Good morning, my kinky miscreants!
Today, I bring to your attention a very noble day – that of the 1st of December. It is a noble day not just because you get to start eating the chocolates of your Advent calendar, but also because it’s World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, started in … the past … and dedicated to people uniting in spreading the awareness of AIDS and HIV, and to help combat these diseases. In general, to show their support for the cause, people wear a red ribbon – the international symbol of HIV awareness – and some raise money for charities, like the Nation AIDS Trust, through various activities like fundraiser events, a bake sale or do crazy things like bungee jump naked or vote Lib Dem to raise money.
Of course, this isn’t the only thing you can do. Indeed, you can do nothing. If you know all there is to know, and don’t feel like giving money, then you can go about your business. But if you’re not all clued up on the facts, then it presents a marvellous opportunity to learn something new. So if you want to hold off on learning these facts until Thursday, then you can always log off now and then return here, then! If you do, your fact of the day is: Mars is not red, but brown. The landscape is a very dreary brown. It is the particles in the atmosphere that make it look red. Your fact of the day for Wednesday is: I like chocolate. And ‘Samhain’ is pronounced ‘so’wen’ (sorry, but I’ve been pissed off about this fact ever since it was mispronounced on Supernatural).
So what are these facts that I speak of? I turn to the World AIDS Day website:
HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus which attacks the body’s immune system — the body’s defence against diseases.
HIV can be passed on through infected bodily fluids, most commonly via sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment.
There are now more people than ever living with HIV in the UK — more than 90,000 — with around a quarter of those unaware they have the virus.
Here are a few more facts about HIV in the UK:
- Over 90% of people with HIV were infected through sexual contact
- You can now get tested for HIV using a saliva sample
- HIV is not passed on through spitting, kissing, biting or sharing utensils
- Only 1% of babies born to HIV positive mothers have HIV
- You can get the results of an HIV test in just 15-20 minutes
- There is no vaccine and no cure for HIV
The most common ways HIV is passed on are:
- Sex without a condom (all forms)
- Sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment