Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's wrong with this article?

The Associated Press: Circumcision doesn't protect gays from AIDS virus

By MIKE STOBBE (AP) – 20 hours ago

ATLANTA — Circumcision, which has helped prevent AIDS among heterosexual men in Africa, doesn't help protect gay men from the virus, according to the largest U.S. study to look at the question.

The research, presented at a conference Tuesday, is expected to influence the government's first guidance on circumcision.

Circumcision "is not considered beneficial" in stopping the spread of HIV through gay sex, said Dr. Peter Kilmarx, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Could it be that the dumb ass reporter has equated anal sex with gay sex and hetero sex with vaginal sex? Maybe? Possibly? Few things irritate me more than those terms because they are incredibly narrow minded and imprecise. What about oral sex? Is that gay or hetero? Please do tell, Mr. Stobbe. I'd love to know. Oh wait, lemme guess...that's lesbian sex? I need to borrow someone's Great American Challenge so I can beat this clueless dope over the head with it until he gains some semblance of intelligence about human sexuality.

Let me be a postmodern sexgeek here and break it down for you. Straight people have anal sex, gay men have other kinds of sex besides anal sex. Lesbians have anal sex too (we'll discuss the niceties of strap ons some other time). Any man who has unprotected, insertive anal/penile sex with someone, regardless of their gender, who has HIV, is at risk even if he is circumcised. Anyone who has receptive anal/penile sex with a man who has HIV is also at incredible amounts of risk regardless of circumcision. In other words folks, cut or uncut, using a condom is still your best bet for preventiing infection with HIV and other STD's.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Syringe Exchange Ban Moves to Senate

(From the Harm Reduction Coalition)

Needle ban fight moves to Senate

We are too close to lifting the federal syringe exchange funding ban to allow it to fail. Attempts to put it back in after it was removed in House committee were defeated, but by a very close margin. What did stick, unfortunately, was an amendment to deny federal funds to any SEP within 1000 feet of a school, rec center, daycare center, playground, video arcade, or anywhere groups of children may go on even an occasional basis. For almost every existing syringe exchange project, and in most cities overall, this would present a huge barrier.

So, we have 2 important tasks - to get the overall ban removed & to get that amendment removed. The decision will most likely be made in a closed conference between Senate and House Appropriators in early September, and we
need those legislators to walk in there knowing what they have to do. If your program would be ineligible to receive federal funds if this 1000 foot buffer zone is enacted, or if you care about the issue at all, this is a KEY TIME for you to act.

Send a letter directly to your Senator from our Online Action Center and ask that they resist any restrictive amendments from both the Financial Services and Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bills, and to leave the decision of how and where to offer services to the local public health and public safety communities. Feel free to use the pre-written one provided or write your own.

SECOND: Although it would be good for everyone to communicate with their Senators, it is especially important for those in states with Appropriations committee members. If you are in one of these states, please follow up with a personal call to the Senator's health advisor and speak to them directly. You can reach them through the Capitol switchboard at 1-800-828-0498, or 1-800-459-1887.

THIRD: We are doing a postcard campaign to Senators as well, to reach out to allies, clients, shoppers, and so on that we don't reach online. We need people who will go out and get some postcards signed by supporters. If you can commit to this, please email us at and tell me how many you want, and send your mailing address. The following list of Appropriators are the highest priorities.

HERB KOHL, Wisconsin
PATTY MURRAY, Washington
JACK REED, Rhode Island
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania

Thursday, August 13, 2009

For the record...

I am all in favor of microbicides. Anything that will help stop the spread of HIV is fine by me (with ethical considerations a given here of course), however, I would really love it if these people writing about them would stop acting like African women are the only women in the world who are not empowered to require condom use by their partners! I have met far too many American women with the same issue AND I have met African women who were quite self efficacious and required condom use from their partners. Let's try fighting HIV AND racism, KTHNXBAI!

This moment of fail brought to you by the alertness of Bianca Laureano.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Because I may as well save the world too while spun on sugar and caffeine...

Ahhhh coffee...sweet elixir of life, make me strong so that I may smite my enemies as their screams echo in my ears. Or at the very least help me to annoy the dictators and assholes of the world mightily so they will go home and leave people the hell alone.

In other words, go the the AIUSA site and send an email to the military junta in Myanmar telling them that this shit is unacceptable.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Reason For Hope?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have decoded the entire HIV genome, opening the door to understanding how viruses infect humans – knowledge that could lead to new antiviral drugs," the Triangle Business Journal reports. The building block of HIV is a single stranded RNA, not a double stranded DNA (Gallagher, 8/6). In the Nature study, published Thursday, the team of researchers describe how their newly developed "chemical method called SHAPE ... make[s] an image not only of the RNA's nucleotides, but of the shapes and folds of the RNA strands," Reuters writes (Fox, 8/5). The approach allowed researchers to capture a more complete picture of the HIV RNA genome than previously identified, revealing "that the RNA structures influence multiple steps in HIV's infection cycle," HealthDay News/U.S. News & World Report writes (8/5). According to the team of researchers, the technique could lead to new treatments for HIV as well as "for other viruses such as influenza and the bugs that cause the common cold," Reuters writes (8/5).

I would love to think that this will aid researchers in finding a vaccine or a cure. Only time will tell.