In this space we look for talking about an issue what, despite overflooded information, it is evident that campaigns to use condoms are not getting the the wished asset, what it is not achieving to create consciousness for self-protection to prevent HIV/AIDS and the other sexually transmitted infections.
Thus, it is necessary a self-reflection on unprotected sexual practices between heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual persons. This clarification is made because it makes no sense to follow accusing the gay public of HIV/AIDS infection, stigmatizing them about a dirty behavior -- it is observed an awful reality on infection does not discriminate among sexual orientation or gender (male or female), and that is gaining space because of risky sexual practices as having sex without a condom, early beginning of sexual relations not using a condom, practices which nowadays are not because a lack of information but lack of conciousness attributed due to they are practices adopted by many young and not so-young, who simply do not pay attention on the risk of acquiring HIV.
It is also observed to all this that there are still rejecting persons to HIV free testing alleging they are not men sleeping with men or women who only sleep with their husbands, when the reality has taught us if there are groups presenting more risk before infection, we all could be victims of it.
It is important to highlight that scientific researchs prove the HIV infection is detected between 16 to 24 years old. It is very known from the moment of infection until first syntomatology appearing can last from five to ten years, if we consider that the person does not test for HIV while syntomatology is not present . Then, when that person is diagnosed, we realize the cruel fact that person was infected between 13 to 15 years old, in teenage, we mean, when the majority just does not realize to be the infection-target .
I met Carlos when I was 14. then, he was 16. we were classmates at high-school.
Two years later, I got pregnant. Carlos left the school, and I went to live with him as it uses to be. Everyday , he showed me that if we were very young, he loved me and was concerned I were well. We did not have much but with few, we were going up.
Time passed and I realized Carlos started to get sick. Once more, it was too continuing that ill. Then, he was 20 years old and I was three months of my second child’s pregnancy . everybody said me I might not be worried because that would affect my baby.
Someone advised me that I should get Carlos to the health post, that there was a little free test to be applied to persons with syntoms Carlos had, and I checked in my pregnancy by the way.
My father-in-law said me it was not necessary because the test was for men who slept with prostitutes or other men. As I was not neither both, I had to be calm.
Despite, Carlos got many pills as well as available herbs but even he did not recover.
One day, Carlos could not wake up. I encouraged, went to health post . there I was diagnosed with HIV and they told me it was necessary Carlos got tested too.
A day before dying, Carlos requested me for forgiving him among tears, he said never betrayed me and I was his life love, but when he was on vacation the year before we met, he went to Aunt Aydee’s in Chiclayo, because he used to do this that year’s season.
Aunt Haydee’s sons Paco and Juan used to visit Rosa, a powerpuff girl, he had to meet for becoming a man.
Crying, he said me that if he could get the time back, he never had condemn me to his unmadurity punishment. I also answered him in tears that we both were victims and there are not anything to forgive.
Today I am taking retrovirals and waiting for the birrth. I praise God that my baby does not born infected because my first son was not lucky.
What is HIV/AIDS?
The HIV (Human Inmunodeficiency Virus) is a virus what attacks cellsin charge of body’s defense called CD4 co-operative lynphocites. As infection advances and CD4 lynphocites account decreases leaving the body with less defense capability, HIV-infected persons begin to get very bad infections those normally are not infected, becoming inmunodefficient.
This advanced process with other oportunist diseases already presence is called AIDS (acquired Inmuno Defficiency syndrome).
Many times, the person is diagnosed with HIV even if there are not syntoms.
When the person is infected, the virus progresses arise, and the person is unsyntomed, who does not present symtons to suspect on infection, in other words. This process can last until ten years or more, time when the person can transmit the virus to other people.
If the person is not diagnosed and receives treatment, can develop AIDS.
Persons who develop AIDS have their inmunological system so damaged that they can easily get other oportunist diseases causing them death.
How is it transmited?
HIV can be found in body liquids or secretions as blod, semen, pre-cum liquid, vaginal secretion and mother’s milk. All practice implying contact of these body liquids and secretions with mucus and blood flow of another person can cause infection by HIV. Pregnant women also can transmit it their child during pregnancy, at birth moment or during milk feeding.
Who has more risk to get HIV?
- All person sharing Needles to inject, babies from HIV-infected mothers who did not receive treatment against the virus during pregnancy.
- Persons having unprotected sexual relations (not using a condom), and even more if if they have HIV-positive or AIDS-developed couples with high risk behavior (promiscuos).
- Persons who received blood or hemo-derivates transfusions without hard standards to detect the virus.
Which are the syntoms?
When infection is acute, they are very often similar to flu plus diarrhea, headaches, fever, muscular sore, diverse skin eruptions, mouth wounds, cold sweatting, throatsore, inflammed lynphatic gangles.
Have in mind…
Today, the science advances and we fortunately have retrovirals those help for infection not to advance, and so having a good life to enjoy. However, we do not forget even when infection is treatable and can be dealed as a cronic disease, there is not a cure yet and we do not have to keep unguarded.
Also, we have to be conscious once treatment has begun, this shall continue. If not, patient only wil expose to create resistance to drugs, and while more resistance, less effectivity. That means less life possibility.
Marco Paulini is a Sullana, Peru-based obsthetrician. Send him your questions to his Twitter account: @MarcoPaulini
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