Pusit is an educational movie directed by Arlyn De La Cruz about HIV/AIDS awareness. Pusit is a gay lingo that means HIV positive. The movie tells the different stories of HIV-positive patients, and how their loved ones are coping up with this change, especially how hard is it to deal with the stigma.
Jay Manalo portrays Mama Josie a gay salon owner who has been diagnosed with HIV for over a year and due to personal choice not to continue the medication, it has now developed into AIDS. He shared his story of how he got the virus from polygamous sexual activity but in the end, he was longing for love. This is also similar to the story of Greg and Alfred, a gay couple that went through the ordeals of illness, from testing to medications. Some are indeed not lucky just like the character of Mark, the son of a lawyer and only been with one partner but still got positive and later on advanced to AIDS which led to his death. There was also the character of Sonia, a millennial that engages in drugs and sexual orgies where she got positive for the virus.
Overall, the movie tells us that HIV/AIDS does not know any name, title, or gender. Anyone is at risk and can be infected if we are not careful about this. But let us learn more about HIV and what can we do to prevent this.
What is HIV?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, which is the body’s natural defense against illness and infection. The virus specifically targets and infects cells called CD4 cells, which are important for the proper functioning of the immune system.
Over time, HIV can destroy a significant number of CD4 cells, leaving the body vulnerable to other infections and diseases. If left untreated, HIV can progress to a more advanced stage known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), which is characterized by severe damage to the immune system.
HIV is primarily transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. It can be transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, sharing of needles or syringes, and from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
There is no cure for HIV, but antiretroviral therapy (ART) can help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives by suppressing the virus and slowing the progression of the disease. Additionally, there are several preventive measures that can reduce the risk of HIV transmission, such as practicing safe sex and avoiding the sharing of needles.
How To Spread Awareness?
There are many ways to spread awareness of HIV, including:
Educating people about HIV, how it’s transmitted, and how it can be prevented is key to reducing the spread of the virus. This can be done through schools, community centers, healthcare facilities, and social media.
Encouraging people to get tested for HIV is important so that they know their status and can take appropriate measures to protect themselves and others. Free or low-cost testing can be provided at health clinics, hospitals, and community organizations.
Providing support groups for people living with HIV can help reduce stigma and isolation, and provide a space for people to share their experiences and receive emotional support.
Advocating for policies and programs that support people living with HIV can help reduce discrimination and increase access to healthcare and treatment.
Hosting events like HIV awareness walks, runs, or benefit concerts can help raise funds for HIV research and prevention efforts, while also raising awareness about the impact of the virus on communities.
Peer education programs can be effective in spreading awareness about HIV among young people and other high-risk groups. These programs use trained peer educators to provide accurate information about HIV and promote safe behaviors.
Spreading awareness about HIV requires a multi-faceted approach that involves education, testing, support, advocacy, and community engagement.
How To Prevent HIV/AIDS
There are many ways to prevent HIV if we always keep the risk in mind. It is as simple as ABCDE
There is no other better prevention than abstinence, it is better not to have a sex life than to engage in casual hookups or sexual orgies which is a high risk for getting the virus.
This goes both ways for partners, there is a high number of positive patients that have acquired the virus through polygamous sexual activity. Being loyal and sticking to one sex partner is the best way to avoid getting the virus and spreading it.
Correct Use of Condom
Sex is great but it doesn’t have to cost a life. So use a condom every time you have sex, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Condoms are effective in reducing the risk of HIV transmission.
Don’t Do Drugs
Drug use can increase the risk of HIV transmission through a combination of factors, including sharing of injection equipment, risky sexual behavior, impaired judgment, and reduced access to healthcare. It is important to seek help and support if you are struggling with drug use to reduce the risk of HIV transmission and improve overall health outcomes.
If you are sexually active, get tested for HIV regularly, especially if you have multiple partners. Knowing your HIV status is important so you can take appropriate measures to protect yourself and others.
Education can play a critical role in preventing HIV transmission by increasing awareness, understanding risk factors, encouraging testing, reducing stigma, and promoting healthy behaviors
Prevention is ALWAYS better than cure.
Preventing HIV requires a combination of strategies, including safe sex, regular testing, and the use of medication if appropriate.
How To Stop The Help Stigma of HIV
Stopping the stigma around HIV requires a concerted effort from individuals, communities, and organizations. Here are some steps that can be taken to reduce HIV-related stigma:
Educate yourself: Learn about HIV and the ways it can be transmitted. Understanding the facts about HIV can help dispel myths and misconceptions that contribute to stigma.
Challenge stereotypes and misinformation: Speak up when you hear people making derogatory or inaccurate statements about HIV. Correcting misconceptions and sharing accurate information can help reduce stigma.
Use inclusive language: Avoid using stigmatizing language or labels when referring to people living with HIV. Use people-first language, such as “people living with HIV” instead of “HIV-infected people.”
Support people living with HIV: Be a supportive friend, family member, or ally to people living with HIV. Treat them with respect and understanding, and avoid judgmental attitudes or behaviors.
Advocate for policy changes: Advocate for policies that protect the rights and dignity of people living with HIV, such as anti-discrimination laws and access to healthcare.
Get involved in community efforts: Join local organizations that work to reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination. This can include volunteering at a community center, participating in advocacy efforts, or attending events that raise awareness about HIV.
Preventing HIV transmission is crucial for reducing the global burden of HIV and improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities. HIV prevention requires a comprehensive approach that includes a combination of strategies, such as promoting safe sex practices, increasing access to HIV testing and treatment, implementing harm reduction programs for people who inject drugs, and reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
Preventing HIV transmission also requires addressing the social, economic, and structural factors that increase the vulnerability of certain populations to HIV, such as poverty, gender inequality, and discrimination. This requires a multi-sectoral approach that involves partnerships between governments, civil society, and the private sector.
It is important to note that HIV prevention is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different populations face different risk factors for HIV transmission, and prevention strategies need to be tailored to meet the specific needs and contexts of these populations. Moreover, HIV prevention is an ongoing process that requires sustained efforts and investment.
Overall, preventing HIV transmission requires a combination of effective strategies, political commitment, and community engagement to achieve a sustained impact in reducing the global burden of HIV.
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