Note: The following message is actually a general tract written for people of all backgrounds.

A lot more people are talking about it every day. There seems to be an increased attempt to spread awareness about “safe sex” these days. Rightly so, perhaps, with the rate of HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ (STDs) infections steadily increasing, especially among the youth.

We might not have to ponder long over the seemingly intensifying lust among men and women. Pornography and erotic scenes are aired right into our unsuspecting living room; the newspapers which form our opinion every morning and the huge billboards along the road are certainly no better. Agreed, sex is the most exhilarating physical pleasure. Yet if it is not enjoyed in the proper way there is untold pain lurking behind.

Are you aware of the fact: HIV/AIDS kills at least 8,000 people per day? Here is another astonishing fact: 59% percent of Indians believe a cure for HIV infection is available (from the recent survey by MAC AIDS Fund)! More than these diseases themselves, ignorance seems to be the killer. Mind you, there is no cure for AIDS — none at all (even in Ayurveda or Chinese medicine or anything else)!

Some believe oral sex is non risky, sadly. Of course AIDS is not contracted by normally touching an infected person, but scores of research studies have proven that oral sex can cause the transmission of HIV and STDs. A little stimulation can indeed lead to greater destruction.

Most people even believe that the only way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases is via condoms. But medical research has proven that condoms have a failure rate of 14-15%! By using condoms, there are only chances to prevent - but certainly no guarantee.

Listen to the fact: The AIDS virus is 500 times smaller than the smallest sperm, 150 times smaller than the size of the blood cell and 10 times smaller than the smallest hole in a condom. Buddy, I know pleasure blinds reason but please remember this before you take the risk.

Are you aware that every minute, even as you are reading this, 11 persons are infected with HIV globally? The person you want to sleep with, however “decent” he/she might be, may actually not be aware of his/her HIV status, and would be spreading the killer virus unknowingly. Because - Fact: 80% of the people, who have Sexually Transmitted Diseases, experience no noticeable symptoms. Fact: HIV symptoms may not occur for up to 10 years after infection. Just think about it.

Let the choices you make today be choices you can live with tomorrow. If you want to enjoy sex, make the right choice to relish its pleasure as long as you live. Don't jeopardize your precious life or your wonderful family for the sake of temporary sexual satisfaction.

Remember, unhealthy sex might give immediate and momentary pleasure but blinds us of the guaranteed future destruction. Most people who have contracted AIDS are those who had either premarital sex (before marriage) or extramarital sex (outside of marriage).

So, is there any way to have “safe sex”? The only predictable way, orthodox as it might sound, is to have sex with your uninfected spouse. If you are unmarried, preserve sex for your marriage - after all virginity is the greatest gift you can give to your spouse. Enjoy sexual pleasure at its fullest within the boundary of marriage.

There is no other way to practice safe and healthy sex than within mutually committed monogamous relationship. We can even eradicate HIV/AIDS by faithfully committing ourselves to have sex only with our marriage partner. Cheers!

Stephen David