Ten Things

1 12 2009

Did you know that today is World AIDS day? I just deleted a TTT post about HIV/AIDS statistics. It really bummed me out. I mean, my job is HIV education and prevention so it’s not like I am choosing to stick my head in the sand. What got me was the stat that says that Africa has 14 million children who are now orphans because of HIV and AIDS. So. Sad. HIV/AIDS continues to be a huge problem both here and abroad. Just keep that in mind while I try to keep it light on this space. Or at least lighter than the deleted post;

1. HIV is REALLY easy to prevent.

2. Use a condom.

3. Don’t share needles or works.

4. Since Massachusetts began needle exchange programs, new cases of HIV among intravenous drug users went from 43% to 15%. Did you hear that! That is huge! And no, giving addicts needles does not encourage them to do drugs. Don’t even go there with me.

5. Your tax money that is spent on prevention programs (like the one that pays me) is working. We still have some bugs to work out and the CDC is about to launch new programs in 2010, but it is working.

I know my readers are smart but I just gotta put it out there…

6. You can get HIV regardless of your sex or who you choose to have sex with. While it is true that new cases of HIV are highest among men who have sex with men, heterosexual people are a close second.

7. Just so you know, there is an alarming trend going on. It seems as though there is a growing number of hetero married men with children who are having sex with men. One lady on the radio caught her husband of 13 years having sex with a man. Turns out he had been having sex with different men for the past 7 years. These men identify as hetero, not bi-sexual. Just sayin.

Again, not trying to question your intelligence here but…

8. You cannot get HIV from kissing an infected person.

9. You cannot get HIV from a toilet  seat. There really are people out there who still think this is true.

10. Having a good, honest, and ongoing dialogue with your kids about HIV is a good idea. Young people account for nearly half of all new HIV cases. It can happen to your kid.

Saying “Happy World AIDS day” just doesn’t sound right to me. There is really nothing happy about being infected with HIV. Just spread the word, would ya?