World AIDS Day
What is Worlds AIDS Day?
World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
How can I get involved?
1). Wear a Red Ribbon and show your support. The red ribbon is worn across the world as a sign of support for people living with HIV. Wearing a red ribbon is a simple and powerful way to challenge the stigma and prejudice surrounding HIV. It also shows support for people living with HIV. All of our SAFE venues have Red Ribbons available to show their support. Please see our ‘services’ section to see where you can pick up yours.
2). FACT UP! Get the facts on HIV and AIDS and spread the word.
3). Fancy organising a cake sale, a party or taking part in a challenge event, Visit Act Aware for more ways you can get involved and mark World AIDS Day
What is HIV?
HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus which attacks the body’s immune system – the body’s defence against diseases. When someone is described as living with HIV, they have the HIV virus in their body.
What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. A person with HIV is considered to have developed AIDS when the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of diseases with which it would normally cope.
How is HIV passed on?
HIV is passed on from one person to another via body fluids – blood, semen, pre-ejaculate (precum),vaginal fluids and breast milk.
In the UK today, the main routes of transmission are:
- through vaginal or anal sex without a condom
- by sharing injecting equipment or needles for injecting drugs or tattooing.
Less commonly, HIV is passed on through:
- oral sex (if the person performing oral sex has ulcers or gum problems or has recently
- brushed or flossed their teeth)
- mother-to-baby transmission, although with the right medical interventions there is less than 1-in-100 chance of this happening
- breast feeding (where the mother is HIV positive).
HIV is not passed on by:
- hugging, kissing or holding hands
- sharing a bath or a swimming pool
- sharing a toilet seat
- sharing cutlery or drinks with someone else
- someone spitting at you or biting you.
How is it treated?
There is no cure for HIV but since 1995 there have been drugs available to treat it. Treatment is now very effective. However most HIV drugs also have some side-effects ranging from diarrhoea, nausea and prolonged headaches to changes in body shape, depression and other mental health issues.
- In 2013, there are over 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK.
- Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK who are living with HIV do not know that they have the virus.
- In 2012, 775 young people aged 0-14 and 2,516 aged 15-24 were accessing HIV care in the UK.
- In the UK, an estimated 20,000 children live in a family affected by HIV.
- Over 6,000 people are diagnosed with HIV in the UK each year, but only 500 people living with HIV die. Therefore the number of people living with HIV in the UK is increasing year-on-year.
There are many myths and misconceptions about HIV, check out how much you know by visiting the HIV Aware myth busters
If you can’t find what you’re looking for please contact us.