Psychological Self-Help

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the first sexual experience and marriage. That is a long time and lots
of sex. One implication is that we need to carefully protect ourselves
from STD; thereby, reducing our risks, lessening our anxiety, and
freeing our passions. 
Warning a major risk: An astonishing number of deadly HIV-
positive young people do not protect their sexual partners (or their
unborn children). A recent survey found that 66% of HIV-infected
women under age 22 have unprotected sex! 46% of infected women
over 22 have gone unprotected (and, one might assume, many don't
tell their sexual partner). (These figures include getting pregnant and
exposing the fetus to infection.) It is apparently true that only 3% or
less of babies born to HIV+ mothers become HIV+ and one can
understand the longing for a child a HIV+ woman or man might have,
but the certainty and severity of the AIDS death in that 1-3% makes
pregnancy a very inconsiderate choice. Among HIV-infected males
under 22, 28% did not protect their partners. 16% of infected males
over 22 went unprotected (Diamond & Buskin, American Journal of
Public Health, 2000, 90, 115-118). Almost 50% of young HIV-infected
homosexual males are now having unprotected anal sex (Web MD
Medical News, Aug 20, 2001)... and 20% are having unprotected sex
with women too. This is all very dangerous behavior, maybe even
murderous. No one has been cured of AIDS yet. Be very careful, you
are risking your life if you don't know your partner's history very well
(and often you can't know it). 
Of course, AIDS is a real horror story in certain African, Asian, and
appalling is the ignorance in some places, such as denying that AIDS is
caused by the sexually transmitted HIV virus or believing that having
sex with a virgin will cure AIDS or seeking to avoid AIDS by having sex
with very young girls. Accurate information is badly needed world-
Why aren't we better educated sexually? (I don't have the
answer...ask your politician.) The degree of denial and ignorance
about STD everywhere is disconcerting. I will give several important
examples of dangerous blind spots. Many kinds of serious risks are
denied: 50% of low-income women have sex with men without using
condoms, and 70% who have unprotected sex believe they "aren't
running much risk." Many people who have a STD have no symptoms
and, thus, mistakenly believe they are "disease free." Of course, they
tell their sexual partners they "don't have anything." (Then there are
others who just simply lie about it). This lack of awareness of STD was
seen by researchers testing a random sample of teenagers; only 5%
initially said they had a sexual disease but 25% actually had a STD,
according to reliable tests. This is 25% of teenagers just starting their
sexual life! 
Did you know that if you are "sexually active" you should be tested
every 6 months? The U.S. Center of Disease Control reported
(3/6/2002) that 25% of the 1 million Americans with HIV do not
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