September 2013 Archives
We posed this question to guys in Seattle: "What are your thoughts on a guy's first sexual experience being at a bathhouse?"
"Your first experience can be bigger, better, beautiful. Go out and be social, rather than finding sex at a bathhouse. The gratification will be better."
"One good thing is that at a bathhouse, everyone is walking around in towels, so everyone is on the same level with one another."
"It depends on the person. Your first time should be memorable, no matter what."
"It's not where you're at, it's who you're with."
"When you're at a bathhouse, accept everything & expect nothing."
"Don't do anything you don't want to do."
"It doesn't matter where it takes place. It's unrealistic that someone's first time will be amazing."
By Paul Kawata
From National Minority AIDS Council, Posted on TheBody.com Aug. 28, 2013
For decades, Bayard Rustin has been one of the least known, yet prolific, contributors to the civil rights movement. Rustin served as the brains behind the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, managing to coordinate and promote the event in just two months. But, as a gay man, Rustin was kept in the shadows by the homophobia of both his enemies and his allies at the time.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Rustin's effort to collectivize a racial and economic rally that became a watershed moment for contemporary civil rights. Rustin emblemizes both a contemporary and historic fight for racial equality, which is now accompanied by a quest for economic justice, as well as gay rights. If alive today, Rustin would presumably recoil at the fact that Black gay men represent one the demographics most heavily impacted by HIV and suffer the greatest disproportionate burden of the disease.
The level of investment in HIV services targeting Black gay and bisexual men has never adequately reflected the burden of the epidemic borne by this community. What's more, there has been precious little quantitative research done on either the efficacy of programs that target Black gay men, or the true scope of service needs for them. As part of our RISE Proud initiative to highlight the HIV prevention and care needs of Black gay and bisexual men in the United States, the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) partnered with Dr. David Holtgrave from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to quantify both the scale of unmet needs within the community, and the level of investment necessary to adequately match the scope of the crisis. The research was supported by theFord Foundation and provided some startling but critical insights. An article, outlining the findings, has been published in the most recent issue of AIDS and Behavior.
Read the full article here: How Much Do We Value Black Gay Men?
A topic of hot debate. What does 'undetectable' mean to you, and how does it impact your views on sexual safety and HIV-related stigma?
"Undetectable": Safe or Not?
By Dave R.
From TheBody.com August 28, 2013
Positive people, on effective treatment, with an undetectable viral load and healthy immune system, still don't know if they can or can't pass on the virus to their partners. New UK developments suggest that official conclusions may already have been reached.
Recently, the idea that people on HIV medication who are also undetectable (where your viral load is measured at less than 40-50 copies of HIV in every milliliter of blood) might also be non-infectious to others with similar tested levels and a healthy immune system, has naturally got everybody in that situation very excited. There is however, still no definitive proof and although we're assured that proof either way is being worked on, it's going to be some time before that news emerges from behind the locked doors of the research labs.
In the meantime, people with an undetectable status see proven non-infectiousness as a possible, instant solution to many sorts of stigma. If, after indisputable proof, it is widely reported that people on successful treatment are not in danger of passing on the virus, then there is no reason for every sexually active person on the planet not to get tested and if necessary treated because treatment will make you a safe person to have sex with. This is discounting other STDs of course but then you're just as much at risk as any sexual partner of contracting those. If successfully proved, people living with HIV will be seen as living with a chronic illness that is no danger to their partners, pretty much like diabetes patients, cancer patients and others. The world will change overnight, not only for positive people but for LGBT society as a whole. They won't be able to point accusing fingers at us anymore, claiming we're "unclean," "disease spreaders" and a "danger to society."
Read the full article here: Safe or Not?
HIV-Positive and As Sexy As I Want to Be
By Tyler Curry, HuffPost Gay Voices
Now, before we begin, you can go ahead and unravel that tight wad your panties have wound themselves into. This blog post is not intended to promote the transmission of HIV, and in no way is it meant to glamorize HIV/AIDS. Is it even possible to glamorize such an abysmal disease? I think not. But I have noticed that when an HIV-positive man takes a public stance without the "woe is me" pretense, that is the general dissent. Glamorizing HIV would be like trying to Photoshop a picture of the Holocaust: No matter how you manipulate it, the ugliness remains. However, I am not HIV itself, and it's time that people who are HIV-positive stop wearing the face of the virus as if it were their own.
Sometimes life can deal you a hand that can make you feel like you will never win. Being diagnosed with HIV is just one example. But unlike some other unfavorable traits that we carry in our deck, being HIV-positive can seem like the only card you have to play.
When I was diagnosed with HIV, all the characteristics that assemble the person I am, both good and bad, suddenly seemed to fall to the floor. For months it felt as if I was clutching this new card with an ugly plus sign close to my chest. The game of life continued, yet I found myself willingly sitting on the sidelines and foregoing any chance at making a play for happiness. Read full article here: As Sexy as I Want to Be
Source: HuffPost Gay Voices http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gay-voices/
How Do We Make Sure Gay Men Get Vaccinated for HPV?
, September 4, 2013
For young gay men in the U.S., overall prevalence of HPV (human papillomavirus) infection was 70%, while the prevalence of HPV 16 and/or HPV 18 -- the two HPV strains most commonly associated with anal cancer -- was 37%, according to a new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. While HPV vaccination is commonly discussed for women, especially as prevention for cervical cancer, the truth about gay men, HPV and anal cancer is becoming clearer with more research.
The study followed 94 gay men in Seattle, between the ages of 16 and 30 years old, for one year. To check for HPV infection, the study participants were given three anal swabs: one at baseline, six months and 12 months. For men who had no infection at baseline, the incidence rate of any new HPV infection was 38.5 per 1000 person-month. Additionally, HPV prevalence increased for men who reported higher numbers of sexual partners.
Read the full article here: HPV Vaccinations in Men
Thank you to those who joined us for Sex Trivia on Friday!
By far, the most popular question was this:
It is believed that in ancient times, some women may have used this citrus fruit for birth control. It was placed in the vagina to block sperm from entering the cervix, and also believed to kill sperm, due to its acidity.
courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net