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Thank you for coming to the SOGIE, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Education, event.

 

Scientists identified a type of chimpanzee in West Africa as the source of HIV infection in humans. It was found that the chimpanzee virus called simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV, was transmitted to humans and mutated into what we know as HIV, when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat, coming into contact with the infected blood. Over decades, the virus slowly spread across Africa and later into other parts of the world.

The earliest known case of infection with HIV-1 in a human was detected in a blood sample collected in 1959 from a man in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 1982 public health officials began to use the term "acquired immunodeficiency syndrome," or AIDS, to describe the occurrences of the infections.

Around that time, I personally remember condom dispensers popping up. Condoms had become for than just a contraception.

In 1983, scientists discovered the virus that causes AIDS, the name that we know as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991, and just one year later the first combination drug therapies for HIV were introduced.

In the year 2000 the World Health Organization estimated that between 15% and 20% of new HIV infections worldwide are the result of blood transfusions.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the first five known cases of HIV in Los Angeles in June of 1981. The previously healthy gay men had contracted pneumonia and two died.

Yet claims that HIV / AIDS is a gay sickness or comes from gays is a myth. According to the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Deseaces, Worldwide, more than 80 percent of all adult HIV infections have resulted from heterosexual intercourse.

Worldwide, there were about 2.1 million new cases of HIV in 2013. About 35 million people are living with HIV around the world. In 2013, there were about 1.5 million deaths in persons with AIDS, and nearly 39 million people with AIDS have died worldwide since the epidemic began.

Sadly, AIDS stigma exists around the world in a variety of ways, including ostracism, rejection, discrimination and avoidance of HIV infected people.

The topic of religion and AIDS has become highly controversial in the past twenty years, primarily because some religious authorities have publicly declared their opposition to the use of condoms (eg. Catholic Church), and that prayer can cure HIV/AIDS (eg. The Synagogue Church Of All Nations).

There are many misconceptions about HIV and AIDS. Three of the most common are that AIDS can spread through casual contact, that sexual intercourse with a virgin will cure AIDS,and that HIV can infect only gay men and drug users.

We as lgbtBUS want to help spread awareness and help people gain knowledge, specially in areas where sexual education lacks. There are too many people dying of ignorance.

As for today, we have a free HIV testing and more lectures about sexuality, gender identification and HIV/AIDS.

Finally, I would like to thank our President Regie Pasion, for having organized this event with the support of the Marikina Banrangay and City Hall.

And let me close by saying: 

In a telegram the actor Rock Hudson sent to a September 1985 Hollywood AIDS benefit, Commitment to Life, which he was too ill to attend in person.

Hudson said: "I am not happy that I am sick. I am not happy that I have AIDS. But if that is helping others, I can at least know that my own misfortune has had some positive worth."

Again, thank you for participating in our event, and don't forget to take the free HIV test during this event.

 

By Thomas Fleckner, of lgbtBUS (29 August 2015)

 

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