1. Answer question (250-400 words)
2. Reply the 2 Topics (1 & 2) below
A. Answer the question:
What do you think is the best way to reduce the spread of AIDS in the US? in Sub Sahara Africa? Do you think harm reduction strategies such as needle exchanges should be legal?
Video: TED Elizabeth Pisani: Sex Drugs and HIV—let’s get rational (19 mins) http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_pisani_sex_drug…
Video: TED Emily Oster flips our thinking on AIDS in Africa (16 mins) TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/emily_oster_flips_our_thi…
B. Reply these answers:
1. Sexually transmitted infections, along with other transmissible infections and viruses, is something that many people seem to not have a lot of knowledge on. However, there are numerous ways to reduce the spread of these infections. HIV and AIDS, particularly speaking, are spread not only through unprotected anal, vaginal, and/or oral sex, but also the exposure to an infected person’s bodily fluids (e.g blood, semen, vaginal secretions, breast milk, etc.). An effective method to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS is the practice of safe sex; specifically entailing the use of condoms (either female or male) and oral dams to protect from the exchange of bodily fluids during intercourse. In addition, pre-exposure prophylaxis (i.e. PrEP) is an HIV antiviral that has been developed to decrease the risk of contracting the virus or slowing the progress of the disease if already diagnosed. Regarding blood, diseases are usually spread through repetitive and shared use of needles between multiple people that are not properly sterilized. Without proper sterilization of the use of a new needle, susceptibility to bloodborne infections increase therefore the use of a personal and new needle should be practiced.
Sub-Saharan Africa does not have access to many medical privileges that we have access to here in the US. A way to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS is to increase opportunities to medical practices there and providing screening. Furthermore, it would help immensely to also try to inform about the importance of knowing sexual history including STI and HIV status, in addition to effectively communicating with sexual partners, properly treating the situation, and practicing correct, safe, and preventative measures during intercourse.
I think that harm reduction strategies such as needle exchanges should be legal. The opportunity to have access to clean needles would help reduce the spread of bloodborne infections. Putting drug use stigma aside, the opportunity to access clean and sterile instruments would essentially help encourage safe and sterile practices.
2. I really liked the ted talk by Elizabeth Pisani I found her to be funny and knowledgable. I was a little horrified by her story with the needle being passed down. It got me to thinking about how AIDS can be transmitted in different ways.
I think the best way to reduce the spread of AIDS in the U.S. is by reviewing the data seeing what helps prevent the spread of disease. Things like condom use, preventative measures, clean needles, safe sex, and vaccines. How many partners someone has can also determine your risks for HIV. If someone has sex with multiple partners, doesn’t practice safe sex methods such as condoms, and doesn’t get early treatment they are more bound to get HIV at a harsher stage. I think that needle exchanges should be legal. When looking at the statistics provided by Elizabeth Pisani having the needle exchange provides clean needles so HIV won’t spread so easily when sharing needles. Someone who is addicted to drugs needs a hit, they aren’t going to avoid their addictions and not give into getting their drug because they worry about sharing needles they aren’t in the right state of mind. So providing the clean needles could help prevent it from spreading but I could see where this could be controversial. Looking at Sub Sahara Africa I think the best way to reduce the spread of AIDS isn’t by having fewer partners as it is here in the U.S. it is more about working on pre-martial sex. As well as costs so providing funds to help get the right nutrition, longer life expectancies, and overall cleaner environment, and campaigning about the reasons to be safe, as well as helping end the poverty there the more we educate the more people around the world know more about the risks.