Sexual health checkups promoted in Facebook game

From WebMD

An online game aimed at gay men has been launched to promote the importance of regular checkups for sexual health.

The game, ‘Man Up‘, has been devised by the HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust. It carries the message that the more men you have sex with, the more often you should be screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The game, which is available on Facebook, sees players attempt to bounce between brightly coloured beds without either falling off the screen, or being knocked off by a ‘love bug’. The higher they manage to bounce, the more points they receive.  However, points can only be banked through a visit to the floating clinic.

Players also receive messages containing important facts on sexual health, including how STIs are transmitted and guidance on how often to test for them. There is also a link to a website with further sexual health information, and a clinic finder which lists the nearest screening service to the player.

Read the full story on WebMD. Play the game on Facebook.

California to test HIV-prevention pill

From the Los Angeles Times:

California will test an HIV-prevention pill in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease in the state, researchers announced Tuesday.

The pill, which is already used to treat HIV patients, will be prescribed to 700 gay and bisexual men and transgender women in Los Angeles, San Diego and Long Beach who are high-risk but not infected.

“With this new prevention pill, we have another intervention to put in the arsenal to try and impact this epidemic,” said George Lemp, director of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program with the UC president’s office.

The program awarded $11.8 million in state grants for the prevention pill studies and efforts to get about 3,000 HIV-infected people in Southern California into treatment and keep them there. The grants will go to a group of UC schools, local governments and AIDS organizations.

There are an estimated 140,000 people living with HIV or AIDS in California, including about 30,000 who don’t know they are infected, Lemp said.

The pill, under the brand name of Truvada, is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating HIV but not for prophylactic use. In 2010, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine said that it reduced the risk of contracting HIV by 44% to 73%, depending on how often participants took their medication.

Read the full article on the LA Times website.

Homophobia may reveal denial of own same-sex attraction

From CBS News:

Do homophobic people actually fear their own unconscious feelings? A new study suggests that people who repress their own sexual attraction to the same sex are more likely to express hostility towards gays.

“In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” study co-author Dr. Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said in a university written statement.

In four separate experiments conducted in the U.S. and in Germany, each involving an average of 160 college students, researchers attempted to measure any differences between what people say about their sexual orientation and how they actually react. Their findings are published in the April issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Read the full article on the CBS News Website.

Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, co-authored of the study, explains…