You have read about it - currently there are about 40.3 million people worldwide living with HIV. However, paraphrasing Blinkymummy's title "The death of a million is just a statistic", most people do not care about statistics, they only care if the effect is immediate (The death of someone close to you is a tragedy).
There are 2,548 known cases of HIV-Infected Singaporeans. Estimates of the actual total number are much higher. How do you know for sure if someone you know is infected? How do you prevent yourself from getting infected?
The most gorgeous girl/handsome guy you just met and whom you are instantly physcially attracted to can be carrying the virus. There is no way to tell if a potential partner is carrying the deadly virus through his/her appearance (no visible symptoms). That is the scary part. It is a known fact that the risk of contracting the virus increases exponentially with the number of one's sex partners. AIDS does not discriminate against race, religion, gender, nationality. Everyone stands an equal chance of getting infected if they carry out these dangerous activities (Explicit sexual details follow, readers' discretion advised):
Sharing personal items like toothbrushes and shaving kits (This means a family member can get infected easily).
Sharing needles (Drugs/Medical).
Sharing sex toys like vibrators, dildos, sex dolls etc.
Tattooing/Body piercing increases the risk of contracting HIV and/or other STDs.
Having sexual contact with an infected person (since anyone can be carrying the virus and you can't know for sure whether anyone you have slept with was infected, once you are sexually active, you are at risk)
- Unprotected Oral/Anal/Vaginal sex
- "Fingering" (open wound, small cuts on the finger. The virus can pass from the vaginal fluid through the open wound and vice versa)
- Threesomes/Orgies (Even the use of a condom can't do much to prevent the spread of the virus. Scenario: 2 girls, 1 guy. Guy uses the same condom. Girl A is HIV-positive. Vaginal fluids from girl A is passed from guy's condom to Girl B. I am sure you guys can think of more examples from here).
- French kissing (Open sores)
- The virus can be transmitted through breast milk.
- Having sex with prostitutes/freelancers, engaging in One night stands and having multiple sex partners dramatically increases the risk of contracting HIV.
- If you are faithful to one partner but that partner sleeps around, your chances of infection are also increased.
As can be seen, there are so many ways to get infected - Most people do not even think of the risks involved when they engage in ANY KIND OF sexual activities.
So xlx does this mean that Abstinence is the key?
Well in my opinion, abstinence is one of the most effective ways to reduce the chances of getting HIV. However it would be unwise to think that everyone will use this drastic method to prevent infection (I doubt there are many who actually use this method). A better way is to get both yourself and your potential partner/s tested before engaging in any form of sexual activity. With the 15min self test kit now available, it has become easier and more affordable to prevent yourself or a loved one from contracting the deadly virus.
Technorati tags: AIDS, World AIDS Day, Singapore, "World AIDS Day", Drugs.
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