Luckily I have a post or two cooked earlier when I have a lazy day.
There was a window between when I became very sexually active in the late 1970s and the appearance of what we now call HIV in the 80s. The advent of HIV made me very cautious and as I am still here, the measures I took protected me. I can tell you tales of many who I knew back then did not and did not survive. It was a rough time.
As a very sexually active gay man pre HIV, a dose of Non Specific Urethritis, NSU and the clap, gonorrhoea were occupational hazards. A visit to the doc, a dose of antibiotics and told to not have sex with anyone for two weeks fixed things until the next time.
The miracle of antibiotics, drugs and immunisation. Polio has almost disappeared throughout the world. Measles too. I don't know about chicken pox.
Gay men can now have unprotected sex if they take their PREP as prescribed. There is morning after pill if you have mucked up your PREP. There are very effective anti viral treatments if you do catch HIV. You won't die from AIDS now.
Lordy, and still we have anti vaxxers.
I had chicken pox when I was young. The thing with chicken pox when young is that at an older age, you are susceptible to shingles. Dame M broke out in shingles and suffered terribly. Brighton Antique Dealer had her turn. R's mother lost her sight in one eye and had to wear dark glasses all the time after contracting shingles. If you have had chickenpox when young, you are susceptible to shingles. What can you do?
You can get vaccinated. There are two vaccinations available in Australia and while anyone over the age of 60 is susceptible to shingles, the first is not available for free until you reach the age of 70. This vaccination uses a small part of the live virus and is not 100 percent effective and does wear off to a low level over a period of about ten years.
The second newer one is much more effective, much longer lasting and has less chance of side effects. The government subsidising this vaccine would in the long term make a saving, as there would be many less cases of shingles requiring treatment.
However, the government and the drug company cannot reach agreement on the cost of subsidy and so the full price of around AU$300 has to be paid by the person to receive the vaccine. My doctor wrote me a prescription for the new vaccine but it is so much money. But then shingles can be a horrible thing. I will be very annoyed if I go ahead and pay full price and then soon after it becomes subsidised, as happened to me this year with the flu vaccine. Admittedly only $25 before it was free, which is rather different than the $300 I would pay for the shingles vaccination. If subsidised it would cost me $40.