AIDS stands for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS has emerged as serious public health problem. It is caused by the Human Immuno Deficiency Virus which is known as HIV. In India, HLV was detected for the first time in 1986 and a national AIDS control programme has been in operation, since then. HIV makes the body too weak to fight infections.
We know there are white blood cells in our body which have got fighting capacity with numerous germs and thus save us from diseases. AIDS virus attacks these white blood cells of human beings and weakens the human body’s immunity or self-defence mechanism. Since AIDS virus reduces the natural immunity of the human body, therefore, the patients suffering from AIDS become prone to many other infections or diseases.
In fact, the patients suffering from AIDS die from other infections which are called secondary infections. Death occurs because the patient’s body cannot resist the attack of pathogens of secondary infections since patient’s natural defence mechanism has been destroyed by AIDS virus.
AIDS disease spreads among human beings by three main ways. An unprotected sexual contact with an infected person carrying AIDS virus causes this disease. Thus, it is a sexually transmitted viral disease.
The AIDS disease also spreads through the transmission of blood contaminated with AIDS virus. An infected mother can transmit the virus to her child during pregnancy or during birth by mother’s blood.
The disease is spreading in our country very rapidly and has now become a serious social, economic and public health problem. However, it has spread in epidemic form in Africa and western countries. The tragedy of AIDS is likely to repeat itself in India if in the next few years of measures are not taken to encounter it.
While offering cure to AIDS patients seem to be a distant reality, as is the availability of a vaccine, evolving, and strategies to prevent and control the unabated spread of this disease is desirable and possible. These are also an urgent need for timely intervention in the area of treatment of opportunistic diseases, advocating healthy life style and providing an enabling environment for those in needs for care and support. For this, individual’s response in very essential.
According to the director, National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) the numbers of persons living in India with the AIDS virus should be between 3 to 5 million. As revealed in a survey, 5 to 10 percent of truck drivers are AIDS patients inspite of AIDS prevention drives, the use of preventive methods is still an exception and sexually transmitted disease continue to be major problem in urban as well as in rural areas.
Prevention is better than cure is the best suited strategy in case of India, and other developing countries with huge population. The awareness would certainly grow with time which alone can check the spread of the disease.