Posts tagged with: AIDS

Sex education versus abstinence only education

Photograph showing rolled up condom
Image via Wikipedia

I am a Christian woman.
I support waiting to have sex until a person is married.
HOWEVER, I know the majority of people do not believe the way that I do.
I fully believe in educating the majority – those who choose to have sex outside of marriage.

My long-term goal is to go into HIV/AID education prevention … internationally … in places where sex more often than not happens before, after, during and outside of marriage. I want to work in HIV/AIDS prevention with communities and cultures where condoms are taboo. I want to work with women who feel as though they have no say in their own sex life. I want to educate these women on the fact that they have a choice. They can fight.

I recently watched The Education of Shelby Knox on NetFlix (onDemand … oh how I love thee!) and connected so deeply to Shelby’s motivations and goals that I would like to meet her in person to speak with her, to hug her, to offer her my full support as a woman a decade older than her. This week’s goal is to find a way to reach her and let her know that I fully support the works she is involved in to see what else I can do to further the mission that we both share. One of the quotes, from the movie (that I stayed up until 1am to finish!) that clearly resonated was: “God cannot use blind followers.” My eyes are open wide, and I hope that yours will be, too.

Just because I am a Christian woman does not mean that I believe you can’t TEACH sexual education. Abstinence only education does not work – it has been proven time and time again. Abstinence education ALONG with condom and other forms of birth control use on the other on hand has been shown to reduce teen pregnancy, reduce the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs), but still, it is rarely taught within the public education system. This needs to change.

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16th annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections

Computer assisted reconstruction of a rotaviru...
Image via Wikipedia

The 2009 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections just wrapped up, and I’ve been on their site checking out the updates, articles and interviews and listening to the podcasts.

I really enjoyed reading the interview with David Bangsberg, a physician with his MPH who is working on a study seeing whether the same type of adherence was needed after 12 months of continual therapy on antiviral medications.

His study team hypothesized “that the level of adherence required to sustain viral suppression would decline with time, possibly because the reservoir of latently infected cells declines with suppression,” he may have been proven correct.

I’m sending you over to the actual interview to read more about viral suppression and see what the results are showing!

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New approaches to preventing HIV/AIDS needed

Request for HIV/AIDS Grant Proposals
Image by Robert Miller via Flickr


Creative Commons License photo credit: gbaku

Know what kind of news totally makes my day? Positive news regarding HIV/AIDS.

Know what kind of news totally makes my week? Positive news regarding women with HIV/AIDS.

While Global Challenges :: Women’s health advocates call for new approaches to preventing HIV/AIDS isn’t the specific type of positive news that would make my month/year/life*, it is encouraging to hear that people are finally really recognizing that women’s HIV/AIDS prevention is so very important. “Bernice Heloo, president of the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa said that women that more women are contracting HIV because of several factors, including gender inequality. “Women are already marginalized, and HIV and AIDS have worsened their plight”.

*The title of that artcile will one day read: HIV/AIDS Cure Discovered

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Blogging – it’s good for you

A Princess is Born
Image by nicora via Flickr

Blogging – it’s good for you: Scientific American has released an article showing that blogging is a healthy activity. Not only can you make a few extra dollars a month, writing can improve memory and sleep, boost your immune cell activity, can speed healing after surgery and even reduce the viral load in AIDS patients. I am blown away that such a free and easy-to-do thing can tackle such health issues.

One thing in the article that made me giggle is the fact that “blogging might trigger [a] dopamine release similar to stimulants like music, running and looking at art.”Apparently, blogging, like running, can give you a “high.”

Do you blog? Do you feel better after you blog? Do you think that sharing your emotions and feelings is truly healthful for you?

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Friday 5 – 8/29/08

The Poisonwood Bible
Image via Wikipedia

Instead of five challenges for the week, I’ve decided to let you in on some personal stuff about yours truly! Five things about me, you probably didn’t know!

1. For 24 years of my life, I had hair so straight you could use it to draw lines with. After my divorce, my hair changed. I don’t know whether it was stress, a diet change, new exercise, or just age, but I woke up one morning with wavy hair! I can blow dry it straight, but if I just let it air dry, my hair now has significant amounts of wave to it. I kinda like the change. Maybe in another 24 years it’ll go back to being straight!

2. I’m in the middle of some unidentifiable health woes. Since last December I’ve been achey. Some days are better than others, but for the most part, I wake up achey and stiff and get looser as the day goes on. Sometimes by the end of the day I’ve stiffened back up, though, and all I can think about is sleeping. I finally saw a physician about it last week and tests were run. I am ONE point away on lab test from being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. My doctor is sending me to a rhematologist to see about other tests, but for now I have to wait.

3. I work full-time as a bank teller. While I love my job, it isn’t my passion and so I’m planning on graduate school. My first choice is the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.  I want to go into public health – women’s sexual health education, primarily with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS prevention. THAT is my passion.

4. I read all the time. I’m always in the middle of one book. I read one book at a time. My favorite book is the book Ephesians in the Bible.  My favorite book-book is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. In fact, I love all of Kingsolver’s books and absolutely recommend them to you!

5.  I love cheese. I have never met a cheese I didn’t get along with. I feel the same way about mustard.


Creative Commons License photo credit: Craig Hatfield

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