Sexual Health Resources
WHAT IS AIDS ?
AIDS stands for: ACQUIRED IMMUNO DEFICIENCY SYNDROME
ACQUIRED: means, “to get from”. AIDS is acquired or got from other people who are already infected.
IMMUNE: “protected” or “defended”. The body is normally defended against many diseases by the immune defence system of the body.
DEFICIENCY: means “not enough.” With AIDS the body has not enough defence against diseases.
SYNDROME: means “a group” of different signs of disease.
WHAT IS HIV?
HUMAN: It can only affect human beings, IMMUNO DEFICIENCY: The body’s defence mechanism is weakened or low. VIRUS: It is the organism that causes AIDS.HIV can damage a person’s immune system, which is the part of the body that fights infections and keeps us healthy.Overtime HIV damages a person’s immune system so much that they start to get frequent diseases or illnesses, at this stage, they are said to have AIDS.
HOW IS HIV CONTACTED ?
From person to person through blood of an infected person
Through sexual intercourse with an infected person (70-80% of case of HIV caused this way)
From an infected pregnant mother to her child
Through the use of un-sterilised skin piercing instruments e.g. needles, syringes, razor blades.
HOW IS HIV NOT CONTACTED ?
Hugging, Sharing utensils, Urine, Shaking hands ,playing
Sitting beside someone, Sweat , Insects e.g. Mosquitoes
PREVENTION OF HIV
A – Abstinence from sex until you are married.
B – Be faithful, married partners to be faithful to each other.
C – Change of Life Style
D – Do not Discriminate
E – Encourage People Living With HIV
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF?
Knowing the facts can help. There is much you can do to avoid getting HIV.
- The surest way to avoid getting HIV is to choose NOT to have sex before marriage. This is called abstinence.
- When you marry commit to your partner and do not have sex with anyone else. This is called faithfulness.
- If you have doubts about your HIV status then get tested or meet a counselor. People who know they are HIV positive can live a full life once they follow the guidance of a doctor or counselor.
- Condom – there is much promotion of condoms, they do not offer 100% protection, but if you know you do not have the necessary self control regarding sex, then use your intelligence.
WHAT IS COUNSELLING?
Counseling is an interaction between two people in which one person (the counselor) assists another person (the client) to make a good decision.
IMPORTANCE OF COUNSELLING
It allows the person to be better informed about an issue
It enables a person/client to take a voluntary decision.
It permits for better interaction between the person and the client.
It gives the client the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers that will correct rumors, myths and misconceptions.
It assists the client in understanding his or her needs and feelings about a situation and plan for the future.
(The following input is to encourage people for early HIV tests)
Although there is no cure, People with HIV/AIDS are living longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Early detection is the key
HOW KNOW YOUR HIV STATUS
You can get drug treatment-sooner it starts, the more effective it will be.
You can learn how to protect your health from further damage through diet and lifestyle changes.
You learn how to prevent transmitting the infection to others.
You can tap into spiritual resources of the SELL Programme to help you cope with the disease.
- How do people CARE for someone with AIDS?
- We have to show compassion and love to people with AIDS
- We have to show them respect, help them get medicine
- Encourage them to eat good/nourishing food
- We should not discriminate against those living with HIV/ AIDS.
You can look and feel well even though you are HIV Positive so you cannot tell if someone is HIV positive just by looking at them.
It is only through a test that anyone can know that he/she has AIDS so we should not spread rumors or point fingers at anyone that is sick, imagining that he/she has AIDS.
Nutrition is the process by which you assimilate food and use it for growth and replacing worn- out tissue.
Good nutrition can help people living with HIV and AIDS in these ways:
- Prevent or delay loss of muscles mass (wasting)
- Decrease the risk and severity of opportunistic infection
- Lessen the symptoms of HIV/AIDS.
PARENTAL GUIDE ON SEXUALITY EDUCATION WITH THEIR CHILDREN
Do you really care about your children?
It is easier to train a child than to repair an adult.
Dear parents talk to your children about:
•Being a boy/girl
•STI/HIV and AIDS
•How to abstain from sex until marriage.
So that they don’t get the wrong information about sex from outside the home.
In training a child, make sure that he/she knows correct precepts and follows them. Good parenting requires that parents bring up their children with appropriate moral standing and teach them the skills for building right relationships.
If you don’t educate your child about their body, love, relationship and sex another person will.
REASONS WHY SOME PARENTS DON’T GIVE THEIR CHILDREN SEX EDUCATION
1.Fear to talk about sexuality matters.
2.Lack of adequate knowledge on sexuality.
3.Wrong attitude and perception about what positive values sex education could yield.
4.Inability to crate good time and warm atmosphere for effective communication.
5.Shelving responsibility to teachers at school.
THE NATURE OF SEXUALITY
Human sexuality is the part of our being from birth till death. Sexuality also includes the way we talk, dress and walk. It portrays our individual personality. It’s about relationship with people of the same and/or opposite sex. As a result, everyone needs to know what is expected of him/her and acquire the skills needed to maintain loving relationships especially as it relates to sexuality.
WHEN AND WHAT TO TELL YOUR CHILDREN.
Parents should create good times and warm atmosphere to pass messages to their children as soon as they can speak and understand.
HIV AND AGE
BETWEEN AGES 3 – 7
Teach them about the parts of their body; nose, mouth, hand, include ‘this is your penis or vagina’. Bath times are better opportunities to say why Amina is a girl and John a boy and their different genitals.
•Tell your child the differences are made so to serve different purposes.
•Tell them these organs must be clean and unexposed to others so as to keep them from being abused or damaged.
•Our child should know that he/she must not allow any one touch such parts even when they are offered sweets, they should say ‘mum says nobody should touch me there’.
•Be their friend and encourage them to discuss any issue with you.
BETWEEN AGES 8 – 12
•Educate them about likely changes that will occur as they grow up into teen years.
•Prepare their minds by telling the girls about menstruation and the boys about wet dreams and what to expect.
•Tell the girls how to take care of their bodies when menstruation starts and let them be confident to share anything with you. e.g. ‘mum or dad what you said has started’.
•The boys should know how wet dreams occur and what it means. When they suddenly notice white fluid discharging from their penis it means they have attained the age of responsibility and consequences of sexual activites.
Tell both boys and girls to avoid:
I.Going out with strangers.
II.Staying alone or in dark places with somebody of the opposite sex.
III.Necking or kissing somebody of the opposite sex.
If your child wants to know what sex is, tell the child it is what mummy and daddy does to give birth to him/her. Let them know that sex is sacred, it’s a gift to humankind and it’s meant to be enjoyed only within right relationships i.e. marriage, when one reaches the appropriate age and maturity.
Most information teenagers have on sexuality issues are from their peers, television, magazines, internet etc. These information channels expose them to several risky tendencies.
Teenagers want your help with questions about values, relationship, love, and how sex can fit into an adult life. It is therefore very important for parents to:
1.Tell their children about changes occurring in their bodies and around them, in females enlargement of the breast and hips, menstruation, hairs around vagina etc. while in males, cracking or deeper voices, wet dreams, muscles build – up, hairs around penis, etc. They should know that both males/females develop hairs in their armpits.
2.Teenagers need several life building skills such as; goal setting, decision making, assertiveness, negotiation and refusal e.g. how to say no to sexual advances from anybody without feeling guilty.
3.Encourage them to discuss continuous pressure for sex from opposite sex with you.
4.Communicate your family values with them.
5.Strengthen your children’s skills to deal effectively with peer pressure.
6. Give accurate information about risk of sexual activities.
7.Children need to know about important and caring relationships. Tell them that in a relationship with the opposite sex, they should always use the slogan ‘true love waits’.
1.Dangers of shouting down at your children when they ask questions can be enormous.
2.Don’t discourage your child by postponing answers to questions about sexuality. When you do, you push him/her to seek information from other sources and they may end up getting the wrong information.
3.However, questions that you cannot answer immediately, seek a counsellor’s opinion and get back to your child soonest.
4.When you do all these you save yourself an them from facing the embarrassment of:
- Early parenting-Contracting STI’s/HIV and AIDS-Indiscriminate sexual practices.