hiv genome decoded

10 08 2009

Scientists announced in an article published in the journal Nature that they have decoded the entire genetic structure of HIV-1, the primary strain of the virus affecting the developed world. Though still unclear the significance, the hope, as always, is that the discovery will help them find better ways to combat the virus. It appears the primary hope is understanding how the virus evades the human body’s immune system.

We can only wait and hope.

monogamy on the rise

9 08 2009

A new study presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention reveals that, regardless of sexual orientation, monogamy rates are rising from similar studies done in 1975:

  • 59% of gay men report extra-relationship affairs (down from 82% in 1975), compared to 14.7% of straight men, 13.5% of straight women, and 8.2% of lesbians
  • However, 43.7% of gay couples said they had discuss and would allow extra-relationship affairs, as compared to 5% of lesbian couples and 3.5% of heterosexuals (all drops from 1970s — 68%, 34%, 20%, respectively)
  • The amount of relationships that are closed — would not allow extra-relationship affairs — doubled in every group, except for gay men where it tripled from 13% to 44%
  • The average length of relationships has decreased since the 1970s: 4.5 years for lesbians, 7 years for gay men, and 14 years for heterosexuals (as opposed to 11, 13.5 and 20, respectively)

The study may answer my friends’ question: “Where did all the cruisers go?” It may also answer my question: “What happened to the sexual revolution?” Aside from a violent anti-choice and anti-reproductive freedom lobby, it appears to have been supplanted by the dream of a picket fence and two dogs.

pozzalicious personal ad

6 08 2009

Found this perusing Manhunt this morning:

I’m a bareback bottom who loves getting bred …so what if I have to take a pill a day for the rest of my full life.I’m usually into pozzalicious hotties, only cuz I haven’t used a condom in years and don’t miss them. I have been known to hook up with negative guys too….I’m not prejudice!

Though I’m enthused by his honesty at his status, the not-so-subtle pro-HIV infection message is, well, disturbing. He kind of looks like a bot, too.

apa repudiates ex-gay therapy

5 08 2009

Today, the American Psychological Association, after a ten-year review of research and literature, concluded thus:

The task force conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm, contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates.

Even though the research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality, regardless of sexual orientation identity, the task force concluded that the population that undergoes SOCE tends to have strongly conservative religious views that lead them to seek to change their sexual orientation.

Thus, the appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for those who seek SOCE involves therapist acceptance, support, and understanding of clients and the facilitation of clients’ active coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, without imposing a specific sexual orientation identity outcome.

AP Story

lesbians seeking to donate blood

5 08 2009

In the United States, only gay men (or, rather, “men who have sex with men”) are the only blatant member of the LGBTQ that are banned from blood donations. In China, a 1998 law goes a little further by banning all blood donations from identified gays and lesbians, and the lesbians are starting a petition to change the policy. The government excuses the ban, pointing to the high rates of STD’s amongst LGBTQ folks (not true for blood borne STD’s amongst women who have sex with women, by the way), and the widely held belief that the AIDS virus took hold in the world’s most populous nation due to the tainted blood supply.

In a country of 1.3 billion or so, only getting 1,000 signatures for a petition seems to be a drop in the bucket. Even in this country, 1,000 would likely get poo-poo’d by the federal government. Go to it, girls, but let’s aim higher!

hiv/aids news

5 08 2009
HIV Rates Per 100,000 Population, 2001-2005

HIV Rates Per 100,000 Population, 2001-2005

  • Washington, DC is stepping up the fight against HIV/AIDS and other STD’s by offering STD tests in high schools after a pilot program found an astounding 13% tested positive for an STD, mostly gonorrhea and chlamydia. The nation’s capital has one of the highest rates of HIV in the country — with some estimates as high as 1 in 7 black men infected; near “Third World statistics,” according to a member of the State Board of Education.
  • A fourth strain of the HIV virus has been confirmed in a woman from Cameroon. No one is yet sure of the long term virulence of the new strain.
  • Starpharma Holdings Limited, in some good news, has announced strong results in their microbicidal gel, VivaGel (R) in clinical trials during vaginal sex. The gel offers hope as a means of further combating HIV and Herpes, especially for individuals who do not have the ability to use condoms.