Sex without a condom is more enjoyable and worth it. True or false? Sharing a needle when no others are available is quite fine. True or false? These are questions that each of us has to be aware of and prepared to answer at a moments notice. However, if they are not questions that we think about on a regular basis and are honest about then in the heat of the moment we’re more likely to make a decision that can have fatal results.
National Latino AIDS Awareness Day is on October 15 and December 1 is World HIV/ AIDS Day. There will be plenty of programs dedicated to addressing the problems that still exist, raising awareness about behavior that can keep you safe from contracting the disease and commemorating those who have passed.
Surprisingly, as Elizabeth Pisani elaborates in her book The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS large amounts of money are dedicated to fighting this disease worldwide. In spite of continuous awareness and funding, infection rates keep rising. How is it that we have the knowledge and the resources to prevent the spread of this disease and we are not doing everything that we can? Factors that affect the way people view HIV/ AIDS are religious beliefs.
Pisani explores how we engage in risky behavior that gives the disease easy access to our bloodstream. Should it really take the infection or death of someone close to us to wake us up? Granted some people are more at risk of contracting HIV/ AIDS than others, but that should not stop us reaching out to the community.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007 Latinos in the U.S. accounted for 19 percent of people living with AIDS, making us the third highest affected demographic after African Americans and Native Hawaiians/ Pacific Islanders. In Latin America more than 2 million people are living with the disease.
Sex can be a touchy subject, but we should not be afraid to address and discuss the behaviors that lead to the spread of STIs and HIV/AIDS. Honesty and openness are the only ways to encourage people to reconsider their actions and to keep sex enjoyable and safe. HIV tests are free as are many STI tests. Do you know your status?
Are you talking about HIV/ AIDS?