Published on 12/02/2021 11:07 am
Federal Government launches campaign against AIDS: "Prevention is always the best choice"
A campaign to raise awareness among Brazilians about the importance of preventing HIV was launched this Wednesday (1st /12) - Photo: Walterson Rosa/MS
“Preventing is always the best choice”. It is with this motto that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health, launched this Wednesday (1st /12), a campaign to make Brazilians aware of the importance of preventing the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the AIDS virus. In Brazil, 694,000 people are being treated for the disease and, in 2021 alone, 45,000 new patients started antiretroviral therapy. With that, the treatment already reaches 81% of people diagnosed with HIV across the country.
Of this total, 95% no longer transmit HIV sexually, having reached a suppressed viral load, thanks to the treatment offered by the Unified Health System (SUS).
The disease continues to register deaths around the world. Data from the Notifiable Diseases Information System (Sinan), released by the 2021 HIV/AIDS Epidemiological Bulletin, show that in 2020 29,917 cases of AIDS were reported in the country against 37,731 in 2019, a drop of 20.7%. According to specialists, even though there is a cooling down, the situation is still worrying as the records of deaths from the disease continue. In 2020, 10,417 AIDS deaths were registered against 10,687 in the previous year, a drop of only 2.52%.
In the entire historical series, Brazil registered 381,793 notified cases of HIV. Of these, 69.8% were registered in males and 30.2% in females. More than 50% of the total cases affect men and women aged between 20 and 34 years. In addition, 7.8 thousand cases of HIV in pregnant women were reported, which represents a detection rate of 2.7 cases for every thousand live births, a 30.3% increase in the detection rate in 10 years. Altogether, the country registered 32,701 HIV cases in 2020 against 43,312 in 2019, a reduction of 10,611 cases.
People living with HIV may not develop AIDS if they receive proper treatment. The fight against the disease did not stop even during the Covid-19 health crisis. The Ministry of Health extended the time for dispensing antiretroviral drugs from 30 to 60 or even 90 days, a strategy to guarantee the maintenance of care for people living with HIV/AIDS. The ministry also sent more than 20.8 million rapid tests to the states and the Federal District in the years 2020 and 2021. This year alone, there were 12 million, an increase of 37% compared to the previous year.
As “prevention is always the best choice”, the Federal Government expanded prevention strategies and sent almost 370 million condoms to federative entities. Of these, 360 million were male condoms and 9.4 million female condoms.
Aids is a disease caused by the infection of the HIV virus that attacks the immune system, responsible for defending the body from disease. The virus is capable of altering the DNA of one of the cells in the human body and making copies of itself. As it multiplies, it breaks the lymphocytes in search of others to continue the infection. In October 1988, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) established the 1st of December as the World Day to Fight AIDS.
How does the transmission take place?
The HIV virus can be transmitted through vaginal, anal or oral sex without a condom, the use of a syringe by more than one person, through transfusion of contaminated blood and the use of non-sterile piercing or cutting instruments. It is also possible to transmit the virus during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
It is important to break myths and taboos, clarifying that people living with HIV do not transmit the disease in the following ways: masturbation as a couple; kiss on the face or mouth; sweat and tear; Bug bite; handshake or hug; soap/towel/sheets; cutlery and glasses; bus seat; pool; bathroom; blood donation; through the air.
Therefore, as the campaign's motto says, “prevention is always the best choice”. Using a condom is essential to protect yourself against the virus and disease.