From the Botswana HIV/AIDS Handbook 2008

Lots of reading going on at the moment. Reading protocols, reading handbooks, reading more protocols. Feel like I have an never-ending jumble of inclusion and exclusion criteria in my head. Today I'm reading the Botswana HIV/AIDS Handbook. It's a fairly mundane read articulating treatment regimes, definitions for when to start and stop treatment etc etc. But one thing caught my eye, and perhaps gives a small insight into the uphill battle that is being faced in trying to reduce the burden of HIV in this country.

Sexual myths and misconceptions often interfere with safe sex messages, and

must be addressed candidly with patients. Such myths include the following:

o A woman with a wet or well-lubricated vagina is promiscuous, and

application of agents to decrease such wetness—which results in “dry

sex”—is necessary to prevent the impression of promiscuity.

o Self-masturbation is unnatural, or a cause of loss of fertility or energy.

o Sex with a virgin or infant will cure HIV infection.

o Condoms have worms or spread HIV.

o Condoms have large pores which permit HIV transmission.

o Showering after unprotected intercourse will prevent HIV infection.

Have a good weekend!

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