Celebrate National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Hello #MomentumLovers! I'm Dr. Drai a board-certified OBGYN, sexual health expert, and founder of Momentum Intimacy. Through my FDA-approved condom & lubricant line called Momentum, I help people improve their intimacy and have a more satisfying sex life.

February 7th is National HIV/AIDS awareness day. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and leads to the destruction of the immune system. HIV breaks down and attacks your T cells so your body is unable to defend itself against different infections. HIV also attacks your peripheral nervous system, this causes nerve and muscle pain, especially in the feet, legs, and hands.

HIV is spread through direct contact with the semen or blood of an individual that is infected. This can be transferred in many ways the most common is unprotected sexual intercourse. Other means of infection are infected blood transfusions, mother to infant (at time of birth, or through breast milk), sharing needles with an infected person, and rarely a healthcare worker that gets pricked with an infected needle. 

HIV is spread more often through anal than vaginal sex, because the lining of the rectum is much weaker than that of the vagina, and ordinary condoms sometimes tear when used in anal sex. If you have anal sex, only use extra-strong condoms and special water-based lubricants, since oil, Vaseline, and cream weaken the rubber. During oral sex, you must make sure you don't get any semen or menstrual blood in your mouth. A woman runs 10 times the risk of contracting AIDS from a man than the other way around, and the threat is always greater when another sexually transmitted disease (STD) is present. 

The simplest safeguard during sex is the proper use of a latex condom. Unroll the condom onto the erect penis; while withdrawing after ejaculation, hold onto the condom as you come out. Never try to recycle a condom, and pack a supply with you, as it can be a nuisance trying to buy them on short notice.

You should always practice safe sex to prevent AIDS and other STDs. Often people who are infected with HIV have few symptoms but in many cases, there are none. Other times, symptoms of HIV are confused with other illnesses such as the flu. This may be severe, with swollen glands in the neck and armpits, tiredness, fever, and night sweats. You never know who is infected or even if you have become infected. 

It’s important to bring the subject up before you start to make love. Make a joke out of it by pulling out a condom and asking your new partner, “Say, do you know what this is?” Or perhaps, “Your condom or mine?” Far from being unromantic or embarrassing, you’ll both feel more relaxed with the subject off your minds, and it’s much better than worrying afterwards if you might have been infected. The golden rule is safe sex or no sex.

Thank you for reading this #MomentumLovers! As always...I'm Dr. Drai a board-certified OBGYN, sexual health expert, and founder of Momentum Intimacy. Through my FDA-approved condom & lubricant line called Momentum, I help people improve their intimacy and have a more satisfying sex life. 


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