so when in comes to HIV/AIDS, there are two important dates. first, theres AIDS Memorial Day which falls on May 15th every year. on AIDS Memorial Day, we usually have a candle light vigil to remember those whom have passed due to AIDS. here in Malaysia, people usually organize faith based events (besides the vigil) to remember and pray for friends and family who have passed. to bless their souls. and second, you have World AIDS Day which as many of you might already know falls on Dec 1st every year. unlike AIDS Memorial Day, World AIDS Day is actually to disseminate information and organize events to spread the message on HIV/AIDS in hopes that one day we will be able to stop/minimize/control the spread of HIV. and each year, the UN will come up with a theme e.g. STOP AIDS, KEEP THE PROMISE and LEADERSHIP.
anyways, just three days ago we celebrated World AIDS Day. this year was very special because some friends participated in an event organized by the Malaysian AIDS Council. Hana and Nunu among others cycled approximately 30km around the Golden Triangle to show their support for the cause. i have to say, it was pretty amazing cause they barely had any sleep the previous night and they had to wake up at 5ish in the morning to get ready for the event. so yeah, it was really nice.
as of the end of 2007, 33 million people have been reported to be living with HIV in the world and in here in Malaysia there are about 82 thousand people living with HIV as of June 2008. if you must know, by the standards of UN, for every case which is reported, there are four or five more out there which are not reported. which means, the total figure has to be multiplied by 4 or 5. it does make a lot of sense because a) there are no symptoms to tell you that you have HIV; you can only tell if you go for a HIV test and b) the numbers that we have right now are reflection of mandatory testings. so we do not actually know how many people are really infected. so you can say that it is pretty worrying and yeah, it is a pandemic. multiply those numbers by 4 or 5 and you’ll know what i mean.
so there are only three main ways that you can get HIV:
1. unprotected penetrative sex with an infected partner
2. sharing of needles, syringes, or any injecting equipment
3. from mother to child – during pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding
and HIV has high concentration only in these fluids:
3. vaginal fluid
4. breast milk
so only these fluids can transmit HIV. not saliva, tears, urine, or whatever.
with so many people infected with HIV all around the world and knowing that half of them are womyn, one day is not enough to spread messages on HIV/AIDS. and also please bear in mind that the number of womyn getting infected with HIV is also on the rise here in Malaysia. so again, one day is just not enough
and knowing the facts and figures are not enough. you have to walk the talk. so please put on a condom whenever you wanna have sex. everytime. and dont share needles or syringes or any injecting equipments. be it when you are shooting up, getting a tattoo, getting an injection, or donating blood. clean equipments.
if you want free condom, please drop by to our place or you can always get them at MAC (not the make up place) or PT Foundation.