Thursday, April 2, 2009

Things I learned at work today...

I had training after my loooong day at work today. 10 hour days are killing me. Either way, I set up for the Teen and Young Adult Sexual Health Clinic and the Aids Network Society to come in and talk to the new volunteers (including myself as this is my first time through the training too.. new office manager has to be there). Am I ever glad I heard what these ladies had to say. The numbers are quite shocking, and there were things that I knew and things I didn't know. I knew that there was no cure for HIV, but I thought that the "cocktail" as some refer to it, stopped the process of HIV from spreading any further in the immune system and stopped it from attacking any more of our CD4 cells (our little immune system army). Not correct. The cocktail only slows down the process, but does not stop it in it's track. Therefore it expands the length of time that a person can live without becoming diagnosed with AIDS. I also learned that in Alberta, every week there are 4 new people that get HIV. 50% being women and 50% being men. That is a very shocking rate, and I think the only reason that it's so high is because people don't even know that they have it. You can go for 10 years without even showing any symptoms. If there's no symptoms people seem to think that there is no reason to be tested. I can not emphasis this enough... PEOPLE, IF YOU HAVE HAD SEX...... GET TESTED. Regardless of the fact that if you are protected you might never get anything, but some STI's are transmitted by kissing someone on the lips (one type of Herpes is spread like this). You can also get HIV by brushing your teeth before you have oral sex with an infected person. PROTECT YOURSELF. I also can't believe the catholic church in Canada is so against children in school/people in general getting the new Gardisil vaccine. If it can PREVENT the 2 main types of HPV that cause 70 % of cervical cancers, why wouldn't you want to do anything to protect people from that. They try to use the excuse that it will be like advocating pre-marital sex, but who gives a shit when it could in turn save their lives one day. GGGRRR people are so closed minded sometimes, but I suppose it's not their fault when that is what they believe.

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