Rise In Sexually Transmitted Diseases Llinked To Bisexuality

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – AIDS Secretariat Counsellor Educator Oswald Hannays has expressed concern about the increasing incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the impact on the fight against HIV and AIDS.
He explained to The Daily OBSERVER that persons with STIs such as gonorrhoea and Chlamydia are “at greater risk of contracting HIV.” He said more people are also presenting with genital warts, herpes and the human papillomavirus HPV.
Hannays also highlighted the “trending bisexuality” especially among younger residents as a potential contributor to the rise in the HIV.
“If you are going to have unprotected sex with both of those partners, if HIV enters that equation, it is going to likely spread to three persons,” he lamented.
The counsellor educator urged the youth to re-examine themselves, focus more on education and access information that is accurate. He stressed that while “a huge volume of information is available on the net, not all of it is correct.”
In Antigua & Barbuda as in other Caribbean countries, the majority of those contracting HIV are from the 15 to 49 age group.
It is for this reason that Hannays is hoping the work being done by the Secretariat in schools would be become a staple on the curriculum rather than be provided merely on request.
“We have a very good relationship with most of the guidance counsellors who are the organisers of most of these sessions. So it’s a fair interaction but I want to see that improve,” he added.
Meantime, Hannays is urging more businesses and the public sector to “get serious” about HIV since “people are still losing their jobs after declaring their status.
The AIDS Secretariat, he reminded, is there to provide technical training, help develop policies and where it does not have the capacity for a particular project it will source the necessary skills set.
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