Archive for November, 2009

World AIDS Day Doesn’t Have to End on Dec. 2

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Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. This is an important day to recognize, not just for those of us that love to talk about sex and sexual health, but for everyone. But does having one day a year set aside for such an important issue really address the significance of AIDS? Claire Keeton, the senior HIV reporter at the Sunday Times newspaper, recently had a blog post about World AIDS Day and what this day means:

Some people with HIV/AIDS and activists object to World AIDS Day – essentially saying it allows people to ignore the epidemic the rest of the year, as long as they remember it for a single day.

Paying lip service. Window dressing… From my side, World AIDS Day does have advantages. It’s the one time of the year that all media make space for HIV/AIDS stories.”[1]

Many people still don’t know the facts about HIV/AIDS- like how it’s transmitted, how to get tested and how protect yourself, or that it’s not curable, though it is treatable. The goal of having a day about AIDS that is advertised and supported all over the world is so that more people will learn important information for their own sexual health. World AIDS Day is important and necessary. As Keeton says, having a day set aside ensures that AIDS is not forgotten and not ignored. But having one day a year is not enough. Hopefully tomorrow will encourage people to get tested and get information. But more importantly, it will hopefully encourage people to take action and educate themselves and others all year long. If this day exists to make sure people don’t forget about AIDS, then we can’t stop there. What happens on December 2 and for the next 364 days until World AIDS Day 2010? Let’s make every day a day to talk about HIV/AIDS and sexual health, to support those living with HIV/AIDS, and to make sure that in the future, we won’t need one day a year to tackle this enormous issue because we are always thinking about it.

Don’t forget that Head & Hands is hosting a free anonymous HIV screening clinic for youth 12-25 on Tuesday, December 1 between 5-9:30 pm. Check out http://www.senseproject.org/2009/11/know-your-status-savoir-cest-pouvoir/ for more info.


As one of the stages of HIV, what is the Asymptomatic Period?

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As one of the stages of HIV, the Asymptomatic Period refers to the time between becoming infected with HIV and being able to tell that you’re HIV positive with a test. TRUE or FALSE?

FALSE

The Asymptomatic Period is when people who are HIV positive may look and feel perfectly healthy for a long time (up to 15 years or more), especially if they already have a healthy lifestyle. Even though the virus is breaking down their immune system, they don’t feel it. But remember, during this period, they can still transmit the virus!

The time between becoming infected with HIV and being able to tell that you’re HIV positive with a test is called the Window Period. It is between three weeks and six months but if you’ve had unprotected sex or done something else that’s risky, you have to wait three months to get tested to be sure the test is accurate. This means you can’t do any more high-risk stuff during that time or the test is no good! To know for sure whether you’re HIV+ or not, be especially careful to stay away from at-risk activities until your test results are in.

Also, the three months following infection are those when the virus is at its most contagious. And, while one’s use of antiretroviral drugs can help control the HIV virus in the bloodstream, levels of contagion can continue to spike throughout one’s life. That being said, HIV can be transmitted at ALL times. So, be aware and be safe!

Can you get HIV from touching an HIV-infected person repeatedly for long periods of time?

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You can get HIV from hugging or rather, touching an HIV-infected person repeatedly for long periods of time. TRUE or FALSE?

FALSE: HIV is transmitted via bodily fluids; namely, semen, pre-ejaculate fluid, vaginal fluids, blood, or breast milk. This means that you are putting yourself at risk of contacting HIV:

1.If you have unprotected sex.

2.If you inject drug, steroids or hormones and/or get pierced or tattooed with unclean needles.

3.If you share “gear” – sniffing or snorting equipment.

Also, HIV-infected mothers can transmit the virus to their fetus during pregnancy, at birth or by breastfeeding their child.

FAGGITY ASS FRIDAY: THE BROTHERS RIMM!!!

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Head and Hands and The Playhouse Present…

—–FAGGITY ASS FRIDAY——

THE BROTHERS RIMM – queer fairy tale night!

Your own queer fairy tale comes true at Faggity Ass Fridays – tricky witches, wake-up kisses and forgotten slippers are just the beginning. Dress up as your favorite fairy tale, stay out past midnight, and you, too, will live faggily ever after.

JAM PACKED Queer Fairy Tale CABARET:
Kitty Van Dyke
Miss Cookies
Connie Lingua
Pierce Cunningly
Tiana

Hosted by:
Pierce Cunningly

DJs:
Jenn D, Lynne T, Kid Gritz

Friday, November 27th, 2009
10pm-3am
The Playhouse (5656 Avenue du Parc)
$10 suggested donation; all money goes to the Sense Project, Head & Hands’ holistic, queer-friendly sex education program

KNOW YOUR STATUS /// SAVOIR, C’EST POUVOIR

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In honour of World AIDS Day, Head & Hands is hosting a free anonymous HIV screening clinic for youth 12-25 on Tuesday, December 1 between 5-9:30 pm.

Anonymous HIV testing means that there is no record of the test or its results in a patient’s file. Anonymous testing uses a code on the test – not the patient’s name or health insurance information. Only the patient will know their result. Test results take 2 weeks to come in.

Please note that the screening will be run by a Health Educator and the doctor will not be present. No other medical services will be offered during this clinic.

This service is free – any donations to our clinic are much appreciated!

Please consult www.headandhands.ca or call (514) 481-0277 for more info. Head & Hands is located at 5833 Sherbrooke St. West in Montreal.  People are welcome to drop in to this special HIV clinic anytime between 5-9:30pm – no appointment necessary!

Pour commémorer la Journée Mondiale du SIDA, A deux mains offre aux jeunes entre 12 et 25 ans une soirée de dépistage anonyme et gratuit du VIH. Ceci aura lieu mardi le 1er décembre, entre 17h et 21h30.

Dans le cas d’un test anonyme, le nom ou l’identité de la personne qui subit le test n’est pas exigé, consigné ou déclaré. Le test est demandé en utilisant un code connu uniquement par la personne qui subit le test. Les résultats seront disponible 2 semaines après le dépistage.

Veuillez noter que la soirée du dépistage anonyme sera gérée par l’éducatrice en santé, et il n’y aura aucun médecin disponible. Aucun autre service medical sera offert pendant la soirée.

Ce service est gratuit – tous les dons à la clinique sont appréciés!

Veuillez consulter www.headandhands.ca ou appeler (514) 481-0277 pour plus d’information. La clinique de A deux mains se trouve au 5833 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest à Montréal. Vous pouvez assister à cette clinique de dépistage entre 17h et 21h30, sans rendez-vous !