AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is a condition in human in which the inbuilt defence systems of the body are destroyed completely. As a result, our body cannot be able to prevent common diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, tuberculosis or even common cold. Ultimately the patient dies due to one or another infection.
The casual agent of this disease is a virus i.e. HIV or Human Immune Deficiency Virus. The HIV is rehire-virus and genetically highly variable in antigen city. It integrates into the host cell and produces an effective cytotoxic T-cell response. Usually the virus attacks and destroys the lymphocytes of the blood cell.
The virus enters into the body in three major ways:
(a) With sexual intercourse with an infected person.
(b) Through transfusion of HIV-infected blood or blood products or through infected blood in needles, syringes and other such instruments.
(c) Transmission from an infected mother to her new born.
The HIV is not a communicable disease. Hence it is not transmitted through:
(ii) Sharing food
(iii) Mosquitoes or fly biting
(iv) Travelling, shaking hands or living and working with infected persons.
By the end of August 1994, a total of 21, 15, 794 persons were screened in our country and out of that 15,526 were confirmed to be HIV-infected. About 60% of reported AIDS cases had tuberculosis. The number is increasing in a greater speed.
Main drawback of AIDS control is that there is no drug for cure, or no vaccine for prevention. Hence the prevention or control only can be taken at socio-economic level and that is possible only due to people’s awareness towards the menace.
(i) Avoiding sexual contact with infected persons of opposite sexes,
(ii) AIDS virus infected blood transfusion should be avoided,
(iii) AIDS virus infected injection syringes should be avoided.
(iv) People’s awareness towards the dreaded consequences of this disease is the best method of AIDS control.
(v) Governments, voluntary organisations and school and college students should come forward for the mass media advertisement of the serious consequences of AIDS.
(vi) Electronic media should also broadcast programmes on – AIDS propaganda,
(vii) Seminars, conferences and symposium should be organized to assess the spread of this disease.
The AIDS Control Programme has been launched by Govt. of India in 1986 with surveillance centres, testing of cases for infection, training of personnel and mass health education as its main activities.