April 12, 2016

Taking Up a Cause – Let’s Fight the Stigma

By Aldric

“We join the Health Ministry in its call for an end to stigma and discrimination, and effort to address these barriers as a cross-cutting issue via appropriate forums and multi-sectoral collaborations and engagements with civil society and law enforcement authorities.” – Malaysia AIDS Council

I’ve been a little selfish over the years. My posts have predominantly been about politics, religion, spirituality, business, personal finance, travel, popular culture, and personal loss and growth. At the same time, it lacks a soul. A cause.

Raising the awareness also begins with educating myself. When you want to master something, they say teach others what you learn. If I want to help fight stigma and raise awareness, I must also learn and grow.

I am a nobody. That is why I appreciate your visit to my blog, Facebook page, Twitter, and YouTube Channel.

Non-fiction writing is what I do: blogging, copywriting, business writing, or report writing. Let this be a little step on my part to help fight the stigma society has towards People Living with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), PLHIV.

HIV/AIDS as a topic was taught to us in our Occupational Health courses in my diploma years (2010-2012). HIV is a virus that ignores race, religion, sexuality, orientation, age, or socio-economic status. Between 1986 and 2014, according to the Malaysia AIDS Council, it haunts at least 105,189 Malaysians. Worldwide, 36.9 million are currently living with the virus. 2.6 million of them are children infected during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

Medical advancement has allowed PLHIV to live normal lives. Only if they are detected early and adhere to a healthy lifestyle.

HIV is not transmitted by touch.

The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the common way HIV spreads are:

  • Unprotected anal or vaginal sex
  • Sharing needles or syringes, rinse water, or other equipment (works) used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who has HIV.

Note that only certain bodily fluids can transmit the virus:

  1. Blood;
  2. Semen (cum);
  3. Pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum);
  4. Rectal fluids;
  5. Vaginal fluids; and
  6. Breast milk.

To be infected, these fluids must come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or directly injected into the bloodstream. Our mucuous membranes are found inside the rectum/anus, vagina, penis, and mouth.

One of my friends shared this quote with us. It’s a fitting close to the beginning of publications and, hopefully, activities in combating the stigma towards HIV/AIDS.

This is dedicated to everyone who left us before we learn to love you.