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hivHIV and AIDS stories usualy do not sheer up.

In Nigeria, for example, (a country with a population of 300 ml of people) the AIDS and HIV prevention culture is so low, that virus speads in geometric progression. People believed, and probably still believe that the only way to get rid of the infection - it is to sleep with a virgin. No need to say that such contacts not only eliminate virus, but significantly increase the chances to get infected for the first timer. Especially, if first contact is violent.

Simply put, young girls are raped, and, besides the illegal act of rape innocent creatures get infected with the incurable disease. There is such poverty Nigeria that women sell their daughters, or they go sell themselves. Many Nigerians eat just rice or other cheap vegetable food, skin and hair from the spices become unpleasantly smelly and it is not easy to get rid of this smell.  My friend lived in Nigeria for 3 years. Nigerians have admired her long hair, and tried to touch it with any possibility.

 

Living in Peru, I met an interesting man for whom HIV positive support became the reason of life.   In our small village of Cerro Azul, with a population of about 3 tousand people there were few HIV positive.  Among them was David. My daughter’s nanny Lupe introduced me to him. David was positive for more than a year and everyone in the village knew about it. No detailes were revieled, but talkative Lupe shared: he was married, had no kids, when I discovered the ugly truth he wanted to commit suicide.

Now he became the president of the local anti AIDS community and was proud of his mission .

He undertook a variety of projects in order to raise money for media campaigns, looking for sponsors everywhere. He showed me the materials that were used by him in conversations with young people. Vivid pictures and diagrams added power to these illustrations. Materials/images were provided by the  local hospitals. One of the photos depicted a dying from AIDS person in the hospital Canete. His diagnosis was pneumonia complicated by HIV.

My companion Mel, David adm myseld visited the hospital in Canete - the district center in 10 minutes drive from Cerro Azul. Good-natured woman - a member of the Anti AIDS Society told us that they have registered 200-300 positive people.  Canete is home to around 10,000 people. Infected pregnant women try to run away from home at the time of delivery, to avoid being hospitalised for caesarean section, prescribed by a doctor (to avoid infecting the baby). They give natural birth somewhere, then show up unannounced with the baby.

Teen prostitution is common too.

In our beach town we were running few actions of distributing materials on the beach.  Surprisingly, people's perceptions and attitudes towards the issue inspired to continue such activities. After all, no one knows if he will avoid infection in the future. And with infection usually comes depression, social stigma, lifestyle restrictions, thoughts of death.

HIV and AIDS Prevention.

The most effective way is being faithful to your partner. It is two way street and requires the same commitment from the partner. Loyalty must be mutual for effective prevention of HIV and AIDS.

Using condoms and disposable syringes. No need to explain that it eliminates the penetration of strange fluids in your body.

Sexual transmission has a low rate, but injured genitals, cracks will allow virus to enter the body faster.

The virus is present in all tissues of an infected person but only semen, vaginal secretions, blood, amniotic fluid has virus transmitting power.  Saliva also has a virus, but is not transmitted through kissing, since the concentration is insufficient to infect.

Dried blood is no longer a risk of contracting HIV , The vrus survives only in fresh fluids and in the host organism. Out of vital environment, the  virus retains vitality for several minutes.

Virus can be transmitted through amniotic fluid from mother to child during natural birth and breastfeeding.  Therefore, doctors recommend a caesarean section and bottle-feeding.

HIV test can show the results no earlier than 3 months after unprotected intercourse. The virus does not show in blood earlier then this time mark.

Stay safe and take care of yourself.

Simply know that no one except you will protect you from HIV infection better.

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