A brief overview of what’s happened over the last week #InSearchOfPleasure.
Quickies on the calendar: Wolrd AIDS Day
Saturday 1 December was World AIDS Day (World AIDS Day), a date dedicated to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. But also an opprtunity to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic.
Because when it comes to HIV and AIDS, the truth is that we know very little.
AIDS was first recognized in 1981 and in 1984 HIV was identified as its cause.
Since then, when AIDS was a death sentence, the progress made in treatment had a huge impact on improving life expectancy among people diagnosed with an HIV infection.
A major breakthrough occurred in 1996, with the introduction of the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Even though there’s still no cure for HIV and it’s still impossible to eliminate the virus from the body, the antiretroviral treatment can reduce the amount of the virus in the blood to undetectable levels.
This means that HIV-positive people who are regularly treated with antiretroviral therapy and whose viral load is undetectable for 6 months, do not transmit HIV to their sexual partners (but can contract other STIs if they have unprotected sex).
So, theoretically, effective global implementation of existing HIV treatment and prevention tools could end the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
This year, Durex partnered with (RED)®, the nonprofit organization founded in 2006 by U2 star Bono and activist Bobby Shriver, to fight the AIDS epidemic globally and launched a modern, direct, powerful campaign during the Wolrd AIDS Day –HAVE SEX, SAVE LIVES – involving Swedish pop-icon Zara Larsson.
Durex and RED together participate in the program Keeping Girls in School aimed at reducing new HIV infections and pregnancies among young women of South Africa. Durex will make a minimum donation of $5m over three years to The Global Fund. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Durex’s $5m contribution taking the total to a minimum of $10 million to fight AIDS.
Durex created a special-edition condom: profits from the sale will go towards the programme.
Quickie info on HIV and AIDS
HIV is a virus that may cause an infection, while AIDS (short for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a condition. Contracting HIV can lead to the development of AIDS.
The immune system can’t completely eliminate HIV, but it can control it for a long time.
HIV is passed on through blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk if the person with HIV has a detectable viral load.
It can’t be transmitted via saliva, sweat, tears, or urine.
HIV enters the body through open cuts, sores, or breaks in the skin, through direct injection or through mucous membranes – foreskin and urethra on the penis, cervix and vagina, anus and rectum, mouth and throat (and that’s why HIV can be transmitted by oral sex).
Anal sex is the highest-risk sexual behaviour for HIV transmission because the lining of the rectum is very thin and may allow HIV to enter the body during anal sex.
Other STDs can increase both an HIV-negative person’s risk of becoming infected with HIV and an HIV-positive person’s risk of transmitting HIV to someone else.
Condoms are the only type of birth control that protects against STDs. For safer oral sex there’s the dental dam, a latex sheet used to separate the mouth and the vulva or anus.
First HIV symptoms usually result in a short, flu-like illness that occurs 2-6 weeks after infection and lasts 1-2 weeks or longer. After these initial symptoms disappear, HIV may not cause any further symptoms for many years (up to 10).
The only way to find out if you have HIV is to have an HIV test. In the UK HIV testing is provided to anyone free of charge on the NHS. HIV self-test kits are also available.
Baby: new Netflix’s show built on the true story of the Italian ‘Baby Squillo’ scandal
Out November 30, Baby is the new Netflix’s series based on the Italian Baby Squillo teen prostitution scandal, that follows the true story of two Roman high school girls in the wealthy district of Parioli, who were selling their bodies for sex under family pressure. National Centre on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has released a statement condemning the show for “glamorising the sex trafficking industry.”
Céline Dion’s new kids’ clothing line called ‘satanic’ by exorcist
Last November, Céline Dion launched a gender-neutral children’s clothing brand in collaboration with Nununu called Célinununu.
The line includes tops, bottoms, dresses, baby clothes, shoes and blankets, everything mostly black, white, grey or yellow featuring some stars, skulls, or messages like “New Order” that people across the web called ‘ugly’ and ‘creepy’.
Last critics come from an American exorcist (a certified one, a priest made an exorcist by a diocesan bishop) who accused the clothing of being ‘satanic’ because God only made two genders, and the spread of “this gender thing” is demonic.
That butter sex scene in Last Tango in Paris
On the occasion of the death of Bernardo Bertolucci, multi-award-winning Italian director, people couldn’t help but mentioning the infamous sex scene of 1972 film Last Tango in Paris involving butter.
During those 8 seconds, Marlon Brando’s character, Paul, rapes actress Maria Schneider’s character, Jeanne, using a stick of butter as lubricant. It’s only recently that the director acknowledged that Marlon came up with the idea, then he’d sprung the butter detail on Schneider at the last minute because he wanted her onscreen humiliation and rage to be real. “I wanted Maria to feel, not to act,” he said. In the post-Metoo world, that’s a whole new burden