Going to the gynecologist is never a pleasant experience, but most responsible women suck it up at least once a year to have an annual pap smear. The new pap smear recommendations say women should delay getting their first test until they’re 21, regardless of whether they’re sexually active. But for some women, the pap and fear of developing cervical cancer were the only reasons they went to the doctor in the first place, and once they were in the stirrups, their doctor could examine them for signs of STDs. The new pap guidelines mean a whole generation, mainly teens, will be unlikely to get tested for STDs and STIs as they begin having sex. Black teens are especially at risk; find out why after the jump. Keep reading »
Some exciting news in the medical world: a new HIV vaccine, called RV 144, has proved effective in reducing infection rates of the sexually transmitted disease by 31 percent. A combination of two previously tested vaccines, the formula was administered to some 16,000 people in Thailand as part of a three-year research program. Half the participants received a placebo, 74 percent of whom became infected with HIV. Comparatively, only 51 percent of the vaccinated group became infected. (Side note: Wow, still … those are some pretty scary odds.) Interestingly, the American military played a role in the program because HIV poses a “national security threat.” Keep reading »
Rates of syphilis in Forsyth, NC have tripled in one year, so health officials there have come up with a novel idea to entice people to get tested. Folks who undergo testing are awarded with a $10 gift card to either Walmart or McDonald’s. Now, I know people need some kind of incentive to get tested, but can’t we think of a better idea than trading syphilis for diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol? The Walmart card could be beneficial, but I wonder how the corporation feels about being used to lure potential syphilis sufferers. At least the gift card provides a silver lining if a person tests positive. [F-Listed] Keep reading »
In 1993 a Harvard study looked at a random sample of more than 400,000 couples in which both members were between 67 and 99 years old. Nine years later, researchers checked back in with the couples to find that 21 percent of the men and 43 percent of the women had lost their spouses — and a small portion of these newly single seniors had been diagnosed with an STD.
The women who had lost their husbands weren’t found to be at a significantly higher risk for STDs after their partners died, but the widowers had a 16 percent higher risk of being infected during the six months to a year after their wives died. What did they do, start picking up women at the cemetery when they paid visits to their dead wives’ graves? The men certainly took advantage of their newfound freedom — or, perhaps getting busy was simply their way of dealing with grief. [Newswise] Keep reading »
Das Commitee, an advertising agency in Hamburg, Germany, has just unveiled their ads for World AIDS Day, which happens on Dec. 1. The three-part series features photos of Hitler, Stalin, and Saddam Hussein gettin’ busy with models next to the slogan “AIDS Is A Mass Murderer.” Yikes. I know it’s for a good cause, but really, I never ever wanted to see history’s most horrible dictators doin’ it. See the full NSFW (thanks to some bare man butt and some heavy breathing) video here — it truly fits the definition of “viral.” [WOW Report] Keep reading »
Possibly ruining my appreciation for the noble Swedes and their fine IKEA meatballs, a recent study has found that Swedish men with STDs think their infection is an affirmation of their manliness.
University of Skovde researcher Kina Hammarlund interviewed an unknown group of 16- to 30-year-old men and women for her dissertation and discovered it was only male participants who put on rose-colored glasses, seeing STDs like genital warts or gonorrhea as a rite of passage to manhood. It’s a telling statement about sexuality that men viewed STDs as something positive about their manhood, while women didn’t think it said anything about their womanhood. STDs could imply, even erroneously, that a guy is kind of a stud. But it’s hard to believe anyone would be proud of an STD. Could this study be bulls**t? [The Local via Feministing] Keep reading »