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Recently in Health Category

Some Food for Thought

Posted by Project NEON on October 4, 2013 12:23 PM

Check out this article from David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., for TheBody.com: 6 Factors to Consider Before Starting HIV Treatment. It's full of great info and presents many important issues to consider when thinking about treatment.

 

6 Factors to Consider Before Starting HIV Treatment

 

Source: TheBody.com

Safe or Not?

Posted by Project NEON on September 17, 2013 4:09 PM

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? 

Source: TheBody.com  

HIV-Positive and As Sexy As I Want to Be

Posted by Project NEON on September 16, 2013 3:43 PM

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/ 

A conversation we can have more often

Posted by Project NEON on September 5, 2013 12:11 PM

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

 

SOURCE: THEBODY.COM

Looking for info?

Posted by Project NEON on September 4, 2013 2:11 PM

Have you seen Public Health Seattle/King County's library of

Harm Reduction Brochures? Check it out!

 

Re-Assessing Barebacking

Posted by Project NEON on August 26, 2013 1:28 PM

Where do you stand on the barebacking risk debate?

Check out the following article which explores stigma, and common beliefs and myths related to barebacking. 

 

 


Why We Need to Re-Assess Barebacking, Stop the Stigma and Be Honest About the Risk

June 17, 2013

As editor of a respected online magazine for people living with HIV, I made a choice, rightly or wrongly (probably the latter), so that in our magazine's first year or two we didn't cover barebacking. We thought it was too inflammatory a subject, thought it might encourage people to do it, thought that people would think we were irresponsible.

That changed in a big way when we featured Josh Landale, Josh Kruger, Michael Bouldin, Jake Sobo, Mark S. King and a handful of others for whom barebacking is either part of their lives or they have come to terms with it. Barebacking is, after all, increasingly a part of the lives of many gay men, and the practice inevitably raises difficult issues for all people living with HIV too, given that many have an undetectable viral load now. So, as a culmination of all of those things, our magazine covered barebacking issues frequently in the last twelve months. In fact, opinion pieces from barebackers, many poz, have been common in our pages.

Meanwhile our community's collective knowledge of the science of what is safe and what is not -- and we have covered that extensively too -- has progressed, so that informed voices outside the prevention community are able to offer the kind of nuanced messages and lead discussions that the prevention community itself is sometimes challenged to do.

As Scottish HIV expert Roy Kilpatrick says: "Individuals are often ahead of planners and providers, and are fairly savvy when it comes to working out ways of reducing risk." I tend to agree. And much of the most relevant and listened-to dialogue today is undeniably via social media, not through government funded campaigns.

Read the full article here: http://www.thebody.com/content/71844/why-we-need-to-re-assess-barebacking-stop-the-stig.html

Source: theBody.com

Not Just a "Girl Problem"

Posted by Project NEON on August 22, 2013 2:31 PM

This week at the NEON peer educator meeting, we were fortunate to have a discussion with Lori from the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Cervical Cancer Coalition. Lori talked to the group about HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and HPV-related cancer in men.  

 

HPV is often seen as a health problem affecting women, however, the majority of men and women who are sexually active will get genital HPV infection at some point in their lives.

 

HPV can cause genital warts, and although rare, can lead to more serious health problems like throat, oral, and anal cancer in men.

 

Education and conversations with other guys are important. Learn more about genital HPV here: http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV-and-men.htm

 

For information about HPV and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition: http://www.nccc-online.org/

What do you know about HPV?

Posted by Project NEON on July 17, 2013 6:07 PM

Want to know more about HPV, a super common STI? Take a look at this great new HPV factsheet.

 

HPV Factsheet

 

SOURCE: Public Health Seattle & King County website http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/communicable/std/HPV.aspx

Vaccines Against Drug Abuse: A Viable Treatment Option?

Posted by Project NEON on May 23, 2013 5:29 PM

Vaccines Against Drug Abuse: A Viable Treatment Option?

 

 

Posted on May 22, 2013 in Research & News

 

The idea of vaccinating against drug abuse is hailed by many to be the future of addiction treatment, but the concept has several downsides that may hold it back. The idea is simple: a vaccination would prevent the drug from having an effect if taken, which would therefore render taking drugs pretty much useless. It obviously has a huge potential benefit for removing the appeal of commonly-abused drugs, but critics point out that it could never become the sole treatment for addiction. Understanding the mechanism of the vaccines that have been developed and their limitations helps you see how they will fit into the future of addiction treatment.

 

Read full article here: Vaccines Against Drug Abuse

 

Source: Drug Addiction Treatment  http://www.drugaddictiontreatment.com/

Have you looked at Your METHod?

Posted by Project NEON on May 14, 2013 10:12 AM

Have you seen NEON's 2012 publication Your METHod?

 

Your METHod is a recovery-based journal that features the stories, words, and art work of Seattleites.

 

Your METHod also includes space to write your own thoughts about use and recovery. Pick up a copy at Seattle Counseling Service, through your NEON peer educator, or download and print online here: Your METHod

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