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Thursday, November 21, 2013

#SomeonelikemeSG : World AIDS Day 2013

I could still clearly recall 7 years ago during my very first TV appearance, my dad and I hosted a 10-episode documentary drama titled “Seksa”.  The show tackled sexual issues pertaining to youths of today, promoting an understanding across the generation gap and circumventing the taboo of sex education. More of something like a practical “guide-book” for today’s parents.


I was only 14 back then… talking about sexual issues with my dad. Hahaha! Can you imagine how awkward it was for me? VERY, indeed.

Sex is often not a topic that kids discuss at home with their parents. Don’t we all agree? Not all parents are open and comfortable with discussing about sex. But in our era now, kids are bombarded daily by the media with sexual topics and images. Be it surfing the Internet or watching YouTube, you can easily find any sexual themed media and how often do these media provide accurate information?

Just some quick FAQs!

In 2012, another 469 Singapore residents were newly reported of HIV infection. About 93% of the new cases were males and 7% were females. Nearly 90% of these cases reported in 2012 were between the ages of 20-59, with 63% being single, 23% married and 10% were divorced/separated. This brings the total number of HIV infected Singapore residents to 5,775 as of end 2012. Of the people infected, 61% with HIV do not have the virus under control.
So you may ask, what’s AIDS/HIV?
HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is the disease that attacks the immune system of the body. So, HIV is the virus, while AIDS is the disease.

There are 3 modes of HIV transmission:
How do people get infected?
1) Blood Transfusion;
2) Unprotected Penetrative Sex (UPS);
3) Mother to Baby during pregnancy and during delivery.

In Singapore, sexual transmission remains the main mode of HIV transmission among Singapore residents. Of the 469 cases reported in 2012, 457 cases acquired the infection through the sexual route.

What HIV does is that it attacks your immune system, which serves as your shield against sickness. Most common signs of HIV infection are similar to flu and fever infections. Hence the only way to know for sure is to take the HIV Test.

You can go to any hospital or clinic nearest to you. You may also go to: Mobile HIV Testing and Counselling Service, visit www.afa.org.sg for their schedule OR Anonymous Counselling and Testing Service, visit them at Block 31 Kelantan Lane, Singapore 200031

The rate of teens getting and transmitting STI is soaring. It’s pretty obvious that teens nowadays aren’t getting the message about safe sex practices.

With that, we should all protect our loved ones and ourselves. We wouldn’t want anything to happen to them right! Let’s all be open about sex (appropriately of course!) and actually, talking to someone you’re comfortable with about the topic of sex is advisable. It will clear much doubts and give you a better understanding about sex.  You definitely do not want to be; ‘my friends are doing it so I want to do it too.’ Or, be pressured by your other half to engage in it. Only when you feel you’re ready! Of course it’s better to wait till after marriage. But then again, in this era, who are we kidding! Almost everyone participates in it before that. But the most important thing to remind ourselves is whether we think we are ready. The next step, if you decide that you are, is to use protection. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

STIs are actually a serious problem in society today. Never take it lightly and think that ‘Oh, it won’t happen to me.’ Truth is, the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS is the equal. What makes a difference is the steps taken to prevent unprotected sex. And this is how you should protect yourself;

You can practice ‘ABCD’: (A) Abstinence, (B) being faithful, (C) correct and consistent use of condoms and (D) early detection. These principles are relevant for everyone regardless of the risk group they belong to. While prevention is always the preferred option, those at risk of HIV infection and those who engage in risky sexual behaviours should go for regular HIV testing. To find out how else you can protect yourself, call 6254 0212.

If you have friends who are HIV/AIDS carriers, act normally. HIV cannot be transmitted through handshake, hug, sharing food, kissing, or sharing household utensils, etc. The biggest challenge for people living with HIV is stigma and discrimination. They need your support and care more than anything else.

You can help by learning the facts and breaking down the myths. Visit afa.org.sg for more information.


SAY NO TO UNPROTECTED SEX.
#SomeoneLikeMeSG


After a while, I’ve come to realize how important sexual education is and how important contraceptives are.

I’m pretty glad that nowadays, most schools have already implemented sex education. It enables students to understand the physiological, social and emotional changes they experience as they mature. This also helps them to make wiser and more responsible decisions on sexual related matters.

In case ya’ll don’t know, World AIDS Day is happening on the 1st December 2013 and I am currently participating in the ‘Someone Like Me’ global campaign supported by Durex to empower young people like us to start a global and frank conversation about sex. It’s really important to know that for whatever concerns you may have about sex, you need to know that you are not the only one facing it! Check out Durex’s Facebook page for more information if you agree and believe in this global cause and want to take part in this cause! https://www.facebook.com/durexsingapore/app_236913943138127

I will also be attending a World AIDS Day party happening on 30th November at Butter Factory! Wanna join me? Simply post a picture of yourself, write your thoughts about HIV / AIDS and #SomeoneLikeMeSG on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter to win a pair of tickets! After posting, leave a comment below with your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter handle and your details and I’ll pick one lucky winner! Let’s work together to shape a world free of HIV and AIDS!

A video touching on sex and HIV/AIDS done by some of the bloggers will also be aired there! Catch first dibs on it here.


Because you and I treasure the importance of sex, let us all play our part in raising the need for people to use contraceptives and also show our support to people who have HIV by not stigmatizing them because someone like me could have also made the same mistake. Join me readers as we spread the message of the campaign and shape Singapore into a world free of HIV to protect the people whom we love!

Xoxo,
Lydia Izzati

5 comments :

  1. AIDS/HIV is actually a serious and rampant issue in society nowadays. Pity most people don't realize the severity of it. Kudos to you for bringing this up and spreading awareness! Let's all protect our loved ones :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. My friends around me talk about sex alot. But one thing is, they don't ever talk about hiv/aids.... they don't discuss the repercussions. Just wish they're more aware.

    ReplyDelete
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  4. Just posted my selfie its @ssoak. Drop me an email at woongsoakteng@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am faith i am from south Africa
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    ReplyDelete

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