December 1st is World AIDS Day. It is a day to raise awareness about AIDS. We spoke to Doctor Opeyemi, to tell us some facts about the disease, common misconceptions and how to care for people living with AIDS.


AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is the late stage manifestation of the viral infection called HIV (Human Immuno Deficiency Virus). When the CD4 cell count of the body falls below a certain level (200 per cubic millimetres), it means the disease has overpowered the body. AIDS can also occur when an opportunistic infection, which is an infection that happens because a bigger infection is already in the body is happening, or because the body’s immune system is weak, is also present in the affected person’s body.

2) People that can get AIDS

Anyone can get AIDS. There is a common saying that “e no dey show for face”. For some people, it is basically impossible to detect. 

3) How to get AIDS

So, you cannot directly contract AIDS from someone, but you can contract HIV which, if not treated, can progress to AIDS.

4) Some ways of contracting HIV

You can get HIV through sharing sharp objects with someone who has it or having unprotected sex with someone who has not been taking their medication and as such has a viral load. It is also possible for positive pregnant mothers to pass the virus to their children, or if an iatrogenic blood transfusion with blood that is infected occurs. This is actually very rare because blood is usually screened before transfusion.

5) Preventive measures

Abstinence and ensuring that even when sex is had, it is protected are ways to prevent AIDS. Condoms are not only for preventing pregnancies but also for preventing infections. You can also help by making sure HIV infected persons use their drugs at the right time and attend the appropriate clinics to get the appropriate care. Also make sure you do not share sharp objects. 

6) Common misconceptions

A lot of people think AIDS can only affect a certain group or demographic of people when in truth, anyone can get it. Another common misconception is that only gay men get AIDS or only women get it because they are sex workers. This is untrue and a dangerous misconception. 

7) Ways to help people with AIDS

Do not stigmatize them. Support them and treat them like the human beings they are. If they are struggling with their medication, be there for them. You can take care of them at home and follow them to the hospital if you can. 

8) Destigmatisation of AIDS

The best way to destigmatise AIDS is to understand that it is a disease like many others, and it does not matter how the person got it. Do not refuse them employment simply because of their illness, and do not cut them off as friends. Things like that only tend to cause them more hurt.

For more information about World AIDS Day, please click here


For more information about World AIDS Day, please click here


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