Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are those that you can get through sexual contact involving the use of the mouth, the anus and your reproductive organ. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is perhaps what you hear most often when people talk about STD. This virus attacks and destroys the human body’s immune system which eventually leads to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the end stage of the HIV infection. You may have heard that the Philippines has the highest HIV infection growth rate in Asia Pacific. This makes HIV more alarming and threatening than ever before. How to end this epidemic? It begins with you.
There are several ways you can acquire HIV. The virus is transmitted through bodily fluids such as blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, and breast milk among others. You might be more familiar with its transmission by sexual intercourse. Unprotected sex is the most common mode of HIV transmission.
Aside from having intimate physical contact with people living with HIV, it can also be passed on through blood. It may be transferred through the use of infected needles or blood transfusion. Perinatal HIV transmission is the most common way children are infected. In this case, the mother usually is diagnosed with HIV. However, there are ways to prevent the transmission like antiretroviral treatment.
Like how HIV transmission from infected mother to unborn child can be prevented, there are also ways for you to protect yourself from this untreatable disease. The practicing of safe sex is among the most effective. You should always carry around and/or wear a condom during intimacy with your partner. Condoms reduce the risk of transmission of HIV (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). It is also a must to have yourself tested. Knowing both your and your partner’s HIV/AIDS status can help you address the issue in front of you both.
HIV is not the only disease you can get from unprotected sexual intercourse. Bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus, and HIV/AIDS are some of the STD and sexually transmitted infections acquired through unprotected sexual contact.
With the rise in number of people infected with HIV in the country, it is a must to know the ways you can get the virus and how you can be protected. For more information about HIV, visit www.doh.gov.ph or FB account: Department of Health (Philippines) https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDOHgov/
You can stack up with essential protective gear and other sexual health products by visiting the nearest Watsons store or shop online here.
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