That according to the United Nations organization, in 2010 there were at least 700, 000 AIDS-related deaths that were prevented worldwide due to recent medication therapy? Recently scientists have been successful in developing drugs that can combat the AIDS virus and its effects on the human body. This is truly commendable because every day is another opportunity for scientists and healthcare professionals to manage this epidemic and save more lives.

As it relates to the disease itself, there are so many stigmas attached to the term AIDS, but I want us to deal with a few of them. First and foremost, when one is diagnosed with HIV, it does not mean that they have AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).  HIV and AIDS diagnoses are based on two medical terms known as a CD4-cell count and a viral load. CD4 cells are types of cells in the body that is involved with infections. On the other hand, a viral load is the amount of virus measured in a person’s body. The goal is to have CD4 levels high and a low viral load in order to manage HIV and AIDS.

Another stigma attached with AIDS is that once a person is diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, their life is over. This is completely untrue. As aforementioned, medicine has come a long way and as long as a person is following medical instructions and practices safe sex thereafter, a good quality of life is still possible. AIDS is not a death sentence.  It is up to everyone to frequently talk about sex with their partners to reduce the risk of being infected and educate themselves on available healthcare options.  Find a local clinic or Department of Health where you can receive correct information and that can test you for FREE.  While there, speak with a counselor to help you overcome your worries and fears.

December 1st is World AIDS day and we at Women of Standard magazine urge everyone to face their fears and get tested immediately. If a person is afraid to discuss their sex life with their partner (s), then re-consider why you want to have sex with that person. It does not matter whether you are a heterosexual; homosexual, teenager, an elderly person or a nurse; everyone around the world needs to know their status to stop the transmission of HIV and AIDS.

AIDS doesn’t kill. Undiagnosed people with AIDS kill people. Get tested.

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