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Ireland / Will @ireland
, 23 tweets, 11 min read Read on Twitter
Good Morning. I'm guessing we all want to enjoy good sex? So today, I want to share with you the many ways that you can minimise negative outcomes that can happen when people have sex -
First of all, I think we should acknowledge that in Ireland, our historical and cultural attitudes towards sex and sexual health have not been always healthy ones. I think many of us experienced shame and judgement for wanting intimacy and desire.
Let's look at having agency over your own body, the right to choose a sexual health strategy that works for you. There's no 'one size fits all' when it comes to looking after your sexual health, each person is different.
Watch this RTE clip from 1971. When members of the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement travel to Belfast by train to buy contraceptives as a protest against the law which forbids the importation and sale of contraceptives in the Republic of Ireland.…
The idea that people in Ireland in the 1970s, would have travel to another country to access a pill, that gives them agency over their own body seems bizarre these days. But this is the historical nature of theocratic control that has shaped Ireland's attitudes towards sex.
June 5 1981: The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) publishes an article which describes cases of a rare lung infection, in five young, white, previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles. Although no one knew it at the time, it marked the beginning of the AIDS crisis.
By 1985 the HIV and AIDS crisis was global. Here in Ireland, people were dying from AIDS related illnesses, particularly people who inject drugs - Before 1985, condoms where only available to people over the age of 18, from a pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor.
Watch this clip from 1985 - It will give you a sense of the enormous pressure the Catholic Church used on our Irish elected representatives to prevent condoms being available without a prescription during the AIDS crisis.…
In January 1985, Activists from around Ireland meet in Cork to discuss launch of nationwide campaign on HIV/AIDS awareness. L-R: Dónal Sheehan, @kieranarose, Bill Foley, @tonie_walsh, Mick Quinlan. Photograph by Tony O'Shea. Courtesy of [NLGF Collection, IQA/NLI]
In May 1985 - The first ever information leaflet produced in Ireland on HIV and AIDS was created by a small group of activists called, Gay Health Action (GHA) Design by Declan Buckley - Courtesy of [GHA & NLGF Collections, IQA/NLI] -
There was a huge moral debate about the availability and use of condoms in Ireland. Watch this extraordinary clip from the Late Late Show in May 1987 - Remember, this was one month after DJ Vincent Hanley had died from an AIDS related-illness aged 33.…
Even in 1992 - Condoms could only be sold in pharmacies or family planning clinics. I remember in 1992, the Gardai came into our college to remove a condom vending machine, because it was against the law. AIDS deaths in Ireland where higher than ever.…
1996 - The breakthrough - In Vancouver, the 11th International AIDS Conference highlights the effectiveness of new combination antiretroviral therapy. The number of new AIDS cases diagnosed in the U.S. declines for the first time since the beginning of the epidemic.
Another game changer in the fight against #HIV - In 2012, a drug called #PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) was given approval by FDA under the brand name Truvada. PrEP is a safe and effective way for HIV-negative people to prevent HIV by taking medication before and after sex.
#PrEP works by preventing #HIV from replicating inside your body. If you’re taking PrEP correctly and are exposed to HIV, there will be enough drug present to prevent HIV from being able to establish an infection. For more about PrEP in Ireland visit
.@WHO recommends #PrEP should be available to anyone with substantial vulnerability to #HIV. This may include gay and bisexual men, trans people who have sex with men. PrEP works for men and women, both cis and trans people. Some ways of taking PrEP vary on type of sex you have.
By itself, #PrEP provides powerful protection against #HIV. That makes it a great HIV prevention option for people who don't always use condoms. But PrEP doesn't provide protection against other STIs. #PrEP will not stop a person getting pregnant either.
Condoms offer good protection against other STIs, Many PrEP users also use condoms to reduce getting other STIs. #PrEP users should get a full STI screen, including a #HIV test every 3 months while they're taking PrEP. If you can become pregnant, a pregnancy test as well.
I take #PrEP. Why? As a person who part of a group of people with higher vulnerability to #HIV, living in a country in the middle of a HIV crisis - I want maximum protection against it. As long as I take it correctly, #PrEP gives near total protection.
Here's a Twitter moment showing the simple tests I take every 3 months to protect my #SexualHealth while taking #PrEP - ⚡️ “My PrEP story” by @WillStLeger…
This regular STI testing that's part of the PrEP programme means that if you do contract an STI—including through oral sex—it will be diagnosed and treated quickly. #PrEP isn't meant to replace condoms, it just adds another option to the growing range of tools to prevent #HIV
If someone says, "Just use a condom every time!" or "I always use a condom" - Remember this poll:
End of thread: Decide what kind of sex you want. Talk to your sexual partner about the prevention methods that work best for you. Test regularly - Getting an #HIV test or STI screening doesn't mean you're a bad person. It just means you value your health. Enjoy Sex.
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