is one of the world’s
most deadly communicable diseases.
Communicable diseases are diseases that you can "Catch" from someone else.
A communicable disease is a disease that spreads from person to person.
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
is the final stage of HIV disease,
which causes severe damage to the immune system.
The virus compromises the body’s ability to handle disease and causes AIDS.
This is a slow process, and positive people may not have symptoms for over a decade.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
gradually destroys certain blood cells that are important to the immune system.
It attacks the immune system and leaves the body vulnerable
to a variety of life-threatening infections and cancers.
AIDS is that condition at the ending phase of the
HIV infection in which an individual’s immune system is
so deteriorated that various infections and
cancers are easily allowed to enter the body.
This leaves the body very susceptible to opportunistic infections.
Common symptoms are:
*Sweats (particularly at night)
*Swollen lymph glands
Note: Initial infection with HIV may produce no symptoms.
Some people, however, do experience flu-like symptoms with
fever, rash, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes, usually 2 - 4
weeks after contracting the virus. Some people with HIV infection stay
symptom-free for years between the time they are exposed to the virus
and when they develop AIDS.
Common bacteria, yeast, parasites, and viruses that ordinarily do not
cause serious disease in people with healthy immune systems can cause
fatal illnesses in people with AIDS.
When the body’s immune system is no longer able to defend against
HIV, the individual may contract any number of infections, such as
tuberculosis, pneumonia, fungal and yeast infections, and intestinal
HIV has been found in saliva, tears, nervous system tissue and spinal
fluid, blood, semen (including pre-seminal fluid, which is the liquid that
comes out before ejaculation), vaginal fluid, and breast milk. However,
only blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk generally transmit
infection to others.
affects millions of people worldwide.
As a global pandemic,
HIV/AIDS affects our world and our communities.
The AIDS and HIV virus is a very dangerous disease that sees no race,
no color, no gender, no economic background
and not even a specific age group.
The virus can be transmitted:
Through sexual contact -- including oral,
vaginal, and anal sex.
Through blood -- via blood transfusions
or needle sharing.
From mother to child -- a pregnant woman can transmit the virus to her
fetus through their shared blood circulation, or a nursing mother can
transmit it to her baby in her breast milk.
Other methods of spreading the virus are rare and include accidental
needle injury, artificial insemination with infected donated semen, and
organ transplantation with infected organs.
Injection drug users who share needles
Infants born to mothers with HIV who didn't receive
HIV therapy during pregnancy.
People engaging in unprotected sex,
especially with people who have other high-risk behaviors,
are HIV-positive, or have AIDS.
People who received blood transfusions or clotting products between
1977 and 1985 (before screening for the virus became standard practice).
Sexual partners of those who participate in high-risk activities (such as
injection drug use or anal sex).
HIV infection is NOT spread by:
*Casual contact such as hugging
*Participation in sports
*Touching items previously touched by a person infected with the virus.
Get the Facts.
Abstinence is the only sure way
to prevent sexual transmission of HIV.
Safe-sex practices, such as latex condoms,
are highly effective in preventing HIV transmission;
however, there remains a risk of acquiring the infection
even with the use of condoms.
Knowledge about HIV/AIDS is Power.
The red ribbon is internationally recognized as
a symbol of the struggle around HIV/AIDS.
The red ribbon is intended to be a symbol of hope, solidarity, and a commitment
to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
It is being worn by increasing numbers of people around the world
to demonstrate their care and concern about HIV and AIDS –
for those who are living with HIV, for those who are ill, for those who have died,
and for those who care for and support people who are directly affected.
May we increase our understanding and compassion
for people suffering with HIV/AIDS.
May we pray that those who are infected or affected
by HIV/AIDS will know God's love.
It is our prayer that the search for a vaccine and cure to halt the suffering
is successful and the quality of life improves for those living with the virus.