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HIV Life >> Living With HIV

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Reged: 09/08/11
Posts: 127
Preventing the increasing rate of HIV infections
      #264759 - 07/21/12 05:41 PM

So I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and wanted to post this but wasn’t sure if I should, but after reading an article today that I noticed on CNN, I thought it was a sign that I should post it. The article was basically about how HIV infections have been increasing, specifically in gay men, since 2001. Thankfully, the death rate has been decreasing due to medications and I’m always optimistic that we will have a cure some day, but that’s for a different post. Anyways I sometimes think that if I ever spoke to a group of young people on how to prevent HIV, what angle would I take or how would I present it and I’ve come to the conclusion that of course I would say always practice safe sex, blah, blah, blah. If your twenty-something and haven’t heard that from somewhere, then you must have been living under a rock. I think the fact that HIV is increasing, and people know they should be practicing safe sex and using clean needles, then just saying that isn’t working.

My thoughts are you have to go beyond that. I think the core of the problem is people aren’t being loved properly by family, friends, significant others, society etc… Now that may sound cheesy but I do think that could be some of the problem. Speaking from personal experience, I recall being very depressed because I had a screwed up family who treated me like garbage, and horrible friends who took advantage of me or didn’t give two shits about me and it resulted in an incredibly low self esteem that I turned to promiscuous sex. I had no self-respect for myself or my body. Thankfully that has changed now. I just wish I had given myself a chance that there were good people out there outside of my family and friends that I could have turned too. I wish I had put my focus into school or my job. I wish I would have understood that your biological family doesn’t have to be your “true” family. As they say, don’t you wish you could go back and talk to your younger self and say, HEY, you really need to do things differently because if you don’t, this is what is going to happen…… How I wish I could do that.

Anyways, if I could talk to young people, I would talk to them, like I was talking to my younger self and give them the opportunity to think about it and possibly it would result in them making changes in their life to prevent them from getting HIV. Anyways, this is just something I was thinking about and wanted to share.

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Reged: 06/23/12
Posts: 49
Loc: Alabama
Re: Preventing the increasing rate of HIV infections new
      #264771 - 07/22/12 12:06 AM

You make a good point about family, or lack of, and an increasing number of single parent households with know father figure present. Then you add things live poverty, unemployment, accountability, and the increasing need in society for "instant gratification" into the mix and I think you've got it.

If I had to get up and talk before a group of young people I would not only talk about how important it is to practice of safe sex, but would also do some research and include facts and statistics on HIV in my presentation. If you do a little research there's some startling statics out there that will blow your mind. I would also stress the importance of a monogamous relationship which would probably fall on deaf ears.

It's statitics like these that are mind-boggling or horrifying that I would use in my presentation: . I'm just using this as an example, not because I think it's a black problem. HIV does not discriminate and has no boundries. Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble on.

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Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1895
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: Preventing the increasing rate of HIV infections new
      #264812 - 07/23/12 02:41 PM

So then take it all a step further and go talk to some schoold. I've done speaking engagements to troubled teens and christian school kids. One of the problems is that they think the can just pop a some preventive pills afterward and all will be fine. Or see if the schools would allow flyers to be handed out. If you reach one then in the end that could prevent hundreds from multiplying.

Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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Reged: 02/02/11
Posts: 464
Loc: Thailand
Re: Preventing the increasing rate of HIV infections new
      #265011 - 07/29/12 04:17 AM

From my observations, I feel that education and awareness efforts are just not what they used to be, and that nowadays there is just an almost blatant ignorance or disregard for the virus by the pop media.

I don't see the same education efforts in schools and universities that I had seen years ago. Also, on the internet, I see a lot of websites that really glamorize and almost encourage risky behavior among young people. I'm sure it's happening on both sides of the fence, but lately I almost never see condom use in straight porn, but ten years ago I would frequently see condom use. Also, trying to get viewers, it seems like the sites are having the actors engage in increasingly and more raunchy behavior which equals higher risk.

It's easy to point to any of these websites and say that it's fantasy, and that they are not responsible for viewers' actions. Microscopically, I think that's true. However, the prevalence of this type of entertainment in the pop media, coupled with lax education and awareness efforts seems to spell the equation for popular indifference and thus a resurgence in infection. Overall, it's just a general message that seems to spell disaster.

Also, it's not just HIV that is having increased rates of infection; it's many other sexually transmitted diseases as well - many of which I almost never hear talked about anymore from the education front.

I really think that these two elements, lack of education/awareness and portrayed behavior glamorizing risky behavior in pop media, are strongly impacting the high rate of infection that we are seeing. I'm sure I rill have some rotten tomatoes hurled at me over this, but it's just my impression from what I observe in person and through the media.

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Reged: 11/10/05
Posts: 31
Loc: Alabama
Re: Preventing the increasing rate of HIV infections new
      #265922 - 08/27/12 06:54 PM

People are just becoming more complacent about the risks out there. With the new cocktail of medications I believe that so many think that life will continue almost normally after infection, and for some it does, but the financial burden and long term toxicity of these antiviral medications will eventually catch up with many of us. Lord help us all if the conservative party continues to become even more powerful within out government for we will see HIV services and prevention programs wither on the vine and those of us who have help with medications will then be dedication the majority of our resources for these life saving drugs as the Ryan White and similar programs lose funding.
To the youth, and even recently “divorced” older peers I still say to wrap it up and protect yourself from acquiring not only additional strains of HIV but other STDs like Hepatitis, HPV, Gonorrhea {we have all heard about the new drug resistant type surging out there in the community}. Adding additional preventable diseases will only lower the quality and quantity of your life.
Cruising bars was one thing but now with internet and phone apps making the hook-up exponentially easier then you can bet that these STDs are spreading like wild fire during a drought. So at least protect yourself and your partners and help save your health and pocket book from something that could and should have been preventable all along.

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