AIDS awareness month

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AIDS awareness month

Hand-drawn image promoting AIDS Awareness Month.

Hand-drawn image promoting AIDS Awareness Month.

Haleema Waheed

Hand-drawn image promoting AIDS Awareness Month.

Haleema Waheed

Haleema Waheed

Hand-drawn image promoting AIDS Awareness Month.

Haleema Waheed, Copy Editor

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While December is known for the spread of holiday cheer, it is also known as AIDS awareness month. Dec. 1st marks the official World AIDS Day, while the rest of the month is spent remembering those who have suffered and are currently suffering from AIDS.

AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome and is also known as advanced HIV or late-stage HIV because AIDS typically happens at the last stage. It occurs when a person’s immune system had been damaged so badly that it can no longer properly function, making the body vulnerable to various diseases and infections.

One of the biggest concerns with HIV/AIDS is that symptoms can take years to appear. Those with hereditary HIV or AIDS may even never have symptoms occur if they continue to take their prescribed treatments. However, some common symptoms include a feverish feeling, sudden weight loss and infections becoming much more common. AIDS tends to occur after about 10 years of untreated HIV.

AIDS and HIV are diseases that are a lot more common but not talked about in society due to their nature. It has been shown that at least 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV today and some of them don’t even know it. Historically, sexually active gay or bisexual men show a greater exposure risk to HIV/AIDS and because of society’s past oppressive ideals, diseases such as these have been considered to be unimportant or more shameful than it truly is .

Pam Cinadr, a nurse at PVHS, stated “People don’t talk about AIDS as much as they used to which is both a good and bad thing. AIDS medication has improved significantly, but that doesn’t mean that those who have it aren’t affected.”

With AIDS awareness month, people hope to reveal the hardship living with AIDS can bring and how people need nothing more than support during these times.