HIV/AIDS is not a myth!

Indiscriminate sex. Orgies. Flings. One-night stands. Wild sexual adventures with multiple partners. These are garments today’s society is draped in. Morality has almost become outmoded with perversion becoming the newest trend.

In today’s world, you can end up with a stranger in bed at first sight with little or no concern about the package of diseases they may be gifting you with. It has become a norm for a first date in a restaurant to end in a bedroom with little regard for the uninvited guest called AIDS.

When you live in a generation that fears pregnancy more than sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it’s hard to convince them that HIV/AIDs is not really as mythical as they may assume. They can only guess it costs a lot to buy diapers when they are yet to calculate the cost of living with AIDS!

According to Ghana AIDS Commission, a staggering total of 15,116 Ghanaians died of this disease in 2016 alone. Another frightening fact is that new HIV/AIDS infections shot up sharply by a whopping 70.15% between 2015 and 2016. AIDS is not a myth. It is closer to us now than ever!

Many live recklessly until the hard truth hits them when they are diagnosed of being HIV positive. Of a truth, there’s a slim percentage of victims who were infected via other means apart from sex. However, a chunk of reported cases are due to sexual lifestyles. When we unzip everywhere for the sake of temporary pleasures, we open are doors to all flavors of STDs.

“Fornication puts you at risk of AIDS, just like adultery. It doesn’t matter how healthy whoever looks.”

On are TVs and radios today are all manner of aphrodisiacs and bitters with sexual performance-boosting properties. No day passes by without the unveiling of some new bitters. Indeed, we are a nation of bitters.

We have not, for a second, thought about the long-term effect of this media agenda. We are gradually raising a sex-crazy generation that would dare test the efficacy of such bitters and aphrodisiacs on any flesh in skirt. Observe the alarming figures of rape cases and connect the dots. Observe how jobs are tied to sex and connect the dots. Read about the overwhelming HIV statistics and still connect the dots. We are that nation that shoots itself in its own foot!

We can’t promote perversion on one hand and fight it with the other. We can’t supposedly axe down the stem of immorality when the roots go deep down into the fabric of society. For instance, I wonder how we can possibly win the war against drug abuse, especially Tramadol, when we have contemporary songs promoting same.

HIV/AIDS has wrecked destinies. As contagious as it is, it has messed up families. Many assignments in life have had to be aborted because of this deadly disease. The untold hardship it brings upon people and the society at large can never be understated. According to Ghana National AIDS Spending Assessment, in 2014, a total of US$68,843,316 was spent on the disease’s related activities. Yes, 2014 alone!

It amazes me when others gloss over how prone they are to this disease even though they are busily earning accolades in unprotected sex. Anyone who is an HIV/AIDS victim today may have doubted same yesterday. When you underestimate the deadliness of unprotected sex, you may sooner or later be the next victim. You open your arms to HIV/AIDS every moment you have unprotected sex outside the context of marriage. Chew on this!

HIV doesn’t need a second chance to walk into our lives. All it needs is one chance; just one chance. Every unprotected sex is a chance for AIDS to sneak into an unprotected life. Abstain!

Self-control is the best protection each of us can wear. Whether married or not, self-control is the only protective garment each man or woman should wear to avoid the fear of testing positive. When you control yourself, you don’t panic when another person says they tested positive.

The consequences of HIV/AIDS can cripple us. The stigma and trauma alone can kill us. If you’re fortunate enough not to have contracted it yet, it goes without saying that you ought to abstain.

Fornication puts you at risk of AIDS, just like adultery. It doesn’t matter how healthy whoever looks. You may have no idea the loads of virus they may be generously sharing with you. Don’t overlook permanent consequences for the sake of temporary pleasures.

Most people having premarital or extramarital affairs assume they have only one partner while their partner also assumes they have only one partner… which obviously is not them. In the long run, we have a vicious cycle of partners sharing STDs from a common plate.

If you’ve had a premarital or extramarital affair before, your concern should not be whether or not pregnancy came into the picture. You should instead be worried about your HIV status. Your concern should be whether or not you parted with an STD. If we all put our HIV status above pregnancy, abstinence will be our watch word.

You see, abstinence is a simple instruction… but can deliver us from a whole world of life’s complexities. AIDS is real. It is not a myth ooo!

By Kobina Ansah

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), a writing company based in Accra. His play TRIBELESS is on Saturday, June 16th, 2018 at National Theatre.

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