A leading London porn actor has thrown his weight behind a community-driven campaign to do something about the rising cases of syphilis.
Leander XXX has joined forces with the PrePster team to run an awareness campaign about the STI. In the past five years, the number of people with syphilis has doubled in the UK. Gay and bisexual men have been most affected by this increase.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection caught when having sex with someone who has it. If left untreated it can lead to serious health complications and spread to the brain or other parts of the body.
PrEPster was the team who ran the massive awareness campaign about the HIV preventative medication, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP).
It decided to put its experience of running essential sexual health campaigns into doing something about the rising numbers of syphilis diagnoses.
‘We have a model for how many people now know about PreP and we want to extend that model to other sexual health issues,’ PrePster cofounder, Will Nutland told Gay Star News.
They chose to focus on syphilis first because of the long-term effects it can have on health. But also, because it’s easy to test for and can be very preventable.
‘We’re seeing people turn up with quite serious health conditions but it’s easy to test for and treat and you don’t pass it on,’ Nutland said.
Long Time, No Syphilis
So, they launched ‘Long Time, No Syphilis’ to help raise awareness about the STI and the serious health impacts it can have if left undiagnosed. But cuts to government funding have forced PrePster to start a crowdfunding page to help pay for the campaign.
‘We’ve made attempts to get funding and they (government departments) say “we know it’s an issue but if we fund a project like this we can’t fund something else”,’ Nutland said.
While the lack of funding is frustrating, Nutland explained why it was important to support the campaign.
‘We shouldn’t have to ask… [but] the crowdfunding is a call to activism, to help and support the community when the government has neglected us,’ he said.
‘The last campaign around syphilis was about 12 or 13 years ago, so we have a whole new generation who don’t know about syphilis.
‘We’re making a point that if the government is neglecting us, we will look after ourselves.’
What do the funds pay for?
The main aim of the campaign is to educate those at risk of acquiring syphilis.
PrEPster hopes to do that by creating a website with everything to know about syphilis. It also wants to plaster bars and venues with information and flyers. PrePster will also send outreach workers out to talk to people about syphilis.
‘Every penny raised through the crowdfunding will go to cover the web build, the photography, print, and design of the program,’ PrePster wrote on the crowdfunding page.
‘We’ll use the funding to ensure that people know how and where to get tested for syphilis.’
Written by: Shannon Power. 29 May 2019. Health. Gaystarnews.com
The term “death grip” should never be associated with a penis, but according to our always trustworthy friend the internet, that’s the term for when you choke the chicken so often that it’s actually difficult to ejaculate. “Penis Death Grip Syndrome” also has its very own Urban Dictionary entry:
A condition in which frequent masturbation by hand desensitizes the nerves in the cock, thus lessening the pleasure of jerking off. The best cure for Death Grip Syndrome is a fleshlight! (by The Jizz Wiz March 13, 2010)
That’s the problem with Death Grip Syndrome — it’s one of those internet ideas that have yet to be proven with any scientific backing, but people still take it seriously. Just check out the website CureDeathGrip.com.
The website tells you what to do, how to seek help and even which Fleshlight is best for you, though it does provide a short disclaimer:
“Death Grip Syndrome” is not a recognized medical condition and the ideas presented here are not meant to be and do not constitute medical advice. It is only based on personal experience. Results may vary. Problems enjoying sexual pleasure may have many causes. Especially if you are experiencing difficulty maintaining an erection in addition to trouble reaching an orgasm, be sure to consider any health, stress, or relationship factors that may be affecting you. Even slightly elevated blood pressure can have substantial effects on your sexual performance and health. Seek medical help from your doctor.
While Death Grip Syndrome may not be a real medical syndrome (CureDeathGrip.com is little more than a site for selling jerk-off toys), penile desensitization can affect males between the ages of 13 and 23.
In 2003, sex advice columnist Dan Savage even gave advice to a teenager to vary his self-pleasuring style in order to maintain his sensitivity.
Even without Death Grip Syndrome, there’s a number of reasons someone might have difficulty ejaculating, according to Dr. Richard Santucci, Chief of Urology at Detroit Receiving’s Center for Urologic Reconstruction. He told VICE that men suffering from delayed ejaculation should possibly consider “diabetes, medications, low testosterone, anxiety, all that other stuff.”
If you’re a perfectly healthy, able-bodied man with none of the problems listed above, then, according to Savage, “maybe that’s just the way your dick works.”
Did you know about Penis Death Grip Syndrome? What do you do to change things up while getting it on with yourself?
Written by: Terri Washington. 05 April 2019. Original Publication: 15 August 2013. Health. Hornet.com
Spain’s health minister Maria Luisa Carcedo is calling for the end of LGBTI conversion (or ‘gay cure’) therapy across Spain.
Practitioners of the harmful therapy oversee LGBTI people undergoing dangerous treatments in order to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. It can include electric shocks or emotional manipulation, on the belief that being LGBTI is a mental illness.
But Spain’s minister for health, consumption and social welfare wants to see the practice ‘completely abolished’.
She said in a press conference on Wednesday (3 April): ‘They are breaking the law therefore, in the first instance, these courses have to be completely abolished.
‘I thought that, in Spain, accepting the various sexual orientations was assumed in all areas, but unfortunately we see that there are still pockets where people are told what their sexual orientation should be,’ she said.
Conversion therapy in Madrid
Conversion therapy is legal across Spain, except in autonomous communities like Madrid, Valencia, Andalusia and Murcia.
The comments come about after a newspaper reported on an alleged underground course in Madrid to cure gay men of their homosexuality.
The online newspaper, El Diario, sent a reporter posing as a gay man to a counseling session provided by a diocese of the Catholic Church close to the capital Madrid called the Bishopric of Alcalá de Henares.
People at the counseling session allegedly advised the man to stop watching porn and to masturbate less.
Representatives of the diocese called the claims ‘fake news’.
Madrid banned conversion therapy in July 2016. The ban then went into effect from 1 January 2017 and applies to medical, psychiatric, psychological and religious groups.
The practice of conversion therapy is illegal, regardless of whether someone requests it personally or not. Punishments include fines of up to €45,000 ($51,000).
Written by: James Besanalle. 04 April 2019. Gaystarnews.com
Residents in the UK are the most likely to combine drugs with sex, compared with the US, other European countries, Australia and Canada, a new research shows.
Researchers at University College London surveyed 22,000 people as part of the Global Drug Survey.
Respondents answered online questions about whether they use drugs specifically to enhance their sexual experience. Moreover, they specified which drugs they used in combination with sex.
Bi and gay men more likely to take sex-enjhancing drugs
The Journal of Sexual Medicine study highlights alcohol, cannabis, MDMA and cocaine are the drugs respondents most commonly take when having sex.
Respondents further revealed MDMA increased ’emotionality/intimacy’ the most, while GHB/GBL increased ‘sexual desire’ the most.
Gay and bisexual men were more likely to have used substances to enhance their sexual experience, especially those typically considered as chemsex drugs, such as methamphetamine, mephedrone and GHB/GBL.
Particularly, gay men were 1.6 times as likely as straight men to have used drugs with the specific intent of enhancing the sexual experience in the last year.
Taylor harm-reduction message is crucial
However, people of all genders and sexual orientations reported engaging in substance-linked sex.
‘While using drugs in combination with and to specifically enhance the sexual experience tends to be associated with gay and bisexual men, we found that in our sample, men and women of all sexual orientations engaged in this behaviour,’ the study’s lead author, Dr. Will Lawn, said.
‘However, differences between groups did emerge.’
‘Harm reduction messages relating to substance-linked sex in general should therefore not only be targeted towards gay and bisexual men, as they are relevant to all groups,’ he also said.
Senior author Professor Adam Winstock, founder and director of the Global Drug Survey added: ‘Our study is by far the largest to date to investigate the relationships between sex and drugs. Previous studies have rarely compared men and women, and people of different sexual orientations.
‘Furthermore, by appreciating how different drugs affect sex we can tailor our harm reduction messages. These pragmatic messages can save lives.’
People in the UK more likely to take drugs
Survey respondents were self-selecting rather than a representative sample.
Therefore, the researchers say their estimates of prevalence will be substantially larger than the general population. Nonetheless, relative differences between groups are expected to be reliable.
While respondents didn’t need to clarify their country of residence, currency was used as a proxy.
This revealed that those from the UK were more likely to have combined all substances except for cannabis, with sex. This trend was particularly relevant for mephedrone.
Written by: Stefania Sarrubba. 02 April 2019. Chemsex. Gaystarnews.com
A young gay man tried to attempt suicide after learning his boyfriend’s parents beat him up for coming out.
The unnamed man, believed to be around 19 years old, was found at the top of a bridge in Puebla, Mexico.
A passer-by called the emergency number at 5.46pm on 23 March.
They saw a young man, on the ledge, about to throw himself off into incoming traffic.
Emergency services raced to the bridge located between 14 Avenue South and Periférico Ecológico.
A spokesperson said: ‘After a few minutes of dialogue, officers convinced the young man to cease his efforts.
‘Once he was safe, he was removed from the site.’
Local press has claimed the young man suffered from a ‘nervous breakdown’.
‘The youth explained he made the decision to take his own life after his partner sent him a message,’ one paper said.
‘When talking with his parents about his sexual identity, they beat him. This news sparked a nervous breakdown.’
It Gets Better Mexico urged people to seek out help.
‘If you or someone LGBTIQ you know is going through difficult times, remember that you are not alone,’ they said.
‘Out there, inside and outside the internet, we exist.
‘There are also many people like you, and they can help.’
One in four gay, lesbian and bi people and 41% of trans people in Mexico consider suicide, according to Animal Político.
Homophobia in Puebla, Mexico
In February this year, a gay primary school teacher was found stabbed to death in Puebla.
Hugo Méndez, a teacher who worked in the city, was found murdered in his home.
Neighbors called the authorities after they heard a struggle.
When paramedics arrived to help him, he was already dead.
Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
If you are in crisis, feeling suicidal or in need of a safe place to talk, call the 24/7 TrevorLifeline on 1-866-488-7386.
Need support? LGBTI helplines for those in crisis or seeking advice
Written by: Joe Morgan. 28 March 2019. gaystarnews.com
Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rosselló has announced he will issue an executive order banning “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors in the Commonwealth.
Rosselló told reporters that the discredited attempts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity have “zero scientific bases and causes significant damage.” He did not give a timeline for when he would issue the order.
“As a father, as a scientist and as the governor for everyone in Puerto Rico, I firmly believe that the idea that there are people in our society who need treatment because of their gender identity or whom they love is not only absurd, it is harmful to so many children and young adults who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” Rosselló said in a press release.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz echoed Rosselló’s concerns on social media the next day, tweeting, “Conversion therapies are inhumane and intend to strip the human being of their dignity. Love is love. It is a simple concept. Our countrymen from the LGBTT community love, period. And love will always, always win over hate: Always.”
Bans on the psychologically harmful pseudoscience are rapidly gaining steam across the nation.
Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have already banned the practice.
Written by: Bil Browning. 22 March 2019. lgbtqnation.com
Japan should stop forcing transgender people to be surgically sterilized, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday (20 March).
The rights group released an 84-page report detailing the harm caused by Japan’s Gender Identity Disorder Special Cases (GID) Act.
According to Japan’s law, two ‘respected medical professional’ must first diagnose a trans person with ‘gender identity disorder’ before they can apply to change gender.
They must also be over 20 years old, unmarried, not have any underage children.
Importantly, the law forbids them to have functioning genitalia.
‘Japan should uphold the rights of transgender people and stop forcing them to undergo surgery to be legally recognized’ said Kanae Doi, Japan director at HRW.
The law is based on an outdated premise that treats gender identity as a so-called ‘mental illness’ and should be urgently revised.’
Medical procedures are lengthy, expensive, invasive, dangerous, and irreversible, the report says.
The practice is also contrary to international human rights law and international medical best practices.
What’s more, Japan’s Supreme Court recently upheld the law.
‘It is humiliating’
HRW spoke to 48 transgender people, as well as with lawyers, health providers, and academics from 14 prefectures in Japan.
They painted a picture of how the law infringes on their rights.
Some of the trans people included in the report said they felt forced to undergo surgery.
‘I don’t want to [have surgery], to be honest’ one transgender man told HRW. ‘I feel pressured to be operated on – so terrible.’
Another transgender man said he felt ’severely insulted’ and that his human rights had been neglected. ‘It is humiliating.’
‘The surgery requirement itself feels wrong. It feels a lot like a surgery to maintain order. Why do we have to put a scalpel through our healthy bodies just for sake of the country’s order?’
Many transgender Japanese people have to decide between being legally recognized and having the body they want.
Japanese law rushes them into making life-changing and irreversible decisions about their bodies.
Written by: Rik Glauert. 20 March 2019. gaystarnews.com
Health care for women has been a challenge for thousands of years. It's even been a point of celebration as depicted in images of a woman giving birth in a barn, iconic of the holiday season.
But at the last IAS International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) there were no stars shining over Bethlehem in the Amsterdam horizon for tens of millions of HIV-positive women. Instead, studies at last year's AIDS 2018 show that women living with HIV are experiencing significant barriers to comprehensive treatment, statistical representation, and the retention in care needed to prevent and treat co-morbidities.
In fact, co-morbidities are increasingly becoming the most complex, expensive, and serious manifestations of HIV in the antiretroviral era.
In a thought-provoking presentation at AIDS 2018, David Malebranche MD, MPH, from Morehouse School of Medicine, demonstrated how the HIV continuum of care is failing key population often overlooked. A key point of Dr. Malebranche’s presentation was to stop solely blaming patients for difficulties existing in their maintaining consistent treatment and care, and examine how the biases of the medical community are contributing to these inconsistencies.
This failure is also driving single HIV-positive mothers living below the poverty line, who are experiencing co-morbidities relating to their HIV, to fall through the cracks of the current treatment paradigm. These women experience extreme difficulty getting into and staying retained in clinical studies and maintaining medical appointments. In many cases, this is due to clearly defined barriers: transportation, lack of childcare, conflicting schedules, and a lack of support from an economy allotting just enough to survive but not the dignity needed to surpass mere existence.
Continued lack of support for key populations of people living with HIV (PLWHA) and the unique obstacles they face, only hinder efforts to meet challenges to delivering treatment, particularly of HIV associated co-morbidities.
Data presented at AIDS 2018, as well as in peer reviewed literature, indicates HIV-positive single mothers living below the poverty line have a high incidence of long-term economic and personal challenges that are counterproductive to treatment. As a demographic, women and many of the diseases that affect them remain unrepresented in recent studies by The AIDS Clinical Trial Groups (ACTGs), ANRS, and other publicly sponsored research networks.
A recent study showed that HIV-positive women with chronic depressive symptoms are twice as likely to die, even after adjusting for mortality predictors such as CD4 count and age. Also identified was the importance of mental health issues on factors of co-morbidities like cardiovascular disease and co-infections.
Without HIV exposure, women show greater predisposition for CVD, IBD, and parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis has been shown to facilitate the progression of HIV along with other diseases including CVD, as well as facilitate the permissiveness of co-morbidities. Taken together, these clinical concerns are undermining the premise of HIV being a chronic manageable condition in neglected key populations.
There’s a library of literature substantiating that women generally present high risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease, and unsurprisingly, CVD is the leading cause of mortality in HIV- positive women. HIV exacerbates inflammation and compounds traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors. HIV is associated with a 50 percent increased risk of AMI beyond that explained by recognized risk factors.
Additionally, drugs like Maryzime’s MB103 for AMI may offer a significant advancement in the treatment of HIV associated AMI. The success seen in the REPREIVE study, where Patavastatin showed benefit in the prevention and treatment of HIV-related CVD, show the need for more research on interventions such as MB103 to address the various forms of CVD in women, and all PLWHAs, are experiencing CVD.
Studies on ARV adherence and poly-pharmacy at AIDS 2018 demonstrated the absence of focus on clinical challenges HIV-positive single mothers experience in navigating the complexity of treatment landscapes. And while studies addressing drug resistance are plentiful, correlations of resistance and co-morbidities in HIV-positive single mothers, remain unaddressed.
A study published in the June online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes examining poly-pharmacy in HIV-positive people, reported that half of people over 50 were at risk of drug interactions between ARVs and other medications.
Studies at the conference focused on Immune dysfunction due to elevated inflammation- which drives co-morbidities and contributes to cancers that disproportionately affect HIV- positive women -was sparse. We know seven out of 10 women develop an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s and IBS — comorbidities that occur more frequently in the context of HIV.
We also know that low CD4 lymphocytes affect severity in both HIV and IBD. The incidence of ulcerative colitis in HIV is about double that of what is expected in a normal population. Use of several drugs for autoimmune diseases that affect women most, such as IBD and Crohn’s, are known to increase risk of lymphoma. Two of the leading drugs approved for such conditions, Remicade and Humira, are immune suppressive and a third, Entyvio, increases risk for Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML).
Lodonal, a formulation of low-dose Naltrexone in phase IIB/III development by Immune Therapeutics, demonstrated significant improvements in symptom relief in Crohn’s, reduction of inflammation, and could be an option for these women and many conditions that disproportionately affect them.
HIV-related diarrhea was reported at AIDS 2018 to still be occurring at the same rate as it was 17 years ago. According to a poster presentation, a review of 38 ARV focused clinical trials found that the rate of non- infectious diarrhea has remained at 17-18 percent despite the widespread use of ARVs. Mytesi, the only FDA approved treatment for HIV-related diarrhea, continues to be under-prescribed. This troubling condition is linked to ARV non-adherence, malnutrition, depression and isolation conditions many HIV-positive women struggle with.
The AIDS 2018 and HIV Glasgow 2018 conferences demonstrated how far we’ve come over the course of the epidemic in advancements of ART and the HIV prevention toolbox.
Atreca published data on their BNAB immune capture platform showing exceptional activity directed against HIV from individuals with serum activity capable of potently neutralizing genetically diverse strains of HIV. So, while we’re waiting in the purgatory of balancing the marginal, incremental advances of small molecule antiretroviral drug development for therapeutic vaccines like the phase 2B Vacc-C5 from Bionor Pharma, early stage BNABS by Atreca, and with long acting ARV’s just on the horizon, that could transform the course of epidemic, poz patients continue to die from preventable co-morbidities driven by elevated inflammation.
The HIV pandemic is changing and the community needs to support prioritizing agendas at the ACTG’s, MHRP, and the CTN to address the emerging risks of GI co-morbidities like Crohn’s and IBS, HIV-related CVD manifestations of AMI and A-Fib. Not to mention, accelerated aging with HIV along with the concerns that co-infection with toxoplasmosis, HPV, and other pathogens represent to morbidity — not just for women and single HIV-positive mothers, but on a global scale.
AIDS 2018 should have been a turning point for a new scientific agenda that created room at the table for overlooked HIV key populations. The upcoming 2019 HIV Science Conference in Mexico City in July is our next best chance to make that priority a reality.
Written by: Jennifer LeAnne & David Miller. 01 March 2019. plus.com
The Israel Medical Association has publicly banned its members from performing gay conversion therapy. Deeming it harmful and a debunked medical practice.
‘There is a special danger in referring children and teenagers to treatment meant to change one’s sexual orientation,’ the IMA said in a statement.
An expose in Ynet news revealed the ‘underground’ world of conversion therapy in Israel, especially amongst religious groups.
A complaint filed to the IMA’s Ethics Committee prompted the association’s review of its position on conversion therapy. The IMA acknowledged the psychological impact conversion therapy had on people.
‘A comprehensive review of studies and position papers from other organizations showed an agreement that there is no place for any treatment based on the assumption that homosexuality is a disease or a disorder that requires treatment,’ the IMA said.
‘The treatments to change one’s sexual orientation have been found to be ineffective and could cause mental damage, such as anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies.’
Other associations to sign the IMA’s position paper on conversion therapy include: Israel Psychiatric Association, the Israeli Adolescent Medicine Society, the Israel Pediatric Association, the Society to Promote Health in the LGBT Community, the Israel Association of Family Physicians and the Israel Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Association.
LGBTI advocates in Israel welcomed the new position.
‘We felt that the medical associations in Israel had to make their stance clear. These important guidelines can save lives,’ Dr. Ruthi Gofen, co-founder of Gan Meir LGBT Center in Tel Aviv told Ynet.
A new study in the American Journal of Public Health has reported that teenagers are skewing results of LGBT research by providing bogus answers.
Economic professor Joseph R. Cimpian at New York University told The Daily Beast he noticed a high percentage of survey respondent reported being gay and blind.
“What we found is that ‘gay’ kids are way more likely to be blind and to be deaf and to have three or more children of their own and all sorts of things,” he explains. “When you look at these data, you think, ‘This is ridiculous!’”
Alternatively, these so-called “mischievous responders” would also report being extremely tall and/or eating carrots four or more times a day.
“Clearly the kids are messing with us,” Cimpian concludes.
The professor and his colleagues have been using machine learning and supercomputers to statistically filter out the mischievous responders — a majority of whom, unsurprisingly, are teenage boys.
The results of this process suggest the disparity between straight and queer teens’ excessive alcohol and drug use are “not as big as the literature previously would have suggested,” Cimpian reports.
But the hoodwinking hasn’t affected the statistics about bullying, depression, and suicidal ideation among LGBT teens. “It actually shows that [the LGBT mental health disparity] is a very robust finding,” Cimpian explained.
The “mischievous responders” issue is a big problem — especially because these surveys have been used to shape public policy — but Cimpian observes that it’s hard to get teens to take their role in the research seriously.
“A lot of times when I even talk to fellow faculty members about this, they say things like, ‘Oh, I would have been the kid that you would call a mischievous responder,’” he says.
Or, as The Daily Beast’s Samantha Allen writes, “The allure of depicting yourself as a 10,000-foot-tall, carrot-chomping, gay cocaine addict may, for some youth, be too great to resist.”