Social media is saturated with so much buffoonery, propaganda and politics, that we forget about epidemics such as HIV. Perhaps topics such as these are too disturbing, too uncomfortable and less entertaining than the average Facebook Post. So much so, that we would rather ignore the silent killer still claiming lives out there, all over the world. Well, I'm here to remind you that it's still out there! Despite the fact that there isn't too much talk about it these days...people are still getting infected with HIV. The reality is, that HIV impacts all of us, without prejudice. If you beg to differ, let me illustrate a scenario that is more common than you think.
You know someone (Person A) who is HIV positive and having unprotected sex with someone (Person B). Obviously by having unprotected sex, person B becomes infected. Person B is unfaithful to person A or maybe Person B has a spouse or partner already. Now, that partner of Person B becomes infected....and so on and so on. This is how diseases spread. Most of the time people are clueless or in some cases careless; causing them to contract diseases like HIV unknowingly. However, what happens when people like Person A, knowingly spread the disease through sexual contact? Is person A committing a crime? Should person B accept some of the responsibility for engaging in unprotected sex? I'll go a step further and ask: Are you, the friend, an accomplice, because you knew what your infected friend was doing but kept silent?
I will not offer an answer of my own as I'm curious to know what you think. A close friend and I had this discussion yesterday and it was so interesting that I decided to write about it. Now before you answer, let me leave you some eye opening stats and information about HIV. Feel free to share and keep the conversation going. Our lives depend on it!
- HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 34 million lives so far. In 2014, 1.2 [1.0–1.5] million people died from HIV-related causes globally.
- There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective treatment with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can control the virus so that people with HIV can enjoy healthy and productive lives.
- There were approximately 36.9 [34.3–41.4] million people living with HIV at the end of 2014 with 2.0 [1.9–2.2] million people becoming newly infected with HIV in 2014 globally.
- It is estimated that currently only 51% of people with HIV know their status.
- HIV can be transmitted via the exchange of a variety of body fluids from infected individuals, such as blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal secretions. Individuals cannot become infected through ordinary day-to-day contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or sharing personal objects, food or water.
For confidential HIV/AIDS counseling and information, call your state’s toll-free AIDS Hotline. Most hotlines operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can answer your questions and offer free educational materials to the public. You can find the number for your state on this website:
Stats taken from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs360/en/
# Charlie Sheen