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your own relationship
Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)
Extracted from Whazzup Magazine, February 2008
Love is beautiful
and a relationship is wonderful but you should strive to be the
change you want to see in the world, and remember it takes two to
tango, so communicate with your partner and be mutually faithful
to each other. Below is some useful information which you need to
take note of.
For a relationship
to protect you and your friend(s) from HIV, it must be truly 'mutually
monogamous'. You can have all the sex that you want but only
between the two of you (or more!)
- No random
- No cheating
- No moonlighting
- If you truly
are decided on protecting one another, you have to stick to each
human beings, we frequently have sex outside our partnerships. We
love it and most of the time; we find it difficult to tell our mates
what we have done.
So what should
1. Talk it over
with your mate. Always. Frequently. Regularly. Do you want to continue
like this? Would you want a more 'open' relationship?
Would you want to go out with others? You can always re-define your
2. Always have
safe sex. Always
3. Test for
HIV (all partners together if possible at least twice a year.)
simple fact that, as human beings, we are never perfect. Your partner
is not perfect, and though you may trust your life to him or her,
you need to make a periodic check on it!
The HIV test
is so important that we are recapping a few things about it.
is the HIV Test important?
Taking the HIV
test is the only way that you can know whether or not you have the
virus. It may take 3 to 15 years for a person who has the virus
(HIV) to start becoming sick. During this time, he or she may still
transmit it to any partner.
does one need to take the test?
Because if you
are sexually active, you are exposed to the virus. If you have been
sexually active before, you have been exposed to the virus. Not
knowing does not help. But when you know whether you are positive
or negative, this knowledge will put you in control of your life.
(You and we can do something about it!)
there any limitations?
There is a window
period of three to six months. During this time the test is negative,
even when a person has the virus. Doctors recommend taking the test
at least once a year so that you know your status and so that you
continue protecting yourself.
if it is positive?
Cheer up! Yes!
This is not a death sentence. We can live with the virus. There
is much that we can do to stay healthy and plan for the future.
Life is not ending.
- You will
need to confirm the test
- Get in touch
with other positive friends
- Drop us
an e-mail (to be treated in confidence) email@example.com
if it is negative?
Great! And if
we live responsibly, we can make sure that we do not get the virus
- Having sex,
which is great, and safe!
- Using condoms
with water-based lubricants
treatment for any STDs as soon as possible
If you have
any question, ask! If you have any problems, we will do what we
Sex & Sexual Responsibilities
many things, but in our messages to you, we always seem to be emphasising
anal or penetrative sex. There are many things that we do which
encompass the beautiful experience of sex. There are lovely and
satisfying. They all contribute to our pleasure during the act of
They do to have
all the same risk of transmitting HIV from one person to another.
It is safe to hold a positive person's hand, to kiss him or
her, to cuddle and to masturbate together. It is safe to rub against
one another till you cum. All these contribute to our enjoyment
of each other's bodies.
But there are
high-risk actions. These high-risk actions can be made safe. Anal
sex between men and going down (licking) during the menses between
women are high risks. Penetrative anal sex is one of the highest
risk behaviors for getting HIV. That is why we have been emphasising
on making this safe. Truth is it can be made safe and enjoyed without
You should get
to know that high-risk, low-risk and no-risk behaviors are. You
should know them because that knowledge has the power of life for
you. Safe anal sex means using a condom, and water-based lubricant,
such as KY jelly available without a prescription from pharmacies
and some supermarkets. There is safe sex between men, between women
and between a man and a woman.
In the course
of any effort to control HIV, we need to talk about testing for
The HIV virus
gets into our bodies mainly through sex. The body tries to fight
the virus. It can control it, at least for a while, but it does
not eliminate it completely. During this period, the person feels
perfectly normal. He or she may do everything and be okay, like
everyone else. There is actually nothing that can show that you
have contracted the virus. Only the test for HIV can show that the
virus has infected you.
The period varies
from person to person, but can be as short as three years and as
long as 15 years. During this period you can infect your sexual
partners. Conversely, if you are negative and your partner is positive,
he or she can infect you. Remember you cannot tell who has the virus
just by looking.
you know about your status. Knowledge is power. Not knowing does
not change your status. Knowing will give you the opportunity to
plan your life.
is no longer an automatic death sentence. We can do a lot when we
know our status, even when we are positive. It does not mean that
we are going to die now. We can do something about being positive
and live a wonderful, fulfilling life. Knowing that we are negative
is also important. It gives us the will to protect ourselves. It
gives us the motivation to have our pleasure safely. We are empowered
to protect ourselves and also to protect our partners.
There are many
Voluntary Testing and Counselling (VCT) Centre where you can get
tested for HIV. The New Start Centers are all over Zimbabwe. You
can also ask the local clinic, hospital or a doctor about where
to get counseling and testing. Choose the one that is most comfortable
for you. Go and have the test: it is worth it.
You will also
have the chance to talk one-on-one with a health worker about prevention.
Sure, they may not know about prevention. Sure, they may not know
about gay sex but they will give you some important pointers and
you can ask questions.
If you are positive
and aware, and would like to meet and talk with others who are also
positive or just affected get in touch with The Gals Health Department,
or simply send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also do the same if you want to chat about testing. Everything
will be done in confidence. GALZ counselors are fully qualified.
Visit the GALZ
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