STDs Hub

An Epic Debate Over Abstinence, HIV/AIDS Prevention Erupts On The Texas House Floor: WATCH


Republican Texas state Rep. Stuart Spitzer (shown above with Sen. Ted Cruz) says he didn't get laid until he was 29 — with his wife.

And while that's admirable — to each his own, right? — the trouble is now Spitzer thinks everyone else should refrain from sex before marriage, too. Not only that, but Spitzer is willing to sacrifice precious HIV and STD prevention dollars to promote his abstinence-only ideology. 

Unfortunately, abstinence education is unrealistic and doesn't work. Case in point: Texas receives the most federal abstinence dollars of any state, but has the third-most HIV/AIDS cases and the fifth-highest teen pregnancy rate. Coincidentally, some of the higher teen pregnancy rates are in Spitzer's district

Spitzer, a physician, even admitted on the House floor this week that abstinence education "may not be working well." Nevertheless, he managed to convince his colleagues to divert $3 million from HIV and STD prevention into abstinence education. But that was not before Spitzer took a rather epic grilling from some Democrats. One asked Spitzer whether his wife was the first person he asked to have sex, and another flatly refuted his assertion that STDs can only be contracted through sex, suggesting he may be in need of the prevention education he aims to cut. 

Watch the debate in two parts, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Jack Mackenroth Launches 'HIV Equal' Campaign Aimed At Ending HIV Stigma: VIDEO


Project Runway alum Jack Mackenroth has joined with photographer Thomas Evans and Connecticut-based World Health Clinicians (WHC) to launch a new social media campaign, “HIV Equal,” aimed at fighting the stigma surrounding HIV and encouraging people to get tested and know their status.

The campaign comes at a crucial time for HIV awareness, as 90% of new HIV infections are found in young men ages 13-34. For that reason, the campaign places a strong emphasis on testing in coordination with youth outreach.

Mackenroth, who has been HIV positive for twenty-four years, spoke out about his involvement with the project:

Hiv“Our goal is to photograph people from all walks of life who support ending HIV stigma, regardless of their personal HIV status. We launched the campaign with celebrities, politicians, artists and many recognizable faces in order to draw attention to our mission, but we plan to include everyone since HIV affects us all,” Mackenroth explains. “HIV Equal goes a step further to include testing so that everyone photographed knows their status. We need to take care of ourselves and each other, as well as to reignite the global conversation about HIV to stop the spread of misinformation, fear and judgment.”

More than just assigning people with labels of “negative” and “positive,” “HIV Equal” highlights what people believe to be “a positive attribute that they see about themselves”:

Individuals are photographed with a unique “HIV=” logo, which strategically appears on their body. As a play on the word “status,” a unique caption will read ‘STATUS:_______,’ and every model picks a word that exemplifies one aspect of their personality. This alludes to the fact that who we are as people is much more important than an HIV status.”

The campaign will officially launch this weekend at October 26, 2013 as part of World Health Clinician’s LGBT wellness event (being held from 12-5PM at 618 West Ave, Norwalk, CT).

As Evans put it, “Regardless of our HIV status we are equally valuable human beings.”

Check out a video featuring Mackenroth, Evans and other “HIV Equal” supporters AFTER THE JUMP...

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Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea Alarms Experts: VIDEO

A new strain of gonorrhea is resistant to all antibiotics, ABC News reports:

Gonorrhea Since the 1940s, the sexually transmitted disease known as "the clap" has been easily treated with antibiotics. But the new strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae has genetically mutated to evade cephalosporins -- the only antibiotics still effective against the infection.

"This is both an alarming and a predictable discovery," lead researcher Magnus Unemo, professor at the Swedish Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria in Örebro, Sweden, said in a statement. "Since antibiotics became the standard treatment for gonorrhea in the 1940s, this bacterium has shown a remarkable capacity to develop resistance mechanisms to all drugs introduced to control it."

Watch a report on the 'super' strain along with guidelines, AFTER THE JUMP...

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