Stop, don't cut that foreskin!

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Photo Credit:sea-turtle via Flickr

There's been a lot of news health related news that impacts the LGBT community in the past week, so I thought I'd just gather a few of those together and share with you. 

First of all, the Feast of Fun posted the most recent Lifelube/Project Crysp health forum 'Risky Business - Reclaiming Pleasure'  The forum took place during the recent LGBTI Health Forum and focused on the
current "trend" of bareback sex.  The forum was quite heated and had quite an impact on the audience, which included many sexual health educators.  The Forum sparked heated debate on personal blogs as well.  Listen to the Podcast, follow Twitter with #FOFRISKY and read the backlash on the Lifelube Blog.

So what's your opinion of bareback sex? Did you attend the forum?  What questions would you have asked the experts?

Click through for more gay health news

Early last week the CDC, during their HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, was considering whether to recommend routine circumcisions for babies born in the US as a way to reduce the transmission of HIV.  But later in the week a report was released that circumcision doesn't protect gay men from HIV, especially when anal sex is involved.  The recent study looked at almost 5000 men who had anal sex with an HIV-infected partner and found that the infection rate, about 3.5%, was about the same whether the men were circumcised or not.

What do you think?  Is circumcision the answer?  Why do you think the government is so quick to clip?

Even though it's still summer, flu season is about to hit us, and everyone is concerned about H1N1 (Swine flu) and it's impact to this years flu.  Many in the HIV community are concerned on it's impact to those with compromised immune systems. A recent study has shown though that HIV was not a "mortality risk factor" when combined with the H1N1 virus.  Interestingly enough, obesity and diabetes were the two main underlying conditions associated with death in people who contracted H1N1 with respiratory disease and heart disease right behind them.  Another recent report on CNN has estimated that 90,000 people worldwide could die from the H1N1 virus.  But consider that almost 36,000 die annually from influenza.  If you are concerned for your own health, then one of the best things that you can do is get vaccinated.

Are you planning on getting vacinated this year?  Do you get vaccinated every year? Do you think this flu season will be harder than usual?

Finally, a report from the National AIDS Trust in the UK is showing that being HIV Positive does not necessarily impact ones ability to continue working.  The Study pinpointed the improvement in HIV treatment as the reason for allowing HIV positive men to remain in the workforce.  The report did find though that the "stigma surrounding HIV still creates barriers in the workplace."  Of those that responded to the survey, 60% had disclosed their status to someone at work and 93% were "out at work."  Of the remaining 40% who didn't disclose their status it was because of 'no need,' fear of poor treatment and concern about breach of confidentiality.  But almost 20% who have disclosed their status have experienced discrimination because of it.

This study is based in the UK, how do you think it would compare to the US?  Do you think an HIV Stigma exists in our workforce?

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  • Circumcision is definitely not the answer. While it may be true that the foreskin contains a number of receptors for the HIV virus, the studies that suggest circumcision cuts down on HIV infection were all done in African countries where condoms are not used frequently and hygiene is extremely poor. Beneficial in that situation, but not in the U.S. where people (hopefully) have access to condoms and (hopefully) practice good hygiene.

    I was very dismayed to learn that the CDC was even considering making routine circumcision a recommendation. I'm concerned that parents who aren't doing their homework will hear about this and have their sons circumcised because they think it's a magical way to guard them from HIV. Tradition seems to be the only reason circumcision is so prevalent in U.S., which is unfortunate.

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