Posted by administrator on January 8, 2014
Gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise in the U.S., mostly in men who have sex with men, a trend the government said is linked to inadequate testing among people stymied by homophobia and limited access to health care.
The rate of new gonorrhea cases rose 4 percent in 2012 from the year before, while syphilis jumped 11 percent, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today in a report. Rates for chlamydia, the most common of the bacterial sexually transmitted diseases, gained less than 1 percent. While all three diseases are curable with antibiotics, many people don’t get tested as recommended, said Gail Bolan, the director of the CDC’s STD prevention division. That’s especially the case for syphilis, where the rise is entirely attributable to men, particularly those who are gay or bisexual.
“We know that having access to high-quality health care is important to controlling and reducing STDs,” Bolan said in a telephone interview. “Some of our more-vulnerable populations don’t have access. There are a number of men who come in to our clinic for confidential services because they’re too embarrassed to see their primary care doctors.”
The CDC rate for gonorrhea was 107.5 cases out of 100,000 in 2012, while syphilis was 5 cases per 100,000 people. The infections cost the U.S. health-care system about $16 billion every year, according to the report.
Read the full article on Bloomberg News.
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Posted by administrator on January 2, 2014
Project Silk is a service project for young adult gay, bisexual or transgender African Americans. It’s a partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the University of Pittsburgh and is run by Anthony Silvestre, PhD, and Mackey R. Friedman, PhD, MPH, of the department of infectious diseases and micobiology in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. Project Silk provides a safe, youth-centered space in downtown Pittsburgh and is open four nights a week. An on-site social worker is available and helps connect young people to important services such as housing, employment and health care. HIV testing and linkage to care are available during drop-in hours, and a private office can be requested. The project includes a mix of structured programming, such as civic discussion groups. There’s also unstructured time for young people to practice dance moves and prepare for house balls, which are competitive dance events.
Read more on newpittsburghcourieronline.com
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Posted by administrator on January 2, 2014
Seeking to reduce health disparities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the National LGBT Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute, and the Center for American Progress, have released “Optimizing LGBT Health under the Affordable Care Act: Strategies for Health Centers,” a guide detailing how the ACA will improve LGBT health and best practices for health centers to increase enrollment of LGBT people in coverage under the ACA. Download a free copy of the PDF here.
“The long history of discrimination in health care and societal bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people has created alarming health disparities for this community,” said Harvey Makadon, MD, Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center. “LGBT people have disproportionately high rates of tobacco use, HIV infection, encounters with violence and homelessness, elevated rates of depression and suicide attempts, and reduced access to preventive health services. The ACA reforms described in our guide represent a critical step toward addressing these disparities and improving the health of LGBT Americans.”
Keep reading on 10thousandcouples.com.
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Posted by administrator on December 18, 2013
Federal health officials are reporting a sharp increase in unprotected sex among gay American men over the last decade. The same trend has recently been documented among gay men in Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Australia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of men who told federal health investigators that they had had unprotected anal sex in the last year rose nearly 20 percent from 2005 to 2011. In the 2011 survey, 33 percent of men who were HIV positive but unaware of their status reported having unprotected anal sex. This was more than twice the rate reported in men who knew their HIV positive status. The survey also found that a third of the men interviewed had not been tested in the past year.
As a result, the CDC is urging gay and bisexual men to get tested for HIV. Regular testing allows people who have HIV to know their status, get life-saving treatment and care, and prevent HIV transmission to others. Call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit http://www.hivtest.org/ to find free, confidential HIV testing locations near you. Some locations have rapid testing, so you can get results on the spot.
To find out how to prevent HIV infection, go to the CDC Website: (http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/HIV.htm ).
You can also find more HIV and STD information on our Website: www.m4mHealthySex.org.
To subscribe to Health Alerts, send an email to email@example.com with the word “subscribe” in the subject line.
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Posted by administrator on December 9, 2013
(Reuters Health) – Gay teenagers who have had at least four sexual partners are at increased risk of contracting human papillomavirus (HPV), a new study suggests. At least half of sexually active people get HPV at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previous research has suggested most adult gay men have the sexually transmitted infection. HPV is usually cleared by the immune system but can cause genital warts and anal cancer, as well as cervical cancer among women. ”In this study we found rates of anal infection increased rapidly with increasing numbers of partners with whom they have received anal sex,” senior author Marcus Y. Chen said. “The virus is presumably being transmitted from penis to anus.” Chen is an associate professor in the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
The CDC recommends boys and girls get vaccinated against HPV at age 11 or 12, before becoming sexually active. There are two versions of the HPV vaccine, one of which is available for boys. The vaccine is very effective if given before a person is exposed to HPV but provides “diminishing protection” after that, Dr. Ross D. Cranston told Reuters Health. ”Thus if there is a high rate of HPV acquisition, as we also see in girls, there is a lost opportunity to provide protection if the HPV vaccine is not given early,” he said. Cranston, who was not involved in the new study, directs the Anal Dysplasia Clinic and Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania.
Chen and his team tested 200 young gay men age 16 to 20 for HPV and genital warts and gave them a sexual history questionnaire. risk forms of the virus, and 11 percent tested positive for two or more forms. Men who’d ever had vaginal sex or anal sex were more likely to test positive for penile HPV, according to results published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Among men who had never received anal sex, 10 percent tested positive for anal HPV. That compared to nearly half of those who said they’d had at least four anal sex partners. The finding that some young men who reported never receiving anal sex tested positive for anal HPV suggests the virus can be transmitted in other ways, the authors write.
About 7,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with anal cancer in 2013, according to the American Cancer Society. Rates are higher among gay men than heterosexual people, Chen noted. Of the many types of the HPV virus, HPV 16 is most commonly associated with anal cancers. ”Our study found that gay male teens acquire the HPV virus including HPV 16 very soon after they first become sexually active,” Chen told Reuters Health. ”This means that the HPV vaccine, which has been shown to be effective in preventing HPV infection in males, including anal infection in gay men, needs to be given very early on, preferably before gay teens start to have sex.”
Many countries routinely vaccinate all girls against HPV. But as of 2013, Australia is the only one to implement universal and free vaccination of boys at school, Chen said. ”This is great news for boys in Australia including those that are gay but in other countries the absence of such a program means gay males will miss out on anal cancer prevention,” he said. Some gay teens might be reluctant to admit their sexuality and ask for the vaccine, he said. Gay men are no more susceptible to HPV than heterosexual men, but more often have anal infections, Cranston said. He said doctors can increase awareness and the likelihood that boys will be vaccinated against HPV through conversations with their parents.
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Posted by administrator on December 9, 2013
Perry N. Halkitis is professor of applied psychology, public health and population health; director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies; and associate dean of the Global Institute of Public Health at New York University. He is author of the book “The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience.”
(CNN) — Unprotected sexual behavior among men who have sex with men has risen steadily since 2005, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control, released just before World AIDS Day.
The data, drawn from the National HIV Health Behavior Surveillance System, indicated a rise in unprotected anal intercourse by 20% in a one-year period and were seen by some as a call to arms.
Does this mean gay men are no longer worried about HIV? Many health commissioners and policy-makers on both the local and national levels, old-school activists, fellow academics and researchers and reporters used these data to augment their argument that HIV is no longer an issue of concern for gay men, whose primary route of transmission is unprotected anal sex.
It has been suggested that gay men, especially young gay men, no longer fear contracting the disease, that AIDS is perceived as an easily managed chronic condition and that infection holds little consequence for those newly diagnosed. And then the “blame game” begins, which does nothing to help deal with the issue.
The reality is that some of my peers and members of my own generation, the AIDS Generation — those of us who lived through the most dismal and darkest moments of AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s, prior to the implementation of effective therapies in 1996 — also expressed similar horror when I interviewed them for my book last year.
In fact, this very issue — that of finger-pointing and assignment of blame and shame to gay men — came through very clearly in the voices of the men during the course of our conversations and interviews.
Continue reading here.
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Posted by administrator on December 3, 2013
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) honors World AIDS Day 2013 and celebrates the improved wellbeing of millions of people around the world living healthy and full HIV-positive lives. As the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS has expanded so has the number of people living long HIV-positive lives. As of 2012, nearly 10 million people throughout the world were receiving antiretroviral therapy , vastly improving their quality of life and reducing the number of early deaths due to the disease. And recent changes to the World Health Organization’s treatment guidelines are expected to substantially increase the number of people qualifying for treatment.
Widespread access to HIV medications and treatments, principally through PEPFAR and the Global Fund, has changed the course of HIV infection from an acute and deadly infection to a chronic disease requiring long-term care management. While this means a diagnosis is no longer a death sentence, it also means health systems now need to be prepared to address the long-term care needs of those living—sometimes for decades—with HIV.
Continue reading at AIDS.gov.
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Posted by administrator on December 2, 2013
From the Boston Globe…
Federal health officials are reporting a sharp increase in unprotected sex among gay American men over the last decade, a development that makes it harder to fight the AIDS epidemic. The same trend has recently been documented among gay men in Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Australia, heightening concerns among public health officials worldwide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of men who told federal health investigators that they had had unprotected anal sex in the last year rose nearly 20 percent from 2005 to 2011. In the 2011 survey, unprotected sex was more than twice as common among men who said they did not know whether they were infected with HIV.
Being tested even once for HIV is associated with men taking fewer risks, whether the test is positive or negative, health experts say. The most recent survey also found that a third of the men interviewed had not been tested in the past year.
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Posted by administrator on November 19, 2013
Getting a flu shot is good advice for pretty much anyone. Even more so if you’re HIV positive.
For patients with HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting the flu shot instead of the live attenuated flu vaccine or “FluMist.” The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (containing a killed virus) that’s given with a needle. FluMist contains a weakened form of the live flu virus and is only approved for use in people ages 2 to 49 with unimpaired immune systems.
Preventing the flu is important for people with HIV/AIDS due to an increased risk from serious influenza-related complications. Studies have shown an increased risk for heart and lung-related hospitalizations in people infected with HIV during influenza season, as well as a higher risk of influenza-related deaths. Other studies have indicated that influenza symptoms might be prolonged for certain HIV-infected people.
And, no, you can’t get the flu from the vaccination. For more information about HIV and influenza, go to the CDC Website.
You can find a place to get the flu shot here. You can also ask your doctor for additional options.
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Posted by administrator on November 13, 2013
From Edge on the Net…
In an effort to educate mobile app users about HIV, gay social app MISTER has teamed with Hula for an education campaign to help users located HIV and STD testing sites, and to learn their status. “We’re in a position to help educate the community, and we should use it,” said Carl Sandler, CEO of MISTER. “The gay mobile app has become one of the primary ways gay men, particularly younger gay men, connect with one another. We need to do all we can to make sure that they are making informed choices about their partners and their health.”
While overall rates of HIV infection have remained stable, young gay men who have sex with men (MSM), primarily those of color, continue to experience rising rates of new HIV infections. According to the CDC, from 2008-2010, HIV infections among young African-American MSM increased 20 percent. In 2010, MSM accounted for 63 percent of all new infections in the U.S.
The Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training showed that as man as 1 in 10 men using a mobile app to hook up with guys has never had an HIV test. Of that cohort, one third said they told partners they were HIV-negative, and one-third admitted to having sex without a condom. This prompted the decision for MISTER to partner with Hula, an app that helps users find the best local HIV testing center. The app will also empower users to securely display verified info about their last testing date and results.
Go to Edge on the Net to keep reading.
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