AIDS is not a killer disease but rather a chronically manageable lifelong disease.
Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSacs) has come up with this new positive definition of AIDS. With better treatment facilities and nutrition and strict adherence to treatment regime, the life span can be prolonged.
Five lakh people are living with HIV/AIDS in the state, which is a big number, but the good news is that the overall HIV and AIDS scenario has improved with incidences of new infections falling from 1.69 per cent in 2004 to 0.77 per cent in 2010 and to approximately 0.55 per cent in 2011, that is, below one per cent for the first time.
For this year’s World AIDS Day (December 1) theme, the National AIDS Control Organisation (Naco) and APSacs now target zero new infections and zero discrimination as their next move.
“Knowing one’s HIV status by getting tested is crucial in the prevention and spread of HIV/AIDS. Also, routine testing for CD count and drug adherence plays a key role, else resistance may develop to first line treatment and the HIV affected person will be forced to enter the danger zone of second line treatment, which is costlier and has toxic side effects and high mortality,” said C. Parthasarathi, project director, APSacs.
If proper precautions are taken, HIV can be a manageable ailment like diabetes and need not be branded a killer disease. Life expectancy has considerably increased with people surviving 10, 15 or 20 years or even more, Mr Parthasarathi said.
“However, there is still stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in the state. This is a major challenge that needs to be addressed in keeping with this year’s theme,” said Mr Parthasarathi.Published Date: 2011-11-29 15:08:03 GMT