KINDR GRINDR. Grindr users talk about HIV stigma (above) and body shaming (below) in two new episodes of Kindr. “Despite decades of progress, HIV stigma still abounds on dating apps. This disease has taken its toll on our community for too long—we must take a stand against misinformed attitudes and put an end to stigma and shame once and for all. Empathy, education, and respect are key for a #KindrGrindr.”
DETROIT. HIV rate is 4x the state average: “While the overall number of people diagnosed with new cases of HIV in Michigan has remained relatively stable since the early 2000s, it has been rising in a key demographic: young African-American gay and bisexual men who have seen a sweeping statewide increase in diagnoses, according to Jennifer Miller, an HIV epidemiology manager for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. ”
PROTEIN POWDER. 7 ingredients to look for and 6 to avoid…
AUSTRALIA. New HIV infections at 7-year-low: “Professor Guy said the introduction of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, over the past few years had played a role in the reduction of HIV. PrEP is a similar concept to oral contraception, where a pill is taken as a precaution, rather than as a treatment after infection has occurred. Recently it has been available through state-funded programs, with the Government putting it on the PBS from April 1, 2018. The greatest decline in rates was among gay and bisexual men. Heterosexuals make up 200 of the 1,000 cases every year, and they are diagnosed quite late, according to Professor Guy.”
EXPERIENCES. Gay, Muslim and living with HIV: “To this day, I have never come across someone like me and it’s incredibly lonely,” says Shamal Waraich. “Now I have got to the point in my life where I’m proud to say who I am: I’m British-Pakistani, Muslim, gay and living with HIV. I just want to say to someone, ‘You understand, right? How difficult it is as a Muslim and being HIV positive?
LATINX. Fear of Trump policies may drive rising HIV rates in Latinx communities: “These rates have been climbing for multiple years. But I think fears around deportation and racism toward immigrants, feeling unsafe, and the stress of having to provide for your family all contribute toward poor mental health and the potential to abuse substances and expose yourself to HIV. We’re starting to see this definite pattern.”
MIGRAINES. New medication approved is first of new class: ‘The drug is called Emgality, and it’s made by drug giant Eli Lilly. The drug has a list price of $575 a month, or $6,900 a year…The drug — and its competitors — target CGRP, short for calcitonin gene-related peptide. CGRP isn’t exactly a new target. CGRP has been known to play a significant role in migraines since the 1980s and 1990s, though it’s taken some time to develop the technology that can leverage it. But in the past few months, the FDA has approved three preventative medications that act on the target.”
POOP ETIQUETTE. Himeros TV’s Davey Wavey and Sam Wiles discuss what to do when anal sex gets messy.
TRUVADA AND THE TRUTH. Is HIV prevention propelling the STI epidemic? ‘Findings about PrEP’s apparent ties to increasing STIs have led to some calls for an improved response to such transmissions. Researchers also see an opportunity to engage PrEP users in research into new forms of STI prevention, including vaccines. But an apparent minority of prominent experts remains unconvinced. Dawn K Smith, a medical officer in HIV prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: “We don’t have evidence that PrEP caused declines in condom use in the US.” Others would prefer PrEP researchers steer away from investigating and debating related behavioral change, which is sometimes called risk compensation.’
PrEP ATTITUDES. New study clocks attitudes toward PrEP, notes that some see it as a social problem: “By framing PrEP use as enabling gay and bisexual men to violate subcultural norms of sexual etiquette espoused in previous HIV prevention efforts, claims makers were able to present PrEP users as social problem villains,” write the authors. “Countering claims makers’ framing PrEP as a social problem, some men constructed PrEP as a helpful prevention tool in the fight against the HIV epidemic within gay and bisexual communities. Much of their discourse was couched within a harm reduction model in which PrEP medication is framed as significantly reducing the harm associated with engaging in risky sexual behavior.”
LIFE INSURANCE. The gay men who have lived for years with someone waiting on their death: “A wave of people viaticated their life-insurance policies when confronted with such a gruesome and fatal virus. Some came into enormous sums of cash. Many are alive today because of protease inhibitors. Those who viaticated their policies and continue to live with HIV do so knowing that investors have long waited to collect on their deaths.”
THE GUT-BRAIN CONNECTION. “Duke University research Diego Bohorquez and colleagues have identified the neural circuitry that connects the gut with the brain. This pathway is spanned by a single synapse, capable of relaying a signal from gut to brain in 100 milliseconds. This newly discovered pathway is probably exploited by pathogens, and will almost certainly lead to new therapies.”
Body Conscious: Gay Men’s Health, Sex, and Self is a new regular twice-monthly feature from Towleroad covering the unique issues gay men face with regard to physical and mental fitness.
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