NOW THAT SUMMER IS HERE LET'S PRACTICE SAFER SEX CHOICES CLASS IS STILL IN SESSION

Hey it's your girl JA Nursing here, well we made it parents, school is out. Now what comes next ? For some it may be summer school or a summer job, but let's face it for many it may sleeping all day, following the wrong crowd, making poor choices, not to mention the ever so popular notion of summer loving and hook-ups.  We would love to say no not my child, but it is a reality that has hit many of us, including myself. Often warned about "SummerBelly" I still fell into the trap.   This year we have had a lot of voices heard regarding the social conflicts that surrounded the newly introduced new sex ed curriculum,  as disagreements spark regarding  the role of the government in family life and how sex education should be taught.  The air has been thick surrounding sexual awareness  extended to parents taking their children out of school, with the fear of to much information being taught, or the very public Orlando shootings, sadly targeting the LGBTQ community, or Popular 2 and half men star, Charlie Sheen testing Positive For HIV  and now becoming a spokesperson for condoms. Either way sexuality is an essential component of healthy development for young people. As your healthcare advocateDespite the widely recognized importance of sexual health, education to promote it remains a sensitive and sometimes a controversial issue.  The mission of my organization and myself is to increase the health and social literacy of our community. By promoting sexual literacy, sex education can contribute to psychosocial development and well-being throughout adolescence and adulthood. The absence of sexual literacy can be the source of many health and social hazards, including STD s and unintended pregnancy.
As we say good bye to old friends I think that as parents and even for my peers that are in the dating  phase, we can all do with a little reminder about choices.  As parents, we should be able to dialogue with our children always in a age appropriate manner about making healthy relationship choices and  sexuality above the normal conversation reminding our children to "Go Pick Up A Book" which has at times fell short on deaf ears. Well, school's over, Be Real about it, if you don't talk about sex, and sexual orientations someone else will.  This is the boom of the electronic Parent aka Instagram, SnapCHat, Facebook, Twitter and the list of social media parents goes on. 
So let's get right into this simple blog about sexual  awareness and safety. 

I'll  use  Charlie Sheen as an example, since his story will have been the most seen story in the news lately especially  with his new role in preaching the gospel about safe sex and condom use.  


“If you ask most people that have H.I.V., ‘How did you get it?’ nobody really knows. I mean, I’m sure there’s a select few that do. But you can never really pinpoint the moment,” he said. Adding, “You spend five seconds putting [a condom] on, and you prevent a lifetime of stress, potentially.” As stated by Charlie Sheen.

DID YOU KNOW? About one in every 10 people is LGBTQ: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, or Questioning. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning are sexual orientations. Trans is a gender identity.

Words can hurt


Sometimes people use words like "gay" or "lesbian" as an insult. This is hurtful because it makes it seem like there is something wrong with being LGBTQ, when there isn’t. If you hear these words being used as put-downs, recognize that it’s bullying and it’s not okay. As parents we have to beware of this as well.
We know now that anyone can be infected with HIV, no matter...
  • your age
  • your sex
  • your race or ethnic origin
  • sexual orientation

DID YOU KNOW?  More than 75% of HIV diagnoses in Ontario’s Black community are attributed to heterosexual transmission. HIV incidence has been stable or increasing in Canadians exposed to HIV through heterosexual sex since 2008. According to 2011 national HIV estimates, 34% of HIV-positive people whose infection is attributable to a heterosexual exposure remain undiagnosed. 


That is why it is so important that you get tested, know your status and always use protection – even for heterosexual sex. -


Men

  • Some cultural, religious or social beliefs present unprotected sex as a man's prerogative, a sign of manhood and of good sexual health.
  • Community intolerance of gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men may lead some men to avoid HIV prevention education, or to engage in relationships that limit their ability to practice safer sex.

Women
  • For many reasons women are 5 times more likely than men to get HIV. For example, the female genital tract, cervix and uterus provide a greater surface area for absorbing the virus. Also, semen may remain in the genital tract and beyond for up to three days.
  • Some cultural and religious beliefs about the roles of women can limit their ability to negotiate safer sex or expose them to sexual abuse, assault or violence.
  • Some women live with the threat of violence in their relationships and may not feel safe enough to say no to sex or to negotiate safer sex.
  • Homelessness also increases HIV risk, as women may feel they must trade sex for shelter, or are at risk for rape.
  • Cultural practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) may increase the risk of becoming infected with HIV if (a) the tools used to perform FGM are not sterilized, (b) the affected area does not heal properly despite appearances, (c) the scarring is ruptured through sexual intercourse or childbirth.See more from our friends over at    Black C.A.P

More than 75% of HIV diagnoses in Ontario’s Black community are attributed to heterosexual transmission. HIV incidence has been stable or increasing in Canadians exposed to HIV through heterosexual sex since 2008. According to 2011 national HIV estimates, 34% of HIV-positive people whose infection is attributable to a heterosexual exposure remain undiagnosed. That is why it is so important that you get tested, know your status and always use protection – even for heterosexual sex. - See more at: http://www.blackcap.ca/page.php?u=/hiv-aids-awareness/heterosexual-fact-sheets-%E2%80%93-hiv-and-stis#sthash.pfjN5g5y.dpuf
More than 75% of HIV diagnoses in Ontario’s Black community are attributed to heterosexual transmission. HIV incidence has been stable or increasing in Canadians exposed to HIV through heterosexual sex since 2008 - See more at: http://www.blackcap.ca/page.php?u=/hiv-aids-awareness/heterosexual-fact-sheets-%E2%80%93-hiv-and-stis#sthash.pfjN5g5y.dpuf
More than 75% of HIV diagnoses in Ontario’s Black community are attributed to heterosexual transmission. HIV incidence has been stable or increasing in Canadians exposed to HIV through heterosexual sex since 2008. According to 2011 national HIV estimates, 34% of HIV-positive people whose infection is attributable to a heterosexual exposure remain undiagnosed. That is why it is so important that you get tested, know your status and always use protection – even for heterosexual sex. - See more at: http://www.blackcap.ca/page.php?u=/hiv-aids-awareness/heterosexual-fact-sheets-%E2%80%93-hiv-and-stis#sthash.pfjN5g5y.dpuf
More than 75% of HIV diagnoses in Ontario’s Black community are attributed to heterosexual transmission. HIV incidence has been stable or increasing in Canadians exposed to HIV through heterosexual sex since 2008. According to 2011 national HIV estimates, 34% of HIV-positive people whose infection is attributable to a heterosexual exposure remain undiagnosed. That is why it is so important that you get tested, know your status and always use protection – even for heterosexual sex. - See more at: http://www.blackcap.ca/page.php?u=/hiv-aids-awareness/heterosexual-fact-sheets-%E2%80%93-hiv-and-stis#sthash.pfjN5g5y.dpuf



Now lets get back to the reality in our city. The6ix. Tdot, Let's continue to remember that with these Facts below we have to be responsible and teach responsibility. 


A Snapshot Of HIV/AIDS In Toronto

  • Every day, two Torontonians are newly infected with HIV
  • More than 1 in 4 new HIV diagnoses in Toronto are among young people under 30
  • 65% of new infections in Toronto occur in men who have sex with men
  • Women represent 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses in Toronto

More people live with HIV today than ever before—not just around the world but right here in #Toronto.

HIV is a virus that can make you sick
HIV (or Human Immunodeficiency Virus) weakens your immune system, your body’s built-in defence against disease and illness.
Anyone can be infected with HIV. You can have HIV without knowing it. You may not look or feel sick for years, but you can still pass the virus on to other people.
Without HIV treatment, your immune system can become too weak to fight off serious illnesses. HIV can also damage other parts of your body. Eventually, you can become sick with life-threatening infections. This is the most serious stage of HIV infection, called AIDS (or Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome).

There is no vaccine to prevent HIV.

There is no cure for HIV… but there is treatment.
There is no cure for HIV, but with proper care and treatment, most people with HIV can avoid getting AIDS and can stay healthy for a long time.
Anti-HIV drugs have to be taken every day. They cannot get rid of HIV but they can keep it under control.

DID YOU KNOW? That Only five body fluids can contain enough HIV to infect someone: blood, semen (including pre-cum), rectal fluid, vaginal fluid and breast milk.


HIV can only get passed when one of these fluids from a person with HIV gets into the bloodstream of another person—through broken skin, the opening of the penis or the wet linings of the body, such as the vagina, rectum or foreskin.

HIV cannot pass through healthy, unbroken skin.

The two main ways that HIV can get passed between you and someone else are:

  • through unprotected sex (anal or vaginal sex without a condom)
  • by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs (including steroids)
HIV can also be passed:
  • by sharing needles or ink to get a tattoo
  • by sharing needles or jewellery to get a body piercing
  • by sharing acupuncture needles
  • to a fetus or baby during pregnancy, birth or breast-feeding
HIV cannot be passed by:
  • talking, shaking hands, working or eating with someone who has HIV
  • hugs or kisses
  • coughs or sneezes
  • swimming pools
  • toilet seats or water fountains
  • bed sheets or towels
  • forks, spoons, cups or food
  • insects or animals

HIV can be passed during unprotected sex.

This means:
  • vaginal or anal sex without a condom
  • oral sex without a condom or dental dam (a piece of latex used to cover the vulva or anus)
  • sharing sex toys


Protect yourself and your partner(s) from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

You can have sex with little or no risk of passing on or getting HIV. This is called safer sex.
Safer sex also helps protect you and your partner(s) from other STIs, such as gonorrhea and syphilis.


As cited by Global Tv What’s worse is that chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are each increasing in frequency in the U.S.

Unfortunately, the Public Health Agency of Canada has reported similar trends in this country.

Between 2001 and 2010, gonorrhea rates were up 53.5 per cent and syphilis rates more than quadrupled (up by 456.7 per cent).

Rates of chlamydia, which is by far the most common sexually transmitted infection, have increased every year since 1997.

People can have HIV or other STIs without knowing it because these infections often do not cause symptoms. Also, don’t assume that your partner know(s) whether they have HIV or any other STI. The only way to know for sure is to be tested.


To practice safer sex…

  • Use a latex or polyurethane condom correctly every time you have vaginal or anal sex.
  • Use only water-based or silicone-based lubricants. (Oil-based lubricants can make latex condoms break.)
  • Get tested for STIs regularly. Having an STI increases your risk of getting and passing on HIV.
  • Avoid sharing sex toys, and if you do, cover each one with a new condom before each use. It is also important to clean your toys between vaginal and anal use.
  • Use a condom or dental dam every time you have oral sex.
  • Choose forms of sexual stimulation that pose little or no risk for HIV, like masturbation or sensual massage.


We must remember that these facts are real. This has been watching out for Health with Michelle Smith Your Health and Social Advocate. This is a message for all to Wrap it Up, Get Tested and be knowledgeable about our world as we know it today. Parents use the summer months to take your teenager to the Doctor, open up the lines of communication to include what I have written above. I am thankfull that I did that for both  of  my children they are now 22 and 16, they are now aware and non judgemental . Teach love instead of hate.  If you are reading this blog and would like more information  We want to hear from you because WE CARE


Thank you in advance for sharing




http://globalnews.ca/news/2760766/charlie-sheen-now-a-condom-spokesperson-promoting-safe-sex/
READ MORE: HIV rates still rising in Canada, but treatment is simpler, safer and effective

http://www.blackcap.ca/page.php?u=/hiv-aids-awareness/heterosexual-fact-sheets-%E2%80%93-hiv-and-stis

http://www.celebuzz.com/2016-06-15/charlie-sheen-condom-spokesperson/


http://globalnews.ca/news/2364590/growing-sti-rates-call-for-renewed-concerns-in-canada/

http://www.caseyhouse.com/how-we-help/info-support/local-statistics/

Thank you to our Friends at Casey House for this snap shot of Toronto.

For more on how HIV is transmitted, please visit CATIE’s How transmission occurs page.

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