AIDS Day expects to increase awareness

By Diana Vilares
December 1, 2006

MICHAEL MULVEY

International World AIDS Day is taking place on Friday, Dec. 1 to spread awareness of the disease that has infected 40 million people worldwide. The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is developed when untreated Human Immunodeficiency Virus becomes more recognizable when the immune system begins to show signs of weakness.

According to AVERT.com, people infected with HIV don’t notice any radical change in their health pattern, yet some do develop flu-like symptoms that go as quickly as they come. Both illnesses, however, can go undetected for months, even years.

While HIV is most popularly known as being transmitted through unprotected sex, it can also be transmitted through the mixing of certain bodily fluids if one of the persons is infected with the disease.

AVERT.com notes unsanitary tattoo and piercing parlors as risk factors for people if the tools used aren’t properly cared for. HIV and AIDS can also be passed on through childbirth if the mother has been infected with the disease before her pregnancy.

In an article found on RealityCheck.org, Scott Swenson, an HIV positive man from Washington D.C., said that denial had one of the most “devastating effects” he had ever encountered.

“We all take responsibility for the choices we make in this life-that’s what life and free will are about,” Swenson said.

World AIDS Day’s purpose is to bring people together and end the prejudice that so many endure due to this growing epidemic so that people can feel more comfortable with themselves. According to worldaidsday.org, red ribbons are the symbol for HIV awareness that was began by Visual AIDS, a New York Based organization supported by artists who came together to help stop the discrimination and encourage education.

Christine Hyson, director of health and wellness education, said that the Health Hut and Health & Wellness are getting together to promote sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS prevention next week at Cabrini.

For more information on how to take action during the month of December, or all year round, visit www.worldaidsday.org. Information can be found to create events or make a donation.

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Diana Vilares

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