Why more men need to test for HIV

If you play a game of soccer, you look forward to it and you enjoy it. You can’t play soccer without a soccer ball. It’s the same with sex. Most of us enjoy having sex. It makes us feel good about ourselves and about life. Besides, sex is good for human beings.

And, just like soccer needs a soccer ball, sex needs a condom. You won’t play soccer in a field full of snakes. It is too dangerous. You shouldn’t have sex without a condom. It is just too dangerous.

Use a condom every time you have sex to protect the woman you’re with, as well as yourself. Women are more easily infected than men. This happens because semen – which carries a high viral load if the man is HIV positive – remains in the uterus for at least three days. That means a woman has 3 days to become infected from just one sexual encounter.

The longer one has contact with body fluid with a high viral load, the bigger your chances of being infected. Another reason why women have a greater risk of infection is because the mucous membrane where the penis enters the woman’s body contains many CD4 cells and HIV latches onto these cells.

A woman has a 1 in 200 chance of getting infected from just one sexual encounter. A man’s chance to be infected from the encounter is 1 in 700. For every 3 women that become infected, two men are infected. In the age group 15 to 24 years, women run an even higher risk. In this age group three women become infected for every one man infected.

Rethink your responsibility towards your sexual partner. You now know how vulnerable she is and how easy it is for you to infect her. Have yourself tested and know your HIV status. Speak to your doctor or a counsellor. Ask for their advice. Speak to your partner about safer sexual activities. Take the lead. Be responsible.

You won’t throw away your life for a casual game of soccer. Don’t undermine your life for unprotected sex.