Focus Point: STIs and HIV Are on the Rise in London Gay Men
Although men who have sex with men (MSM) are less than 2% of London’s adult population, they account for 24% of STI diagnoses.
65% of London’s gonorrhea cases and 84% of syphilis diagnoses were among MSM.
HIV diagnoses rose by 28% among London MSM 2003-2012.
In London, the ratio of MSM with the virus is now 1 in 12.
About half of the city’s gay and bisexual men report engaging in anal sex without a condom.

Focus Point: STIs and HIV Are on the Rise in London Gay Men

  • Although men who have sex with men (MSM) are less than 2% of London’s adult population, they account for 24% of STI diagnoses.
  • 65% of London’s gonorrhea cases and 84% of syphilis diagnoses were among MSM.
  • HIV diagnoses rose by 28% among London MSM 2003-2012.
  • In London, the ratio of MSM with the virus is now 1 in 12.
  • About half of the city’s gay and bisexual men report engaging in anal sex without a condom.
There’s no question that PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is now one of the hottest (and most debated) topics in HIV prevention.
In POZ Mag’s July/August issue, we asked readers to weigh in on their thoughts about the use of Truvada as a way for HIV-negative people to reduce their risk of infection.
Here’s what you said.

There’s no question that PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is now one of the hottest (and most debated) topics in HIV prevention.

In POZ Mag’s July/August issue, we asked readers to weigh in on their thoughts about the use of Truvada as a way for HIV-negative people to reduce their risk of infection.

Here’s what you said.

wertheyouth

huffingtonpost:

Transgender Actress Erika Ervin On Her ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Role

We couldn’t be more thrilled for “American Horror Story: Freak Show” to kick off for numerous reasons, and learning that the hit FX franchise will welcome a transgender performer just makes our excitement for the show more palpable.

For more on Erika’s remarkable life including her time as a lawyer and her encounter with AIDS in the nineties watch the full mini-doc here. 

blackmagicalgirlmisandry
static-nonsense:

[text: So your friend has a chronic illness or disability…]
petticoatruler:

don’t
expect them to be able to go out on a whim
expect them to have lives just like yours
expect them to always be available
demand details of their illness that they haven’t volunteered, ask them nicely and don’t badger
offer help or assistance to make yourself feel like a better person
act as though the disease is catching, repugnant, or disgusting
challenge them to do things they have already told you were impossible
baby them or treat them as though they’re less competent mentally
tell other people about their illness(es)
suggest cures/treatments/holistic practices (since, you know, they probably have already tried it)
Try to relate their problem to your experience - your sprained ankle is nothing like chronic pain, your bout with stomach flu is nothing like IBS, your inability to focus before coffee is nothing like the mental fog that comes with illnesses like fibromyalgia or MS
ever, ever, ever accuse them of faking. ever.
do
understand that some chronic illnesses have good days and bad days, and that there’s no way to predict what’ll happen
be supportive and understand their limitations
ask about dietary or physical restrictions if you are making plans with them
ask about anything that might make things worse for them, and take it into account
tell them that if they need to tell you they can’t do something that you won’t be angry at them for not being able to, and don’t be passive-aggressive about it
remember that they are a person, not an illness
listen to them, ask them questions if you don’t understand something, and remember what they say
I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but this seems like a decent start. Please add your own.

static-nonsense:

[text: So your friend has a chronic illness or disability…]

petticoatruler:

don’t

  • expect them to be able to go out on a whim
  • expect them to have lives just like yours
  • expect them to always be available
  • demand details of their illness that they haven’t volunteered, ask them nicely and don’t badger
  • offer help or assistance to make yourself feel like a better person
  • act as though the disease is catching, repugnant, or disgusting
  • challenge them to do things they have already told you were impossible
  • baby them or treat them as though they’re less competent mentally
  • tell other people about their illness(es)
  • suggest cures/treatments/holistic practices (since, you know, they probably have already tried it)
  • Try to relate their problem to your experience - your sprained ankle is nothing like chronic pain, your bout with stomach flu is nothing like IBS, your inability to focus before coffee is nothing like the mental fog that comes with illnesses like fibromyalgia or MS
  • ever, ever, ever accuse them of faking. ever.

do

  • understand that some chronic illnesses have good days and bad days, and that there’s no way to predict what’ll happen
  • be supportive and understand their limitations
  • ask about dietary or physical restrictions if you are making plans with them
  • ask about anything that might make things worse for them, and take it into account
  • tell them that if they need to tell you they can’t do something that you won’t be angry at them for not being able to, and don’t be passive-aggressive about it
  • remember that they are a person, not an illness
  • listen to them, ask them questions if you don’t understand something, and remember what they say

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but this seems like a decent start. Please add your own.

hivforum

Anonymous asked:

Hello Dr. Joel, I was wondering exactly what an opportunistic infection is and what classifies it as such. Can people without HIV/AIDS develop these infections? Also, are people with HIV/AIDS more susceptible to other infections, as well? Thanks!

hivforum answered:

Here’s an excellent question that I somehow ignored.  I’ll answer it with an excerpt from my book:

An “opportunist” is a person who takes advantage of opportunities, usually at the expense of others, for his own benefit.  Similarly, an opportunistic infection (OI) is one in which a pathogen (a bacterium, virus, fungus, or parasite) takes advantage of a weakness in the body’s defense mechanisms to cause disease. In the case of HIV infection, an OI is usually an infection caused by an organism that is normally kept in check by the cellular immune system, the part of the immune system that is most damaged by the HIV virus.

Some pathogens are exclusively opportunistic, meaning that they almost never cause problems in people with normal immune systems. Examples include many of the common HIV-related OIs, including Pneumocystis, Cryptococcus, Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), and Toxoplasma. Other pathogens take advantage of immunosuppressed patients but can cause disease in anyone. Examples include herpes simplex virus (HSV), human papilloma virus (HPV), and the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, each of which causes more frequent or severe disease in people with low CD4 counts. As a general rule, “exclusive opportunists” cause disease in people with lower CD4 counts than “optional opportunists.”

In some cases, OIs can be prevented by avoiding exposure to the pathogen itself. For example, we lower the risk of spreading TB by isolating those who are actively infected; you can avoid toxoplasmosis by cooking meat properly; you can avoid syphilis by wearing condoms. However, many opportunistic pathogens are “ubiquitous”—they’re found everywhere and can’t be avoided. Examples include Pneumocystis, MAC, and Cryptococcus. Prevention of infections caused by these organisms requires either prophylaxis(medical treatment that prevents disease) or better yet, ART, which keeps the CD4 count above the danger zone.

Seriously, anybody living with HIV should follow Dr. Joel’s blog. We can’t keep liking these all on our own.