Thursday, September 23, 2010

Safe Sex Ads

My homeland is far behind the curve when it comes to safe sex education. Sadly, it's lacking in all areas of sex education - but a simple formed piece of latex less than half a millimeter thick has not only prevented millions of infections, it's also prevented clear and logical thinking on the part of many - often by those who couple it with a fervent religious fanaticism.

I don't have a problem with anyone's faith if it gives them comfort and some moral guidance in their lives, but to infringe on the lives of others by coordinating campaigns that keep others from being educated and making their own choices isn't just irresponsible, it's pig ignorance. I'd say "that's just my opinion" but I can't, in all good conscience; anyone thinking clearly would agree. Leave a comment if you have a rational argument otherwise.

Stepping down off of my soap box let me share an example of an ad that ran on Thai television:

Yes, it's daring on a couple of levels, but why on earth couldn't we in the US have ads that at least said "Hey, these rubber thingies work and can save you a lot of grief - and maybe your life"? Let people make an educated choice.

I've seen several billboards in Thailand with a "stay safe" message - in Thai - showing a row of cartoon condoms dancing, and while my jaw dropped the first time I saw one from my taxi in from the airport I almost applauded right then and there.

Sexually transmitted diseases aren't going to go away - they're going to become more prevalent, stronger and more drug-resistant. How anyone can think "just keep it in your pants" is an effective way of dealing with them is far beyond all logic.

2008 figures show that of the 33.4 million people worldwide living with HIV, 610,000 are in Thailand. It's only my guess, but because of ignorance and shame you can figure there are many more living with it that haven't (or won't) be reported and included in that number.

In Bangkok the prevalence of HIV infection among men who have sex with men is just under 25%. That's one in four, even with educational programs in place. Granted, part of the problem among workers in that trade is the lure of "easy" money, but the long-lasting and usually fatal conditions aren't worth it in the long run. I applaud all who help educate and control HIV in Thailand and around the world.

Be safe, people. Think responsibly, act responsibly and pass the word along.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A report released this week said that one in five U.S. gays is HIV poz.. but only half of them know it. You can't be too careful.. and everyone needs to stay smart and play safe every time.