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Posts Tagged ‘Gay Sex’

I saw this in the March 7,2011 Newsweek and thought I’d share it because of its references to gay sex: Tennessee Williams is back for his Encore.

As one of America’s greatest playwrights, almost everyone knows Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Streetcar Named Desire, Suddenly Last Summer, The Glass Menagerie and others. Or maybe you’ve just heard the lines, “relying on the kindness of strangers” or screaming “Stella”. His plays offer what he called “a prayer for the wild of heart that are kept in cages.” Angelina Jolie recently had that phrase tattooed on her arm. (she must have long arms). Williams was a pioneer of gay drama in America during a time when being gay was dangerous.

In a 1975 interview he stated “I see no essential difference between the love of two men for each other and the love of a man for a woman; no essential difference, and I’ve examined them both.”

But there’s a crucial twist in his writings about sex. Love doesn’t meet on some lofty noble plateau, they share the gutter. Nyphomania, rape, sado-masochism, cheaters, hustlers, gigolos, and prostitutes populate his plays. How could you not love his writings?

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Mark S. King (someday we’re going to find out what the S stands for) has a fabulous website called My Fabulous Disease. If you haven’t been on there, go check it out.

In this link, he interviews Sean Straub about things the health department is not telling people about HIV specifically related to the MSM community.

Five Things about HIV (they’re not telling you)

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From: John-Mark_Schacht@doh.state.fl.us [mailto:John-Mark_Schacht@doh.state.fl.us]

K.Fegenbush ” These findings mirror other studies I’ve come across, during the last several months . . . points to a need for secondary prevention interventions 9 months to a year, following HIV-positive diagnosis.”

My comment “What seems to happen in general is that after an HIV diagnosis, men process through the stages of grief. There are many different behaviors this affects, including sexual behavior. As someone processes through the stages, many end up relatively where they were before they were diagnosed. A study showing that they change their sexual behavior immediately after diagnosis and then fall back to previous behavior is consistent with that theory.

Gay men change their sexual behaviour following diagnosis with HIV – at least in the short term
Epidemiology and behaviour
Michael Carter

Published: 08 December 2010

Diagnosis with HIV leads to changes in the sexual and drug-use behaviours of gay men, US investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

There was a reduction in the number of reported sex partners, and in the first few months after diagnosis there was a reduction in unprotected sex with HIV-negative partners or men of unknown HIV status.

Rates of reported methamphetamine use fell, but still remained high. There was no evidence that individuals were using viral load to guide their decisions about unprotected sex.

“Our findings demonstrate how sexual behaviours, partnership status, substance abuse and partner choices of MSM [men who have sex with men] with recent HIV infection changed during the first year following diagnosis,” write the investigators.

Gay and other men who have sex with men continue to be a main focus of the HIV epidemic in industrialised countries such as the US. Recent research suggests that between 25 and 50% of all new infections originate in individuals who have been recently infected with the virus.

These individuals are an increasing focus of HIV prevention efforts, and to gain a better understanding of the risk behaviours of these patients, investigators in southern California designed a study involving 193 gay men who had recently been infected with HIV.

At the time of their diagnosis and at regular intervals over the following twelve months, they were interviewed about the type of sex they were having and their drug use.

The men had an average age of 35, and 71% were white. They were highly educated and 88% had attended college.

At baseline, the men reported a mean of nine sex partners in the previous three months. This fell to a mean of seven partners in the three months after their diagnosis, and there was a further slight fall at twelve months (mean, six partners).

The proportion of men who reported a main partner increased from 20% at baseline to 48% at the end of the study. This increase was significant (p < 0.001).

Almost half (46%) of men reported unprotected sex with a recent partner at the beginning of the study. This fell to 39% after nine months, but then increased sharply to 57% at the end of the study.

There was some evidence that men were serosorting, At baseline, 14% reported having a partner who was HIV-positive, and this increased to 33% at month three and 39% at the end of the study. The proportion of men reporting recent unprotected sex with an HIV-negative partner, or man of unknown status, fell from 42% at baseline to 23% at month nine. However, the proportion increased to 50% at month twelve.

Methamphetamine use was widespread. At baseline, 30% reported using the drug during their last sexual encounter. This fell to 11% at month three and remained steady for the rest of the study. However, over the twelve months of the study, the proportion of methamphetamine users reporting risky sex increased significantly (p = 0.05).

“The methamphetamine use reported in this sample is of great concern,” comment the investigators. In their statistical analysis unprotected anal sex was associated with the use of methamphetamine at baseline (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 7.65; 95% CI, 1.87-31.30), as well as use of methamphetamine during the study (AOR, 14.4; 95% CI, 2.02-103.0).

There was no evidence that sexual behaviour was guided by viral load. Unprotected sex was reported by 44% of men with an undetectable viral load and 48% of those with detectable HIV.

“In this cohort, men with recent HIV infection reduced their total number of partners over the first year of infection; with the greatest decrease in the first six months,” comment the investigators.

Rates of unprotected sex with men who were negative or of unknown status initially fell, but then increased, leading the investigators to believe “there is the potential for HIV transmission occurring to many different men”.

Behaviour change was most likely to occur in the six months after diagnosis, and the researchers believe a priority should be “programs to support the maintenance of such changes…particularly after nine months.”

Reference
Gorbach PM et al. Behaviors of recently HIV-infecgted men who have sex with men in the year post-diagnosis: effects of drug use and partner types. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, online edition: DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0bo13e3181ff9750, 2010 (click here for the study’s free abstract).

John-Mark Schacht
Prevention Intervention Specialist
Florida Department of Health
Bureau of HIV/AIDS, Prevention Section
4052 Bald Cypress Way, BIN#A09
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1715
phone: (850) 245-4444 ext. 2574 /// fax: (850) 922-4202
e-mail: John-Mark_Schacht@doh.state.fl.us
http://www.preventhivflorida.org
http://www.floridaaids.org
Mission: Promote, protect and improve the health of all Floridians.

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Sexual Behaviors in Gay/Bisexual Men Aged 40 and Older:
Results from South Florida Survey

In the US, men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be the group most impacted by the HIV epidemic. According to the CDC, they account for nearly half of the approximately one million people living with HIV in the USA and 53% of all new HIV infections. The advances in HIV treatments that have increased the longevity of MSM with HIV have also created a greater potential for HIV transmission. However, little is known about the sexual behaviors and attitudes among older MSM.

To explore this, Jacobs et al., (2010) conducted a community survey of 802 MSM/gay men aged 40 to 93 in South Florida. The survey asked the participants questions regarding demographic factors (e.g., education, ethnicity, HIV serostatus), use of alcohol and recreational drugs (including Viagra), their sexual behaviors, and other factors such as optimism and coping self efficacy.

Results of the study showed that most of the sexually active men reported having anal sex in the past six months and 87% reported they did not use a condom with sex, a higher percentage than previously reported among young and older MSM. However, it could be that some men who report unprotected anal sex are engaging in unprotected sex with monogamous, seroconcordant (same HIV-status) partners and may not feel the need to use condoms.
Having HIV was associated with higher risk of unprotected anal sex. This is significant because one-third of the HIV-positive men reported having a regular partner with a different HIV status.

Younger age (within the sample) was associated with greater risk for unprotected sex. Gay/bisexual men aged 40 and older who have multiple male partners and use drugs with sex are more likely to have unprotected sex. The men who reported Viagra use were more likely to engage in unprotected anal sex when they are the top partner.

Holding views more characterized by high optimism concerning the future was associated with higher risk for unprotected insertive sex (topping). It could be that despite many problems and challenges that come with growing older, midlife MSM may experience life satisfaction that improves with age. They may also feel more optimistic due to the advent of new antiretroviral medications. Having lived with stigma and discrimination and surviving friends and lovers who have passed away, some older MSM may experience a greater sense of freedom, power, and positive outlook on life. Also, some gay/bisexual men aged 40+ have discovered subcultures (e.g., bear and daddy cultures) where age and aging are celebrated and where older men are not marginalized.

Understanding the strengths and coping skills of MSM aged 40+ can help guide efforts in designing programs and services for older gay/bisexual men. These findings also reinforce the importance of implementing community interventions that target the reduction of recreational drug use as part of comprehensive and efficacious HIV prevention strategies.

Source: Jacobs et al. (2010). Factors associated with risk for unprotected receptive and insertive anal intercourse in men aged 40 and older who have sex with men. AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV, 22(10), 1204-1211.

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