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Basic Information about

HIV/AIDS
India HIV/AIDS Profile
• Demographically second largest country - 1.1 billion
• 3rd highest HIV infections - 2.47 million (after South Africa
& Nigeria)
• Over 85% sexual transmission
• Concentrated epidemic, adult prevalence 0.36% (males-
0.43%, females-0.29%)
• Epidemic driven by core groups and bridge population
• 140 of 611 districts report >1% ANC prevalence (15
districts >3%) (source: NACP-III)
• Over 60% PLHAs in 4 high prevalence states

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Basics about HIV / AIDS

• What is HIV/AIDS
• How HIV/AIDS can be transmitted
• How HIV/AIDS cannot be transmitted
• People that are especially vulnerable
to HIV/AIDS

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HIV/AIDS

• H – Human • A – Acquired
• I – Immuno • I - Immuno
Deficiency • D – Deficiency
• V – Virus • S - Syndrome

HIV IS A VIRUS & AIDS IS A STAGE &


IS AN INFECTION NOT A DISEASE

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What is HIV?

HIV is short for Human Immuno-


deficiency Virus.
Once infected with HIV, a person is
referred to as HIV positive. However, this
does not necessarily mean that (s)he has
symptoms or feels sick. An HIV positive
person can feel and look healthy for a long
time after first becoming infected.
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What is AIDS?
AIDS, or Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome, can take many years to
develop.
Eventually, the virus kills or impairs more
and more cells in the immune system and
the body loses the ability to fight off common
infections, such as diarrhea or colds. People
with AIDS can die from diseases that are
usually not dangerous for people with
healthy immune systems.
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From HIV to AIDS

• Aids is diagnosed when your CD 4 blood


count is at 200 or lower and you have an
opportunistic infection (i.e. Kaposi’s
Sarcoma or PCP (This is a set point for
medical diagnosis)
• A healthy blood count may range from 800
to 1200 CD4

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How HIV can be
transmitted
• Unprotected sexual contact – be it vaginal,
oral, or anal - with an infected partner
• Sharing unsterilized needles or syringes
with an HIV positive person, for example,
when using drugs or in a healthcare setting.
• During pregnancy or birth and through
breastfeeding from an HIV positive mother to
her baby.
• Blood transfusions with infected blood

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Major Symptoms

• Loss of more than 10% of body weight


• Chronic diarrhea
• Prolonged fever

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Minor Symptoms

• Cough for more than a month


• Generalised itchy skin rash
• Painful group of blisters all over the body
• Generalised swollen lymph glands
• White curd like patched on tongue/throat

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DIAGNOSIS

• HIV – Two major signs + one minor sign +


positive blood test

• AIDS – Two major signs + one minor sign


+ AIDS specific opportunistic infection +
positive blood test

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HIV/AIDS - MYTHS

• There is a cure for HIV/AIDS


• Restricted to certain group/
community/country
• Sex with virgin can cure AIDS
• Is not a major problem in India
• Presence of STD is a pre requisite for HIV
infection

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HIV/AIDS – THE DIFFICULTIES

• Sensitive issue
• Non availability of true information/Data
• Very low level of awareness/concern
• Socio-economically marginalized people
are the most vulnerable,
– who are difficult to approach
– they are unable to access

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CONCENTRATION OF VIRUS

• Blood, Menstrual Blood – Very High


• Vaginal Fluids, Semen, Pre ejaculate Fluid
– High
• Bone Marrow – High
• Saliva – No
• Sweat, Tears, urine - No

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How HIV can NOT be
transmitted
• Through air or by coughing and sneezing
• Through food or water
• Through sweat and tears
• By sharing cups, plates, and utensils with an infected person
• By touching, hugging and kissing an infected person
• By sharing clothes or shaking hands with an infected person
• By sharing toilets and bathrooms with an infected person
• By living with an infected person
• By mosquitoes, fleas, or other insects

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MODES OF TRANSMISSION

• Blood/Blood products, tissues, organs-


More than 90%
• Sexual Intercourse - 0.1 to 1% (however
frequency is high causing high rate of
infection)
• IDU – 0.5 to 1 %
• Parent to child – 30%

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HIV Test

Common Method of HIV test is -


• ELISA (common method of HIV test in
India)
• Western Blot
• PCR

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Populations particularly at
risk

A person who:
– Uses shared/contaminated needles and
syringes
– Has a sexually transmitted infections(STIs)
– Has anal sex with her/his partner(s)
– Exchanges sex for money or drugs
– Has many sex partners
– Leads life separated from spouse due to
professional obligations (e.g., truck drivers,
laborers, migrants)
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Women and HIV

Social Risk Factors


– Illiteracy
– Lack of awareness of preventive measures
Biological risk factors
– Twice as easy for women to contract HIV from
men
– Physiology of women (e.g., menstruation,
intercourse)
– Pregnancy-associated conditions (e.g., anemia,
hemorrhage) increase the need for blood
transfusion 19
Taboo and Stigma

• Stigma derives from the association of


HIV/AIDS with sex, disease and death,
and with behaviours that may be illegal,
forbidden or taboo, such as pre- and
extramarital sex, sex work, sex between
men, and injecting drug use.

• Stigma builds upon, and reinforces,


existing prejudices. 20
PREVENTION

• Take blood from licensed blood bank


• Make sure the blood has the stamp of HIV FREE on it
• Avoid single unit BT
• Avoid sharing needles
• Take your own disposable syringe
Safer sex practices
• Abstinence
• Delay first intercourse
• Less number of partners
• Be faithful to each other
• Masturbation
• Non penetrative sex
• Proper & consistent use of condom

Creating awareness on HIV/AIDS and safe sex 21


But HIV/AIDS does not
discriminate

Everybody is
vulnerable. The virus is
not restricted to any age
group, race, social
class, gender, or
religion. In many
countries of Asia and
the Pacific HIV/AIDS
has spread to the
general population. 22
No country is immune
to the epidemic

• The HIV/AIDS epidemic can spread very


quickly
• Low HIV prevalence rates in the general
population of a country can conceal
serious epidemics in smaller, high-risk
groups or in certain areas
• The epidemic can quickly cross over from
high-risk groups to the general population
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Impact of HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS has an impact on all bodies


responsible for planning and allocation of
resources and education services such as...
 Schools and Universities
 Ministries
 Departments
 Agencies / Organisations
 Policy makers
 Religious and Faith based organizations
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What the Community Leaders can
and should do

• The consequences of inaction


• There is hope
• Why education is crucial in the fight
against HIV/AIDS
• Approaches to take Next steps

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How to fight HIV/AIDS
• Develop appropriate policies
• Ensure adequate planning and
management
• Focus on prevention/awareness
• Reduce vulnerability
• Introduce or upgrade life skills
education
• Promote a culture of compassion and
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care
Awareness is the only way
• There are no cures or vaccines for HIV/AIDS.
Currently awareness/education is the only way
to prevent infection.
• Preventive education also means preventing
stigma, denial, and discrimination.
• HIV/ADS is associated with sex, disease, and
death, and with behaviours that may be illegal,
forbidden or taboo, such as pre- and
extramarital sex, sex work, sex between men,
and injecting drug use. Awareness will reduce
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the HIV vulnerability.
Preventive step is crucial

Research in several countries has


shown that well-informed young
people
 Delay starting sexual activity and
 Are more likely to protect themselves once they start
having sex.

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HIV Fact Sheet

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Thank You

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