Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rachel Maddow on Indiana's Defunding of Planned Parenthood

Friday, June 17, 2011

Advocate Urges a "Gender Strategy" for U.S. National HIV/AIDS Policy

The Huffington Post: 30 Years is Enough: An HIV Strategy for Women Now, by Serra Sippel:

AIDSAwarenessRibbon Last week marked the 30th anniversary of what we recognize as the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In the subsequent days, we've seen stories measuring progress, touting the newest prevention methods, and updating the statistics. However, in all the talk, there has been one core aspect of HIV/AIDS that has been absent: that women comprise 50 percent of those living with HIV globally, 60 percent of those infected in sub-Saharan Africa and that 72 percent of all young people living with HIV/AIDS in southern Africa are girls between the ages of 15 and 24. . . .

June 17, 2011 in International, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Celebrity Lawsuit Features a Commonplace Issue: Concealment of STD Status

Salon.com: Sex, lies and STDs, by Tracy Clark-Flory:

A buzzy lawsuit brings up a common phenomenon: People lying about, or concealing, their true status

TMZ's week was sure made by news that an A-list celebrity was being sued for spreading herpes. An anonymous woman filed a $20 million lawsuit against the unnamed star, claiming that he knowingly exposed her to the virus, which she was diagnosed with after their fling.

This isn't the first time an STD lawsuit has made headlines (see: Michael Vick, David Hasselhoff and Robin Williams), nor is it a phenomenon reserved for big-name celebs. For example, in 2009, a California woman won a $7 million lawsuit against the (very rich) man who concealed his status and gave her herpes. These hard-to-win cases are extremely rare -- but anecdotally, at least, the dishonesty around this subject is hardly unusual. I decided to talk to people about how they had lied, and been lied to, about incurable but common STDs like herpes and HPV. . . .

May 16, 2011 in In the Courts, Sexuality, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Margo Kaplan on an Alternative Approach to HIV-Exposure Criminalization

Margo Kaplan (Brooklyn Law School) has posted Restoring Reason to HIV-Exposure Laws on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Margo (2) This article challenges the current legislative and scholarly approaches to HIV-exposure criminalization and proposes an alternative framework to address their flaws. Twenty-four states criminalize consensual sexual activities by people with HIV. I argue that current statutes and the scholarship that supports them fail to address adequately the role that risk, mental state, and consent should play in criminal law. They punish conduct that ordinarily would not rise to the level of criminal culpability and stigmatize individuals living with HIV. I propose limiting criminalization to circumstances in which a defendant exposed her partner to a substantial degree of unassumed risk and did so with a culpable mental state. This approach requires juries to consider all evidence relevant to the risk of transmission and the victims’ understanding of that risk, a modest requirement that would nonetheless rectify the substantial flaws of current statutes and invert outcomes in numerous prosecutions.

The article transforms the HIV-criminalization debate by demonstrating that HIV-exposure statutes should focus on very limited and rare conduct. It also serves as an object lesson for reforming traditional criminal law’s approach to activities that put others at risk of harm, no matter the context. . . .

May 3, 2011 in Scholarship and Research, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Study Finds Sexually Active Jamaican Adolescents Report No Use or Inconsistent Use of Condoms


Jamaica Flag Nearly half of sexually active Jamaican adolescents report using condoms inconsistently or not at all in the last year, according to a new study by Kanako Ishida, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al., published in International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Given that the Caribbean region has the second highest HIV prevalence in the world, the authors believe that it is critically important for Jamaican reproductive health education programs and interventions to address this behavior.

Ishida et al. note that despite past research documenting Jamaica’s high levels of adolescent sexual activity, there are few recent reliable estimates on the national prevalence of risk behaviors and associated factors. In their analysis of data from a 2008–2009 nationally representative survey, among 15–19-year-olds who were neither married nor had a child, 54% of the males and 32% of the females had had sex in the previous year. Among the sexually active adolescents, 46% of males and 49% of females had used condoms inconsistently or never during that period, and 52% and 12%, respectively, had had more than one partner. . . .

April 25, 2011 in Contraception, International, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Study Finds that Teens Often Underestimate Risks of Oral Sex

Huff. Post: HPV From Oral Sex? Young People Often Underestimate The Risk, by Leigh Vinocur:

Ironically, April is both Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness month as well as Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness month. Many people don't even realize how these two diseases are linked and how they both pose a serious health risk, especially for our adolescent boys.

As far as STDs, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even though only a quarter of the sexually active population is made up of people age 15 to 24, this group comprises almost half of the newly diagnosed 19 million STD cases each year.

A recent study looked at sexual activity in the high school population. Published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, this study found that for high school students, oral sex was most commonly their first sexual experience when they were beginning experimentation with sexual activity. It was twice as likely to precede vaginal intercourse than the other way around. Teens who engaged in oral sex by 9th grade were more likely to eventually have had vaginal intercourse by the end of 11th grade. In fact, often experimentation with oral sex led to riskier sexual activity within six months. . . .

April 22, 2011 in Medical News, Sexuality, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Active Sex Lives for Seniors Means Higher Risk for STDs

Chicago Tribune: Seniors' sex lives are up — and so are STDs, by Marni Jameson:

Across the nation, and especially in the Sunshine State, the free-love generation is continuing to enjoy an active — if not always healthy — sex life.

At a stage in life when many would expect sexually transmitted diseases to be waning, seniors are noticeably ahead of the national curve.

In the five years from 2005 to 2009, the number of reported cases of syphilis and chlamydia among those 55 and older increased 43 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Central Florida, the rise is even more dramatic. Among those 55 and older, the reported cases of syphilis and chlamydia increased 71 percent in that same five-year period. . . .

April 18, 2011 in Sexuality, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Planned Parenthood - Separating Fact from Fiction

The Washington Post: In Montana and elsewhere, Planned Parenthood serves broad function, by Sandhya Somashekhar:

PP logo On Friday, the staff of a Planned Parenthood clinic in a quiet residential neighborhood here conducted four Pap smears, nine contraceptive appointments, two screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and three pregnancy tests. Of the 24 patients seen that day, two had abortions.

It was a typical workload for this health center and for Planned Parenthood, the organization that emerged as the final sticking point in the budget talks that nearly led to a government shutdown.

House Republicans were eager to cut off money to the organization, which is the nation’s largest abortion provider and a political force in Washington. President Obama blocked the effort, but groups that oppose abortion rights have vowed to raise the issue again and, in the meantime, are pushing for congressional hearings.

Planned Parenthood and its backers say that it serves a broader function than performing abortions, particularly in rural and medically underserved communities where the group has most of its clinics. . . .

April 18, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aziza Ahmed on Feminism and Approaches to Sex Work in the Context of HIV/AIDS

Aziza Ahmed (Northeastern University School of Law) has posted Feminism, Power, and Sex Work in the Context of HIV/AIDS: Consequences for Women's Health on SSRN. Here is the link:

This paper examines the involvement of feminists in approaches to sex work in the context of HIV/AIDS. The paper focuses on two moments where feminist disagreement produced results in favor of an "anti-trafficking" approach to addressing the vulnerability of sex workers in the context of HIV. The first is the UNAIDS Guidance Note on Sex Work and the second is the "anti-prostitution pledge" found in the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. This article also examines the anti-sex work position articulated by abolitionist feminists and demonstrates the unintended consequences of the abolitionist position on women's health. By examining the actual impact of abolitionist positions, in favor of the anti-prostitution pledge and the criminalization of clients, we see that there are negative consequences for women despite the desire by abolitionists to improve women's health.

April 6, 2011 in Scholarship and Research, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Republican Presidential Hopefuls Support Defunding Planned Parenthood

The Huffington Post: Potential GOP Presidential Contenders: Defund Planned Parenthood, by Laura Bassett:

Republican presidential hopefuls Gov. Haley Barbour (Miss.), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 2008 VP candidate Sarah Palin, Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told the anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony List in the past week that they support efforts in Congress to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood.

"I join Rep. Mike Pence [Ind.] and others of conscience and common sense who are leading the charge to end the taxpayer funding of the nation's largest abortion provider," Palin said in a statement.

Other potential big-name presidential contenders, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), have also expressed their support for defunding Planned Parenthood in recent months.

Funding for Planned Parenthood, a reproductive health services provider for low-income patients, remains a major sticking point in ongoing negotiations over the federal budget. The House passed a budget bill in February that included an amendment to prevent Planned Parenthood and 102 affiliated organizations from receiving any federal subsidies -- including money for STD testing, pregnancy testing and cancer screenings -- but the measure failed in the Senate. . . .

April 5, 2011 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Contraception, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gail Collins on the "Siege of Planned Parenthood"

NY Times op-ed column: The Siege of Planned Parenthood, by Gail Collins:

As if we didn’t have enough wars, the House of Representatives has declared one against Planned Parenthood.

Maybe it’s all part of a grand theme. Last month, they voted to repeal the health care law. This month, they’re going after an organization that provides millions of women with both family-planning services and basic health medical care, like pap smears and screening for diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. . . .

February 7, 2011 in Abortion, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Contraception, Poverty, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CDC Report Shows African Americans Disproportionately Bear Burden of HIV

USA Today/HealthDay: Burden of HIV highest for blacks, CDC reports, by Steven Reinberg:

AIDS_ribbon Although blacks make up only 13.6% of the U.S. population, they account for 50.3% of all diagnosed cases of HIV, federal health officials reported.

February 7, 2011 in Medical News, Poverty, Race & Reproduction, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Young Black and Hispanic Women More Likely to be Tested for Chlamydia than their White Peers

LA Times: Young black and Hispanic women may be tested for chlamydia more often than their white peers, a study finds, by Jeannine Stein:

Young black and Hispanic women may be screened at higher rates for the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia than young white women, a study finds.

The study included 40,000 young women ages 14 to 25, and researchers looked not only at screening rates, but also at what types of health insurance the study participants had.

More black and Hispanic young women were tested for chlamydia compared with white young women -- the numbers were 65%, 72% and 45%, respectively. Black young women were 2.7 times as likely and Hispanic women were 9.7 times as likely to be screened for the diseased as their white counterparts

Insurance also played a role in who got screened. Young women with public and public pending insurance had a better chance of getting screened for chlamydia than those who were privately insured. When researchers looked at screenings based on public or private insurance status only, they found that young black and Hispanic women still had a greater chance of being screened than young white women. . . .

January 28, 2011 in Race & Reproduction, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In Swaziland Many Turn to Circumcision to Protect Against HIV

The Atlantic: The Kindest Cut, by Shaun Raviv:

Swaziland turns to mass circumcision.

Swaziland Banele Shabangu is scared because he should be scared. Because a man in a mask is about to stick a needle into the base of his penis. “Are you ready?” the man asks.

“No one could be ready for this.”

“Don’t touch, don’t jump,” says Nurse Justin, the man with the needle. Then he injects Banele with a local anesthetic. Banele shouts. It hurts, but it’s more where it hurts than how much it hurts.

Banele, an 18-year-old in his last year of high school, has come to the clinic in Matsapha, Swaziland, to get circumcised. Like the dozens of teenagers and men packed into the waiting room, he’s doing so because he heard that circumcision offers partial protection against HIV, the virus that is obliterating the future of his country. . . .

January 15, 2011 in International, Men and Reproduction, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Study Finds Teens Wary of Sexual Health Information Found on Internet


Exploratory Study Shows Teens More Likely to Turn to Family Members, School or Medical Professionals

Although most teens use the Internet daily, few consider it a main source of information about contraception or abstinence, according to a new qualitative study by Rachel K. Jones of the Guttmacher Institute and Ann E. Biddlecom of the United Nations Population Division. Additionally, in in-depth interviews at three public high schools in New York and Indiana, only a minority of the 58 study participants reported that they got any contraceptive or abstinence information online; those who accessed this information typically did so in response to a specific event (such as a school assignment) or, less commonly, to find the answer to a personal question.

Most of the teens interviewed were wary of sexual health information on the Internet. The teens indicated a distrust of online information because it is often user-generated and could therefore be incorrect. They also noted that they would probably have to sort through an abundance of sexually explicit material to find the factual information they were looking for. Teens were most likely to trust family members (usually parents) for sexual health information; their next most trusted sources were educators, medical professionals and friends. . . .

January 8, 2011 in Contraception, Scholarship and Research, Sexuality, Sexuality Education, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Teenagers and Children, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Study Reveals STDs Among Those Who Disavow Having Had Sex

Wash. Post: Some young adults with STDs say they've never had sex, by Jennifer LaRue Huget:

The first question you'd likely ask a young adult if you were screening him or her for sexually transmitted disease (STD) would be whether he or she had been sexually active.

But new research suggests that his or her answer might not always comport with lab results.

Of 14,000 people (whose mean age was about 22 years) included in a study published this morning in the journal Pediatrics, fully 10 percent of those who tested positive for one of three common STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea trichomoniasis) reported they hadn't had sex during the previous 12 months.

And 60 percent of that 10 percent said they'd never had sex at all.

The numbers held even after researchers controlled for such variables as gender, race, age and education. The authors acknowledge some room for error: for instance, study participants were only asked about penile/vaginal penetration, not about oral or anal sex. The timing was such that a person could have had sex during the study period but not within the 12 months before the question was asked. And there's some small possibility of false positive readings on the urine tests used to detect STDs. . . .

January 5, 2011 in Medical News, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexually Transmitted Disease, Teenagers and Children | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Evaluating Obama's Response to AIDS Crisis

Huffington Post:Obama's Report Card on World AIDS Day: 'C', by Paul Zeitz:

People suffering and dying from AIDS deserve better than a mediocre response to their needs. And sadly, that is what they are getting from President Obama. Today -- World AIDS Day -- my own Global AIDS Alliance has given President Obama a mediocre 'C' grade for his 2010 response to the pandemic. That's an improvement over his D+ mark last year, but far short of superior grades of President George W. Bush.

President Obama did take praiseworthy actions in the fight against HIV/AIDS in 2010. What is missing is the bold audacity with which President Obama has embraced other issues. . . .

December 1, 2010 in International, President/Executive Branch, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

George W. Bush Publishes Op-Ed Addressing America's Role in Global Fight Against AIDS

Wash. Post: America's global fight against AIDS, by George W. Bush:

AIDS  During a presidency often forced to focus on issues of national security, the fight against global disease was sometimes viewed as an anomaly or exception. It wasn't and isn't. America has a direct stake in the progress and hope of other nations.

Many of the world's problems - terrorist networks, criminal gangs, drug syndicates, pandemic diseases - are no more than a half-day plane ride from the United States. These challenges tend to take root in hopeless, poorly controlled areas. This does not mean that promoting health and development is a substitute for confronting immediate threats. It does mean that no national security strategy is complete in the long run without promoting global health, political freedom and economic progress. . . . .

Click here for more World AIDS Day opinions.

December 1, 2010 in In the Media, International, President/Executive Branch, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Alaska Battling Outbreak of Gonorrhea

Anchorage Daily News: Alaska fighting uphill battle to reduce gonorrhea rate, by Lisa Demer:

SPIKE: State ranks ninth in the nation as STD continues to spread.

Alaska An outbreak of gonorrhea across Alaska that began in 2009 is continuing this year, and health officials say they are trying new ways to curb it.

Between 2008 and 2009, the number of gonorrhea cases in Alaska rose an alarming 69 percent, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

State health officials began calling attention to a spike in gonorrhea cases in Southwest Alaska more than a year ago and highlighted the statewide rise in March. . . .

December 1, 2010 in Sexuality Education, Sexually Transmitted Disease, State and Local News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Filipino Family Planning Bill Faces Opposition from Catholic Leadership

Time: Philippines: Hope, Finally, for a Family-Planning Law, by Emily Rauhala:

It was an awkward situation: There I was, stuck in a windowless conference room, talking sex with a Catholic priest. Not just any priest — an Archbishop, sitting under a portrait of the Pope.

Philippines It was April 2008, and His Excellency Paciano Aniceto and I had met in Manila to discuss his position on contraception. As a member of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, Aniceto has been a prominent anticondom campaigner, denouncing all forms of "artificial" contraception despite demand from the people and a population boom that the national economy can't handle. Like most Catholic leaders in the Philippines, he says birth control pills and condoms are "antilife" and argues that contraception is a gateway to abortion. Both are claims his allies are likely to trot out this week as the Philippines — and much of the world — considers the Pope's comment that condoms may be used, in rare circumstances, to stop the spread of HIV but should not be used as birth control. . . .

November 27, 2010 in Abortion Bans, Contraception, International, Poverty, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Religion, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)