Thursday, September 10, 2009

Let's talk about sex

Let's talk about sex - HIV and SDTs...

I was privileged to visit Pieter Dirk Uys in Darling and listen to some of his advise around the status of HIV/AIDS education and so I thought I would take it to heart and finally write something on this not so comfortable topic. He said to us 'Penis and vagina are never pleasant dinner conversation topics. However, if we don't talk about it when we are sitting together with our friends over supper or having a drink, when will we?'

Truth be told, in the last let's say five years I can probably count with fingers of one hand when HIV/AIDS and STDs have been discussed at socials I was at.

I think we (and I fully include myself) all assume we do know and understand how we get HIV/AIDS. I think generally we all do. Most of us do know that the vaginal fluid, semen, breast milk and blood of a with HIV infected person have enough of the virus in it to infect another person. I think we all know that we can get HIV by having unprotected sex with infected persons, sharing needles and through mother to child infection.

For me the problem of understanding how to get HIV started with knowing the details. I will try to write this as clinical as possible. This is not about lifestyles or judgments on single hood or sex before marriage. I will just try to share questions, answers and doubts I had over the last couple of years.

As long as I was in a long term relationships the problem was very minimal. Both got tested at the beginning and everything was sorted. But as life takes it turns and partners as well as circumstances change, the spectrum around sex broadens.

So the questions that I had during the last couple of years:
1) What happens when the condom pops when you sleep with a guy you hardly know? Can you do anything or is your fate determined if he is HIV positive?

Yes, luckily you can. Within the first 72 hours you can get ARV treatment. However, you need to consult a doctor or go to a clinic. General rule should be, after the orgasm, the guy should pull out and you should take care that the condom is still on. Ladies, in my experience the best is to double check, sadly some guys don't seem to know how to use condoms

2) Will you get infected through oral sex?
These questions are highly contested in the scientific world. To be safe, be safe. You won't get infected if you swallow the semen but if you have little cuts in your mouth etc it is already more if he wants a blow job, he should put on the plastic.

3) Something interesting to try out are female condoms. It's just a different way of protection. It's a nice way of spicing up the routine. Yes, they are a bit more expensive and seem first more complicated but ultimately they are the same user friendly as male condoms.

4) Once the penis lost its erection you should put on a new condom for the second round.

5) I like cremes and massage oils but had to learn that oil based products will dissolve latex condoms...

That's all I wanted to share with you. Generally, I just wanted to encourage you to make HIV/AIDS a dinner conversation from time to time. It might be uncomfortable but might save a life!

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