Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tit for Tat: World AIDS Day

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We here in the Shack love reading smut and looking at pretty porny things, but we also love you. Yes, each and every one of you -- reader, writer, blog follower, and Twitter pal. That’s why we feel it’s important to take pause every once in a while and get serious. Don’t worry, though, we have some fun in store!


December 1st is World AIDS Day. This year marks the 22nd time that World AIDS Day has been observed. World AIDS Day was first conceived by the WHO to raise awareness and inspire activism. It was coordinated by UNAIDS until the campaign was so big that the World AIDS Campaign became an independent organization in 2004. The theme for World AIDS Day 2010 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'.

Many younger people in the fandom probably don’t remember a time before the use of antiretroviral medication became the standard of care for people living with HIV. Before the advent of ART (antiretroviral therapy), HIV was an immediate death sentence for many people. These medications have increased the lifespan of someone with HIV by thirteen years (The Lancet, 2008). The increase in life expectancy is dependent upon early treatment and compliance with the drug protocol.

When they were first invented, these drugs were only available in high income countries because the annual cost was so high. Through generic manufacturing and pressure on the drug companies to lower their prices, these drugs are now available for about 40 cents (US$) a day. Organizations like The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief distribute ART to millions of people around the world.

Despite these advances, HIV/AIDS is still a worldwide health crisis. In 2009 an estimated 1.8 million people died of AIDS, 2.6 million people were newly diagnosed, and there were 33.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS, worldwide (figures obtained here). While the great majority of infected people live in sub-Saharan Africa, the virus continues to infect millions of people each year—many of whom have not been tested and don't know that they carry the virus. While in the US the largest means of transmission of the virus is via male to male sexual contact, worldwide women are disproportionately affected. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia the epidemic is spreading among intravenous drug users and their sexual partners. Children are affected by the virus both as orphans and as carriers of the virus.

Protect yourself:

* Use male or female condoms correctly each time you have sex. Use a condom or a dental dam each time you have oral sex.

* Practice only non-penetrative sex.

* Be in a monogamous relationship with an uninfected, faithful partner with no other risk behavior.

* Abstain from sex.



The Australian Department of Health and Ageing has a wonderful interactive graphic with rebuttals to common excuses for not using a condom.

If you have questions or need information about how to get tested help is only a text away.



Stopping the spread of HIV isn't just about education it's about changing how we see sex. Safe sex is sexy, and we should all see it that way. Here is an impressive list of smutty fics that do their part to show that being safe and responsible is sexy.

Discovery of Bella Swan by mskathy
Reality Minus Expectations by mjinapsen
Decoy by 107yearoldvirgin
Sub Plans by SnowWhiteHeart
The Cocky and the Cougar by ikss
The Cullen Campaign by belladonna1472
Darkness by Cherry Blossmz
If Lovin You is Wrong by bsmog
The Screamers by KiyaRaven
Be Careful What You Wish For by Whitlock_Masen
Just Like Chocolate by FarDareisMai2
Mergers and Acquisitions by Touchstone67
Sothern Charm by Meikela
Flying High with Silver Wings by FloridaChickie
Landscapes by lambcullen
Sketchbook Revelations by PolkaDotMama
Potential by Rosmarina
Over The Top by Starfish422
Deep Dish by Starfish422

This list is by no means comprehensive. Feel free to comment and tell us about your favorite fics that show how much a turn on safe sex can really be.



For more information about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, ways you can help, and ways to keep yourself protected, visit these websites:
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malria
The World Health Organization
PEPFAR
UNAIDS
World AIDS Campaign
Australian Department of Health and Ageing
US Centers for Disease Control
National Health Service UK
AVERT
CREATE
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery
(RED)
Add a World Aids Day Twibon to your Twitter icon:

2 comments:

Beks said...

YOU WANT ME TO ABSTAIN?? great post guys.

lightstardust said...

Thanks for included this post, loves! Great points, all around!