The guys at Health Initiative for Men have teamed up with Pull Focus Film School to create a six part web series that explores the creative and complex ways gay men love and fuck each other. More than 70 men shared their stories, talents and private parts in this series of sexual adventures.
EP.1 – A Movie Romance
Four young gay guys use online ads to explore the complexities of monogamy, open relationships, group sex and bathhouse culture, while the HIM team talk to six protagonists who share the most personal aspects of their lives. The scene is set and this is not your mother’s Rom Com.
Not all sex has the same risk! Depending of the kind of sex you’re having, you could be more or less at risk for a number of STI’s, including HIV. The chart below can help you determine which sexual activities put you at risk.
This chart attempts to simplify HIV and STI transmission, but is by no means exhaustive. For more detailed information on HIV and STIs, including how to reduce your risk, please explore the sections on the left-hand side of this page.
Are you using substances?
For fun? Good sex? Socially? An escape?
Whatever the reason, the folks at HIM have teamed up with YouthCO.
Check out this awesome new campaign: The High Life
HIV incidence among gay and bisexual men shows no meaningful decrease
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
PublishedMonday, Jul. 14 2014, 8:35 PM EDT
The number of new HIV diagnoses in British Columbia has steadily declined in the past decade – but not for gay and bisexual men, who have shown no meaningful decreases and accounted for nearly two-thirds of new cases in 2012, according to a new report from B.C.’s provincial health officer.
Perry Kendall released the report, co-authored with Mark Gilbert from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, on Monday, noting a complex interaction of societal and structural drivers has resulted in gay and bisexual men carrying a disproportionate burden of HIV in B.C. These include individual factors such as sexual behaviour and HIV testing, as well as outside factors such as stigma, marginalization, poor social supports and other systemic challenges to HIV prevention.
“While there has been considerable advancement in understanding and treating HIV, and related successes in reducing HIV incidence overall in B.C., existing programs and initiatives have not resulted in meaningful reductions in HIV incidence among gay and bisexual men since the early 2000s,” the report stated.
“This exposure group currently makes up the largest number and proportion of new HIV diagnoses in B.C. Renewing HIV prevention in B.C. requires working with gay and bisexual men to address the many drivers of the epidemic and making meaningful improvements in HIV prevention within this important exposure group.”
A lack of appropriate health care is one significant factor. The report noted gay and bisexual men face challenges in accessing appropriate and culturally sensitive health care; in 2011, 14 per cent of gay and bisexual men stopped seeing their health-care providers “because of his or her negative attitude toward their sexual orientation.” That same year, the online Sex Now survey found such men who were “out” to their care providers ranged from just 36.6 per cent (in North Fraser and Northern B.C.) to 84.8 per cent (in Vancouver’s West End).
While B.C. now offers highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) – a treatment that can totally suppress a viral load, reducing the risk of transmission to zero – Dr. Kendall noted that some doctors have difficulty recognizing the acute phase of HIV infections. This is when viral loads, and risk of transmission, are very high.
“This is why it’s for us to look at developing optimal times for routine testing and treatment in populations with a higher burden of illness,” said Dr. Kendall, who presented the report at a news conference on Monday.
The report also noted that while gay and bisexual men made up 57 per cent of new HIV infections in B.C. in 2011, only 10 per cent of Canadian health research grants went to prevention for that demographic.
Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer and vice-president of public health for Vancouver Coastal Health, lauded Vancouver’s routine HIV testing for sexually active adults, announced as part of B.C.’s larger STOP HIV/AIDS project, and said she hopes to see the program expanded.
“We have found that routine testing has picked up more new HIV cases – including among gay and bisexual men – than any other testing strategy, including targeted testing [high-risk patients],” Dr. Daly said. This strategy has picked up infections doctors and patients might have otherwise missed due to a perception of being low-risk.
“By simply routinely testing every adult patient as part of good health care, we are far more likely to pick up undiagnosed HIV infections than by only target-testing high-risk patients,” Dr. Daly said. “We have already found that that strategy has paid dividends in Vancouver. We hope to see it roll out in the rest of the province.”
Geneva (AFP) – HIV infections are rising among gay men in many parts of the world, the World Health Organization warned Friday, urging all men who have sex with men to take antiretroviral drugs to prevent infection.
Infection rates are rising again among men who have sex with men — the group at the epicentre of AIDS pandemic when it first emerged 33 years ago, he told reporters in Geneva.
While images of skeletal men dying of AIDS in the 1980s pushed the world to act, a younger generation that has grown up among new treatments that make it possible to live with HIV are less focused on the disease, he suggested.
Today, this group is 19 times more likely than the general population to be infected by HIV, Hirnschall said.
In Bangkok for instance, the incidence of HIV among men who have sex with men stands at 5.7 percent, compared to less than 1.0 percent for the overall population, he said.
In its new recommendations for combatting the HIV/AIDS pandemic, published Friday, the UN health agency therefore for the first time “strongly recommends men who have sex with men consider taking antiretroviral medicines as an additional method of preventing HIV infection”.
US authorities made the same recommendation in May.
Taking pre-exposure prophylaxis medication, for instance as a single daily pill combining two antiretrovirals, in addition to using condoms, has been estimated to cut HIV incidence among such men by 20-25 percent, WHO said, stressing that this could avert “up to one million new infections among this group over 10 years”.
The new guidelines also focus on other high-risk groups, pointing out that men who have sex with men, transgender people, prisoners, people who inject drugs and sex workers together account for about half of all new HIV infections worldwide.
- Putting overall progress at risk -
At the same time, they are often the very groups who have least access to healthcare services, with criminalisation and stigma often dissuading them from seeking help even when it is available.
When people fear seeking health care services it “will inevitably lead to more infections in those communities,” Rachel Baggaley, of the WHO’s HIV department, told reporters.
Globally, transgender women and injecting drug users, for instance, are around 50 times more likely than the general population to contract HIV, while sex workers have a 14-fold higher chance of getting infected, WHO said.
The world has overall been making great strides in tackling HIV, with the number of new infections plunging by a third between 2001 and 2012, when 2.3 million people contracted the virus.
And by the end of 2013, some 13 million people with HIV were receiving antiretroviral treatment, dramatically reducing the number of people dying from AIDS.
“Progress is however uneven,” Hirnschall said, warning that failing to address the still sky-high HIV incidence among certain groups was putting the overall battle against the deadly disease at risk.
Most countries focus the lion’s share of their attention on fighting HIV infections among the general populations, paying relatively little attention to the most high-risk groups.
This is especially true in sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to 71 percent of the some 35.3 million people worldwide living with HIV, the expert said.
Hirnschall stressed that tackling infections among the most at risk should be a general concern.
“None of these people live in isolation,” he said, pointing out that “sex workers and their clients have husbands, wives and partners. Some inject drugs. Many have children.”
Decriminalising and destigmatising these groups would greatly help bring down HIV infections among them, WHO said.
Promoting condom use, wide-spread voluntary HIV testing, treating at-risk individuals with antiretrovirals, voluntary male circumcision and needle exchange programmes figure among the other WHO recommendations for battling the disease.