One of the main issues we found in the Sikh community is, there seems to be this notion that no one is sexually active. However, this couldn't be further from the truth... and yes that includes Amritdhari (baptized) Sikhs. By not addressing this issue in our community we are only adding to the problem. Promoting healthy sexual behaviour lowers risk and transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infection's (STI's) & Sexually Transmitted Blood Borne Infections (STBBI's) in all communities.
Condoms are effective in protecting yourself against STI’s, STBBI's and unwanted pregnancies. By using them you are lowering the potential risk and exposure. Too scared to go out and buy condoms? Well you can get them pretty much free from most sexual health clinics, student unions (University spaces) and Doctors/GP’s.
Lets be real for a second, life happens. Sometimes we get caught up in the moment, don't have a condom, your partner didn't ask you to wear one so you didn't push it, or you just hate wearing them. YOU ARE NOT WRONG! It is important to recognize that we don't always follow the rule book and that's okay too. Remember condoms lower the risk however, they are not the answer to solving sexual health issues. See below to learn how else to take care of your sexual health.
Testing regularly absolutely is self care.
You can search the web for your nearest GUM (Genito-Urinary Medicine) clinic. These are usually provided by your local public health authority and are free to access. If you are worried about being seen by people you may know or are scared to go, there are lots of other ways you can access help for treatment.
If you are a student, you may be able to access a GUM clinic run by your university or college. Alternatively there are sexual health clinics often run by LGBTQ+ services in discreet settings where you can be tested in comfort.
You can also apply online for free home testing kits from trusted organisations which you can mail away and discreetly be contacted to confirm results.
Still not sure? Contact your nearest HIV/AIDS organisation to find out more or alternatively click 'Find Out More' for NHS updates on Sexual Health
Human Immunodeficiency Virus simply known as HIV is a long term illness that globally effects 37.9 million people today. Delete all those negative thoughts from your mind right now because HIV is no longer as scary as you think it is. Folks diagnosed with HIV illness are placed on antiretroviral medications which is a combination of 3 medications in one tablet daily for life. Taking the prescribed medication suppresses the virus to undetectable in the blood.
With access to treatment getting better and better many people living with HIV are 'Undetectable'. This means that if you hook up with someone who is HIV positive but 'Undetectable', you could have condomless sex and they would not be able to pass on the HIV virus to you. This is backed by strenuous work carried out by the U=U campaign world wide to break the stigma of people living with HIV.
How is it passed on?
HIV can only be transferred by blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. It is NOT passed on through saliva.
Using and sharing sex toys are safe as long as you are responsible with them. Keeping clean toys can prevent transmission of STI’s and STD’s. Make sure you check your toys for any damage or tears where germs may lurk or be missed during cleaning.