The funny yet tragic truth of anonymous gay sex

This funny (and painfully true) video depicting gay sex partners hooking up for a quickie points out the crazy logic I sometimes find online. People who wouldn’t risk riding their bike without a helmet will have unprotected anal sex with someone just because he says he’s HIV negative.

I happen to know from my conversations in chat rooms that some guys who have unprotected sex are in fact HIV+ and lie about it. Or, as a recent Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention study points out, almost half the gay an bi men who are infected just don’t know it because they haven’t been tested.

The lesson here of course is not put your health in the hands of someone you’ve met for the length of an anonymous hookup. If you’re having anonymous bareback sex, you’re putting yourself at risk, no matter what the top says.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day

From the Bay Area Reporter:

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health is launching the nation’s first social marketing campaign aimed at educating gay and bisexual men how to use female condoms during anal sex. It is a departure from the official stance of the federal Food and Drug Administration, which for nearly two decades has declined to promote the use of the female condom in such a manner.

Read the full story.

You can also see an instructional video on how to use a female condom (for anal sex) on Youtube.

So what’s up with PrEP?

Travis Sherer, Board Member of GLMA

HIV specialist and Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Board Member, Travis Sherer points out some very important considerations for HIV preexposure prophylaxis, commonly referred to as PrEP. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued temporary guidelines for doctors seeing patients who may be at high risk, Sherer proposes questions we need to ask ourselves about how we identify as a community and how realistic PrEP really is in helping men avoid HIV infection. 

In his recent editorial, he states “Taking the current PrEP regimen, FTC/TDF, on a long term basis is not an easy proposition. It is currently unclear whether commercial insurers will cover the cost of PrEP, which is estimated at over $10,000 a year. Will patients continue to take PrEP months into a costly regimen? For that matter, how long should PrEP continue?”

There are a lot of issues to weigh in light of the recent PrEP study and the CDC’s official guidelines. You can find Sherer’s editorial on the Journal of the American Acadamy of Physician Assistants Website. You can find the official government issued guidlines for PrEP on the CDC’s Website.

SPBP new mailing address and fax

If you’re on a Special Pharmaceutical Benefits Program (SPBP) for your HIV medication, eligibility processing has been shifted to the vendor responsible for processing annual recertification. You will need to mail all applications to the following mailing address:

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 
Department of Public Welfare
Special Pharmaceutical Benefits Program
PO Box 8808
Harrisburg, PA  17105-9920

Applications and supporting documents can also be sent via fax to: (717) 651-3608        

NOTE:   SPBP still requires a minimum of 3 business days to process all applications. Please allow 3 business days before calling for a status update on applications submitted.  Approved applicants will receive a phone call to verify acceptance and provide the SP# at the time of approval.  An approval letter containing an SPBP Identification card and introductory information will also be mailed the same day the application is approved.  

SPBP staff will continue to address questions and concerns via the SPBP Customer Service Line Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please call toll free 1-800-922-9384 for questions/concerns regarding program eligibility, benefits or application & recertification processes. 

For more information about SPBP, go to the PA Dept. of Public Welfare Website.

CDC launches LGBT bullying prevention web page

Front the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website…

Negative attitudes toward gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people put LGBT youth at increased risk for verbal or physical harassment at school compared to other students. For example, a 2009 online survey of more than 7,000 LGBT middle and high school students found that eight in ten had been verbally or physically harassed at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation; six in ten felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation; and one in five had been the victim of a physical assault.

Unfortunately, these types of abuse are also experienced outside of school and may continue into young adulthood. A study published in 2004 looked at discrimination and violence among young gay and bisexual men between the ages of 18 and 27 and found that 37% had been harassed and 5% had experienced physical violence in the past six months because of their sexual orientation.

Find out more at the CDC’s LGBT Health Webpage: