“Gay” really does mean “happy”! The University of Montreal published the findings of a study they did in the current issue of Psychosomatic Medicine that addresses some differences between gays and straights when it comes to happiness and stress management. They studied 87 of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual Canadians and found that the queer members of their study that had come out of the closet to family and friends “have less anxiety, depression, and burnout” than those who hadn’t. To add to that, the study’s leader (Robert-Paul Juster) said that as a group, out gay and bisexual males “were less likely to be depressed than heterosexual men and had less physiological problems than heterosexual men.” These findings were also published on U.S. News.
Juster concludes from their findings that coming out is good for many reasons. “Our research suggests coming out of the closet has some health benefits,” says Robert-Paul Juster, the study’s lead author. “Coming out is no longer a matter of popular debate, but a matter of public health.”
A new study from Community Healthcare Network (a New York City-based nonprofit that provides medical services and outreach and education programs to 75,000 individuals a year) was released this week that reports on the attitudes and knowledge about HIV/AIDS of men who have sex with men (MSM) and who meet their partners through the use of social networking apps (ie: Grindr, Scruff, Manhunt, and Growlr).
According to the study (titled: “Zero Feet Away: Perspective on HIV/AIDS and Unprotected Sex in Men Who Have Sex with Men Utilizing Location-based Mobile Apps,” nearly half of surveyed gay and bisexual men are knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS, and are afraid of getting infected or re-infected with the virus, yet regardless they admit to participating in risk-taking activities like unprotected anal intercourse.
In total, 725 people who use the aforementioned apps were surveyed and they found that there was a clear disconnect between why men still engage in unprotected sex and the way prevention attempts try to address changing this behavior. Read the bulleted list of their findings below.
The people over at Adam & Eve have just shared a handful of very interesting facts about sex toys that I thought may interest you. My guess is because it’s such a personal and private thing, they want to really get the message out there that pretty much everyone’s doing it. For the U.S., Wyoming is ranked number 1 as having the highest number of sex toys per capita according to these statistics! Who knew!?
Although the study seems to speak mainly to women, we know that men are buying these toys too. I’ve included a poll below to see what types of sex toys you guys are using as well. I’m curious to know what’s in the naughty drawers of our of our readers – haha!
Oh, in case you’re wondering about the science of orgasms, you should also check out this cute and informative video I posted earlier this week that literally explains (in a simple way) what is happening before, during, and after an orgasm, as well as the differences between men and woman.
UPDATE JULY 2012: Just before the start of this year’s International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, the FDA approved a major game-changing drug called “Truvada“. While I’ll let you read my article below from 2010 on the details of the drug’s history I’ll summarize by saying it’s a medication established by “a three-year study f[inding] that daily doses cut the risk of infection in healthy gay and bisexual men by 42 percent, when accompanied by condoms and counseling. Last year, another study found that Truvada reduced by 75 percent the rate at which an HIV-infected person in a heterosexual relationship passed the virus to his or her partner.”
Basically, it works to prevent the passing of HIV. There was a LOT of flack surrounding these studies and attempts to approve the drug as people argued the acceptance of this drug would lead to a reliance on it as the sole source of STD prevention by its users. However, Dr. Debra Birnkrant- FDA’s director of antiviral products (who does not work for Truvada!)- found that subjects in clinical trials in fact increased in condom usage and that STD rates either stayed at a baseline or decreased… basically, users of Truvada didn’t consider it a panacea to replace the ever important condom. THAT SAID, the pill is a daily one and repeated missed doses do reverse the preventative benefits of taking it. Further the cost attached to this puppy is set at about $1,200 a month (woof but it IS a new drug after all) and can cause side effects like diarrhea, kidney and bone damage. My two cents: it’s amazing we’re continuing to battle this disease and any new and effective drug is a step in the right direction. Most importantly, I’m hopeful for monogamous and discordant couples wherein one partner is positive and the other is negative who can possibly add this drug to their regimen to foster some- though of course not total- relief regarding their health and sexual practices. Go science, go FDA and thanks to my handsome Brazillian friend from down South for making sure this got its due coverage.
A new study has just been released that was conducted by The Black AIDS Institute called “Back of the Line: The State of AIDS Among Black Gay Men” in America” that reveals some startling statistics. An excerpt from the study reads:
“HIV represents a lifelong threat for Black gay men. A young black gay man has a roughly 1-in-4 chance of being infected by age 25. By the time he is 40 years old, the odds a Black gay men will be living with HIV is roughly 60%. One can scour the entire world and struggle to find a population more heavily affected by HIV/AIDS than Black gay in the U.S.
Black gay men’s higher risk of HIV does not stem from higher levels of risk behavior. Rather, their disproportionate risk of HIV can be traced to their poor access to health services, a high prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, and early patterns of sexual behavior among young gay men.”
Before I lose your attention to a “Featured Sports Stud” article with some hunk taking his shirt off I’m gonna highlight what you need to know before you choose to skip this less than “sexy” but extremely important science and health-related story about Vancouver’s Momentum Health Study.
1. Vancouver is running an important and contemporary gay male health study that needs your support to effectively represent our population.
2. You get your full STI panel testing done completely free by a fully-trained and (very nice!) nurse who will have your results ready for you in about a week.
3. You straight up get paid (remunerated) $30 with the possibility of earning $60 more… no joke.
Acknowledging it’s a bit gauche to go so quickly to the money angle while pushing aside the altruism of supporting gay research, I’ve found over the last 3 weeks of talking up this study to friends that the prospect of making money WHILE doing our mandatory 3-4 month STI check-in is what gets most boys’ ears perked so why not lead with a winner, right?
This study is important, it’s relevant, it not only informs researchers about the current state of health and awareness of STIs/STDs and the like but it will also definitely teach you a thing or two in the process. So, please click through and read about how you can easily take part in this study and not only do your part to stay on top of your health but contribute to others at the same time.
The United States National Institutes of Health announced today that the results of a new study shows that if an HIV Positive person adheres to an effective antiretroviral therapy regimen, the risk of transmitting the virus to their uninfected sexual partner can be reduced by an astounding 96%.
The study (known as HPTN 052) was done by the HIV Prevention Trials Network where they enrolled over 1,700 sero-discordant couples (meaning one person who is HIV Positive and the other is HIV Negative) from all over the world, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the US. Only people with HIV with a CD4 cell count ranging between 350 – 550 were used in this study, as they are not currently eligible for treatment own health according to the latest WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines. The success of the study was so successful, it was stopped almost four years ahead of schedule. Only people living with HIV with a CD4 cell count of between 350 and 550 (thus not eligible for treatment for their own health according to latest WHO guidelines) were enrolled in the study.
In 2010, Gallup‘s global wellbeing surveys on how people in countries all over the world rated their lives at the current time as well as how they rated their expectations for the next five years. They used the Cantil Self-Anchoring Striving Scale, which asks those surveyed to picture a ladder from 0-10 and ask where they would rate their lives according to that scale. The top of the ladder (10) represents the best possible life, where as the bottom is the worst possible life. When they compile the results, they can see who is “Thriving,” “Struggling,” and “Suffering.”
Denmark apparently has the happiest people, with Sweden and Canada tied in second with 69% of the population describing themselves as thriving. Keep reading below to find out where the United States falls and where the top 10 unhappiest places to live are. Seeing how low their ratings were makes me very grateful to live where I live.