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The Myth Of “Patient Zero” Is Finally Laid To Rest

safe sexReporting is about being as accurate as you can with the information currently available; unfortunately to often it has been about sensationalism, trying to get readers, and playing to the gallery when the ‘reporting’ has been about the LGBT community.

This article reflects how once again, how we as a community where used as scape goats for waht is now recognised as a national and international problem.  People have sex, but unless we educate properly in our schools, and continue to educate about safe sex, no matter what gender, then we will have problems.

Burrying our collectives heads in the sand, saying to people don’t have sex, are not working – we need to show people the right way of doing things, including contraceptives, and then maybe we will get a grip of the various sexual diseases which are plaguing our society

Myth of patient zero and gay sexThirty-two years after his death in 1984, Gaétan Dugas remains a legendary figure …

Source: The Myth Of “Patient Zero” Is Finally Laid To Rest / Queerty

HIV+ HIts The News Media Again!

hiv-positiveSo our news media yet again show that headlines and ratings comes before the well being of someone, in this case it was Charlie Sheen who was forced to admit that he was HIV+.

Charlie had done nothing wrong, had not broken any laws, indeed from everything I have been able to read, he has been extremely sensible in his actions and in his advice to subsequent partners once he discovered that he had the virus.  However, the news media loved the hype, and the speculation, indeed my observation is that they went out of their way to play the situation up and to expand their readership.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and weakens the body’s immune system (the body’s disease fighting system). HIV makes it difficult for your body to fight against infections and cancers that it would normally be able to fight off.

If a HIV positive person does not get proper treatment, the virus may progress to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). AIDS is a disease in which the immune system breaks down and the body is unable to fight off certain infections.

According to the latest figures, 320 people were diagnosed with HIV in Ireland in 2011.  That means that around 6 people are diagnosed every week with HIV. Globally, there are 34 million people currently living with HIV.

  • Your partner or one night stand can be HIV positive and not know it. Always use condoms.
  • You can be HIV positive and not know it, so if you’re sexually active it’s a good idea to have regular STI check-ups.
  • Once you have HIV, you are infected for life and have the potential to infect others….

What treatment can you get?

  • There is no cure for HIV and AIDS, but there is treatment available that helps to slow down the progress of HIV.  This treatment is called HAART (Highly Active Retroviral Therapy) or ‘the cocktail’. It works to stop the virus spreading within your body and it  requires keeping to a very strict medication schedule.
  • You will generally attend a specialist HIV clinic every three months or so to get testing done and your treatment monitored. They will also be able to advise you on safer sex and other practicalities of living with HIV. You can also get emotional support from hospital social workers and HIV organisations.
  • If you are pregnant and HIV positive, you can also receive treatment during pregnancy and labour that will help to prevent the risk of your baby being infected by the virus. You need to talk to your doctor about the available options. Your partner and recent partners should also be tested….

HIV+ is a virus, it can be fatal, but with the right treatment it need not be.  BUT, HIV is a sexually transmitted virus, just like Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections.  We ALL our responsible for taking the correct precautions when we decide to have sex, i.e.

Key ways include: 

  • talking to your partner about your sexual relationships;Condoms-and-safe-sex
  • contraception;
  • using condoms and dental dams;
  • being aware of how alcohol and drugs can lower inhibitions and affect decision making;
  • getting tested for sexually transmitted infections if you think you may have put yourself at risk;
  • limiting your number of sexual partners;
  • avoiding overlapping sexual relationships.

NIGRA urges everyone to be safe, and live.  Enjoy yourselves with safety in mind, and then you and your partner can enjoy the future.

condoms

 

 

Further reading:

 

Why you should have sex with anyone you like

BY FLORENCE WALKER 20 AUGUST 15

 

How can this be put delicately? A hole is a hole is a hole. Alright, maybe that wasn’t so delicate, but the mechanics of sex are pretty basic. Put Monsieur Le Grand Saucisson inside something, move it backwards and forwards a bit and, “hey presto!” Unfortunately, our big human brains tend to complicate even of the most simple of actions.

Historically, we imposed rules on our sexual behaviour and then started categorising our behaviour as identities. Suddenly, the act of using a hole belonging to a man made you “homosexual” or possibly “bisexual”. Today we have a plethora of identities relating to sexual activities and we define and judge each other using these arbitrary labels. With the increasingly popular view that sexuality is fluid, when will we finally stop trying to label others and ourselves? Let’s have a look at some examples of different attitudes to sexual identities around the world to try and find out…

kama-sutra

Ka-Man Sutra

In India, many sects of Hinduism see so-called homosexual acts as just one of the many diverse ways that love can be expressed to attain “moksha”, a state of mind required to break the cycle of reincarnation. The Hindu texts mention sex acts can take place between men or women who are friends and trust each other. Oral sex is emphasised and penetration with artificial phalluses is also suggested. These acts do not define the practitioners as homosexual or as defying the order of nature, they are carried out between people as friends rather than homosexuals. A beautiful catch-all phrase embraced by ancient-Greek scholars for such unions is that of “lover”.

Despite all that, homosexuality was made illegal in India in 2009, a country where 80 per cent of the population identify themselves as Hindu, a religion where homosexual acts are not necessarily problematic. The specific act is Section 377 of India’s penal code, which forbids “sex against the order of nature”, which is interpreted as gay sex, with a possible sentence of 10 years in prison. The law dates back to the days of British colonial rule in India. Unsurprisingly, Section 377 has been met with strong opposition.Sacred-Band-of-Thebes

He’s got your back

The Sacred Band of Thebes was an elite fighting force of 150 same-sex male lovers who fought in the Theban Army in the 4th century BC. At the time, to die for your lover was considered a noble and honourable death. It was believed that the love between fighting couples made them fight harder to protect each other. Usually there was an age difference between pairs which created an imbalance of power in the pairing so one would take the role of the “lover” (ἐραστής) and the other the “beloved” (ἐρώμενος). The receiver (or bottom, in modern parlance) was the more effeminate position. Although when you’re a fighting soldier carrying a great big sword it’s difficult to understand exactly what’s so effeminate about him.

Even sex between men in Ancient Greece didn’t entirely avoid definitions of the “natural” order. Sex was still very much understood as sex between men and women, but sex between men and men wasn’t frowned upon. Does this mean “homosexuals” were accepted within Greek society? Not really, but only because the idea of “homosexuality” hadn’t been invented yet. It just wasn’t a thing.

Straight as a row of tentsBook

We have to jump forward a couple of millennia before we see any kind of widespread definition of homosexuality, and we have 18th century psychoanalyst and category-fanatic Richard von Krafft-Ebing to thank for that. Before Krafft-Ebing, the terms “homosexual” and “heterosexual” didn’t exist. These terms have caused Western cultures all sorts of issues because of their presentation as “unnatural” and “natural”, respectively. Jane Ward in her book Not Gay: Sex between Straight Men pulls together case studies from around the USA to piece together an argument which shows that men having sex with men does not make them homosexual per se. Male-on-male sex in many cases is functional, with no romantic leaning. It can relieve sexual frustration and even build a stronger heterosexual identity.

Straight metal jacket?US-Troops-

One of Ward’s primary examples of this is “hazing”, a set of rituals used in the US military (and elsewhere) to test the limits of new recruits, with activities including anal penetration by other soldiers. While the acts would clearly seem sexual to outsiders, by subjecting themselves to acts in a setting where they are understood as undesirable, their heterosexual identities are reinforced. The rituals are meant to be embarrassing and demeaning. By pushing boundaries and breaking taboos, friendships are forged and cemented. This example neatly shows how our imposed definitions of sexual activity can create behaviour in humans which defy all logic. By behaving this way, the soldiers can reinvigorate their masculine standing while alienating people who are actually attracted to members of the same sex, all at the same time. Genius!

Go with the flow
In recent years, there’s been increasing acceptance of the idea that sexuality is genetically determined, but really the only thing that’s genetically determined is which type of sex organs we’re born with. There is no way of measuring how “straight” or “gay” anyone is, and any attempt to ring-fence behaviour according to such logic runs the risk of attributing non-existent morality to them and causing unnecessary distress and confusion. There’s nothing defined in nature that tells us what to do with our sexual organs, only what we see or hear other people do. It’s this realisation that human behaviour is so varied and complex that makes the term “sexual fluidity” such a happy compromise. Sexuality can’t be explained, only experienced.

If you do want to try things out: be safe, be kind, wear a condom, and don’t fear labelling yourself. You’re only human after all.

Straight best friends become first-time boyfriends in most adorable internet thread ever

You have to read this

 

 gay_kiss

It’s the oldest gay story in the book.

Two guy best friends, both ‘straight’ to the other, have a drunken fumble and realise they have deeper feelings than they realised.

Well, maybe it’s not the oldest story, but it’s definitely a good one.

This happened to two guys in Georgia, and it all developed over Yik Yak.

The app, much like Whisper, allows people to share their secrets anonymously with strangers according to their location.

The original poster (he’s in green) asks for advice: ‘Last night, my best friend and I got really drunk and slept together. We’re both guys. It was fucking great.

‘But he’s “straight” and I’m questioning AND IM FREAKING OUT WHAT DO I DO HELP.’

Read the whole thing below, it’s got a great ending:

LINK:Straight best friends become first-time boyfriends in most adorable internet thread ever

NUS: Less than 20% of students discuss LGBT issues in sex education

The NUS is calling for statutory SRE in all schoolsAn interesting survey, I wonder how much slant the survey took when students from Northern Ireland were incorporated – indeed what is not indicated is whether Queen’s University, Belfast or the Ulster University were included in the survey.

 

Less than a fifth of all university students discussed LGBT issues in their Sex and Relationships Education (SRE), a survey by the National Union of Students (NUS) reveals.

Gaps in teaching were uncovered, with three-quarters (75%) saying they found out about sex and relationships through friends.

According to respondents, consent was never touched upon in lessons for two-thirds of them, while relationships were covered for less than half.

The NUS said more than a third did not rate their SRE positively on equality and diversity, with less than a fifth saying they were taught about LGBT relationships.

More than half felt the issues they needed to know about were not taught, with only a third feeling they could practically apply their SRE to their real life.

Students agreed that porn was now a standard part of a young person’s life, but three-quarters felt it provided “unrealistic expectations”.

 

The union, which surveyed 2,500 students, said the results showed an urgent need for statutory SRE in all schools.

The NUS is calling for the measure to be introduced as part of its New Deal general election manifesto.

NUS Vice President Colum McGuire said: “SRE is failing millions. It is not currently compulsory for schools to teach young people about sexual consent and healthy relationships, and LGBT relationships.

“Ignoring all of this is just completely unrealistic. It will never go away – its life. Sexual consent, learning about equal and respectful relationships and gender stereotypes must be alien to this government as they don’t rate them high on the list to educate young people on.

 

“The government has a responsibility to provide a safe and reliable environment to explore sex and relationships. This is about providing the knowledge young people need in order to make good decisions for themselves.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “Good quality relationship education is an important part of preparing young people for life in modern Britain, and our statutory guidance makes clear that it must be taught in an age appropriate way.

“Sex and relationship education is compulsory in all maintained secondary schools and many primary schools also teach it in an age appropriate manner.

“We also expect academies and free schools to deliver relationship education as part of their provision of a broad and balanced curriculum.

“We have set up a new expert subject group on personal, social and health education (PSHE) to support teachers, made up of leading professionals in the field, and will clarify the key areas on which teachers most need further support and produce new resources where necessary.”

The Education Select Committee will publish its findings on SRE in schools imminently, with the Conservatives yet to announce their position. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats Labour are committed to introducing compulsory SRE

 

Statutory status would allow SRE to be treated as other subjects – with teachers getting enhanced training, and enough time being allocated in school time-tables for the subject to address real life issues including – respectful relationships consent and LGBT.

 

Original article: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/01/29/nus-less-than-20-of-students-discuss-lgbt-issues-in-sex-education/

Do we need more sex education?

sex-ed-1 sex-ed-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to PETER HITCHENS FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY in March 2010, sex education does not work and it is a ‘lefties’ plot against society and the family.; and Tory MP for Shipley, Yorkshire, Philip Davies, states it is a parent’s job to discuss sex education with their child not a schools!
So what does Sex and Relationship education aim to do:

SRE aims to equip children and young people with the information, skills and values they need to have safe, fulfilling and enjoyable relationships and to take responsibility for their sexual health and well-being.
SRE aims to contribute to behaviour change, including reducing unprotected and unwanted sex, and reducingsex-ed-3 harmful behaviour, including sexual offences such as assault and abuse

I t would seem therefore that in itself, SRE cannot do what the ‘government’ wants i.e. reduce unwanted pregnancies and also reduce sexually transmitted diseases. If society wishes this to happen then a radical change in all of our attitudes needs to take place. We must be open with our children and teenagers, and lead by example. How can we possibly ask children and teenagers to not explore their sexuality in a responsible way if we have government ministers and other MPs jumping in and out of other peoples beds, and having sex with people who they are not in a relationship with – and this includes paid for sex.

A healthy sexual appetite is part being human, but being responsible in how we mane it comes with education and openess.

sex-ed-4

Further reading: