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World AIDS Day 2011

Let’s get real folks.  There is a serious pandemic going on in the world called HIV/AIDS.

HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus

AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (the final stage of HIV)

HIV is a virus that attacks your immune system making you unable to fight off infections or even cancer.

It was first coming to light when I was in college some 30+ years ago.  Back then it was called the “Gay Cancer” because what little we knew was that you could only get it if you were gay, an intravenous drug user or Haitian.  We didn’t know.  We were young, stupid and foolish.  Nobody really knew what was happening or why.

HIV/AIDS was officially recognized in 1981.  Since then the World Health Organization has estimated that it has killed over 25 million people world-wide.  That number is probably low.

It is the sixth leading cause of death among people ranging from 25-44 in the United States.  It was number one in 1995.

Right now there are an estimated 33 million people living with HIV.  Over two million of those are children under the age of 15.

Chances are that you know and love someone who has HIV.  No need to wear a Hazmat suit.  You cannot get HIV/AIDS by shaking hands, hugging, touching something that an infected person has touched or anything foolish like that.  And no one is safe!  It affects men, women, straight, gay, bi, black, white, asian, hispanic, everyone.  Africa is being decimated.  It is estimated that Africa accounts for 72% of all HIV/AIDS cases in the world.

I’m going to give you some links that Dr Tim trusts and believes in to give you reliable information.  Check them out.

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/default.htm

http://www.aids.org/

http://www.aids.gov/

http://www.aids.gov/world-aids-day/

http://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/default.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000594.htm

http://promotions.usa.gov/worldaidsday.html  (brochure about HIV & Women.  click the link to read the brochure, the information is only if you are ordering copies)

Now there are many graphic photos which I could add to this post, but I don’t think I will.  Take it from Dr Tim, AIDS is a very unpleasant, painful, ugly way to die.  I have been with friends as they died from AIDS.  I have interfaced between widowed lovers and families.  I have cleaned out their homes.  I have been yelled at, physically attacked and abused by those left behind with their grief.  No, this is not a good way to die.

Wearing a red ribbon is not a proclamation that I am against HIV/AIDS.  Everyone is against disease.  I do not wear one to make you think I am better than you.  That is a waste of time.

I wear a red ribbon so that those who are suffering can see it and know they have a friend, that they can come to me for help and that I will do anything I can to help ease their suffering.

We have lost friends, family, athletes, movie stars, musicians and so many more to this disease.

I’ve said it before, but please be careful and treat your life with respect.  I do not want to lose any more of you.

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Wrap That Wrascal!

How’s your summer going?  Haul any boxes of books lately?  Make the evening news?

Mine has been pretty interesting.  Bar-Be-Que, Barq’s and Babes!  True summer living.

But even though these are those crazy, hazy, lazy days of summer, you had better watch out.

There was a report released by Harvard University claiming that men over 40 who use erectile dysfunction medications have triple the rate of sexually transmitted diseases as compared to men who did not use the drugs.

May I see a show of hands for those that are surprized by this result?  Not too many of you, huh?

In fact, according to the CDC, the 40-49 year age range accounted for the largest proportion of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases in 2007.  Don’t believe me, go check it out.  I’ll wait.

Welcome back.  Sobering, isn’t it?  Let’s pull up our psychiatric armchairs and see if we can’t figure out why this is so.

Older folks are from a different time, a different age, a different mindset.  Last century, back when I was in college, the worst thing we could catch could be cured with a shot of penicillin.  There were fewer taboos.  And a LOT more risky sex than happens today.  After all, tis better to fail a Wasserman test than never to have loved at all!  The younger set may have more recent partners, but they actually tend to be safer than us old fogeys.

Even old Dr Tim isn’t sure if he has any condoms at home.  I’ll admit it, I hate condoms.  I hate wearing them, I hate the feel or lack thereof of them, I hate the taste they leave behind.  There isn’t much I like about them at all!  Except maybe the saving my life part.  I grew up with skin on skin and that my friend is a hard habit to break.  Even though I get a full STD workup every other month, I should still wear them.  And I do, if she insists.  But it shouldn’t have to be that way.  Even though women do ask to  see my test results before we proceed to Happy Land, using condoms should be an SOP.  (Standard Operating Procedure)

What about choice?  You may ask.  What about condoms in adult entertainment films?

So choose, Death or Cake. (Pie really.)  And as for adult entertainers, they are making a risky choice, but I defend their right to make it.  I consider adult film performers as stunt people.  They make risky decisions on how to use their bodies for the gratification of others.  I respect that.  Quite a few of those performers are my close personal friends and I would hate to see them be debilitated by some gruesome disease.  But I am not about to tell them how to do their job.  And I don’t think anyone else should either.  Those that try should probably try to get their own houses in order first.  However that is just my opinion.

And now that men suffering from ED can get help, they are picking up where they left off thirty years ago.  The game has changed since then and they havn’t read the new playbook.  Everyone needs to be reminded about the joys of safe sex.  No matter how old they are.  Anyone watch Penn & Teller’s show Bullsh*t about old people?  They still have sex.  The back alley slut is now the nursing home slut who thanks to modern medicine can get her favorite treat! 

Teach your parents well.  And your grandparents.  Anyone can die from HIV/AIDS and I’d rather it wasn’t you.