The World Health Organization (WHO) is part of a global cause to stop and reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS. In 2005, global leaders started working towards HIV prevention, treatment, and care. Since then, millions of people with this disease have received antiretroviral therapy (ART). WHO HIV/AIDS program staff work with other international agencies to offer services aimed at the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
All HIV prevention programs aim to stop the transmission of HIV. Initially, these programs were carried out to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV. But over time, WHO realized that it has to be a combination of interventions at the behavioral, structural, and medical level. These include basic lifestyle tips for HIV/AIDS patients that can be imbibed in their daily life.
1. Behavioral intervention
This methodology forms a primary component of combination prevention. It seeks to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by looking at risky behavior like sex education at the school level, counseling, and programs to reduce the stigma and discrimination of people with HIV/AIDS.
A behavioral intervention seeks to improve treatment, increase the use of clean needles, and increase the use of condoms. There are many stigma and discrimination reduction programs too that make people understand that this disease should not be looked down upon.
2. Biomedical interventions
These interventions use both clinical and medical approaches to reduce HIV transmissions. One of the programs includes male circumcision. It has shown to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 60%. However, these programs are always in conjunction with behavioral interventions. For instance, after a male circumcision, the person will be tested for HIV and then receive counseling and education on the use of condoms and safe sex.
Some types of biomedical interventions are:
- Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections
- Male and female condoms
- Sex and reproductive health services
- Antiretroviral drugs for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission
- Needle and syringe programs
3. Structural interventions
These interventions identify the underlying factors that make individuals vulnerable to HIV infection. The reasons could be social, environmental, or political. These are deep-rooted social-economic issues like poverty, gender inequality, and social marginalization, and hence, are the toughest to implement. They need governmental support to make law and policy reforms.
Some of the structural interventions would include:
- Addressing inequality between men and women
- Eradication of sex work and drug use
- Increasing access to school education
- Making laws to protect the rights of people with HIV
4. Lifestyle tips
Besides all these interventions, if people are given the basic lifestyle tips for HIV/AIDS, they will be able to cope with the disease better and also prevent its spread. Given below are some tips to prevent the spread of the disease:
- Practice safer sex by using condoms and having sex with only one partner
- Get tested for other STDs; if you have an STD you are likely to transmit both HIV and the STD to your partner.
- Prevent illnesses by maintaining good hygiene as HIV makes your immune system weak.
- Take HIV medicines regularly
- Quit smoking, drinking, and drug use.
- Exercise the mind and body to be physically fit and emotionally healthy.
These simple lifestyle tips for HIV/AIDS patients can be extremely helpful in the long run.