Protect Yourself

HIV is not currently a dominant epidemic in Pakistan. However, the number of cases are growing. Moderately high drug use and lack of acceptance that non-marital sex is common in the society have allowed the AIDS epidemic to take hold in Pakistan, mainly among injection drug users, some male sex workers and repatriated migrant workers. AIDS may yet become a major health issue.

The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, attacks the body’s immune system. By weakening the body’s defenses against disease, HIV makes the body vulnerable to a number of potentially life-threatening infections and cancers. HIV is infectious, which means it can be transmitted from one person to another.

It is true that HIV is not particularly easy to transmit and that infection can be averted. But the primary mode of HIV transmission—sexual intercourse involves intimate and highly-valued personal behaviors that can often be difficult to change, especially over the long term.

TO PROTECT OUR FAMILIES, OUR FRIENDS AND OURSELVES, WE SHOULD:
• learn our HIV status by going for voluntary counseling and testing.
• avoid penetrative sex or use condoms correctly and consistently every time we have sex, unless we know for certain that we and
our partner(s) are HIV-negative.
• seek treatment at once if we have a sexually transmitted infection.
• use only new or sterilized needles and syringes.
• talk about HIV prevention with our partner(s), children and colleagues.
• prepare in advance to protect ourselves from HIV.

How can I tell if someone has HIV?

You cannot. Worldwide, most people living with HIV have yet to develop AIDS. A fraction of people infected with HIV develop symptoms early in the course of infection, while others remain without symptoms for 15 or more years after they become infected. Because most people with HIV do not appear sick, it is impossible to tell if a person has the virus just by looking at, or talking to, him or her. People with HIV look and act just like people without HIV infection.

How should I talk to my children about HIV and AIDS?
Children’s education about sexuality begins at an early age. Toddlers’ comparisons of their sexual organs reflect a natural curiosity about sex. In Pakistan and in most countries, as children grow up in today’s world, they are bombarded with sexual images and information on television, in films, over the Internet, and from their peers. In a world with AIDS, young people need accurate information about the risks associated with sex. They need to be equipped with values and skills that prepare them to make healthy choices in difficult situations. When based on sound scientific evidence, comprehensive school-based education on human sexuality and HIV provides young people with potentially life-saving information and offers opportunities for them to clarify their values about sex.  Parents should also talk to their children about HIV and AIDS. Those of us who are parents may, in fact, be in the best position to counterbalance the misinformation or distorted images about sex that children may glean from the media or their peers.

The home is also the best place to instill values of sexual responsibility and self-respect. Discussing sex with our children is often a challenge in this culture. If you are worried about your ability to raise the topic of sex with your children, you might seek advice from teachers, trusted friends, relatives or health workers.

There are already so many articles about HIV/AIDS and STDs but I wrote this post just to summarize what is essential to know about this virus, in fact number of articles and information is very less in comparison of it’s victimization and wide spread. I believe that only awareness can eliminate this evil from our world, so don’t take risks with your life, and encourage your friends to live heather and happier becaues there’s nothing more special than your life.

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