World AIDS Day
This is not a hair related post, but it is an important one. HIV and AIDS are topics that I feel strongly about, so I'm going to use my voice here to shed some light in honour of World AIDS Day.
Know your status!
When did you last take an HIV test? Scandinavians seem to believe that this isn't important to do unless you are a intervenous drug user or a gay male. Wrong! If you are sexually active, no matter your age, race, sexuality, gender or country of residence you should get regular HIV tests.
Use a condom!
The only thing that can protect you from contracting and spreading HIV (and other STIs) is a condom. Don't be foolish! Buy them, keep them close and make sure to toss them when they expire and get new ones.
HIV is a virus that over time (if not treated with antiviral drugs) breaks down the body's immune system and therefore makes the body susceptible to opportunistic diseases that a healthy immune system could win a battle against. When this happens the person has AIDS.
There is no cure for HIV or AIDS.
Though there are antiretroviral drugs that keep the HIV count low and therefore the body as healthy as possible, there is no cure. Treatment with antiretroviral drugs is for life, they drugs have to be taken daily. These drugs have many side effects which means the person taking them will need meds for these side effects. In the end a HIV positive person can be taking around 50 pills a day. For the rest if their lives.
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to HIV and AIDS. No one knows the exact number of people with HIV in the world, the numbers we see are estimates because WHO can't go around testing every single person on the planet. You don't get HIV by touching, kissing or hugging. You can however contract HIV by having unprotected sex with someone who is HIV positive or exchanging blood (for an example through intervenous drug use) with someone who is HIV positive. HIV and AIDS is not an African issue, it affects people all over the world. The number of newly HIV infected people is increasing in places like Eastern Europe, while they seem to be stagnant in many African countries. Regardless anyone can contract HIV! The virus does not discriminate!