Tag Archives: men

Gay Men “Serosort” to Prevent Contracting HIV

One study in Seattle showed that approximately 40 % of men who are HIV negative make sure to only have sex with others who share their serostatus in order to attempt to prevent contracting the virus. A similar German study found that 10 percent of HIV positive gay men believe they are noninfectious if they have a viral load that is undetectable. Both studies’s results were presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston.

In Seattle, two different questionnaires that included 1902 gay men accessing an HIV/ STI clinic between February and August of 2013,  were conducted by researchers.  The first one asked questions about their recent sexual behavior.  For example, the HIV status of their partners, what role they played during sex, whether they use condoms, and other topics were brought up. The second questionnaire asked about what they did to reduce their risk of HIV.

Both questionnaires were completed by a total of 964 people, including 835 (87%) who were HIV negative and 129 (13%) who were HIV positive. Forty-two percent of HIV negative men were strict serosorters; they reported to only have sex with other HIV negative men (with or without a condom). Thirty-nine percent of these men said this was a deliberate strategy. A total of 6.5% practiced condom serosorting, which means they only  reported  having sex without a condom with other HIV negative men. 5.2% said this was deliberate. Lastly, 7.1 % were seropositioning, which means they only had condomless sex if they were the top, no matter their partner’s HIV status; 6.5% said this was a strategy.

Gay Men "Serosort" to Prevent Contracting HIV

Thirty-two percent of HIV positive men were strict serosorters, 25% of them doing this deliberately. Eleven percent engaged in condom serosorting and 10% in seropositioning.

In the German study presented at CROI, researchers asked 269 gay men who were HIV positive about whether they thought they could infect somebody if they had a viral load that was undetectable.  Ten percent of this group thought they were noninfectious, with a fully suppressed virus and they held this belief when making choices about sex.  Of these viral sorters, 57.5 %  reported condomless sex,  compared with 36% of men who were not viral sorters. Nineteen percent of the viral sorters said that recently they told someone about their status, while 22 % had not discussed HIV recently at all.  On these two counts, the respective figures for the rest of the men were 42% and 44%.

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10 Things Transgender Men Would like You to Know

Transgender persons exist in a subculture within a subculture, one that, in the mainstream, is not always well-accepted or even simply understood. To be a trans ally, to be considerate of the lives and social experience of trans individuals, might require that you reevaluate your relationship with the transgender individuals in your life. Trans men, specifically, have a distinct experience from trans women — here is what you should know:

You’re guilty by association.
You’ll have more questions asked about them than they will.  This is because people who are curious and confused will often feel more free to ask someone for information when they feel that the person shares a similar experience.  You should talk to your trans friend about what they’re comfortable with you sharing in these situations.  If the case is that they prefer not to be outed, tell them simply that it’s not your place to answer those questions.  If they’re open about their transition, try to find out how to answer or divert these questions.

“But you’ll always be _____ to me” is hurtful.
It’s one thing seeing a relative you haven’t since they were a small child, saying they’ll always be so-and-so to you, but different when relating with a transgender person.  Telling your friend that you still see them as someone other than who they are is hurtful.

Outing someone can be incredibly dangerous.
There is an overwhelming amount of ignorance/hatred toward trans people, despite some media and support.  Hundreds of transgender people are murdered yearly; there are no and/or failed protection laws in place.  Even if you think talking about your transgender friend in public is OK, the wrong person could overhear this and tell another friend, and that friend tells another–this could lead to some serious danger.

10 Things Transgender Men Would like You to Know

The dysphoria is not your fault.
You might feel like you’re responsible for their happiness, but sometimes their sadness comes from a place you’ll never be able to reach.  Trying to make your friend feel better by telling them you love their breasts, or you like them just the way they are, isn’t necessarily supportive.  It means you’ve created an image of who they are that doesn’t match up with reality.

It’s not the “T”.
It’s a huge moment in life to begin hormone replacement therapy.  Your friend might lash out afterwards and blame it on the testosterone.  They’re aware of the emotional changes that happen and realize their mood swings/imbalance are theirs to control.

Don’t walk on eggshells.
It’s easy to get hung up on words and just avoid conversations as a result.  You’re there for your friend and it shows that you care.  Many transgender people lose or don’t have a support system when they come out…the fact that you’re with them is meaningful.

Don’t date them despite their trans status.
Make sure you are interested in dating them for who they are, not despite their transgender status.  You’re not doing them any favors by being interested in them ‘even though’ they’re transgender.

Don’t talk behind their back.
Talk to them about it; learn their

Pronouns are mean a lot.
They have likely chosen a new name and have preferred gender pronouns.  Learn them.  Sure, you might mess up in the beginning, but it’ll be obvious when you genuinely care and are trying!

Lesbians More Likely to Orgasm, Study Finds

Does one sexual identity have a greater likelihood of sexual pleasure then another? A study by the Kinsey Institute for research of sex and gender at Indiana University Bloomington has found that lesbians are the most likely of any group to experience orgasms.

The study entitled “Variation in Orgasm Occurrence by Sexual Orientation in a Sample of U.S. Singles” surveyed 6,151 single and sexually active men and women, from ages 21 to 65. The researchers found that lesbian women had the highest frequency of orgasms at 75% of sexual experiences resulting in orgasm. The lowest likelihood of orgasm was found in bisexual women at 58%.

The correlation between rate of orgasm and sexual identity was not demonstrated in men. However, men orgasm 85% of the time regardless of sexual orientation or identity, whereas adjusting for sexual orientation, women orgasm only 62% of the time.

Lesbians More Likely to Orgasm, Study Finds

The institute’s founder Alfred Kinsey, pioneered research in sexual pleasure as a scientific pursuit, and noted as early as the 1950s, a correlations between sexual orientation and orgasm, however this is the first attempt to codify Kinsey’s theories.

Scientists next hope to find whether a mental or physical differentiation is responsible for the variations in likelihood of orgasm. Very little is known outside of a purely physiological level—the increase of heart rate and changes in blood pressure. The mental and emotional aspects of stimulation remains something of a mystery to researchers.

Gay Men’s Health & Healthcare Providers

Have you ever had a healthcare provider who didn’t understand you?

Maybe you just didn’t feel comfortable with him, or maybe she was outright rude. Either way, having an open relationship with your physician is extremely important. Aside from the fact that you don’t want to work with someone looking down their nose at you, being able to raise concerns and discuss health issues openly and honestly is a major contributor to your long-term health.

As a gay man, there are a couple of issues that are particularly important to discuss with your healthcare provider.

Gay Men's Health & Healthcare Providers

#1 HIV/AIDS

Men who have sex with men are at disproportionately high risk for contracting HIV, in addition to other sexually transmitted infections. Many infections may not initially show symptoms so following up regularly for check-ups and discussing your sexual practices with your physician may end up making all the difference in the long run. Many healthcare providers are also able to provide you with other resources and referrals – when it comes to your doctor, it’s always good to talk!

#2 HPV

The serious effects of HPV have only recently hit the forefront of health news. HPV has many strains, but it is mostly known for being the virus that causes genital warts. Genital warts are generally easy to treat, your healthcare provider can prescribe a removal cream, or, if needed, laser treatment. The concern with HPV isn’t the genital warts as much as it is cancer. Unfortunately, there aren’t many other symptoms of HPV to warn you, but the virus is now being linked to increased levels of anal and oral cancer. Oral sex can transmit HPV to the mouth and throat, causing problems in the long run. The virus is also transmitted through anal sex, possibly causing anal cancer. While this is difficult to test in men, keep up to date with your check ups.

If you are a sexually active man, find a healthcare provider that you are comfortable with and check in regularly. Reach out to a professional today!