Faculty of Medicine, Izmir University of Economics (IUE) held various events in order to raise awareness as part of HIV/AIDS Awareness Week. Prof. Dr. Hakan Abacıoğlu, Dean of IUE Faculty of Medicine, stated that transmission could be prevented via methods implemented within the initial 24 – 72 hours following the suspicious contact.
Med students and academicians, who wanted to create awareness about HIV/AIDS via serious of activities including photography exhibitions, seminars, film presentations, etc., said, “HIV and AIDS Concern Us All”. Dean, Prof. Dr. Hakan Abacıoğlu, who delivered speeches at the events, stated that HIV targeted and destroyed cells of the immune system, and if not treated, it resulted in acquired immune deficiency syndrome known as AIDS. Prof. Dr. Abacıoğlu talked about the symptoms of HIV virus and he said, “Some of the HIV infected people may not experience any symptoms at all. Yet, some of them may have symptoms similar to those of flu symptoms in the very beginning of their infection (within 2-4 weeks), like swollen glands, fever, headaches, or muscle soreness, rash, canker sores. After your immune system loses the battle with HIV, the flu-like symptoms will go away. Doctors may call this the clinical latent period. Most people do not have symptoms you can see or feel. You may not realize you are infected, and can pass HIV on to others. This stage can last 10 years or more.” dedi. Prof. Dr. Abacıoğlu, who reported that HIV infected people carry the risk of transmitting the disease in all stages, stated the following:
“HIV can be transmitted from an infected person to another through blood, sexual relation, and from mother to baby. Yet, touching, shaking hands, hugging, being in the same room, sharing the same plate, or insect bites do not pose a risk when it comes to getting HIV virus.” Prof. Dr. Abacıoğlu indicated that when HIV transmission risk was in question, infectious diseases doctor should be contacted immediately. “People, who may have been infected, can take anti-HIV drugs to protect themselves. However, they must start the process within 72 hours of when they were exposed. Patient confidentiality is respected, and medical information regarding the HIV test will not be disclosed to others.
There are no effective preventive HIV/AIDS vaccine, but fortunately, a combination of medications can help fight HIV, rebuild your immune system, and prevent spreading the virus. These medications can also decrease the risk of pregnant women transmitting the disease to their babies,” said Prof. Dr. Abacıoğlu.