‘DO NOT FEAR AIDS, TAKE PRECAUTION’
It has been emphasized that AIDS, which brings down the body’s immune system, became the number four cause of death worldwide, and instead of fearing this disease, people needed to learn about diagnosis and ways of protection. The statistics indicate that in 2012, 2.3 million people had HIV, virus that causes AIDS, and some 35.3 million people were HIV carriers. It has also been stated that total of 7 thousand 50 people were diagnosed with HIV positive in Turkey since 1985, and males made up 73% and foreign nationals made up 17% of that figure.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Elem Kocaçal Güler, Lecturer at Izmir University of Economics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, reminded that December 1 was observed as World AIDS Day. She said, "AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), which was identified in the early 1980’s, is a contagious medical condition that collapses the immune system of individuals to a point that it cannot fight against even the simplest infections. It has been estimated that 1.6 million people die lose their lives because of AIDS. We need not to fear this disease, but know about diagnosis and ways of prevention.”
‘Patients with AIDS Keep It Secret’
Asst. Prof. Dr. Güler stated that in Turkey AIDS is among the diseases that is required to be revealed, however, people choose to keep it a secret with the fear of being excluded from the society, losing job and friends. Güler stated that World Health Organization declared December 1 was as the World AIDS Day in order to raise awareness. Güler stated the following:
"It might take many years to diagnose AIDS which has symptoms such as loss of weight, pulmonary infection, and nervous system diseases. HIV can only be transmitted from an infected person to another through blood, unprotected sex, and most tragically from mother to baby. Being in the same room, shaking hands are not considered a threat, AIDS is easily preventable and taken under control with minor precautions such as having one sexual partner, using condoms, and using one time injections, not sharing needles when it comes to substance dependency, it is easy to avoid this disease.”