Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chinese New Year 2560 - Gong Xi Fa Cai

On January 26th 2009 (Indonesian time) the Chinese people around the world celebrate the Chinese New Year 2560th (old enough I think). It's sometimes called the Lunar New Year. Following tradition, at the night (one day before the first day new year) all family members gather together for dinner and usually the chosen venue will be near or at the home of the most senior member of the family. After dinner, usually followed by giving the red envelop (Hong Bao in Mandarin; Angpau in Indonesian) from married couples or the elderly to unmarried juniors, and the juniors give respect by saying the hope for health, happiness, and long-aged to the elderly. Prayer at the temples and visiting the other elderly relatives is the next schedules.

In Indonesia, I noted that since the era of President Abdurrahman Wahid (also known as Gus Dur), the Chinese culture such as Barongsai performance, the use of Chinese characters, and the use of Chinese red lantern as decorations has been getting wider space in front of public. This made possible since President Abdurrahman Wahid has removed Instruksi Presiden (Inpres) No.14 Tahun 1967 (Presidential Instruction No.14 Year 1967), and replaced with Keppres No.6 Tahun 2000 (Presidential Decree No.6 Year 2000). Further-more, the Chinese New Year (in Indonesian called Imlek) has officially become a national holiday, not a tentatively holiday anymore. You will see that this holiday has marked with RED COLOR within Indonesian calendar.

Happy Chinese New Year 2560 - Gong Xi Fa Cai

Saturday, January 24, 2009

HIV / AIDS and Social Contact FAQs

This post aims to help and provide some proportional information about social activities or contact with people having HIV / AIDS, because in society there is still negative social stigma. Sufferer tend to be excommunicated in association community. Have you ever imagine about handshake, kissing, sharing toilet, live together with sufferer? You may be interested in some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) below:

Is deep kissing a route of HIV transmission?
Deep or open-mouthed kissing is a very low risk activity in terms of HIV transmission. HIV is only present in saliva in very minute amounts, insufficient to cause infection with HIV. There has been only one documented case of someone becoming infected with HIV through kissing; a result of exposure to infected blood during open-mouthed kissing. If you or your partner have blood in your mouth, you should avoid kissing until the bleeding stops.

Can I become infected with HIV through normal social contact / activities such as shaking hands, toilet seats, swimming pools, sharing cutlery, kissing, sneezes and coughs?
No. HIV is not an airborne, water-borne or food-borne virus, and does not survive for very long outside the human body. Therefore ordinary social contact such as kissing, shaking hands, coughing and sharing cutlery does not result in the virus being passed from one person to another.

Can I become infected with HIV from needles on movie/cinema seats?
There have been a number of stories circulating via the Internet and e-mail, about people becoming infected from needles left on cinema seats and in coin return slots. These rumours appear to have no factual basis. For HIV infection to take place in this way the needle would need to contain infected blood with a high level of infectious virus. If a person was then pricked with an infected needle, they could become infected, but there is still only a 0.4% chance of this happening. Although discarded needles can transfer blood and blood-borne illnesses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV, the risk of infection taking place in this way is extremely low.

Is there a risk of HIV transmission when having a tattoo, body piercing or visiting the barber?
If instruments contaminated with blood are not sterilised between clients then there is a risk of HIV transmission. However, people who carry out body piercing or tattooing should follow procedures called 'universal precautions', which are designed to prevent the transmission of blood borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B. When visiting the barbers there is no risk of infection unless the skin is cut and infected blood gets into the wound. Traditional 'cut-throat' razors used by barbers now have disposable blades, which should only be used once, thus eliminating the risk from blood-borne infections such as Hepatitis and HIV.

Am I at risk of becoming infected with HIV when visiting the doctor or dentist?
Transmission of HIV in a healthcare setting is extremely rare. All health professionals are required to follow infection control procedures when caring for any patient. These procedures are called universal precautions for infection control. They are designed to protect both patients and healthcare professionals from the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and HIV.

Can I become infected with HIV through biting?
Infection with HIV in this way is unusual. There have only been a couple of documented cases of HIV transmission resulting from biting. In these particular cases, severe tissue tearing and damage were reported in addition to the presence of blood.

Can I be infected with HIV through contact with animals such as dogs and cats?
No. HIV is a Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It only affects humans. There are some other types of immunodeficiency viruses that specifically affect cats and other primates, namely the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV). These viruses are of no risk to humans. Some people have expressed concern that they could become infected if scratched by an animal that has previously scratched an HIV positive person. This is exceptionally unlikely, and there are no documented cases of transmission occurring in this way.

Can I get HIV from a mosquito?
No, it is not possible to get HIV from mosquitoes. When taking blood from someone, mosquitoes do not inject blood from any previous person. The only thing that a mosquito injects is saliva, which acts as a lubricant and enables it to feed more efficiently.

Can I transmit HIV to my baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
An HIV-infected pregnant woman can pass the virus on to her unborn baby either before or during birth. HIV can also be passed on during breastfeeding. If a woman knows that she is infected with HIV, there are drugs she can take to greatly reduce the chances of her child becoming infected. Other ways to lower the risk include choosing to have a caesarean section delivery and not breastfeeding.

Does donating blood or having a blood transfusion mean that I am putting myself at risk from HIV?
Some people have been infected through a transfusion of infected blood. In most countries, however, all the blood used for transfusions is now tested for HIV. In those countries where the blood has been tested, HIV infection through blood transfusions is now extremely rare. Blood products, such as those used by people with haemophilia, are now heat-treated to make them safe. Donating blood at an approved donation centre should carry no risk, as all equipment should be sterile and blood collection needles are not reused.

Does circumcision protect against HIV?
There is very strong evidence showing that circumcised men are about half as likely as uncircumcised men to acquire HIV through heterosexual sex. However, circumcision does not make a man immune to HIV infection, it just means that it's less likely to happen. Male circumcision probably has little or no preventive benefit for women.

ATTENTION :
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) above was re-published in this blog after I got permission from "AVERT.org" through email sent by Matthew Leake. For more information please visit AVERT.org. This post only a general knowledge, please contact your doctor for more detail. Stay away from the disease not from the person who got HIV / AIDS.
Related Post : HIV / AIDS - Shame Or Disease.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

VETO VS DEMOCRACY

In this post I only quotes the things associated with the two words above. Please use your sense and read carefully to find and feel the fundamental differences from it.

== VETO ==
According to Wikipedia: "A veto, Latin for "I FORBID" is used to denote that a certain party has the right to stop unilaterally a certain piece of legislation. In practice, the veto can be ABSOLUTE (as in the U.N. Security Council, whose permanent members can block any resolution). In the United Nations Security Council, the five permanent members (the United States, Russia, the People's Republic of China, France and the United Kingdom) have veto power in substantive matters, though NOT in procedural ones. If any of these countries votes against a proposal, it is REJECTED, even if all of the other member countries vote in FAVOUR."

According to Global Policy Forum: "The five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States) ENJOY the privilege of veto power. This power has been intensely controversial since the drafting of the UN Charter in 1945. The United States and Russia would probably NOT ACCEPTED the creation of the United Nations WITHOUT the veto privilege. Fifty years later, the debate on the existence and use of the veto continues, reinvigorated by many cases of veto-threat as well as actual veto use."

== DEMOCRACY ==
According to Democracy Building, the key elements of democracy are:
  • Guarantee of basic HUMAN RIGHTS to EVERY INDIVIDUAL person vis-à-vis the state and its authorities as well as vis-à-vis any social groups (especially religious institutions) and vis-à-vis other persons
  • Separation of Powers between the institutions of the state
  • Freedom of opinion, speech, press and massmedia
  • Religious liberty
  • General and EQUAL RIGHT to vote (one person, one vote)
  • Good Governance (focus on public interest and absence of corruption)
U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) defined democracy as: "Government of the people, by the people, for the people."
Could you find the basic differences between the two words above? Whether the veto right still relevance in present era and future? Whatever your answer, yes or no, please give your opinion with the polite words. Personally I will answer "no", how with you?

= Postscript =
You may also see the answer from my friend D'Ellis in his post entitled "In a Brother's Keeping".

Monday, January 5, 2009

NEW YEAR 2009 - Just Sharing

Within this post I just write my random thought and hope you don't mind and enjoy to read it.

Although 2008 has passed, it does not mean that all problems has been passed, such as war, hunger, refugees, and the most dangerous is climate change which will destroy our earth slowly like a cancer. Yes, slowly but sure! Let take action to more slowest its change.

At the other hand, maybe young people will be happy, perhaps they feels has become adult and proudly says "I am not a child anymore". Feels like holding "VISA" for access to all things labeled "For 17 years above". But I say you will facing more burden and responsibility in future. It same like me when became adult and got marriage. Older people maybe says "Soon I will be seated pension and enjoy the life because all my children has been marriage". But the life problems always belong to you as long as you are in this world. At least you will feel sad if your children fail in their life.

During my life, I ever met people who follow atheism and said "I do NOT believe the existence of God. Life is 100% of what we have done, the result of success or failure". You know what my answer to him? I said "If so, if, when you facing the last minutes condition of your life, whether you still do not ask, or at least mentioning the name of God? At that time, apparently he was confused with my answer, ha... ha...

Come to my family, I am impressed when my wife suggest me to do a general check-up for health this year. She said "If you love your family especially to our little daughter, please do it". Oh my God... maybe she want to make sure to our health and physically ready for facing this year. Thank you so much my wife, I realize that she still depends on us.

New year, new hope, new problems and new challenge. Be prepared and facing with confidence, because each turn of the year actually reduce the quota of our life to stay in this world. Believe it or not, the time cannot be reset. That's what I think, a random thoughts.

For 2009, I want to repeat my hope which was written in 2008 (please visit the link of my reflection for this world at the top part of this blog). You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. Happy New Year to you all.