Dating, sex and HIV – what can you do and what can't you?

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Dating, sex and HIV – what can you do and what can't you? Empty Dating, sex and HIV – what can you do and what can't you?

Post  osh aquino on Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:15 am

"HIV is transmitted when blood or sexual fluid from an infected person somehow gets into the bloodstream of another person", says clinicial psychologist Clinton Gahwiler from Aids Training Information and Counselling Centre in Plumstead.

"Counsellors are often presented with the question – ‘I have done this or that – Am I at risk?’ If blood or sexual fluids from a person with unknown status had a chance to get into your bloodstream, the answer is 'yes'."
What would be needed for the virus to be transmitted are three things: direct contact with penetrative sex, risky behaviour and a mixing of body fluids.

HIV is present in blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk in varying concentrations. It is present in sweat, saliva and tears only if contaminated with the above bodily fluids. The virus does not survive well outside its host and there have so far been no proven cases of people contracting the virus from environmental sources, such as toilet seats. It cannot reproduce outside of its host.

Are there behaviours or indicators that contribute to putting you at risk for contracting HIV?

Reason for risk:
A. Possible transmission of HIV through the mixing of blood
B. Possible transmission of HIV through the mixing of sexual fluids

Abstinence and masturbation are probably the only no risk sexual behaviours. But sticking to this is not always possible or realistic. The possibility of contracting HIV has impacted on people's sexual behaviours and lifestyle. Gone are the days where pregnancy or herpes was the worst possible consequence of risky sexual behaviour. Having sex without a condom in the 21st century could be like signing your own death warrant or playing Russian Roullette.

"Every day there are 4 700 South Africans who become infected with HIV – a condom can go a long way to ensure that you are not one of them," says Gahwiler.

Further tips
It is important to ensure the correct use of condoms. They need to be of good quality; not expired or must not have been in the direct sun.
Only water-based lubricants should be used and in adequate quantities.
Femidoms also provide good protection.
Tattoo needles and needles for piercing have to be sterile. During traditional health practices one also needs to ensure that only sterile needles or blades are used.
It is also important to make sure that your dental health is always good. It is more important to clean your teeth after sex than before.

osh aquino

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Dating, sex and HIV – what can you do and what can't you? Empty HIV/ AIDS prevention

Post  j.dasmariñas on Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:45 am

As long as sexual intimacy remains a pleasurable outlet for humans, the risk of HIV transmission is a real possibility for all sexually active people. Adults are vulnerable to this danger as a result of intimate behaviors with more than one sexual partner, due in large part to a heightened sense of sexual awareness and promiscuity that is promoted in contemporary society and the media. Adolescents also are at increasing risk for HIV because of their natural feelings of invincibility and the added thrill of risk-taking. Teenagers' vulnerability increases with the frequency of unsafe sex practices and the additional numbers of sexual partners within their tightly-knit teenage school population. Reputable studies show that the majority of high school seniors and college freshmen in the U.S. have sex on a regular basis with multiple sexual partner, the average being four partners by this age. Every year, the median age of HIV-infected people has been continually dropping. A person who tests positive for HIV in their twenties may have contracted the virus in their teens while in high school. As the teenage pool becomes more contaminated with HIV, the likelihood of contracting the deadly virus from new partners increases exponentially. By the turn of the century, Dr. Chittick suggests, it will be difficult for most sexually active teens (both gay and straight; of different racial backgrounds; whether living in urban, suburban, or rural areas) to avoid coming in contact with at least one HIV-positive partner. Thus, the coming new wave of AIDS among adolescents. There are positive choices teens can make regarding HIV/AIDS.

Postpone your first sexual experience
Avoid the sharing of bodily fluids
Understand the danger from substance abuse
Avoid promiscuous behavior
Practice safer sex techniques

Postpone your first sexual experience
Choose abstinence until older and more mature (physically and emotionally). Not having intimate sexual relations with a partner is the only 100% effective way of avoiding HIV by sexual transmission. This is not a morality-based argument but a scientically-accurate fact. Younger teens, with immune systems that have not yet fully developed, are at greater risk if sexually intimate.

Avoid the sharing of bodily fluids
With another person, outside of a permanent, monogamous relationship. The exchange of intimate bodily fluids can carry the HIV virus and other sexually transmitted infections. While kissing is not considered to be a risky activity by most every expert, unsafe sexual practices where foreign fluids are absorbed into your body, should be stopped by the regular use of prophylactic barriers such as condoms.

Understand the danger from substance abuse
Alcohol, drugs, etc. can impair your judgment and increase high risk behaviors. Many people living with HIV/AIDS suggest that their seropositive status directly resulted from unsafe sex or the sharing of contaminated needles while high and under the influence of narcotics or alcohol. Exercise caution.

Avoid promiscuous behavior
Frequent and unsafe sexual activity with more than one partner. Even "serial monogamy" (repeatedly going from one intimate relationship to another), which is common among youth during high school and college, is very risky. Remember, each time you have sex with a new person, you are in effect sleeping with all of their previous partners, ad infinitum. These are the medical facts.

Practice safer sex techniques
Whenever having intimate sexual relations with a partner. While no "safer sex" technique is 100% safe, some practices will help to minimize your risk of HIV transmission: a) Use condoms properly (there is a right and wrong way).
b) Do not share needles for drugs, tattooing or body piercing.
c) Avoid the ingestion of another person's bodily fluids.
d) Substitute sexual "outercourse" for "intercourse" whenever possible.
e) Masturbation is a safe and normal alternative for sexual release.


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