Safe Sex vs. Unsafe Sex


The "sexual revolution" of the 1960\'s has been stopped dead in its
tracks by the AIDS epidemic. The danger of contracting AIDS is so real
now that it has massively affected the behavior of both gay and straight
folks who formerly had elected to lead an active sexual life that included
numerous new sexual contacts. The safest option regarding AIDS and sex
is total abstinence from all sexual contact. For those who prefer to
indulge in sexual contact, this is often far too great a sacrifice. But
it IS an option to be considered.

For those who wish to have sexual contact with folks on a relatively casual
basis, there have been devised rules for "safe sex". These rules are very
strict, and will be found quite objectionable by most of us who have
previously enjoyed unrestricted sex. But to violate these rules is
to 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 for
safe sex, accidents can happen. Condoms can break. One may have small cuts
or 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 active
couples where one member has AIDS disease and the other remains seronegative
even after many months of safe sex with the diseased person. It is
particularly encouraging to note that, due to education programs among San
Francisco gay males, the incidence of new cases of AIDS infection among
that high risk group has dropped massively. Between practice of safe sex and
a significant reduction in the number of casual sexual contacts, the spread
of AIDS is being massively slowed in that group. Similar responsible
action 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 are
changing their lifestyles or behavior sufficiently to protect themselves from
AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. A recent Canadian poll revealed
widespread ignorance of the fact that AIDS is primarily a sexually acquired
infection, not caught by touch. The survey showed that although sexual
intercourse has risen steeply in the past 10 years, less than 25 percent of
adults aged 18 to 34 have altered their sexual behavior to protect themselves
against AIDS, i.e. by consistent use of condoms and spermicide. THE CENTRAL
MESSAGE IS CLEAR: UNLESS ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT YOUR SEX PARTNER IS HIV-FREE, USE
A CONDOM (latex, not made of animal material) plus a reliable spermicide.
Studies with infected hemophiliacs show that condom use by a regular sex reduces
infection risks, compared to unprotected sex. And regular use may bring the
added reward of preventing other sexually transmitted-diseases such as gonorrhea
and 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 to
absorb it before becoming sexually active. The best way to avoid AIDS is to
regard 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 are
encouraged to and apply accurate AIDS information to their living styles and
sexual 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 no
easy task. They suggest that educators must learn how and to communicate AIDS
information. Many Public Health Departments are now taking the lead in education
about AIDS with large scale public awareness programs.

Premarital sex is also bad for your physical health. Sexually transmitted
diseases have received abundant attention from the press in recent
years. Equal time has not been given to the opinion held by many medical experts
that extra-marital abstinence is without a doubt the best way to avoid these
diseases. Premarital sex is hardly an expression of freedom. Young people who
become sexually active in response to peer pressure to be sophisticated and
independent are actually becoming victims of current public opinion. No one is
really free who engages in any activity in order to impress the majority.

As of now, no other current methods of contraception are considered effective
enough to count on. The only sure way to avoid pregnancy is not to have
intercourse at all. Put another way,