Saturday, March 29, 2008

AIDS, sex n teens!!!

What's the big deal about HIV/AIDS?

It's easy to think that AIDS is something for other people to worry about - gay people, drug users, people who sleep around. This is wrong - all teens, whoever they are, wherever they live need to take the threat of HIV seriously. To be able to protect yourself, you need to know the facts, and know how to avoid becoming infected.

Isn't it only a problem for adults?
No. HIV is a big problem for young people, as well as adults. In 2007, it is estimated that there were 2.5 million people under 15 living with HIV.
Monica: "I am 15 years old and my best friend who is a male has AIDS and we were really close so one night we experimented and after the fact that we "did it" he told me that he had AIDS."

What's the difference between HIV and AIDS?
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS is a serious condition in which the body's defences against some illnesses are broken down. This means that people with AIDS can get many different kinds of diseases which a healthy person's body would normally fight off quite easily.

How long does it take for HIV to cause AIDS?
The length of time between being infected with HIV and being diagnosed with AIDS depends on lots of different things. These days, there are many drugs that can be used to help people with HIV, and most doctors believe that a lot of people can be treated for a very long time. Many people do not know exactly when they were infected with HIV, and the length of time between this happening and them being diagnosed with AIDS can be very variable.

So how do you get infected with HIV?
HIV is passed on in the sexual fluids or blood of an infected person, so if infected blood or sexual fluid gets into your body, you can become infected. This usually happens by either having sexual intercourse with an infected person or by sharing needles used to inject drugs with an infected person. People can also become infected by being born to a mother who has HIV and a very small number of people become infected by having medical treatment using infected blood transfusions.
HIV can't be caught by kissing, hugging or shaking hands with an infected person, and it can't be transmitted by sneezes, door handles or dirty glasses.

What is 'safe sex'?
Safe sex means sexual activities which you can do even if one person is infected with HIV, and they definitely won't pass it on to the other person. Loads of activities are completely safe. You can kiss, cuddle, massage and rub each other's bodies. But if you have any cuts or sores on your skin, make sure they are covered with plasters (band-aids). Nothing you do on your own can cause you to get HIV - you can't infect yourself by masturbation.

What about using drugs?
The only way to be safe around drugs is not to take them. If you are on drugs you may take risks you normally wouldn't take, and you may have unsafe sex when you would normally be more careful. If you take drugs, you might find it more difficult to use a condom, or you might forget altogether. One of the most common drugs this can happen with is alcohol - if you're drunk, you might not always know what you're doing, or you might not care.
If you inject drugs, you should always use a clean needle, syringe and spoon, water, etc each time you inject, and never share any of these with anyone else. If you snort drugs, and you use a note or a straw to snort through, you shouldn't share it with anyone else, as blood can be passed from the inside of one person's nose to another.
If you have a tattoo or a piercing, you should make sure that the needles and equipment used are sterile. Ask the staff at the place you have it done about what precautions they use.

What is safer sex?
Safer sex also means using a condom during sexual intercourse. Using a condom is not absolutely safe as condoms can break, but condoms can be effective if they are used correctly.
Oral sex (one person kissing, licking or sucking the sexual areas of another person) does carry some risk of infection. If a person sucks the penis of an infected man, for example, infected fluid could get into the mouth. The virus could then get into the blood if you have bleeding gums or tiny sores somewhere in the mouth. The same is true if infected sexual fluids from a woman get into the mouth of her partner. But infection from oral sex alone seems to be very rare.

Can you get infected your first time?
Yes, if your partner has HIV and you have unsafe sex, then you can become infected.
Is there a cure?
There is no cure for HIV. HIV is a virus, and no cure has been found for any type of virus. Recently, doctors have been able to control the virus once a person is infected, which means that a person with HIV can stay healthy for longer, but they have not managed to get rid of the virus in the body completely.

How can I tell if someone's infected with HIV?
There is no way to tell just by looking at someone whether they are infected with HIV. Someone can be infected but have no symptoms and still look perfectly healthy. They might also feel perfectly healthy and not know themselves that they are infected. The only way to know if a person is infected or not is if they have a blood test.

How can I get tested?
You may find it helpful to talk to an adult - perhaps a parent, school nurse or teacher may be able to advise you where you can have a test. There are details of helplines, clinics and testing centres on our help and advice page. It's much better to talk to someone than to worry on your own. The clinic will suggest that you wait three months (or six in the US) after your last risky sexual contact before having a test. This is because the virus is difficult to detect immediately after infection.

Will they tell my parents?
The clinics in different places have different policies. Most (but not all) clinics have a confidentiality policy, and will not tell anyone, although some places will want to bring a parent to give consent. You can phone the clinic before you go and find out.

What will they do?
Before they do anything, the doctor or nurse will ask if you're sure you want to have a test. They will usually take a sample of blood from you to examine. If you also want to be tested for STD's, they may take a urine sample, or they might ask if they can take a swab from the vagina or penis. Some places can give you the results on the same day, in other places you may have to wait for a week or more. While you wait, you shouldn't have sexual contact with anyone.

I have HIV - what should I do?
If you have found that you have HIV, you will need to tell the people who you have had sex with and anyone you have shared needles with so that they can decide if they want to have a test. This can be a very difficult thing to tell someone. If you think you can't tell them, your doctor or nurse may be able to help you. Your doctor at the clinic should also be able to give you more advice about how to stay healthy. They will also be able to tell you if you need to have any other blood tests done, and talk to you about medication.
Tequilla:"We scheduled an appointment and they told my mom to bring me that week, so she did. We went to my appointment and the people were very nice and respectful. They took me and my mom in a room and they talked to me. They told me about all the medicine that can keep me alive."
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Friday, March 28, 2008

Eagle and storm

Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come.

When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm.

When the storms of life come upon us - and all of us will experience them - we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward God. The storms do not have to overcome us. We can allow God's power to lift us above them.

God enables us to ride the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment in our lives. We can soar above the storm.

Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weigh us down; it is how we handle them.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Say it: 'No'

Arati Gurung

Ask me how many times I've gotten myself into trouble simply because I couldn't say no and I'll go blank. I have stopped keeping count. More than often I end up saying yes to every favor I am asked of. I am disgusted with myself when I agree to do something even when I don't want to, I hate it when I just sit there nodding my dumb little head.I don't know what's wrong with me. My best friend says there could be a million reasons why I do what I do : it could be my way of trying to be a 'good person' by wanting to help everyone, or it could be my want of trying to keeping up to the high levels of perfection I have set for myself. He advises me that I don't have to say 'yes' to everything to be perfect, on the contrary, he says the most perfect people we see and read about say 'no' to almost everything that comes their way, that's how they become perfect - if there is any such thing as perfection.I know he's right, because even when I badly want to decline a request for help, I can't make myself say no. But I am working on it. Just last month I said a flat 'No' to a job that was to pay me seventy grand per month. You think I'm stupid? Well, I had my reasons and I don't regret the decision one bit - it took some time to say it but I managed to say 'No'. I just find it interesting to see people's expressions when I tell them about it! Getting back to learning how to say 'no', the first thing we have to understand is that the word can actually help a lot of people including us! Taking up additional responsibility that you're not interested in or don't have the time for, can result to a mediocre job that wouldn't benefit anyone. If you continue doing such favors you might even lose your own image as a professional.I did a search on how to say 'No' in the best possible way and here's what I found - the truth being very bitter: there's no better way to say no than 'NO”. Ramona Creel says it best with her 18 lines, which we can use to save us from unwanted headaches. Read on.

1) I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF SEVERAL PROJECTS: Let people know when you have accepted other responsibilities, no need to make excuses if you don't have any free time. No one will fault you for having already filled your plate.

2) I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THAT: You might be uncomfortable with any of a number of issues, the people involved, the type of work, the morale implications, etc. This is a very respectful way to avoid a sticky situation.

3) I AM NOT TAKING ON ANY NEW RESPONSIBILITIES: You aren't saying that you will never help out again, just that you feel your schedule is as full as you would like now. Understanding your limits is a talent to be expected.

4) I AM NOT THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON FOR THE JOB: If you don't feel that you have adequate skills, it's okay to say so. It's better to admit your limitations up front.

5) I DO NOT ENJOY THAT KIND OF WORK: Life isn't about drudgery -- if you don't enjoy it, why do it? Don't be afraid to let someone know you just don't want to do it. Someone else is bound to enjoy the work you don't.

6) I DO NOT HAVE ANY MORE ROOM IN MY CALENDAR: Be honest if your schedule is filled. "Filled" doesn't have to mean really filled. Know when you are scheduled as much as you are willing and stop.

7) I HATE TO SPLIT MY ATTENTION AMONG PROJECTS: Let people know that you want to do a good job for them but you can't when your focus is too divided or splintered. You will be more effective if you focus on one project at a time.

8) I HAVE ANOTHER COMMITMENT: It doesn't matter what the commitment is, it can even simply be time to yourself or with friends or family. You don't have to justify -- you simply aren't available.

9) I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE WITH THAT: Volunteering shouldn't mean learning an entirely new set of skills. Suggest that they find someone who has experience in that area, or offer to help out with something that you already know how to do.

10) I KNOW YOU WILL DO A WONDERFUL JOB YOURSELF: People often ask for help because they doubt their own abilities, let them know that you have confidence they will succeed. You are actually doing them a favor in the long run.

11) I NEED TO FOCUS MORE ON MY PERSONAL LIFE: Don't be ashamed of wanting to spend time with your family, having a strong family is an important priority in and of itself. Be willing to put your personal needs first.

12) I NEED TO FOCUS ON MY CAREER RIGHT NOW: Often, you have to focus your energies on a work-related task, you may have to give up some civic or community duties. If you don't do it, someone else will take on the task.

13) I NEED TO LEAVE SOME FREE TIME FOR MYSELF: It's okay to be selfish -- in a good way! Treat your personal time like any other appointment. Block off time in your calendar and guard it with your life.

14) I WOULD RATHER DECLINE THAN DO A MEDIOCRE JOB: Know when you aren't going to be able to deliver a quality product. The reason doesn't matter -- not enough time, wrong skills, etc. whatever the reason is enough for turning a request down.

15) I WOULD RATHER HELP OUT WITH ANOTHER TASK: Saying no doesn't mean that you can't help at all. If someone asks you to do something you really despise, refuse and then offer to help with something you find more enjoyable.

16) LET ME HOOK YOU UP WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN DO IT: If you aren't available to help out, offer another qualified resource helping to connect people is a valuable service to offer. Make sure the person you refer will represent you well.

17) NO: Sometimes it's okay to just say no! Just say it in a way that expresses respect and courtesy. Leave the door open for good relations.

18) NOT RIGHT NOW, BUT I CAN DO IT LATER: If you really want to help but don't have time, say so. Offer to help at a later time or date. If they can't wait for you, they'll find someone else.

19) SOME THINGS HAVE COME UP THAT NEED MY ATTENTION: Unexpected things happen that throw your schedule off. Accept that you may need to make a few adjustments. It is temporary and you will have more time when life stabilizes.

20) THIS REALLY IS NOT MY STRONG SUIT: It's okay to admit your limitations. Knowing what you can handle and what you can't is a skill. Your time will be more efficiently spent on something you do well.Remember many a times a “Yes” = Stress. Keep your tasks and projects manageable. If you're overloaded, make a note of it and let people know; there is nothing wrong with trying to keep your projects and tasks manageable. Stick to your plan, if saying yes to something throws your plan to get something done way off, make sure you question if it's worth it.

That's what the experts advise and that has been my magic mantra ever since. It is not until we can say 'no', that our 'yes' means 'yes', and our 'no' means 'no'.I have it pasted on the first page of my diary. You try it too. Life has become much more enjoyable.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Farah Khan's triple treat

There has been a great shower of gifts and love for Bollywood's first set of triplets. Here we have a close look at what the Om Shanti Om director's celeb friends have gifted her and the babies

Farah Khan and her hubby Shirish Kunder had thrown a big bash at Bling to celebrate the arrival of their triplets on the Filmfare Awards night. The A-listers from the film fraternity wished Farah and her triplets with lots of gifts and love.

Farah and her babies were flooded with goodies from her close filmy friends. The party was attended by Shahrukh Khan and Gauri, Malaika Arora, Arbaaz Khan, Alvira Khan, Amrita Arora, Zayed Khan, Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukerjee, Arjun Rampal, Mehr Rampal and Priyanka Chopra. Ever since Farah's come back from the hospital, her home has seen a never ending line of visitors.

The gifts that Farah and her three babies have received from her filmy dosts include a three-in-one pram from SRK. A three-baby crib from Sajid Nadiadwala, gold coins from Zarine Khan and daughter-in-law Mallika, gold lockets with inscriptions of Om and Allah from Anil Kapoor, Baby Gap clothes from LA from Arjun Rampal and Meher Jesia, silverware from Rani Mukherjee, baby photo frames, bowls, eating sets and the list goes on.

Karan Johar gifted Farah a pair of coral and diamond earrings. Incidentally Karan who was suffering from cold was one of the last from the 'close' friends’ gang to visit Farah.

So Farah is overloaded with gifts and happiness. Papa of the three cuties is always busy shooting every single movement of his kids. “Shirish has bought three hi-definition cameras and keeps shooting the babies all day. He wants to capture their every gesture and posture”, said the beaming mama Farah.

Two named, one to go!

Farah Khan has finally named her babies...well not all. The boy's yet to be named. The girls are Diva and Anya. It is said that when it was announced that Farah was to have triplets, Shahrukh had suggested that her babies be named Om Shanti Om after her hit movie, but Shahrukh didn't know that it would have had to be Shanti Om Shanti!

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy Women day


This is the image of a $50 bill in Chinese currency.

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