HIV & AIDS – Life skills notes KNEC

HIV & AIDS

HIV & AIDS

Definition of terms

HIV stands for: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

AIDS stands for: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Modes of transmission

  • Unprotected sex with someone infected
  • Infected blood
  • Mother to child Transmission

Body fluids which, are definitely infectious:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Breast milk




Myths and misconceptions about HIV & AIDS

Myths are twisted “truths” or a story or belief used to explain a certain happening. Myths are passed on from one generation to another. A misconception is a piece of information, which may contain just a little truth to support it. A fact on the other hand is a statement on certain information, which is true, and can be manifested or inferred with certainty.

Examples of myths associated with transmission of HIV&AIDS

  • Shaking of hands
  • Sharing beddings, utensils or toilet seat
  • Being bitten by mosquitoes
  • Sleeping next to HIV infected person
  • Hugging or playing with a person infected with HIV
  • Coming into contact with sweat from an infected person
  • Visiting/consoling a person infected with HIV&AIDS
  • Donating blood
  • Bewitching

Examples of Misconceptions about HIV&AIDS

  • Only promiscuous people get HIV&AIDS
  • All infected people are thin and sick
  • If a girl washes her vagina with soap after sexual intercourse she cannot get HIV&AIDS
  • You cannot get HIV&AIDS if you are a virgin
  • It is okay to have sexual intercourse with a girl below 15years of age because she is free from HIV&AIDS
  • Aids is a curse, a punishment from God or is a result of having broken taboo
  • Having sexual intercourse with a virgin cures AIDS
  • HIV & AIDS is caused by witchcraft Signs and symptoms of AIDS

Initially the person leads a fairly healthy life where no symptoms are present. Early HIV symptoms occur between 1-4 weeks after infection and may include:

  • Swelling of lymph notes
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Los of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Sore throat
  • Weight loss

At the last stages the immune system that has been fighting HIV weakens and this gives way to development of AIDS. They develop opportunistic diseases. These are normal infections that immune system can fight off on its own, but can be life threatening if the immune system is compromised.

Symptoms of AIDS

  • Dry cough
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Night sweat
  • Profound and unexplained fatigue
  • Swelling lymph nodes in the armpits, groin, &neck
  • Diarrhea (chronic)
  • White sports or unusual blemishes on the tongue in the mouth, in the throat
  • Pneumonia
  • Red brown, pink or purplish blotches on the skin, inside the mouth, the nose or eye lids
  • Memory loss
  • Depression and other neurological disorders
  • Thrush
  • Herpes zoster
  • Herpes simplex
  • Tuberculosis
  • Itchy skin
  • Thrush in the mouth
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Tired all the time (fatigue)
  • Changes in hearing, taste, vision, touch, smell

Factors that Facilitate the Spread of HIV& AIDS

These are those practices that increase the risk of acquiring the virus. They include:

  • Unprotected sex
  • Wife inheritance
  • Sharing of cutting instruments during male and female circumcision
  • Use of unsterilized instruments
  • Being unfaithful to one’s partner
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Burial practices that promote irresponsible sexual behavior
  • Myths and misconception about HIV &AIDS
  • Blood transfusion using unscreened blood




Ways of Preventing spread of HIV & AIDS

  • Abstain from sex until marriage
  • Being faithful tone uninfected partner
  • Using condoms correctly
  • Using sterilized tools during circumcision, birth, ear piercing, and tattooing
  • Encouraging alternative right of passage
  • Avoiding sharing combs and tooth brush
  • Life skills education
  • values
  • Counseling

Interventions for HIV & AIDS

  • Increased self-awareness
  • Behavior change
  • Showing empathy
  • HIV & AIDS Education: reinforce community outreach programs
  • Change of attitude
  • Promotion of long healthy life

Care and Support of the Infected and Affected

This entails assisting those infected when they are unable to do things for themselves e.g. cooking, washing them, giving them medicine, dressing wounds, sun bathing etc.

The care providers should however take precautions to avoid infection, especially by avoiding direct contact with the infected person’s body fluids

Emotional Support

  • Need to be loved and appreciated
  • Showing them empathy
  • Need to be encouraged to think positively
  • Need to encourage them to talk freely
  • Being available for them
  • Involving them in decision making at home
  • Need to be respected

Helping them to Develop a Positive Mental Attitude

  • Help them deal with self-stigma
  • Provide spiritual support
  • Need to free them from fear and shame

Material and Financial Support

  • Give them material and financial support as most of them will have lost their source of income
  • Help them start alternative Income Generating Activities (I. G. )

Anti-Retro Viral Therapy

Anti-Retro Viral Therapy for HIV infection consists of drugs, which work by slowing down the reproduction of HIV in the body. This is only possible after one has known his or her HIV status. ARVs treatment should be sought from a recognized medical facility or practitioner. Those on ARVs should strive to adhere to the prescribed dosage.

Stress Related to HIV &AIDS

When people realize that they are HIV positive they suffer the feeling of great loss and they become devastated. Further these people:

  • Suffer from shock
  • Live in denial (refuse to acknowledge reality)
  • Become disorganized
  • Have a feeling of guilt (blame themselves for having infected with the virus, even when they are not responsible)
  • Become anxious and suffer panic attacks
  • Become aggressive (they become hostile)
  • Reach solution (this happens when they accept their situation especially if counseled)
  • Start reintegration (to take responsibility to reorganize their new lives)

When they are going through this, their stress levels rise and they need to be assisted to reduce it by:

  • Getting emotional support
  • Trying medication
  • Connecting with nature – taking a walk among natural things like trees
  • Getting enough vitamins
  • Establishing strict bed time routine
  • Crying, if they feel like, in order to release pent up emotions
  • Doing something nice to another person

Skills and Values that help in prevention of HIV & AIDS

Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Problem solving
  • Negations
  • Coping with stress
  • Coping with emotions
  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking

Values

  • Humility
  • Respect
  • Tolerance
  • Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Peace




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