Physics Lab/Health Workshop

Date: 7/15/05, 7/22/05

Reporter: Jesus Trujillo


            This presentation was given to the NASA SHARP students, to help them understand and identify the different types of HIVís and STIís (formally known as STDís) in the world.  All the students were present and on time, the presentation began on July 22 at 10:00 am. Due to the graphic nature of the content that was to be presented the group was ask if anyone felt uncomfortable talking or looking at pictures that deal with this subject.  Neither the males nor females in the group answered the question.          Ms. Tran started the presentation with an introduction to the JWCH Institute, Inc. which was established as the Attending Staff Association of the John Wesley County Hospital in 1960. She also introduced us to R.A.P. (Reproductive Awareness Program) and explained that is a Non-Profit Organization that tries to provide and coordinate with healthcare in the city of Los Angeles, helps with drug treatment, and also provide family plan services to help the less fortunate families in their time of need.  Some of the goals that R.A.P. is attempting to reach are the reduction of unwanted teen pregnancies and unwanted STIís (Sexual Transmitted Infectionís).  They believe that R.A.P. will reach out to the community and give them a chance to fight back against teen pregnancies and STIís. Not only does this program help the prevention of pregnancies and the spread of STIís but also help the ones that have already have one of the two.         Ms. Tran then passed the floor to Ms. Jasper which then described the causes and effects of STIís.  She said ďThis is reality and you need to protect your self, and these actions of one person can affect the community and a certain age group.  She also stated that the best birth control that is 100% effective is the practice of abstinence (which means the absence of sex).Ē  From past surveys that have been taken they have found out that many teens that are sexually active have a self-esteem problem and use sex to fulfill their problem.  It is believed that society places thoughts in younger teens minds on what a male or female is supposed to look like and what they are supposed to do. But with these thoughts comes the influence of sex and rape.  Since RAP deal with the prevention of pregnancies and the spread of STIís Ms. Jasper informed the students on the importance of abstinence and the use of condoms.  She stated, ďI canít tell you not to have sex and Iím not encouraging you to go have sex but I do want you all to have the knowledge of how to have safe sex.Ē  There are three major items used to help prevent pregnancies and STIís and they are male condoms, female condoms, and Dental Downs. She then pulled out a model of a maleís genital area and in detail described the process on how to put a condom on.  After her verbal directions she demonstrated the proper procedure on the model she pulled out earlier.    After her demonstration she asked, ďHas anyone see or heard of a female condomĒ, and only 5 raised their hands.  Then she described that a female condom is larger that the male condom and if a woman is not comfortable handling her self in that area then she recommends the use of a male condom and not a female one.  Out of the same bag she opened a medium sized wrapper and showed proper technique on how to open and place a female condom.  The next item that she described was a dental down which is just like a condom except it is a sheet of rubber and not a tube.  She described the uses of the dental down and said that it should not be a substitute for a condom.  She mentioned a sheep skin condom but only said that it protects against pregnancies and not STIís. 

            ďWhat is a STI?Ē  ďWhat are the consequences of STIís?Ē STIís are Sexually Transmitted Infections; the name was changed from sexually transmitted disease because it is not an actual disease.  Ms. Jasper said that there were two types of STIís Viruses and Bacteria.  The first STI mentioned was Chlamydia which happens to be in the bacteria side of the graph that she made.  She then described the indications of Chlamydia and reminded us that it is spread able.  The next was Herpes and that went under the Virus category and said there is no cure for this virus.  The next STI was HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) which is Genital Warts and this went under the Virus category with herpes.  Syphilis was the following STI and it was placed under the Bacteria category along with Chlamydia.  She mentioned a few other STIís but they not as widely known, and one was vaginitis which is a bacteria.  The other was Pubic Lice, which is similar to head lice, and then described how to get rid of them.  First you must treat with insecticide, use crŤme, lotion, and shampoo.  Next you must wash all your clothes in hot water and re-wash to make sure that they are clean.  The next section was the graphic part of the presentation because Ms. Tran and Ms. Jasper showed the whole class picture of before and after effects of STIís and pass the pictures throughout the room.  With this visual effect she helped get her point across that the risk of Infection is not worth getting from a single action like having sex.  As soon as the pictures circulated the room and returned back to Ms. Jasper she opened a box that was on a desk and inside this box was small models of the different STIís and their effects on the applied area.  After she showed the class what it looks like to have an STI she quizzed us on the female parts and awkwardly the female did not answer a single question, however David G. and I did answer the questions she asked. 

After the STIís were understood by the class she moved on to the more fatal ones which are HIV and AIDS.  She explained that the difference between HIVís and AIDS is that HIVís are the beginning and AIDS are at the end because they are full blown HIVís and with AIDS you are certain to die soon.  While Ms. Jasper was explaining what HIVís and AIDS are Ms. Tran brought some more pictures and pointed out the symptoms while Ms. Jasper talked.  She then explained how AIDS can kill you and how it has no cure.  Within one drop of blood there is a certain amount of T-cells, which help fight off foreign organism that can harm the host.  A drop of blood from a person with HIV contains 1600-1800 T-cells, which is sufficient enough for the host to live but is low compared to a person with out HIV.  However a host with AIDS can have a T-cell count of 200 or lower, which is clearly not enough to survive and surely means death.  We discussed that newer and newer technology is being developed to help save lives and soon scientists hope they can find a cure for AIDS, HIVís, and STIís.  Within the California area thousand and thousands of people have one of these three and the increasing majority that has these killer foreign organisms inside of them are the teenagers and little children.  The practice of safe sex, abstinence, and regular blood testing can greatly improve the efforts of the this Organizations and reduce unwanted teen pregnancies and transmission of STIís.


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