is struggling to contain the spread of this disease, especially in a closed setting.
Prisons worldwide can hold millions of pre-trial detainees and sentenced prisoners. Some of them move from one prison to another while others move from one prison to another community.
This makes it easier for the disease to be passed from a prison community to the general population.
The virus is not only transmitted through sexual contact, but it can also be passed on through sharing of needles, transfusion of HIV-infected blood products, prick injuries, and mother-to-child transmission.
Unfortunately, there is no cure yet to HIV infection. The anti-retroviral drugs available will only delay the replication of the virus. With this treatment, the patient can stay longer or lead a productive life.
The lack of data
In the Asia Pacific, there are more than 220,000 adolescents who are suffering from this condition.
Since there is a lack of data about the real number of patients, the figure is expected to be higher.
The United Nations reported that there were 50,000 new sufferers among teenagers in 2014. Adolescents who are at higher risk of catching the virus will include transgender people, gay males, sex workers and injecting drug users.
In the Philippines, it is reported that new infections have risen by 50 percent among teenagers between 2010 and 2015.
The rising fatalities are also said to be fuelled by the delay in treatment or late diagnosis.
World Aids Day
Different organizations that work on raising awareness about HIV infections will conduct various programs this December to promote better self-care awareness, lessen stigma and discrimination.
This month is an opportunity for all of us to unite in fighting against HIV. Let’s show our support for those who are living with this disease and to remember those people who died with HIV.
There are advancements in HIV treatment.
There are laws that can protect the sufferers.
There are methods to help individuals understand about this disease.
Despite the efforts of the government and organizations, many are still unaware of how to protect themselves and others from this life-threatening condition.
Patients living with this condition are still discriminated by those who don’t fully understand the disease.
With World AIDS Day celebration, the public will be reminded that HIV is still a big threat to the society.
This celebration will also serve as a way for organizations to mobilize their campaigns in raising social consciousness about the virus.
- (November 30, 2015) Adolescents: Under the Radar in the Asia-Pacific AIDS Response. ReliefWeb. Retrieved from http://reliefweb.int/report/world/adolescents-under-radar-asia-pacific-aids-response
- Mcauliffe, Anneliese (November 30, 2015). Dating Apps Fuel “Hidden Epidemic” of New HIV Infection. Aljazeera. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/dating-apps-fuel-hidden-epidemic-hiv-infection-151130164818104.html
Photo Credit: Bet