The perils of sex (2)

Isyu 25 Sept 95

Colors tells you how you don’t get AIDS. You do not get AIDS from bloodsuckers like mosquitoes. You do not get AIDS from a toilet seat or in a swimming pool. You do not get AIDS from sharing food or a glass or other utensils with an infected person. You do not get AIDS from eating food prepared by an infected person. You do not get AIDS from kissing alone or by shaking hands. There are no known cases of HIV infection from nonsexual social contact.

Where did the AIDS virus come from? Multiple choice: (A) Humans caught the virus from green monkeys whose brains they ate raw. (B) It was caused by radiation from French nuclear testing in the Sahara Desert. (C) It was created by Soviet scientists while testing biological weapons. (D) It was cause by a gay sex drug. (E) It’s a C.I.A. plot. (F) White tourists brought the virus to Africa. (G) U.S. soldiers caught it from having sex with monkeys in Vietnam.

I’d go with G except it’s a myth daw like all the rest. Anyway, like Colors says, it doesn’t matter where AIDS came from. What matters is that it’s here: “An estimated 11 to 12 million people on the planet are HIV positive. More than two million are Asian.” And what’s awful is that it’s an ugly and painful, deadly and incurable disease.

The message of AIDS is simple enough.It’s saying that sexual promiscuity can kill you. It’s saying you should be careful who you swing with, specially if it’s someone new and exciting whom you don’t know from Adam (or Eve). Colors gets the message across.

On a spread. Left page, Sara’s face. Right page, Miguel’s face. CAPTION: Last night Sara and Miguel slept together.

Next spread. Three faces (all guys) each with an arrow pointing to Sara. Three faces (all girls), arrows pointing to Miguel. CAPTION: Last year, Sara and Miguel each slept with three other people.

Next spread. . CAPTION: Each year before that, those people slept with three other people. Over four years, Sara and Miguel will have slept with people who have slept with a total of 80 people. Some forty faces each around Sara’s and Miguel’s, arrows indicating both same-sex and opposite-sex partnerships.

Next spread. A sea of faces, I.D.-size and smaller, crowding both pages. Over seven years, those people will have slept with 1,460 people. And over 12 years, those people will have slept with 531, 444 people. (It would take another 728 pages to show you all their pictures). By the way, in Paris where Sara and Miguel live, one in 100 people is HIV positive. You might want to use a condom.

And you might want to have your blood tested, just to know, just to be sure you’re clean (maawa ka sa asawa mo). Actually, the AIDS tests is a test for HIV antibodies, which are molecules produced by your immune system to fight the virus if/when HIV enters your body. A small amount of your blood is mixed with some chemicals; if HIV antibodies arepresent, the mixture turns yellow. If you’re sexually active, you should be tested every six months; this is how long it takes for HIV antibodies to show up in the blood. Ibig sabihin, if you get tested soon after getting infected, you could test negative even if you already have HIV in your body.

Colors doesn’t tell you to stop having sex but it tells you to be careful. Practice safe sex. If you’re a guy, wear a condom everytime you have sex with a partner. If you’re a girl, carry a condom everytime you go out, just in case he doesn’t. While condoms are not foolproof, it’s the best protection there is vs. HIV transmission right now when your hormones are raging and you just wanna have sex.

Condoms come in all styles, colors, sizes, and flavors, but there’s only one way to wear them. (1) Make sure you don’t tear or damage the condom when you tear the package open. (2) Pinch the tip of the condom to let the air out and make room for semen. (3) Place condom on head of erect penis and unroll it down the entire shaft. (4) When you’re finished, pinch the base of the condom as you withdraw to prevent semen from spilling out. Tie condom in a knot and put in trash. Do not re-use.

[Next: Safe sex. Monogamy. Masturbation]