World AIDS Day


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Just in case anyone isn’t already aware, today is World AIDS Day. A day when we remind ourselves that AIDS is a problem that is not going away, in fact to me, it seems more present and widespread than ever before, and it’s important that we take a moment now and then to reflect on that and try to work out what can be done to make things a little better.

Since the appearance (or at east the classification) of AIDS in the early 1980s, it has spread so much that it now touches every walk of life. In the beginning, it was seen as being “The Gay Disease” and that made it so much easier to spread among people who thought that because they were not gay, they were safe.

The truth is, nobody is safe.

Stigma and misinformation surrounding AIDS is still rife, and it’s important that everyone keep up with recent developments and discoveries in order to keep themselves as safe as they can.

world-aids-dayI know people with AIDS. So far I have been lucky enough not to lose anyone to it, but there have been times when it’s been a close thing. However, modern science is coming along leaps and there are drugs that can prolong life and make it of a much better quality for far longer than ever before. It no longer needs to be a death sentence.

For today at the very least, be safe. Arm yourself with knowledge and protect yourself as best you can. Practice safer sex (using barrier contraception – male or female condoms – and dental dams); make sure you and your partners get tested; don’t inject drugs (or, if you must, make sure you are using sterile, single-use equipment).

AIDS has been with us for 30 years now – I’m sure you all know the drill.

BE SAFE!

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2 thoughts on “World AIDS Day

  1. I read an article today that said “While gay men of any age or race are at the highest risk of infection, 39 percent of people with HIV or AIDS today are either straight or women.” Since gay men make up no greater than 1.5% of the population why do they get AIDS so much? Are we STILL not telling the truth about anal sex? Why can’t we come out and say that anal sex is the number one way AIDS is transmitted? Is political correctness so powerful that we can not tell the truth about something that can kill people?

    1. Anal sex can increase the risks as there is always a risk of tearing, plain and simple. However, gay men are not the only people who engage in anal sex. Gay men have a reputation of being far more open to “brief encounters” which, if you are not careful, means the sexual history of the encounter widens each time (you may be having sex with just one person, but you are also having sex with every person THEY had sex with before, and everyone that their partners had sex with – it widens the net). There’s an awful lot to be said for being 100% drug free and in a 100% monogomous relationship where both partners have never been with anyone other than their partner, but there are still risks from things like blood transfusions (although, due to rigorous testing, this is a miniscule risk), or accident where one has an open wound that has come into contact with infected bodily fluids.

      The truth is that nobody is completely 100% safe – gay or straight, drug user or no, completely monogomous or with hundreds of partners – we can all become exposed to AIDS and/or HIV and care should be taken. The first step in that is arming ourselves with facts and not laying blame with any one party. We’re all in this together.

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