01 December 2011

From chatroom to bedroom


Social media has inadvertently aided the spread of the HIV in the Philippines according to an ongoing study by the Department of Health (DOH).
Health Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag revealed that social media use contributed to increased sexual activity and heightened risk of HIV transmission.
The completion of the study, according to Tayag, will enable DOH to understand and address the problem.
Based on the latest Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry Report, there were 253 new HIV cases last September, the highest ever recorded in the country since 1984.
In the United States, one third of women who meet men online have sex on the first date. Seventy percent of them do not use condoms, according to “Sexuality Research & Social Policy,” a journal published by the National Sexuality Resource Center, an organization based in San Francisco, USA which advocates the positive representation of human sexuality.
In 2010, an estimated 1.5 million people have been diagnosed with AIDS in America since the beginning of the epidemic.
“Sex can both be pleasurable and smart. It is easy to get lost amid all the pleasures of sex but waking up the next day with a sexually transmitted disease or unplanned pregnancy is dreadful,” says Isa Marfori, brand manager for leading condom brand Durex.
CYBER RELATIONS
The Net has become a popular avenue for meeting people. A huge chunk of online users (92 percent) log on to connect with others. Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, are some of the common forms of online communication according to the journal AIDS and Behavior published in March 2011.
Online social networks allow users to communicate with others and have access to profiles, send emails, pictures, chat, and play games. This often leads to flirting, or building romantic and sexual relationships. Electronic relationships also make it easy for “friends” to misrepresent themselves — always showing their best side; which does not necessarily equate to being sexually responsible later.
“That’s where the problems begin. When adults choose to go to “war” they come unprotected. The next time you click on the mouse, think smart. Learn about the risks of dating your newfound online “friend”,” Marfori added.
An AIDS journal revealed that net users also link up with chatmates to talk about sex. Among issues they discuss are sexual problems associated with unprotected sex and risky behavior.
ADVOCACY
AIDS advocates have shored up on their awareness advocacy via the Net and other social networking sites leading to the celebration of the World AIDS Day today, Dec 1.
Durex is throwing its support to the celebration by launching a partnership with health professionals in the UK to help them educate people about the dangers of HIV/AIDS.
In the Philippines, Durex recently mounted “What’s the Big Deal? A Sexhibit,” which advocated the use of condom to prevent transmission of STDs and unplanned pregnancies. “The exhibit is one among many programs lined up by Durex to help educate Filipinos on the dangers of unprotected sex,” adds Marfori.
The number one condom brand in the world hopes to bolster its efforts to improve knowledge on the spread of STDs and uplanned pregnancies through events that educate adults on these pressing issues.
mb.com.ph

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