The “sexual revolution” of the 1960’s has been stopped dead in itstracks by the AIDS epidemic. The danger of contracting AIDS is so realnow that it has massively affected the behavior of both gay and straightfolks who formerly had elected to lead an active sexual life that includednumerous new sexual contacts. The safest option regarding AIDS and sexis total abstinence from all sexual contact. For those who prefer toindulge in sexual contact, this is often far too great a sacrifice.
Butit IS an option to be considered. For those who wish to have sexual contact with folks on a relatively casualbasis, there have been devised rules for “safe sex”. These rules are verystrict, and will be found quite objectionable by most of us who havepreviously enjoyed unrestricted sex. But to violate these rules isto risk unusually horrible death.
Once one gets used to them the rule for”safe sex” do allow for quite acceptable sexual enjoyment in most cases. Note that even when one is conscientiously following the recommendations forsafe sex, accidents can happen. Condoms can break. One may have small cutsor tears in ones skin that one is unaware of.
Thus, following rules for”safe sex” does NOT guarantee that one will not get AIDS. It does, however,greatly reduce the chances. There are many examples of sexually activecouples where one member has AIDS disease and the other remains seronegativeeven after many months of safe sex with the diseased person. It isparticularly encouraging to note that, due to education programs among SanFrancisco gay males, the incidence of new cases of AIDS infection amongthat high risk group has dropped massively.
Between practice of safe sex anda significant reduction in the number of casual sexual contacts, the spreadof AIDS is being massively slowed in that group. Similar responsibleaction MUST be taken by straight folks to further slow the spread of AIDS,to give our researchers time to find the means to fight it. Despite a veritable blitz of AIDS information, experts claim that too few arechanging their lifestyles or behavior sufficiently to protect themselves fromAIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. A recent Canadian poll revealedwidespread ignorance of the fact that AIDS is primarily a sexually acquiredinfection, not caught by touch. The survey showed that although sexualintercourse has risen steeply in the past 10 years, less than 25 percent ofadults aged 18 to 34 have altered their sexual behavior to protect themselvesagainst AIDS, i. e.
by consistent use of condoms and spermicide. THE CENTRALMESSAGE IS CLEAR: UNLESS ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT YOUR SEX PARTNER IS HIV-FREE, USEA CONDOM (latex, not made of animal material) plus a reliable spermicide. Studies with infected hemophiliacs show that condom use by a regular sex reducesinfection risks, compared to unprotected sex. And regular use may bring theadded reward of preventing other sexually transmitted-diseases such as gonorrheaand chlamydia or unwanted pregnancy. Many educators say that, by whatever means,AIDS information must get out to young people at an early enough age for them toabsorb it before becoming sexually active. The best way to avoid AIDS is toregard it as a highly lethal disease and treat it common sense prevention.
Avoiding infection is IN ONE’S OWN HANDS. To halt its spread, people areencouraged to and apply accurate AIDS information to their living styles andsexual partners in order to reduce the risk of getting or transmitting the virus. Health promoters claim that “reaching the many who don’t want to know” is noeasy task. They suggest that educators must learn how and to communicate AIDSinformation. Many Public Health Departments are now taking the lead in educationabout AIDS with large scale public awareness programs.
Premarital sex is also bad for your physical health. Sexually transmitteddiseases have receivedabundant attention from the press in recentyears. Equal time has not been given to the opinion held by many medical expertsthat extra-marital abstinence is without a doubt the best way to avoid thesediseases. Premarital sex is hardly an expression of freedom. Young people whobecome sexually active in response to peer pressure to be sophisticated andindependent are actually becoming victims of current public opinion.
No one isreally free who engages in any activity in order to impress the majority. As of now, no other current methods of contraception are considered effectiveenough to count on. The only sure way