World AIDS day ~ Her fairly tale ended.

By berrysmotivation - December 01, 2017


I shared this story about a year ago on the blog but for the purpose of this day I will share it again. Few years ago, I had a patient who was successfully treated in the surgical unit. We built a good rapport and we became friends. Few months after, I got a message from her inviting me to her wedding. Unfortunately I couldn't make it due to my busy schedule at the time. I called her few weeks after to apologise for not making it to her big day and also to congratulate her. It was at that time she asked to come see me in private. I was confused but I didn't think of anything significant. When she visited me, it was shocking to hear what she had to say. She told me of how she had met her husband and the reason why she decided to be with him. Basically she respected him as a person, his strong religious beliefs and she believed so much in him. However due to her respect and love for him she didn't pay attention to something's that she should have. Safe to say blinded by love. The day before her wedding the church asked both of them for blood test results and there you have it, her fiancé who is now her husband was HIV positive. Not sure if he had given her false test results previously or they just ignored the tests but one thing was sure, he was well aware of his HIV status but kept that vital information from her. Her world crashed right in front of her, her fairy-tale ended. She was confused and didn't know what to do. She decided to go for it anyway, she said for personal reasons with hopes to get divorced in the future. Luckily she had not engaged in anything sexual with him before the wedding, remember he tried to prove to her that he had strong religious beliefs. Although she was still scared because at some point they had shared a toothbrush but it was about 80% reassuring at this time that she would be negative if tested. Yes! she was negative when tested.

It is World AIDS day, a day designated on 1 December every year since 1988, it is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease.
Don't get carried away by appearances, circumstances or beliefs. Play safe if you have to and act safe. There are several ways to contact AIDS. HIV is not spread through saliva.
 
How is HIV spread (Extract from https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/about-hiv-and-aids/how-is-hiv-transmitted )
  • Having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV.
    • For the HIV-negative partner, receptive anal sex (bottoming) is the highest-risk sexual behavior, but you can also get HIV from insertive anal sex (topping).
    • Either partner can get HIV through vaginal sex, though it is less risky for getting HIV than receptive anal sex.
  • Sharing needles or syringes, rinse water, or other equipment (works) used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who has HIV. HIV can live in a used needle up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors.
Less commonly, HIV may be spread
  • From mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. Although the risk can be high if a mother is living with HIV and not taking medicine, recommendations to test all pregnant women for HIV and start HIV treatment immediately have lowered the number of babies who are born with HIV.
  • By being stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp object. This is a risk mainly for health care workers.
In extremely rare cases, HIV has been transmitted by
  • Oral sex—putting the mouth on the penis (fellatio), vagina (cunnilingus), or anus (rimming). In general, there’s little to no risk of getting HIV from oral sex. But transmission of HIV, though extremely rare, is theoretically possible if an HIV-positive man ejaculates in his partner’s mouth during oral sex.
  • Receiving blood transfusions, blood products, or organ/tissue transplants that are contaminated with HIV. This was more common in the early years of HIV, but now the risk is extremely small because of rigorous testing of the US blood supply and donated organs and tissues.
  • Eating food that has been pre-chewed by an HIV-infected person. The contamination occurs when infected blood from a caregiver’s mouth mixes with food while chewing. The only known cases are among infants.
  • Being bitten by a person with HIV. Each of the very small number of documented cases has involved severe trauma with extensive tissue damage and the presence of blood. There is no risk of transmission if the skin is not broken.
  • Contact between broken skin, wounds, or mucous membranes and HIV-infected blood or blood-contaminated body fluids.
  • Deep, open-mouth kissing if both partners have sores or bleeding gums and blood from the HIV-positive partner gets into the bloodstream of the HIV-negative partner. HIV is not spread through saliva.
Medications have been put in place to slow the disease process but certainly not cure it. Remember that bright future you have always wished for and don't let it slip off just by one night of pleasure or one act of nonchalance. Be aware, get tested and spread the news.

Warm thoughts
Mute


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