The Now World Wide Problem: AIDS

The Now World Wide Problem: AIDS

By: Selva Bayat
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On Saturday, December 1, 2012, World AIDS Day, the world got together to tell to raise awareness of AIDS as well as what it means to deal with HIV.  As HIV rapidly forms into an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, the disease exposes one’s body to all sorts of pathogens and diseases. We are all aware of the struggle and fight against AIDS, but in order to protect ourselves against this condition and show our support for those who are infected, certain myths and stories must be discarded.

Sharing updated and correct information about AIDS is one of the most important goals that public health leaders strive for. This information is divided into two different categories: prevention and treatment. Since the outbreak of AIDS, there has been a very effective campaign designed to spread information about personal choices that can help in prevention.  Many people, however, are unaware of the up-to-date and current methods of treatment, which in itself is one of the most fundamental pieces of the puzzle. The most recent and effective method to treat HIV-AIDS, Highly Active AntiRetroviral Treatment (HAART), is now being presented in prevention campaigns.

HAART is a highly active antiretroviral dosage of three combined medicines used to treat and significantly decrease the virulence of HIV in infected individuals. Since the 1996 outbreak of HIV in BC, there has been a dramatic decrease in HIV trends due to the implementation of HAART. The most amazing fact about this program is that patients who tested positive for HIV diagnosis can now have a positive and hopeful outlook toward the rest of their lives with proper treatment. Now, the real question we must ask ourselves is: “Did I know that?”  I certainly didn’t.

World’s AIDS day is also aimed at raising awareness for people who have been denied the new method of treatment that HAART has to offer. British Columbia is found to be one of the health leaders of the world in terms of dealing with HIV and HIV prevention by treatment; however, there are still many places around the globe that are unable to offer the same treatment.  By spreading knowledge about HAART, we can get more and more people who are willing to put in their time and resources to help with the problems associated with administering this treatment worldwide.

So how can you help? Well, SFU’s contribution to World AIDS day was to organize an event with presentations from our faculty members who are currently involved in HIV research, to share with us their knowledge and information.  As part of the SFU community, look out for ways you can get involved in helping set up these amazing events in the future. You can also check out this site to see how you can get involved outside of school and locally in your own communities. The most important thing to remember is that while your contribution is highly valuable on World AIDS Day, the people who are infected are dealing with the challenges of these conditions all-year round. There are so many ways to get involved and help out and all you have to do is take the first step.

selvaSelva Bayat has been writing for SFU Engage since her first year at SFU! She is in the faculty of Health Sciences, and enjoys the opportunity to relate health related post to course work. She's also dabbled into playwriting, short stories, and of course the ultimate goal of anyone who’s been a life-time bookworm: a personal novel. She's found her time with SFU Enage to be tremendously rewarding and welcomes feedback to any posts or suggestions for future topics. You can contact her at

Posted on January 09, 2013