As part of a campaign to reduce HIV infections in Africa, groups such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are advocating the use of the above “simpler” circumcision method. The new procedure is intended to speed the rate of circumcisions in regions that have few doctors.
Circumcision is believe to protect heterosexual men because the foreskin has many Langerhans cells, which pick up viruses and “present” them to the immune system — which H.I.V. attacks. From the initial safety studies done so far, PrePex is clearly faster, less painful and more bloodless than any of its current rivals. And it relies on the simplest and least-threatening technology — a rubber band. The band compresses the foreskin against a plastic ring slipped inside it; the foreskin dies within hours for lack of blood and, after a week, falls off or can be clipped off “like a fingernail,” said Tzameret Fuerst, the company’s chief executive officer, who compared the process to the stump of an umbilical cord’s shriveling up and dropping off a few days after it is clamped. It is done with topical anesthetic cream, and there is usually no bleeding. And PrePex can be put in place and removed by nurses with about three days’ training.
Three separate studies have shown that circumcision can reduce HIV infection from vaginal sex by up to 60%. Another study was cut short when it became clear that circumcising men that are already infected provided no protection to women. In 2009 the CDC announced that it was considering recommending that American boys be circumcised at birth, but that policy was never formalized. No study has yet confirmed that circumcision provides any protection for gay men.
Compared to women, more than twice as many men are infected with oral HPV. Prevalence of the cancer-causing virus increases with the number of sexual partners.
Oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is more common among men than women, leading to an increased risk for men of head and neck cancers, a US study suggests. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study assessed around 5,500 people aged 14 to 69. Around 10% of men had oral HPV, compared with 3.6% of women. HPV causes the majority of cervical cancers, as well as genital and anal - and head and neck cancers. Smoking and drinking are significant known risk factors for head and neck cancers. But oral HPV infection increases cancer risk by around 50%, according to the research team from Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
It’s not yet known whether the existing HPV vaccination also guards against oral HPV.
LOS ANGELES: Porn Producers Threaten To Leave The City After Condom Vote
The Advocate reports:
Some of the major players of Los Angeles’s adult film industry say they will take their productions out of town if the city council enforces the mandatory use of condoms on film sets.
Last week, the Los Angeles city council approved an ordinance sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AFH) that would deny film permits to productions that violated the already-on-the-books law requiring the use of condoms.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how in fact they do try to enforce [the law] and who’s going to fund it, and all of the time and effort they’re going to spend,” said Steven Hirsch, co-founder of adult entertainment company Vivid, who predicts that the new ordinance will cause producers to take their film shoots out of the city.
Christian Mann, general manager of Evil Angel, agreed. “The only thing that the city could potentially achieve is losing some film permit money and driving some productions away, but you can’t actually compel an industry to create a product that the market doesn’t want,” he said.
“Let’s make one thing clear,” said AHF spokesman Ged Kenslea, “Condom use on adult film sets is, and has been, the law in California under blood-borne pathogens regulations,” he said. “It is just a law that has not been uniformly enforced or followed. This film permit ordinance that the city council approved today provides another enforcement mechanism to make sure that adult film producers are complying with existing California law.”
The measure needs to be approved by Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa before it can be put into effect.
The British government is telling doctors that the usual course of treatment for gonorrhea is now largely useless.
The Health Protection Agency says we may be heading to a point when the disease is incurable unless new treatments can be found. For now, doctors must stop using the usual treatment cefixime and instead use two more powerful antibiotics. One is a pill and the other a jab. The HPA say the change is necessary because of increasing resistance. [snip] As recently as 2005, no gonorrhoea bacteria with reduced susceptibility to cefixime could be found in the UK. The bacterium that causes the infection - Neisseria gonorrhoeae - has an unusual ability to adapt itself and has gained resistance, or reduced susceptibility, to a growing list of antibiotics - first penicillin itself, then tetracyclines, ciprofloxacin and now cefixime.
A study published in yesterday’s Journal of Clinical Oncology reveals that as many as 72 percent of throat tumors in men may be linked to the human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV. The researchers hypothesize that the virus spreads predominately via oral sex, and that it may already account for more cases of throat cancer than smoking. The authors write:
If recent incidence trends continue, the annual number of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers [which mostly affect men] is expected to surpass the annual number of cervical cancers by the year 2020.
“The burden of cancer caused by HPV is going to shift from women to men in this decade,” said Maura Gillison, an oncologist at Ohio State University and lead author of the study. “What we believe is happening is that the number of sexual partners and exposure to HPV has risen over that same time period.” Both of the vaccines approved for preventing cervical cancers (Gardasil and Cervarix, marketed by Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, respectively) target the HPV strain linked to oral cancer, but these latest findings will put pressure on the companies to conduct trials to examine their vaccines’ abilities to ward off HPV throat infections. Whether the companies do or not (neither company has any plans to do so at this time), consensus within the medical community remains the same: get vaccinated.
Study: Syphilis on the Rise Among Minority Gay Men
The Advocate reports:
Syphilis rates among young, minority gay and bisexual men are on a disproportionate rise, according to a new studyby the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Reuters reports on the increase in syphilis cases: "Using data from 27 states, CDC researchers found that between 2005 and 2008, the syphilis rate among black gay and bisexual men rose at an 8-times faster clip compared with their white counterparts. "Hispanic gay and bisexual men, meanwhile, had more than twice the increase of white men." Health officials, Reuters reports, are concerned with the new data not only because of syphilis infections, but also because the sexually transmitted disease makes individuals more susceptible to HIV infection. Read the report here.
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