After reading Benign0’s latest article regarding the rise of HIV in the Philippines, I find myself both alarmed and disappointed in my own country. It’s just really sad how our government has essentially screwed its own people over without any real regard for their safety and welfare. Indeed, perhaps there really is some truth to the Philippines becoming a despotate similar to some of the destitute states of Central Africa. Oh well, it’s quite clear that we can’t really hope for any kind of help coming from our government as, unsurprisingly, they’re leaving us to our own devices since they have to use whatever funding they can get their hands on to improve their already extremely dirty images.
Look, do take note that I’m no real expert on public health. However, I’m a nursing graduate so that at least makes me technically a nurse. I don’t know if I’m the only contributor on GRP with a degree in nursing (I think Mike Portes is one also but I’m not really sure) but, if I am, then it is my duty to inform you of our current health problems and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.
What Do We Know About HIV?
Okay, first things first, so just what is HIV?
Well, I’m not gonna bore you with details and other medical mambo-jumbo, I’m gonna cut right to the most important facts about HIV: HIV is a virus, NOT a bacteria. In short, it cannot be cured or prevented with simple antibiotics. Also, being a virus, they are capable of multiplying very rapidly just like your typical Pinoy squatters.
So what does HIV do?
HIV attacks your immune system, the mechanism of your body that’ supposed to protect your body from diseases.
For additional simplification, imagine your body as a house. Imagine the harmful viruses and bacteria that invade your body as pesky mice and rats in the house that is your body. Now, think of the cells of your immune system as cats, creatures that can hunt, kill and eat those pesky rodents so they can trouble your house no more.
Normally, viruses aren’t really a big problem for your body as your immune system often makes quick work of them. Colds, being another form of virus, rarely last longer than a week because the microbes of your immune system pretty much turn them into mulch in the course of a few days. However, HIV is different as it specifically attacks the cells of your immune system.
Now, go back to the imaginary house that is your body with the imaginary cats that is your immune system. Now, if you want a really good (and scary) idea of what HIV is, imagine it as very large and monstrous black rats with large, red eyes, ragged but very sharp claws with gaping maws containing dirty and horrifying teeth. Not only are these rats capable of killing the cats of your immune system, they evolved to hunt, kill and eat those cats.
Imagine these mutant rats that seem to have come out of a horror movie running around the house that is your body all the while slaughtering every cat that they find.
When there are no more cats in your house, what do you think will happen?
That’s right. “When the cat’s away, the mouse will play.” Once HIV obliterates your immune system, it will allow other viruses, bacteria and other pathogens to attack your body with impunity. Without any real way to protect your body, you will succumb to diseases that were otherwise trivial problems for your immune system.
How Does HIV Spread?
HIV is an STD.
In short, it is spread through sex. Do I need to be clearer? You can catch HIV by sticking your dick in someone or having a dick stuck in you.
Since the Philippines possesses a twisted sense of morals, we seem to shame the idea of sex and paint it as something inappropriate or evil. We never stop to consider sex as just another facet of being human and a basic part of what we are. We go to great lengths to cover it up and pretend it doesn’t exist even when it actually saturates our society.
Anyway, HIV can also spread through the exchange of body fluids. This includes blood transfusions, organ transplants, use of unsterilized medical equipment (such as needles) and breast-feeding from infected mothers.
What Can We Do To Protect Ourselves From HIV?
Okay, here we go. Listen up ladies and gentlemen and listen good. If you don’t want to catch HIV, then pay attention.
OPTION 1: Practice Abstinence
One of our commenters suggested this on our FB page and I think it bears some mentioning here.
Day after day, I hear about cases of promiscuity and infidelity. Day after day, my boss and I have to deal with cases of unwanted pregnancy and illicit relationships. Day after day, we have parents coming to the guidance office accusing my boss and her associates for not imparting the right values on their children.
Oh god, I’m ranting again…
Anyway, what I’m saying here is can’t we all collectively keep our pants on? Yes we claim to have a “wholesome” culture but from the way our people consume nothing but raunchy romance, you can tell there’s little in the mind of your basic Pinoy asides from sex!
There’s nothing wrong with sex ladies and gentlemen, as long as you can keep it between you and your significant other. However, when you can’t seem to help but bonk just about anyone you run into, then I think there’s something seriously wrong with you.
Bottom line: Keep sex between you and your spouse. Avoid sexual contact with people you don’t know or trust even if they seem attractive.
OPTION 2: Practice Safe-Sex
Okay, I’ll go direct to the point:
USE A FREAKING CONDOM!!!
Aside from avoiding unwanted pregnancies, condoms can also protect you from HIV and other STDs. Note also that while some methods may help in preventing pregnancies, only condoms can protect you from HIV. Going back to the imaginary house, think of condoms as screens that can keep out the monster rats that is HIV when having sex.