Every year since 1988, World AIDS Day is observed globally to spread AIDS awareness, to show solidarity with the people living with the condition and to remember the ones who have died of AIDS. This year, the theme of World Aids Day is “Know Your Status,” which stresses the importance of knowing one’s HIV status in the fight against the disease. The theme this year holds significance due to UNAIDS recent finding that 9.4 million people all over the world don’t know they are HIV positive. The report claims that only 75 percent of people know about their HIV status.
That being said, HIV testing itself is fraught with many obstacles. People put off getting themselves tested for many reasons. Some of them are due to half-baked notions about HIV AIDS.
1 ‘People May Know’
The stigma and discrimination associated with the disease that stops many people from getting themselves tested. They are afraid of ignominy if their HIV status is revealed. Many people get themselves tested only after the symptoms start showing.
2 ‘I Have Been Faithful to My Partner’
HIV is commonly associated with sexual promiscuity. People believe as long as they have stayed monogamous, they may not get infected. But AIDS also depends on the sexual history of one’s partner, even if one has remained faithful in the relationship. There are many people who have been infected by the virus for no fault of theirs. What Are The Early Symptoms Of HIV Infection?
3 ‘I Always Use Protection’
Sexual contact is not the only way the virus spreads. It can also be transmitted through infected blood transfusion and needle sharing. Even if you have used prophylactics every time, the chances of infection are still there. HIV is also passed down from the mother to the child during childbirth and breastfeeding. Why Are Indian Women More Vulnerable to HIV/AIDS Than Men?
4 ‘I Can’t Live With the Knowledge’
For many, the idea of living with HIV or AIDS is itself traumatising. They’d rather not know about their HIV status. But not getting tested for the fear of knowing is an irresponsible thing to do. Such people could unknowingly infect others through sexual contact and healthcare workers through infected blood. Knowing one’s HIV status can help one get the required medical support early and lead a healthy, productive life.
These reasons often become roadblocks in ones fight against AIDS. By improving awareness about one’s HIV status, more people living with the virus can be treated and given quality care. HIV testing ensures that they get a chance to live a productive life.