June 11, 2010

A Parent’s Guide to the Health Risks of Piercings and Tattoos

Filed under: HIV,infection — Tags: — drwatson @ 12:02 am

tattoo safety, piercing, piercing safetyThese days, most teenagers have some sort of piercing, and if they don’t have them, then there’s a good chance that they want one. And although few teenagers have tattoos because the law requires parent’s consent for minors to be able to get a tattoo; again, it’s likely that your child has thought about getting a tattoo at least once or twice. As a concerned parent, you know you want what’s best for your child, and it’s important to make sure that they understand the possible implications of their “dream tattoo” or new body piercing.

Tattoos:

A tattoo can be completely harmless for some, aside from initial irritation and swelling, if they ensure that they choose a tattoo professional that adheres to universal sanitary precautions and if they ensure that they properly care for the newly tattooed area afterwards. Although most tattoo parlors in Canada and the United States adhere to strict policies to prevent the spread of illnesses, there is always a risk of infection, allergic reaction, and the transmission of diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis, and although it has never been documented, it is possible to transmit human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during the tattooing process as well as a result of the use of unsterile needles. Tattoos can cause complications with magnetic resonance imaging tests (MRI); reports show that people with tattoos often feel an unpleasant burning sensation or experience swelling. Tattoos aren’t for everyone. Certain people, who are allergic to tattoo pigments or prone to developing keloid scars should not get tattoos.

Piercings:

Piercings aren’t uncommon. In fact, close to seventy-three percent of women have had their ears pierced at some point in their life. Because piercings involve needle punctures in the skin, there are several risks associated with piercings, especially if they are not well cared for, or if unsterilized equipment is used. Like tattoos, piercings run the risk of bacterial infections and transmission of diseases including HIV, hepatitis and any other disease that is transmitted through blood. Allergic reactions are also not unheard of for any type of piercing and can make every day life just a little more painful, depending on where the piercing is. Different piercings heal at different rates, and it’s important to care for your piercing afterwards to prevent any negative effects.

If your child is still set on their dream piercing or tattoo, to the point where they’ll do it whether you want them to or not, it may be better to take them to a legitimate tattoo parlor or piercing establishment, to ensure that the procedure is up to health standards. To minimize your child’s risk, ensure that the establishment is clean, brightly lit, uses sterile needles and cleaning practices and that the practitioners additionally wear gloves.

September 24, 2009

Breakthrough in HIV/AIDS Vaccine

Well the battle against HIV/AIDS appears to be looking just a little bit better on our part. The newly designed AIDS vaccine seems to show some promise even if it is just a little bit. Trials of the AIDS vaccine were conducted in human patients in Thailand. The studies suggest that the vaccine helps protect against 30% of HIV/AIDS transmissions over a three year period.

Even though 30% doesn’t seem like an overly large percentage, image 30% of 15 million, 30 million, 6 billion. 30% is always better than 0%. Obviously this has been an amazing breakthrough in modern medicine. Maybe after these clinical trials, different methods of making this vaccine will help produce a better vaccine. Maybe in the next 10 year we will see a vaccine that will protect 50% of people that use it. Who knows maybe we’ll make a world changing discovery that leads to a vaccine that is 100% effective. A world free of HIV/AIDS.

The world has been waiting for this kind of a breakthrough. Many people have given generously to the cause, but many more will still be needed. Africa is worst hit by the HIV/AIDS virus. This is due to a lack of proper education and availability of effective birth control. These people need help, and we need to give it to them. They are human too. What if we were infected by a deadly, fatal disease. Without a cure, without proper treatment. Would we ask for help? You bet we would. Just because it doesn’t happen on this continent doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care.

July 7, 2009

How to Avoid Getting HIV/AIDS

Filed under: Africa,AIDS,HIV — Tags: , , — drwatson @ 1:59 pm

AIDS is one of the most deadly diseases to ever exist on our planet. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and results in the destruction of a persons immune system. AIDS leaves people very susceptible to many illnesses, and even usually harmless illnesses become very dangerous due to the inability to properly fight against these illnesses.

HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, and breast milk.

AIDS is present in millions of people, kills millions of people, and is spread very easily. Therefore, AIDS is considered a pandemic. It is estimated that 2.1 million people, 330,000 children died from AIDS in 2007. Most of the cases of HIV/AIDS is in Africa, in many third-world countries, where proper protection or education is unavailable.

Ways to avoid HIV/AIDS

  • Avoid Sharing Bodily Fluids – Though kissing is described as safe, try to avoid any other exchange where foreign substances are absorbed by the body.
  • Use Clean Needles – If you are addicted to drugs or require injections of any sort make sure to use a clean needle. By using a dirty needle you are risking infection of HIV.
  • Practice Safe Sex – Use condoms every time. Condoms act as a physical barrier. Even if the woman is on birth control you can still be infected with HIV.
  • Get Tested, Get Your Partner Tested – Don’t assume someone is telling the truth, make sure to get a person tested before having any sexual contact with him/her. This is extremely important at the beginning of a relationship.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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