December 1 is observed as World AIDS Day. HIV/AIDS, that shook the entire world of health and medicine in 80s and 90s, is still an unfortunate reality curbing countless number of lives every year.
Spread primarily by unprotected sex, contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles and from mother to child during pregnancy, it affects the patient in three stages – acute infection, clinical latency and AIDS.
Initial symptoms include fever, large tender lymph nodes, inflammation of the throat, skin rash, extreme fatigue, sores on the mouth and genitals. As the infection progresses, it compromises the entire immune system causing neurological issues, respiratory tract infections, unintended weight loss and various other health conditions ultimately affecting very organ system in the body.
Doctors start Antiretroviral Therapy to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission and it can be initiated before, during and after pregnancy. Pregnant women with HIV should start taking medicines soon after conception. HIV medicines are safe during pregnancy and they don’t induce any birth defects. These medicines in fact prevent HIV from multiplying and reduce the amount of infection in the body. Doctors prescribe HIV regimen of medicines depending on several factors including the current and past usage of HIV medicines, other medical conditions due to pregnancy and after running a thorough drug resistance testing.
December 3 is observed as International Day of Disabled Persons that is being promoted by United Nations since 1992.
This day aims at encouraging a better understanding about people affected by some disability, learning about their true abilities and being aware of their rights, dignity and welfare. International Day of Disabled is not confined just to physical conditions, but it also encompasses mental disabilities like autism, down syndrome to neurological problems like multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, India is far behind in providing various comfortable facilities for the disabled. Our government buildings, hospitals, public places still lack ramps, there are no specially designed restrooms for those with physical disabilities, our public transport doesn’t offer any extra support system for them during travel. A poor treatment and a negative comment can affect their self-esteem, confidence, performance at work place and push them into further depression. If you have a loved one, a colleague or come across even a stranger with disabilities, read the following on what you could do to make their lives better.
Ask Before Offering Help: Don’t assume that people with disabilities would always require some assistance in leading their lives and the first step is to treat them as equals. Understand that they know more about their needs and how to handle their day-today lives. In case, if you want to extend any support, ask first. Understand their needs and learn about
Autoimmune Hepatitis is a liver condition in which the body’s immune system fights against the cells in liver.
Doctors believe that genetic factors and environmental issues trigger this condition, causing liver cirrhosis or scarring of the liver and may eventually lead to liver failure. If diagnosed early, autoimmune hepatitis can be contained with the help of drugs that suppress immune system. However, drugs fail to treat the condition in advanced stages.
Signs and Symptoms: Signs and symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis differ from person to person and can be triggered suddenly. The regular symptoms usually include extreme fatigue, discomfort in the stomach, yellowing of the eyes and skin, enlarged liver, rashes, joint pains and clearly visible blood vessels on the skin. Since autoimmune system which fights against viruses, bacteria targets liver in this condition, it causes severe damage and inflammation to the liver cells. Doctors have classified autoimmune hepatitis into two types based on the age group.