In the Future, We Will Be Able to Diagnose Ourselves With STIs on Our Cell Phones

photos of cell phones pictures blackberries

Hmm. Interesting.

I’m always wary of stuff like this, but this sounds like it could be promising.

Apparently, doctors and technology experts are working to develop small devices that will be able to home-diagnose a number of STIs. They will be similar to pregnancy testing kits in that an individual will put …

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U.S. Government Finally Apologizing for Giving Prisoners the Clap … 50 Years Too Late

Photo of Dachau Victim Being Used in Cryotherapy Experiment

STI transmission is a rampant problem and has been for many years. Even today, when the “Is it safe?” question comes up in casual sexual encounters, there’s a base assumption that you’re talking pregnancy, not the herp. If, as a woman, I say, “I take the pill,” it seems like men are perfectly happy to just go for it, to both take me at my word in terms of pregnancy prevention and totally avoid the equally important STI conversation.

There is a risk involved on both ends in those kinds of situations, but there can be an assumption made that consenting adults can make the choice to take every precaution to protect their health.

Fifty years ago, Guatemalan prisoners and mental hospital patients were not so lucky when the U.S. government used them as unsuspecting guinea pigs to conduct research into treatment of STIs including syphilis and gonorrhea.

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Let’s Talk About (Oral) Sex, Baby!

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that oral sex is on the rise … or at least that conversations based around it are. Whether contemplating the convenience of shaved vs. bushy or the Catholic church’s historic ban on acts that don’t lead directly to procreation (a category that oral sex definitely falls under, as does masturbation … do Catholics not orgasm or something?), it’s all over the place right now.

Okay, just want to get out there that oral sex, both giving and receiving, is a source of great pleasure for me and millions of women all over the world. The idea that oral stimulation is gross or wrong or whatever is just so far off my radar screen it’s ridiculous (unlike Paris Hilton, I’m not a hypocrite).

Oral sex is increasingly common for young women to partake in, both in addition to and as an alternative of intercourse. Researchers out of the University of Alberta recently conducted a study on oral sex (must have been a lot of fun), concluding that it’s unquestionably part of what researcher Brea Malacad refers to as “the sexual revolution of the 21st century.”

Anyway, an interesting conclusion to be drawn from Malacad’s work here is that researchers, sex educators, and safe-sex marketers need to get on the cunnilingus caboose. The fellatio freeway. Route 69. Whatever.

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New Vaginal Gel a Possible Breakthrough in Slowing AIDS Epidemic

The International AIDS Conference, currently underway in Vienna, has some positive news to report in the fight against rampant spreading of the disease. Researchers announced their development of a vaginal gel that reduces a woman’s chances of contracting AIDS through sexual intercourse. Although AIDS is not the fairly immediate death sentence it once was in many countries, it is still a terrible epidemic in parts of the world. This can only be good news.

The gel, which contains the antiretroviral drug tenofovir, is both colorless and odorless. It’s inserted into the vagina (I’m visualizing this as a combination between tampons and Monistat) both before and after sexual intercourse, and the only side effect noted to date is mild diarrhea, which seems a small price to pay in the great scheme of things.

From CTV:

Women in South Africa who volunteered to test the gel cut their chances of contracting the virus by 50 per cent after one year of use and 39 per cent after 2 1/2 years, compared to a gel that contained no medicine.

The researchers also discovered that the gel cut in half the chances of getting HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes.
Scientists call the gel a breakthrough in the search for a way to help women whose partners refuse to use condoms.

“We are giving hope to women,” Michel Sidibe, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s UNAIDS program, said in a statement. A gel could “help us break the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic,” he said.

Mitchell Warren, executive director of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, called it a “historic day for HIV prevention research.”

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