HIV/AIDS Epidemic and Global Health

Usman Waheed*, Muneeba Azmat, Muhammad Arshad, Abida Arshad and Hasan Abbas Zaheer

HIV/AIDS Epidemic and Global Health

AIDS has emerged as a global epidemic in an unprecedented universal involvement
compelling the transformation of the general outlook towards disease and the emergence of the
concept of global health.

First cases of AIDS were reported in 19811 and the causative agent was recognized
in 1983 by Luc Montagnier. Different names were given to the disease
initially such as lymphadenopathy, Kaposi’s sarcoma and opportunistic infections, Gay-related
immune deficiency and the 4H disease, but ultimately the name AIDS was coined in July 1982.

The HIV attacks the body’s immune system decreasing the helper T-lymphocyte counts and
leaving individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections and tumors.

More than 34 million people have died of AIDS since 1981 which includes 1.2 million only in 2014.
An estimated 36.9 million people are living with HIV in 2015, up from 29.8 million in 2001.
Of 36.9 million infected individuals, 19 million are unaware of their HIV-positive status unfortunately.

Ninety percent of the HIV positive children are based in Sub Saharan Africa and globally,
most of children get the infection through vertical transmission from their mothers during
pre and postpartum.

Awareness to prevent the vertical transmission from mother to
child is important for better quality of life in children of HIV mothers.

Thus the people living with HIV are reluctant to renounce the safety of the status “Healthy” which
not only leads to delay in getting treatment but also reduces the long term adherence to the HIV treatment.

Along with these difficulties, mobilizing resources and emphasizing sustainability by political
commitment and smart investments have established a favorable course over the past decade
with decrease in new HIV infections.

HIV/AIDS Res Treat Open J. 2016; 2(4): 105-107. doi: 10.17140/HARTOJ-2-118