Friday, 27 February 2015

IGNORANCE AND HIV/AIDS

Every day that goes by, physicians, pharmacologists and scientists fight tooth and nail to provide a cure or a new way of reducing the adverse effects of HIV/AIDS. They strive to invent new drugs that can boost one’s immunity to drastically reduce spread of the virus in the body. New evidences have been confirmed in journals, research reports about tactful methods of reducing the spread of HIV.
 
Additional information has been published on the various practices that increase the possibility of one acquiring HIV. This information has been spread throughout the world and a number of countries that have wholly embraced it have experienced a significant reduction in HIV infection rates within their respective countries. Unfortunately Africa seems to be performing the worst at adopting this vital information and so, has continued to experience increasing HIV infections in many countries regardless of the many preventive measures that have been put in place. The lack of knowledge about this information has been attributed to ignorance among a number of people in Africa.

Ignorance has played a pivotal role in increasing HIV infection rates by providing a fertile ground for the spread of HIV because many people do not think AIDS is that dangerous because antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs are available and freely provided by a number of governments. Many people fear having HIV/AIDS tests despite the fact that it is easily accessible and free of charge in many health centers. 
Numerous couples get married without getting tested for HIV and some partners continue to have unprotected sex with other sexual partners outside marital boundaries. These partners may be infected and this exposes their unsuspecting partner to HIV/AIDS even when they remain faithful to one partner. 
Some People believe in the use of condoms as a very reliable way of preventing HIV. Fortunately condoms can be a powerful tool in preventing both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, HIV inclusive but just a few people will comfortably confirm that they use condoms correctly and consistently. 
A number of societies and religions in Africa are against the use of contraceptive methods which include condoms and so many a times people cannot freely access condoms in fear of judgment by other members of society. Some adults cannot actually buy condoms within a public place and so resort to using condoms from friends but unfortunately the condoms they get cannot be relied on for 99% efficiency. 

A number of teenage girls are forced into marriages with older men who in most cases have other wives. These men can easily spread HIV to these innocent girls and yet will most probably never get tested for HIV unless severe symptoms have surfaced. Many youth are more scared of pregnancy than they are of sexually transmitted diseases, so they may not value the use of condoms. Many people lack knowledge about immediate medical measures like post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) that can be used to prevent HIV shortly after a sexual encounter with an HIV positive person.

A lot of effort has to be put in increasing awareness about HIV prevention from a tender age so that children grow up with facts and effective ways of preventing HIV infections. Most of the information is provided to people when they are already grown up which may come in late after people have been infected. Every parent, teacher, sibling and friend has a responsibility to teach a child about HIV when they are still young. (Image credit to www.issafrica.org)
The HIV free generation starts WITH YOU.



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