HIV/AIDS Education and Awareness
First observed in 1988, World AIDS Day falls on December 1, making the month of December a time to remember lives lost, reflect on the current status of HIV/AIDS, and focus on year-round education with the goal of prevention and ultimately an end to the devastating epidemic of HIV/AIDS.
As part of Health Edco’s line of sex education resources, we’ve recently updated several of our teaching materials to reflect today’s conversation about HIV/AIDS. Read on to learn more about the global status of the fight against HIV infection and our educational resources that are perfect for raising HIV/AIDS education and awareness.
HIV/AIDS Statistics Today
HIV/AIDS doesn’t make the same headlines as it did in the earlier years of the epidemic, but it’s important to remember that, in spite of amazing medical advances, there still is no cure for HIV infection. In 2018, it is estimated that 37.9 million people worldwide were living with HIV, 1.7 million people became newly infected with the virus, and another 770,000 people died as a result of HIV-related illness. Since 2000, new diagnoses of HIV infection have dropped 37 percent and annual HIV-related deaths have fallen 45 percent.
Clearly, incredible strides have been made in the fight against HIV, but much work remains to put an end to the epidemic. More than half of the world’s population living with HIV is in East and Southern Africa, where a variety of barriers hinder HIV prevention. Across the globe, it is estimated that approximately only 79 percent of people with HIV are aware of their HIV status and that just 62 percent of them are receiving treatment. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is essential to keep the amount of HIV in a patient’s blood (viral load) at levels that cannot be detected, which helps prevent the advancement of HIV infection to AIDS. Only about half of those living with HIV currently have their viral load suppressed.
Recent Advances in HIV Prevention
Among the incredible strides in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic are recent advances in prevention. HIV treatment not only improves the health and life expectancy of those infected with HIV, but it also plays an important role in HIV prevention. People who have HIV, follow their treatment plan, and maintain a viral load that cannot be detected are dramatically less likely to transmit HIV to an HIV-negative sex partner.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is another important advancement in the fight against HIV for people who are at high risk for contracting the virus. PrEP is a medication that those at high-risk for contracting HIV can take every day that helps prevent HIV infection from taking hold and damaging the body’s immune system. To be most effective, PrEP must be taken as prescribed, and regular HIV testing must occur every 3 months. It is estimated that PrEP can cut the risk of sexual transmission of HIV by as much as 99 percent. HIV infection through injection drug use may be cut as much as 74 percent on PrEP.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is another important advancement in the fight against HIV. PEP is medication that, if taken within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV, can help prevent HIV infection. For use in emergency situations, PEP may be taken in cases such as when a condom breaks, when drug equipment was shared, or after a sexual assault has occurred. PEP is prescribed by a healthcare professional and must be taken for 28 days.
Health Edco HIV/AIDS Education Resources
Our Health Edco sex education materials are important teaching tools that health educators trust for teaching about potential consequences of sexual activity, contraceptive options, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and more. Among our educational resources, our products include attention-grabbing and engaging materials that specifically focus on HIV and AIDS.
Our recently updated HIV/AIDS: Death of an Immune System Easel Display is a great resource to explain how the HIV virus can damage the immune system and lead to the development of AIDS, which is late-stage HIV infection.
uncontrolled HIV attacks and destroys the damages the immune system.
The display uses simple graphics and 3-D models to explain how a healthy immune system works and how HIV can weaken the immune system if not controlled through proper treatment. With a wire easel stand to facilitate presentation, the display features models that clearly depict how HIV can invade T cells, multiply inside them, destroy the T cells, and spread to destroy other T cells. The display also places emphasis on controlling HIV infection through treatment.
We’ve recently completely updated our What You Should Know About HIV/AIDS Folding Display to reflect today’s conversation about HIV. With its engaging new look and easy-to-read text, the display highlights taking control of HIV through prevention, testing, and treatment if infected.
provides an overview of essential teaching points about HIV infection.
In clear terms, our folding display explains what HIV and AIDS are, how HIV weakens the immune system, HIV transmission, HIV testing, stages of untreated HIV infection, and how to protect against HIV, including discussion about abstinence, condoms, pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis, and more.
An ideal resource to present the facts about HIV to patients and students, our recently updated HIV/AIDS Flip Chart covers the essentials about HIV and features presentation notes to cover the key points provided on each panel.
panels and comprehensive presentation notes.
The flip chart explains what HIV is, how it is transmitted, how it can weaken the immune system, and how to protect against HIV contraction. Also covering the importance of HIV testing as well as pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, the flip chart is perfect for opening a discussion about HIV, how to help prevent its transmission, and how it is treated.
AIDS is the last stage of HIV infection, which occurs when the immune system is severely weakened. Our The Consequences of HIV/AIDS 3-D Display uses painted models to highlight eight potentially life-threatening conditions that can occur with a severely compromised immune system.
detailed organ models to depict the effects of opportunistic infections.
High-quality 3-D models and descriptive text discuss conditions including Kaposi sarcoma, a form of cancer; tuberculosis, a bacterial infection that usually occurs in the lungs; toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can affect the brain; cytomegalovirus, a form of the herpes virus that can inflame the retina; and more. The display is ideal to discuss the importance of HIV prevention and testing as well as treatment to avoid progression to AIDS.
If you have any questions about HIV infection, talk to your healthcare professional.
To learn more about our HIV/AIDS educational resources featured in this article or our other sex education materials that discuss HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and infections, please visit our Sex Education Resources Section.
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