Move’s selective discussion neglects HIV risk

  • Kim Johnson & Melissa Meyer - 28 January 2013

A Move! magazine article which offers advice to young women who had unprotected sex over the festive season, falls short of adequately covering HIV.

Although the idea behind Move’s guide to coping with festive season “fallout” is commendable, the article merely glosses over HIV, despite dedicating a good portion of the piece to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy.

In choosing to focus on consequences with immediately tangible symptoms (STIs and pregnancy), Move! ignores the far more serious and often latent threat of HIV infection.

Unlike other STIs that have symptoms that develop within a short space of time, HIV can lie ‘dormant’ in the body for years.

During this period there are rarely clear symptoms of HIV infection. This means that the only way of diagnosing HIV infection after unprotected sex is by taking a test.

Without testing there is no way of knowing whether one has acquired the virus, putting future sexual partners at risk.

Importantly, tests also allow for early diagnosis of HIV, making it easier for people living with HIV to monitor their health and to start treatment at the right time.

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