Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Media and The Downplaying of HIV

Where has HIV gone? It would seem to the masses that it is an all but eradicated disease. The media and to some degree the Government would have you believe this is true. Nothing could be further from the truth. While HIV has become a “manageable” illness, it is one that sadly, continues to devastate many. Heterosexuals and Gays alike.Incredibly, funding for HIV is being cut as I write this, as evidenced in this article by The from South Carolina.

Amazingly most are not aware that HIV/AIDS remains a problem in our society. It is also alarming that although it was considered a disease of the young, older adults are now showing increasing rates of HIV transmission. Lets face it, sex is something that most believe stops after 40 or 50. Who wants to think of Dear old Granny “getting her groove on”. The fact is that sex remains a factor even for those elderly that are even much older. The other side of the coin is yet another part of society that no parent thinks of as having sex either: Teenagers and young adults. In these days of widespread social networking, sexting, and internet hookups, it would be foolish to not address this issue with your young.

When the HIV/AIDS epidemic first arose, and for a long time after, there was huge exposure given to it. Now it seems the focus has been taken over by Anti smoking and Diabetes Ads. The truth is that HIV/AIDS while more manageable, is still a very serious and sometimes devastating disease. Not everyone deals well with the multiple medications some HIV patients need to take daily. I know some personally and hear stories of how hard it still is. I have online buddies, as well as a heterosexual brother and his wife who are both HIV positive. I have been one of the lucky ones to not get it, even though I spent 5 years living with my then partner, who contracted it before we met. He was not the only one. I have three ex’s that I now know had HIV. One of them unfortunately did not survive it. My current partner and I got tested together every 6 months for the first 6 years we were together. We still get tested even though we are monogamous. It is a reminder should one of us one day not be here. We think of it as mental insurance.

The CDC can only do so much in getting the information out. It is up to each and everyone of us to try and stem the flow of not only this disease, but of every preventable disease. Sadly, bare backing as well as other forms of easily contracting HIV are far from gone. Most cases are indeed preventable, although not always in every case. Safer sex, being informed, and curtailing casual sex, knowing your partner’s sexual history. Although HIV remains a serious disease albeit much more manageable, it should be seen for what it is. Not a death sentence, but not something you would want to contract. If you do, remember that there are options, treatments, and help. I’ve listed below some links that you may find helpful in helping you learn more. Be safe.


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