15th Mar, 2016
The Doctor told the young boy the cause of his frequent unexplained ill health was because he was HIV positive. The boy stared dumbfounded at him. The doctor having counselled him on the probable routes of transmission, with unprotected sex ranking highest on the list, sought to find the probable source of the young man’s illness.
“Doctor, I have never slept with a woman, all my life, never”
He sounded genuine. He was barely 20.
“Is it because your aunty is here?’
The doctor asked and then told the woman to excuse them.
‘I have never slept with any woman’
The young man insisted severally.
Somehow and for no good reason at that time, the doctor asked,
“Well then, have you had sex with a man?”
The Doctor would have burst into laughter at his own joke if he didn’t see the look on the young man’s face. He stopped himself and repeated the question.
“But Doctor, I thought it was only sex with women that would cause HIV, not with men”
The young boy asked after minutes of looking depressed.
That shut the doctor up for good. The counselling session had taken a whole different dimension. A young man in the 21st century did not know that homosexual sex was a source of contracting HIV.
(True life story)
So I will attempt to wrap up HIV/AIDS in two parts.
Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that eventually leads to the fatal Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Research teaches us to:
- Avoid lifestyles such as unprotected sex, prostitution/promiscuity/multiple sexual partners/homosexuality or heterosexual sex with men who have sex with men;
- Be cautious with tattooing, avoid indiscriminate sharing of unsterilized needles and sharp objects, indiscriminate transfusion of unscreened or poorly screened blood;
- Encourage ante-natal screening and care for all pregnant women and feeding options for newborns born to HIV positive mothers.
Commonest mode of transmission is via sexual intercourse (more than 98%) hence my emphasis will be on this.
HIV is no respecter of:
- Sexes (male or female), age (the old and the young can get it);
- Belief system (“jazz” does not prevent HIV transmission neither does the “I don’t believe it exists “or “it can never get to me, I’m careful” attitude by many people);
- Personality, social status or geographic location.
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