Straight Talk, September 2006
Straight Talk, September 2006
Do you think that boys aremore clever than girls? Doyou think that boys shouldmake all the decisions?Such beliefs expose you torisks of HIV -- whether youare a boy or a girl.Here are other negativeattitudes and practices:•Boys having manypartners to show they aremen.
Kibanzanga High School, Kasese.
We urge otherstudents to abstain from things that can spoil theireducation.
Discuss with your Straight Talk club theA-Z of HIV prevention. Find a wordbeginning with each letter of thealphabet which says something aboutpreventing HIV. For example, J mightstand for Justice for people with HIVand Z for Zerograzing. A big prizeawaits the most original entry.
help protect against HIV.But have you ever stopped to think whyeven people who know the ABC of AIDS stillget infected and infect others? Read thesepages to find out about what makes all ofus vulnerable to HIV.
D i s c r i m i n a t i o n a g a i n s t g i r l s a n d w o m e n
S T D s
L o v e a n d s e x u a l i t y
H a v i n g m a n y p a r t n e r s , l o w u s e o f C o n d o m s
N e g a t i v e c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e s
Shame, secrecy, stigma
P o w e r i n h o m e s : v i o l e n c e i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s
Scientists are urgentlyseeking a vaccine throughtrials in Uganda andelsewhere in the world.But the virus is complex,and a successful vaccine isstill many years away.And remember, vaccinesare not a CURE fordisease. They preventdisease by teaching yourimmune system torecognise the disease-causing agent.Unlike with diseases likemeasles and \TB whichhave successful vaccines,doctors have not beenable to teach the immunesystem how to demobilisethe HIV virus.
Medical interventions help but cannot prevent or cure HIV/AIDS
not yet found a successfulsubstance that does this,but research is promising.A microbicide that workswell may be five yearsaway.
Removing the foreskinfrom the penis maysomewhat lower chancesof HIV infection for boththe male and the female heis having sex with.
Butcircumcised men andtheir partners still getHIV.
PMTCT or PPTCT
Prevention of mother orparent-to-childtransmission of HIV isavailable in over 200 sites.If the mother with HIV
Some students refuse to betaught by teachers theythink have HIV. This isunkind and discriminatory.When you stigmatisepeople with HIV, it be-comes difficult for them toopen up and go for care.Other people who may ormay not be infected be-come too frightened totest. HIV becomes a dan-gerous secret.
Is poverty a factor? According to Uganda's HIV/AIDS Sero-behavioural Survey in 2004-5, some of the poorest areas,such as West Nile and Karamoja, have the lowest proportionof people living with HIV. HIV infection is highest amongpeople in towns, women, and widows and divorced people.
S traightTalk wan ts tohear from you
Fight the root causes of HIV Fight the root causes of HIV
HIV is a difficult virus. It hasnine genes, five of which areconstantly changing.
There are over 70,000 HIVpositive Ugandans who arebenefitting from Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART).People with HIV need ARTwhen their CD4 countdrops below 200 or whenthey get very sick.
But ART does not cureHIV/AIDS
. You can stillinfect others. And if youstop taking the ART, you fallsick again.
Doctors are searching for a jelly or cream that femalescan insert into their vaginato kill any HIV that might bein the semen of the malethat they are having sexwith. So far doctors haveMost women donot deliver inhealth centres, andwomen who testpositive are oftenfrightened to telltheir husbands.All in all, only 2% of women and babieswho need themedicine arereceiving it! This isdisappointing. Nowthe Ministry of Health wants allhusbands to testwith their wives.
Testing for HIV
Testing HIV negative doesnot protect you from HIV. Itis only your behaviour afterthe test that will keep younegative. Stay safe!follows the treatment fromstart to finish, it lowers thechances of the baby gettingHIV by about 70%. Butabout 30% of babies still getinfected.There are other problems.
No. I'm the boss. Imake all decisions.
• Girls having sex formoney or things.•Parents forcing children
Send us the story of aperson you know who hasHIV. What do you think made them vulnerable togetting infected? What was the root cause? Donot use their name.If you are living with HIV, we would also like tohear from you.Write to
POBox 22366, Kampala.
Please,husband. Let ustest for HIV.
to marry early.• Relatives taking theproperty of orphans.
We usually think that onlybad things cause you to getinfected with HIV. But goodthings also make youvulnerable.One of those good things is
It is beautiful to fall inlove. Everyone falls in lovesooner or later. Everybodyneeds and wants love.Are you in love or do youthink that you might be?Try to control your feelings.Do not let them lead youinto sex and relationshipcomplications.Does the other person alsolove you or are they takingadvantage of your feelingsto get sex?
The uninfected run the risk of getting infected bypeople who are too fright-ened to test or disclose thatthey have HIV. People livingwith HIV are denied thecare and respect that theyneed and have a right to..
Never stigmatise.Support and encouragepeople living with HIV toopen up. Wouldn't youwant humane treatmentif you had HIV?
In 1989 PhilyBongoleyLutaya be-came thefirst Ugandanto go publicabout his HIVstatus. Hewas mockedby peoplewho thoughthe wantedmoney. Nowwe admirehim for hiscourage.
Get a social vaccine against HIV
So far the best vaccines we have are"social vaccines". A social vaccine issomething we do such as:• talk to our parents• stay in school• respect ourselves andthe opposite sex.All these all help us to control ourcuriosity about sex and our sexual andlove feelings,and to discuss HIVtesting, condom use and faithfulnesswith our future partner.
Infection is also associated with STDs,multiple partners, and inconsistent use ofcondoms.Here are some of the root causes ofthe HIV epidemic. Remember some ofthese are within you so you have thepower to control them. For example,you exercise a lot of control over whenand with whom you have sex.
High levels of STDs
STDs are a huge problem in Uganda and they aregetting worse. In the last five years, STDs have doubledin females and tripled in males!The most common STD is now genital herpes. It has nocure and causes many small blister-like wounds on yourprivate parts. These come and go.There is a powerful link between HIV and genitalherpes. The sores are like many open doors throughwhich HIV can simply walk into your body. A staggering52% of females and 46% of males aged over 15 havegenital herpes. See a health worker if you have sores orproblem on your genitals.
An illustration of the head ofthe penis with genital herpesblisters.This drawing shows theposition of the cervix at themouth of the womb.
ThIs photo shows a cervix withgenital herpes wounds.
Did you know that girlsaged 15-19 are nine timesmore likely to have HIVthan boys the same age.
It is true. Girls needthe power andauthority over theirown lives so that theycan also stay safe.
By the way, are you agender- sensitive teenager?Look out for the gendertest in the next
QUIZ 1QUIZ 1QUIZ 1QUIZ 2: THE A to Z of HIV preventionQUIZ 2: THE A to Z of HIV prevention