What is AIDS? AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is a human disease caused by HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. In this disease, the immune system gradually becomes less effective, which leads to more and more opportunistic infections and tumors. It is transmitted when a bodily fluid, for example blood, semen, or breast milk, of an infected individual comes into direct contact with a mucous membrane or blood stream of another individual.
Although most commonly thought of as a sexually transmitted disease, it can be transmitted through several kinds of exposure to infected bodily fluids, such as a blood transfusion or the use of infected hypodermic needles. It can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, during childbirth, and through breastfeeding. AIDS was first recognized in the 1980s and is now a pandemic, affecting over 33 million people around the world.
Each year, over 2 million people die from the disease. The majority of cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease originated, and where poor economic conditions and limited sex education have exacerbated the pandemic. There is currently no vaccine or cure for HIV or AIDS, though treatments have been developed which can slow the disease’s course. The most effective treatments are intensive and expensive, and thus access to them is limited in many parts of the world.
Because of this, the most important aspect of fighting the AIDS pandemic is prevention, by educating individuals about the disease, encouraging them to practice safe sex, and providing them with clean needles if they are drug users. AIDS is a medical condition. A person is diagnosed with AIDS when their immune system is too weak to fight off infections. Since AIDS was first identified in the early 1980s, an unprecedented number of people have been affected by the global AIDS epidemic. Today, there are an estimated 33. 3 million people living with HIV and AIDS worldwide. What causes AIDS?
AIDS is caused by HIV. HIV is a virus that gradually attacks immune system cells. As HIV progressively damages these cells, the body becomes more vulnerable to infections, which it will have difficulty in fighting off. It is at the point of very advanced HIV infection that a person is said to have AIDS. It can be years before HIV has damaged the immune system enough for AIDS to develop. What are the symptoms of AIDS? A person is diagnosed with AIDS when they have developed an AIDS related condition or symptom, called an opportunistic infection, or an AIDS related cancer.
The infections are called ‘opportunistic’ because they take advantage of the opportunity offered by a weakened immune system. It is possible for someone to be diagnosed with AIDS even if they have not developed an opportunistic infection. AIDS can be diagnosed when the number of immune system cells (CD4 cells) in the blood of an HIV positive person drops below a certain level. Is there a cure for AIDS? Worryingly, many people think there is a ‘cure’ for AIDS – which makes them feel safer, and perhaps take risks that they otherwise wouldn’t. However, there is still no cure for AIDS.
The only way to stay safe is to be aware of how HIV is transmitted and how to prevent HIV infection. How many people have died from AIDS? Since the first cases of AIDS were identified in 1981, more than 25 million people have died from AIDS. An estimated 1. 8 million people died as a result of AIDS in 2009 alone. Although there is no cure for AIDS, HIV infection can be prevented, and those living with HIV can take antiretroviral drugs to delay the onset of AIDS. However, in many countries across the world access to prevention and treatment services is limited.
Global leaders have pledged to work towards universal access to HIV prevention and care, so that millions of deaths can be averted. How is AIDS treated? A community health worker gives an HIV positive patient antiretroviral drugs, Kenya A community health worker gives an HIV positive patient antiretroviral drugs, Kenya Antiretroviral treatment can prolong the time between HIV infection and the onset of AIDS. Modern combination therapy is highly effective and someone with HIV who is taking treatment could live for the rest of their life without developing AIDS. An AIDS diagnosis does not necessarily equate to a death sentence.
Many people can still benefit from starting antiretroviral therapy even once they have developed an AIDS defining illness. Better treatment and prevention for opportunistic infections have also helped to improve the quality and length of life for those diagnosed with AIDS. Treating some opportunistic infections is easier than others. Infections such as herpes zoster and candidiasis of the mouth, throat or vagina, can be managed effectively in most environments. On the other hand, more complex infections such as toxoplasmosis, need advanced medical equipment and infrastructure, which are lacking in many resource-poor areas.
It is also important that treatment is provided for AIDS related pain, which is experienced by almost all people in the very advanced stages of HIV infection. From 1987 to end of December 2009 •Detected cases of HIV/AIDS: with 4219 Mauritians (3429 males and 790 females).
•Sex ratio male to female is 4:1 •Deaths due to HIV/AIDS reported : 240among Mauritians (236 adults and 4 children). •21 children (11 boys and 10 girls) of age 1 to 14 years: 4 died (1M & 3 F), 7 on ART * •Roughly an average of 543 new infections yearly Representation selon l’ageGrouped’age(ans)| Taux| 15 -24| 18.
6 %| 25-39| 56%| 15 -39| 74. 6%| 12 -19| 1. 7%| The government is moving ahead with its plan to decentralize health care for the aids patients . To date, there are only two centers, one in Port Louis and the other Candos that offer a service for these patients. The decision was endorsed by the Cabinet this Friday, March 4. Three regional centers will soon be added to the two existing centers. A decentralization process that started since the beginning of the year with the closure of the Centre in Cassis Bouloux. It was until recently the only medical unit for people living with HIV.
These new centers will be established in regional hospitals in Pamplemousses, Flacq and Rose-Belle. The creation of these new care unit is part of the implementation of the Action Plan Government for the year 2011. This project had already been announced by the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Maya Hanoomanjee during launch activities in the framework of the World Day of the fight against HIV / AIDS, December 1 at Port Louis Waterfront. “This will in large measure because patients will not have to travel long distances to receive treatment.
This will allow better monitoring and a greater number of patients will be treated because these two centers will be closer to home. It’s a way to reduce the harm caused by this disease, “the minister said at the time. For his part the director of the NGO PILS (Prevention, Information and fight against AIDS) welcomed the government decision. “It’s a very good decision. It’s been talked about. A center was far from enough to provide quality care especially with the growing number of HIV-positive. Each month, 50 people learn they have this disease . This represents 600 new cases each year.
And who says care quality care nearby said. This decentralization process is in the right direction, “says Nicolas Ritter. On the other hand, the Ministry of Health had already announced its intention to go ahead with the decentralization of health care for PVVHIV, as mentioned in the National Multisectoral HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework 2007-2011. This national work plan aims to share to curb the spread of the virus on the soil of Mauritius on the one hand and secondly to ensure that HIV and AIDS patients receive the care and support needed to cope with the disease.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Mauritius dates back to 1987 when the first HIVpositive case was detected. Since then the number of recorded cases has continued to increase and according to statistics produced by the AIDS Unit of the Ministry of Health, the rate of progression was mild during the early years following detection. Since 2003, the country seems to be heading towards a blownout phase with the rate of increase assuming an almost exponential trend. The first constant feature of HIV/AIDS patients has been that most of the new cases recorded over the years are aged between 20 to 40 years.
Secondly, according to the AIDS Unit of the Ministry of Health, most of those, who are HIVpositive, live in the Port Louis and Plaine Wilhems areas both of which account for 74% of the total HIV cases for the country. However, given the small size of the country and the mobility of the population, the spread of the disease to the other districts may be faster than expected. Thirdly, with regard to infection by the AIDS virus, males have shown a systematic tendency to outnumber females.