Posted on Friday, November 29, 2019

The World AIDS Day, organized each year on December 1, aims to remind people of the alarming reality of this global epidemic and to raise public awareness.

This year, the chosen theme is “Community organizations make the difference”, to pay tribute to the essential role played by women in the AIDS response at the international, national and local levels.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) gradually destroys cells of the immune system. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, better known by its acronym AIDS, is the last stage of infection with this virus. The immunocompromised person is infected with opportunistic agents and cannot defend themselves well because of their immunosuppression.

In France as in the world, the objectives are to reduce the number of new infections with HIV and to optimize the therapeutic chances of infected people. These goals are based on the promotion of prevention by encouraging screening and thus benefiting from the earliest possible access to treatment.

Three modes of transmission are known:

  • the sexual route,
  • the bloodstream,
  • from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

For the sexual route, the use of a condom (male or female) for each sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral and anal) remains the best solution to avoid HIV infection since there is no vaccine to protect against the virus .

To find out my status, I take an HIV test:

  • either by a screening test carried out by blood test:
  • in a medical analysis laboratory via a medical prescription,
  • in a CEGIDD (Free Screening and Diagnostic Information Center), or screening for HIV, STI and hepatitis are free and can be anonymous
  • or by an HIV blood self-test now available in pharmacies. These self-tests are not covered by health insurance.

After risky sexual intercourse (unprotected intercourse, condom breakage), I consult the hospital emergency department as soon as possible (at best within 4 hours and at the latest within 48 hours) if possible with my or my partner. The doctor will assess the risk and the need to prescribe post-exposure treatment to significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection.

Following the same logic, in operation or outside mission, in sometimes difficult conditions of remoteness, if there is a risk of contamination, an urgent consultation with the local military doctor must be made, in order to possibly be prescribed a treatment. post-exposure.

Treatments reduce the risk of complications and death, as well as maintain a good quality of life by minimizing viral load.