Many of you little idlis like to “canoodle” around with your special chutneys, or maybe even with some random dosas so as to spice up your thaalis. I would be lying if I said I don’t enjoy a little bit of mirchi myself. Yet, today, on World AIDS Day, I feel it an obligation to prime you all about this ravaging pandemic so as to ensure your safety.
Did you know, around 37.9 million people across the world are living with AIDS? Within India itself we have around 2.1 million diagnosed patients. It is not an uncommon disease, implying that all you little vadas need to be extremely careful and cautious while having sex. It is important to note that HIV does not spread through bodily contacts such as handshakes, or hugs. It is spread only in certain body fluids from a person who has HIV. These fluids are blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.
All you lovely uttapams must watch out for signs and symptoms of the virus. The first few weeks after initial infection, one may experience no symptoms or an influenza-like illness including fever, headache, rash, or sore throat. As the infection progresses, one can develop other signs and symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhoea and cough.
In such cases, little idlis, you must get tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases. Having an STD can increase your risk of becoming infected with HIV or spreading it to others. The most imperative and obvious measure to be taken is the use of contraceptives. It is crucial that you have healthy communication with your sexual partners. If either is HIV positive, taking regular medication can reduce the amount of the virus in the body to an undetectable level. People with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partner through sex.
Other points to note so as to reduce the risk of getting HIV is avoiding risky sexual behaviours and limiting the number of sexual partners. Another common source of the spread is sharing needles or syringes that may be contaminated with HIV infected blood.
Though HIV is not a curable disease, timely treatments and correct medication can prevent its spread and allow the patients to live longer healthier lives. Today is an opportunity for all of us to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. It is high time we end this taboo and stand together as one!
Stay safe, my sweet jalebis, and happy sex!