We seem to have no problem testing fertilizers, pesticides and weapons systems in Africa, but saving millions of African lives before some thousands of English & French speaking lives - no can do, apparently.
Conference Goal: To bring health and technology professionals together with youth, parents and community leaders to advance sexual health for youth and young adults.
There are four Tracks for abstract submission:
New or continued work in the area of sexual health and new media, with lessons learned in the field, interactive examples, and any promising results.
Research data and analysis about effective programs in preventing HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancies, or unhealthy relationships among youth or young adults.
Learnings and how-to sessions for professionals around a particular form of technology, such as social networking, geo-location tools, mobile apps, etc. Submitters should showcase their expertise through examples of successful technology applications in the sexual health field.
I’m A…XYZ professional.
Submissions should be descriptions of your job or profession, along with examples of how you interact with professional in other fields, cross-discipline, and with youth, and why your role is key to program success. (Examples: Epidemiologist, Usability tester, Social marketing guru, etc.)
Today the world has been rocked by the good news that South African scientists have developed a gel, which if applied inside the vagina or anus of the female, will prevent HIV infections up to 39% of the time. While this sounds like an astonishing achievement, and a positive move in the fight against the pandemic sweeping Africa, this raises a few interesting points and questions for me.
1) The TV news this evening mentioned that 50% of the female test subjects were given the new gel and the other 50% a placebo. A placebo in this case would mean a blank, generic gel which has no effect or protective qualities at all. Bear in mind this was reported on SABC news, so while I am left wondering whether the people at the state's broadcaster slash mouth-piece, said too much - or whether they even got it right - however, this article is written based on the possibility they were correct.
2) It doesn't take much intelligence to figure out that the use of this gel in such a test - during sexual intercourse - would mean NOT using other safety precautions such as condoms, because then you would have spoiled test results in a test that would need definite results either way.
3) Of course, considering the point of the tests, proving HIV infection statistics using the gel, the female test subjects would have to be HIV negative to begin with, and all the male subjects would naturally have to be HIV positive - because to my limited knowledge, two HIV negative people can't infect each other with HIV, with or without any form of protection, no matter how hard they try. I could of course be wrong, as I am not a doctor, and therefore only an idiot.
Jamele Hill of ESPN writes one of the most poignent pieces on the HIV crisis in South Africa. With the World Cup as the backdrop and considering the continents economic and health crises , Hill shows how the world's biggest spectacle has worked to hide the rampant HIV epidemic. Because the piece is so excellent, I am going to repost it in its entirety here.
JOHANNESBURG -- In Newtown, where railways and trading companies once thrived, an old problem was confronted with a new twist.
If you happened to be walking past Newtown Park, where you could get a clear view of the towering spectacle known as the Nelson Mandela Bridge, the soccer game being played on a dusty field probably didn't look like anything special.
Until you saw the players' jerseys.
In bold, black letters, they all read: HIV Positive.
Ok, guys, let's face it. Dating can be a frustrating process when you're single and on the market for a long-term committed relationship. Trying to find a compatible guy for romance and companionship can make you feel like banging your head against the wall sometimes as you struggle to figure out where to meet these men in the first place, and then to go through the whole screening process...it can feel like a full-time job sometimes!
But what happens if you are HIV+ and looking for love? I get letters frequently from single men with HIV who voice difficulties with the gay dating scene trying to find people to date. Dating can be hard enough at times, but for those with health issues or disabilities, the problems can be compounded and the sense of hopelessness and uncertainty doubled as these men question whether love is even possible for them in a gay culture that seems fixated on shallow definitions of what makes a man attractive and "viable."
I'm not going to sugar-coat things. The harsh reality is that having HIV can complicate the process of meeting people for dating and can make it more difficult. The availability pool for dating prospects will be reduced because there are a percentage of men who will not date HIV+ guys. That being said, having HIV does not preclude you to a permanent life of singlehood unless you choose that lifestyle consciously.
The fact of the matter is that you can realize and live the dream of having a life partner if that's your vision. Vast numbers of HIV+ gay men are currently enjoying long-term relationships and you, too, can join these ranks if that is your desire. This article will offer some strategies and suggestions for improving your dating success to empower you to "go for it" and keep the motivation burning for your boyfriend quest.