Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Monday, May 01, 2006

Things you might not know about AIDS

Here are three things that you might not know about AIDS:

Breastmilk is best for the babies of HIV+ mothers. It's a highly controversial subject, given the fact that 8% of those babies will aquire HIV. But the alternative, apparantly, is even worse. 13% of babies in this study, given only formula, became infected. 20% of babies given both formula and breastmilk became HIV+. This is beleived to be because the formula weakens the baby's intestinal walls which allows the virus in the breastmilk to take hold. Also in the breastmilk are some antibodies to the virus which can be passed on through breastmilk. There are conflicting reports about this. If I were HIV positive would I breastfeed? I don't know. Probably not. I wouldn't want to risk it. In third world countries where children suffer from diarheal diseases and formula is hard to come by, breast milk is hands down the best thing for the baby. Even the World Health Organization admits this. Here's a link to the study I was quoting.

The riskiest behaivior for transmission of AIDS is contaminated needles and anal sex. Vaginal sex does not transmit HIV very easily, despite everything you've heard. There are two ways in which Africa's epidemic has taken hold. The first is vaginal sex with a woman who's vagina is damaged due to Female Genital Mutilation. The second is anal sex which is a common birth control method in Africa.

African statistics are slightly exadurated. I do not want to downplay the African crisis. Or the world-wide AIDS crisis for that matter. It is very serious and needs attention. However, I'm talking just the facts here and the facts are that HIV tests are not even done in Africa to diagnose AIDS.

"To have AIDS, according to the Bengui Definition, the patient must have two of these three symptoms: "prolonged fevers for a month or more, weight loss over 10 percent, or prolonged diarrhea," combined with any one of several minor symptoms -- chronically swollen lymph nodes, persistent cough for more than a month, persistent herpes, itching skin inflammation or several others.
For example, tuberculosis deaths have now been reclassified as AIDS deaths in many African statistical reports. It's the same disease, but now it qualifies for help."

So there you have it, Deena exploding the myths about AIDS, but also hoping that you care about the crisis, because we can't do nothing when our brothers and sisters in Christ are dying. I, once again, direct you to a favorite charity of mine:



  • At 12:49 PM, Blogger Ben Meyer said…

    Are you saying they are myths?

  • At 2:07 PM, Blogger Deena said…

    The "myths" I debunk are:

    HIV positive mothers should automatically formula feed.

    Vaginal sex is a highly transmitable way to pass on HIV.

    Africa has 24.5 million AIDS cases.

    (Although I don't deny the AIDS problem in Africa or the poverty that needs to be addressed)

  • At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You might want to change you title to "Things you might not know about AIDS", or "Things about AIDS that I just learned".
    To assume that other people did not know this information seems very egotistical. Personally I learned your first two "debunked myths" in my high school health class. I learned the last one in my first year of college in my culture class. I also learned in that class that AIDS is sometimes not listed as cause of death due to the social stigmata that comes in both life and death to the person with AIDS and to their families. Just because you did not know something, does not mean that others do not know it already.

  • At 1:41 PM, Blogger Deena said…

    Dear anonymous,

    I named the post that only to pique interest, not to offend. You make a good point. I will change that. Also, it was origianally titled "myths about AIDS" but Ben didnt like that title so I changed it. I guess I just cant win.

  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger Deena said…

    I was thinking about what you said and I am very impressed that your high school health teacher taught that breast milk is the best choice for HIV+ mothers. Your teacher is very cutting edge. If he/she lives near me I would love to meet her or sit in on a class. I'm sure I could learn from him/her. If it is in Massachusetts or New Hampshire could you post the name of the high school? I would love to introduce myself. You can do this anonymously.

  • At 7:02 AM, Blogger Deena said…

    UPDATE: July 24, 2007
    I found this sad/infuriating relevant article:


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