Encouraging safe sex this Men’s Health Week
If you’re positive, get treatment as the longer you wait it might get to a point where the doctor can’t help you any more. (Photo: Pexels)

THE year 2000 will always be etched in the memory of one man’s mind.

The individual, now 37 years old, told Your Health Your Wealth that, that was the year he found out he was HIV positive.

“I went to a meeting where health promotion around HIV was going on. They were also doing testing. I went and did the test and they told me the outcome and told me to wait. I was counselled and told what the next steps would be in terms of treatment,” he said.

But acceptance did not come immediately for the individual who said, “I thought it was the end of my life. I wanted to give up. I was so stressed, losing a lot of weight, not eating right.”

This, he said, continued for a while until his peers going through the same situation “encouraged and explained a lot of things” to him.

“It helped me to realise life goes on. I slowly made changes, cut out alcohol and kept on my medication,” he said.

Now he is encouraging the wider public to practice safe sex plus put their pride behind and get tested for HIV and other STDs.

He said: “If you’re positive, get treatment as the longer you wait it might get to a point where the doctor can’t help you any more. If I never socialised and lean on others, I wouldn’t be so confident about seeking care. If you get a cut or so you dress it. If something is wrong with your private part you check it, so if you have HIV don’t neglect treatment else the outcomes can be worse.”

His comments come on the cusp of Men’s Health Week which is celebrated from June 13-19. Men’s Health Week takes place every year during the week preceding Father’s Day and honours the importance of boys and men’s health and fitness.

The week is an opportunity to educate the public about what can be done to promote men’s health while also delivering free and easy health services to boys and men who would not otherwise have access to such services.

The goal of Men’s Health Week is to raise awareness of preventable health concerns among men and boys, as well as encourage early identification and treatment of disease.

This week is an opportunity for health-care providers, policymakers, the media, and individuals to encourage men and boys to seek routine medical advice and treatment for disease and injury.

The young man further added that he is now viral suppressed and underscored one bit of advice for men.

“Use a condom every time.”

Kimberley Hibbert

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