Cases of HIV/Aids have plagued every country in the world. During the early years, many people who were diagnosed did not have long to live nor did they have very many treatment options. This disease has ravaged people for over 30 years. Epidemic numbers of cases have been reported. Although at first many people thought that it was only a disease that affected homosexual men, that myth was quickly debunked when heterosexual men and women began to get infected. The good news is that new diagnoses have dropped by 1/3rd in general.
While the drop in cases is great news, there are still millions of people in Africa who are affected by it. Unfortunately, the majority of the cases are children who are born from infected mothers. This is obviously a heart wrenching diagnosis, compounded by the fact that healthcare can be difficult to obtain. Although there are medications that can help manage symptoms and prolong life, they can be difficult to find and very expensive. Early treatment is important, and so is having an overall healthy lifestyle.
Another portion of the population that is being affected are gay men. HIV/Aids in gay young males rising to higher numbers, probably due to a lack of protection and education. As horrible as this disease is, it can be prevented by using simple and effective measures. For example, abstinence from sex, especially before being tested for this disease and others, is always a smart idea with a new partner. Another excellent idea is using condoms. Condoms prevent more than just pregnancy between a man and a woman, they also protect both men and women from sexually transmitted diseases.
Prevention of the spread of HIV requires an open discussion and education. It requires honesty and an open mind. Although there’s little doubt that we are making progress at reducing the disease, the fact that new cases are still being diagnosed tells us we have a ways to go. Don’t let embarrassment or fear keep you from speaking up regarding your sexual health. This disease does not discriminate if you are straight or gay, man or woman.