From the Guardian.com…
Almost half the world’s population is online and billions of young people use social media. So why doesn’t more sex education happen across these channels? The first Global Advisory Board for Sexual Health and Wellbeing brings together a group of individuals who are using innovative ways to reach more people with information about sex and relationships. Here are some of the projects they’ve been working on:
Grindr to reach patients at risk of HIV in the US
In 2015, Antón Castellanos Usigli, a male nurse working in New York, started working in an HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STIs) prevention clinic at a hospital in Brooklyn. The goal was to increase the number of at-risk patients that came into the clinic for sexual health prevention services. Initially, the clinic tried outreach in clubs and bars in Brooklyn, but not a single client came in through this approach.
Usigli thought about using Grindr, a dating app for gay men, to raise awareness of HIV. He set up a profile as a male nurse to tell at-risk patients about the services offered at the clinic. He then developed a script for healthcare professionals to use.
The success rate has been astonishingly high. In the first month of using the app in this way, more than 20 new at-risk patients came to the clinic for a variety of preventative services, such as sexual health counselling, HIV/STI testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). In little over a year, more than 100 new at-risk patients came into the clinic. Some of those tested positive for HIV and Usigli was able to link them to medical care. Others tested positive for STIs and Usigli was able to treat them.
Read the full article.
From the Los Angeles Times…
The world has made major progress in the fight against AIDS — an epidemic that over the last four decades has killed 35 million people — as increasing numbers of people gain access to life-saving treatment and the number of deaths each year fall dramatically. But there have also been setbacks, most significantly growing resistance to the drugs.
The latest statistics came out this s week in two reports, one by the United Nations AIDS agency, the other by the World Health Organization.
Here’s the epidemic today, by the numbers.
From Canada’s CBC News…
When Saskatoon man Ian Longman found out he had HIV, it was two years before he sought treatment. He thought the diagnosis meant certain death, and he didn’t know treatment was an option.
Ian Longman almost died because he didn’t know treatment for HIV was available
“I just started hating myself and hating other people and hating what they were saying about me and stuff like that,” said Longman.
“Because I heard that you die from it so I thought that I was dying.”
In the months leading up to his hospitalization, he’d been shunned by his loved ones, who didn’t know that HIV could only be transmitted by sharing certain bodily fluids and not, for example, by sharing a cup.
Lack of education, understanding
It’s a lack of awareness that Sanctum executive director Katelyn Roberts said is common in Saskatchewan, a province in which doctors are calling the spread of HIV an “epidemic.”
“We have people in Saskatchewan who are in their 20s and they’re dying,” she said.
“And they’re not dying because of the HIV per se, they’re dying because they haven’t engaged in health care and by the time we catch them and we get them into the appropriate setting, it’s too late.”
Read the full article.
m4mHealthySex.org is a joint effort between the HIV Prevention and Care Project and the Pitt Men’s Study at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh. Our goal is to provide up-to-date sexual health information for men who have sex with men. Click on the menu or the page links above to find testing and care resources, including information about PrEP.
You can also scroll down for the latest blog posts as part of our archive of sexual health information…
Now there’s hope the younger generation may also experience worry-free sex lives — without the side effects of living with HIV. The use of the antiretroviral drug Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP (it’s the only medication approved for HIV prevention), has been shown to reduce the chance of HIV transmission to near zero. Since the medication was first approved as PrEP in 2012, only two verified cases of transmission have been documented among those who adhere to the daily schedule (a third, according to HIV expert Howard Grossman, could not be confirmed). New, longer-lasting PrEP injectables should reach market in the next few years. Studies suggest that on-demand PrEP (such as taking it before and after sexual activity) may also be effective.
“This is a revolution!” Gary Cohan, MD, who prescribes PrEP, told us in 2016. “This should be above the fold in The New York Times and on the cover of Time magazine. A pill to prevent HIV?”
Read the full article on Advocate.com.