I supported advocacies, yes. But I never thought of supporting something that I felt then I had no connection to. In my mind, I was saying that those who should be concerned are those who are sexually active with multiple partners, the gay community and others. Nope, not me. I will just focus on advocacies up my alley — maybe breast or cervical cancer or children illnesses. You know, women and motherly concerns.
But last year, when Project Headshot Clinic invited bloggers, along with some celebrities, to spread the word about HIV/AIDS awareness and the importance of action, I took a second look at the disease.
Here are some highlights that everyone should know about HIV/AIDS –
* HIV is not = AIDS. AIDS is the full-blown manifestation of HIV but if well-managed, HIV-positive people may not necessarily end up with AIDS.
* HIV attacks the immune system, our defense against all kinds of sickness
* You cannot die from HIV but because it weakens your immune system, you are susceptible to more serious infections and diseases
* Anyone can get HIV. It can hit anyone of any age, gender, sexual preference, race, religion, family background, profession, social status, life accomplishments, height or weight. ANYONE!
* HIV is transmitted in 4 ways: 1) unprotected sex, 2) sharing of infected needles, 3) as a fetus or infant during birth or through breastfeeding, and 4) by blood transfusion.
That is what caught my eye – item #4 (blood transfusion). How many of us have contracted dengue, for example, and needed blood transfusions? Even children get blood transfusions when platelet count is down.
Just today, I found this online news article from the Inquirer where some 124 blood units were found tainted with HIV. How safe is blood screening of donors in the Philippines – really? Scary thought…
That’s not all. Here are some alarming numbers. And mind you, this is just for the Philippines.