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Philadelphia high schools to distribute free condoms
Date: 2013-07-01 13:53:34

Nearly half of all new sexually transmitted disease cases are found in people between the ages of 15 and 24. This is why it's important to encourage young people to practice safe sex techniques and use STD testing services so that they reduce their risk of spreading infections on to others. Over the years, there have been many debates over the best ways to get teens to understand the dangers of STDs and do something to protect themselves against them.

Recently, Philadelphia School District officials implemented a program to reduce STD rates among teens that some parents are calling controversial. According to My Fox Philly, students attending 22 different high schools across the city will have access to free condom dispensers.

Getting real about sex... Full Story

California considers providing condoms - but not STD testing - to prisoners
Date: 2013-07-08 13:06:35

A bill in the California Senate will determine whether the state will provide condoms to prisons in order to help alleviate the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections, namely HIV. The bill, AB999, proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Oakland, Calif., would compel the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide condoms, via dispensing machines donated to the state, to five prisons by 2015 and to all 33 adult prisons by 2020. Since the prevalence of HIV is approximately 10 times higher among California prisoners than the general population, according to the University of California, San Francisco, the problem is of an urgent nature.

According to the CDC, condoms - if used "consistently and correctly" - can reduce but do not eliminate one's chance of developing a sexually transmitted disease. In addition, since individuals with STDs - especially HIV - often do not exhibit symptoms, the most effective way to reduce one's risk of contracting an STD is for one and one's partner to receive STD testing before engaging in sexual intercourse.

Prison contraception in California... Full Story

'Virus-negative' genital warts reveal new HPV strains
Date: 2013-07-11 13:41:53

A new study conducted by Elsevier discovered a possible means of detecting previously unknown types of human papillomavirus. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, genital HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and it can infect various areas of the body. An HPV infection often results in genital warts, but it can cause cervical and other types of cancer, as well.

The study noted that standard STD testing by a physician can lead to a misdiagnosis or negative result, referred to as virus-negative warts. The study's authors examined the DNA of samples taken from 40 patients who were shown to have this kind of outbreak. They found that multiple subjects actually did have HPV DNA in their warts.

Researchers said that this increases the complications surrounding testing for HPV, as it appears that virus-negative warts can contain almost untraceable amounts of viruses that are so distantly related that they go undetected. The viruses are previously unknown HPV types and are harbored in what were thought to be the virus-negative genital warts.

The report said that traditional means of testing may need to be altered in order to better diagnose the 23 newly discovered strains of HPV.

Who should get an STD test?... Full Story

Increase in casual encounters, sexually transmitted diseases
Date: 2013-07-15 16:22:57

The rise in the availability of technology has made most things in life easier - including hooking up. According to CBS Sacramento, doctors are pointing to casual encounters enabled by online dating sites to a recent rise in sexually transmitted diseases.

"It's very alarming to us because we know there are some STDs that are curable, but there are other STDs that we can treat, but cannot cure," Paolo Cancio, an infectious disease specialist with the AIDS and STD prevention program CARES, told the news source

Cancio mentioned that while doctors are not sure what is causing the uptick, he has met with patients who hooked up with someone they met online and later required treatment for a sexually transmitted disease. CBS Sacramento noted that smartphone applications are enabling people to find people to hook up based on their neighborhood.

However, Cancio and his team have launched an app of their own - one to help smartphone users find free condom dispensers set up by CARES. The dispensers are conveniently located at nearby businesses, and the app, Condom Finder, provides users with the exact address.

STD increase reflected in US... Full Story

Possible treatment for super gonorrhea found
Date: 2013-07-17 11:00:21

Research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health has revealed some possible new treatments for the drug-resistance sexually transmitted disease dubbed 'super gonorrhea.' The two treatments consist of preexisting drugs in new combinations and are showing promise in patients.

The study looked at data from more than 400 gonorrhea patients who had not yet undergone treatment. The subjects included men and women ages 15 to 60. One treatment, which combined injections of gentamicin and oral azithromycin cured all of the patients genital gonorrhea infections. The other treatment was administered in gemifloxacin and azithromyic pills and cured 99.5 percent of the subjects. When it came to throat and rectum infections, both treatments were 100 percent effective. However, both treatments caused patients to experience unwanted side effects, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

"These trial results are an exciting step in the right direction in the fight against drug-resistant gonorrhea," said Gail Bolan, director of the division of STD prevention at the CDC. "But patients need more oral options with fewer side effects."

Bolan went on to underscore how important it is that pharmaceutical companies and researchers find drugs and drug combinations that can maintain the standard of living for gonorrhea patients, without a plethora of adverse side effects. The report also emphasized the need to find a vaccine for the STD.

The study noted that since these findings are so recent, they do not change the official CDC recommendations for treating gonorrhea. The researchers did note that this provides a possible alternative for doctors who cannot use the traditional treatment in patients for whatever reason.

What is drug-resistant gonorrhea?... Full Story

Not enough patients receive HPV vaccines
Date: 2013-07-17 11:42:16

According to a recent survey published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, not enough doctors are following the official guidelines for administering human papillomavirus vaccinations and screening for cervical cancer. HPV vaccines are meant to be given to women between the ages of 11 and 26 and help to prevent cervical cancer.

The survey, which received 366 responses from obstetricians and gynecologists, revealed that less than 33 percent of those surveyed vaccinate patients who fit the criteria against HPV and only 50 percent adhere to cervical cancer prevention guidelines.

National guidelines, as issued by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2009, suggest that annual cervical cancer screenings begin at age 21 before slowly tapering the amount of times patients get screened every year. However, the survey suggests that it may be patients, not doctors, who are not following the guidelines.

About 90 percent of those surveyed said that they offered an HPV vaccination to patients, but only 27 percent of the patients accepted it. The respondents referenced patients and parents as the primary block to an HPV vaccination.

"In the current survey and others, providers stated that the largest barrier to HPV vaccination was patients and parents declining to receive the vaccine," said Rebecca Perkins, lead investigator. "However, studies indicate that most patients support HPV vaccination, and that a strong physician recommendation is the most important determinant of vaccine uptake in young women."

STD testing and screening... Full Story

Study: Sex addiction is merely high libido
Date: 2013-07-19 16:20:07

The University of California, Los Angeles, recently released a study on sexual addiction - a controversial condition that supposedly leaves people unable to control themselves in sexual contexts. By looking at hypersexual subjects' brain responses, researchers found that sex addiction is on par with a high libido.

The study defined sexual addiction as a condition that causes individuals to follow through on out-of-control sexual urges, despite any risk factor. Those afflicted with hypersexuality often jeopardize their marriages, jobs and relationships. Researchers noted that sex addiction often renders people unable to combat their behaviors.

Researchers examined the brains of subjects who reported a sexual addiction, taking note of how they reacted when shown sexual images. This is the first report of its kind that took into account how brain activity changes as self-identified sex addicts are shown sexual images. The study revealed that the participants' brain responses when exposed to such images did not correlate with the level of their hypersexuality, but was linked only to the severity of their sexual wants.

Nicole Prause​, senior author of the study, said that the findings imply that hypersexuality does not necessarily explain brain differences in sexual response any more than just having a high sex drive.

"Potentially, this is an important finding," noted Prause. "It is the first time scientists have studied the brain responses specifically of people who identify as having hypersexual problems."

The author went on to state that the report suggested that hypersexuality is not an addiction, but rather that non-pathological, high sexual desire causes the problems associated with so-called sex addiction.

Brain responses of self-identified sex addicts... Full Story

Herpes dating website spreads love, not disease
Date: 2013-07-23 17:19:23

Recently, Successful Match and Positive Singles launched, a dating site for people living with the herpes simplex virus. The free service allows users to talk with and meet individuals who understand and share their condition. provides herpes patients with the opportunity to date without having to bring up STD testing or their personal disease.

This is not the first dating website of its kind. According to USA Today, there are several online services to match up couples with the same, or similar, STDs. Positive Singles is one, which claims to have orchestrated 60,000 matches.

"A lot of my clients are looking for relationships and they are on dating websites like eHarmony and Match, but then the question is, 'When do I tell him or her that I have herpes? If I tell them right away, that person is going to go away. But if I let the relationship develop and wait to tell the person, is that betrayal?'" Carl Hindy, a clinical psychologist, told the news source.

Impact of STDs in America... Full Story

Researchers find link between throat cancer and HPV
Date: 2013-07-28 14:50:51

A recent study from the University of New South Wales in Australia found that a human papillomavirus infection may increase the risk of throat cancer by as much as threefold.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is linked to cervical cancer, genital cancers and oropharyngeal cancer, which originates in the back of the throat.

University researchers examined the rate of HPV patients diagnosed with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, or throat cancer, through lab tests. The disease's most common causes are smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or extremely hot liquids, eating a diet rich in red meat and possibly consuming a certain amount of toxins.

"This is an important new finding which resolves a previous uncertainty," said Raina MacIntyre, senior author of the study. "Given that the most common two cervical-cancer-causing HPVs are now preventable by early vaccination, this may be significant in countries where [esophageal squamous cell carcinoma] is frequently found."

MacIntyre went on to note that this type of cancer is responsible for a large number of deaths in China, so having a proven preventative measure, such as an HPV vaccine, may be of particular interest to their health authorities.

The report noted that while the team established a link between HPV and throat cancer, further research is required to determine whether HPV is the actual cause.

HPV and medical complications... Full Story

Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates rise in Montana
Date: 2013-07-29 10:09:44

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services reported that rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea have risen in the state, though syphilis rates have remained stable, according to a local news source.

The Great Falls Tribute noted that chlamydia is currently an endemic in Montana, but while gonorrhea is on the rise, it only accounts for some of the newly diagnosed sexually transmitted diseases in the state. Trisha Gardner, a community health education specialist, said that STD outbreaks usually show regional trends. However, she stated that regardless of location, chlamydia is the most commonly seen STD due to how easily it is transmitted.

STD tests show that for every 100,000 Montana residents, 387 have chlamydia, according to the news source. In 2002, there were 271 cases of the disease for every 100,000 persons. Conversely, gonorrhea was at an all-time high in 2006, infecting .02 percent of the population. In 2012, .011 percent of Montana residents were diagnosed with gonorrhea.

Gardner noted that there are income-based disparities in the rate at which citizens are diagnosed with STDs. Though the source noted that the differences weren't based in sexual activity, but rather were the result of limited access to healthcare services for those of lower socioeconomic status.

STD testing and treatment... Full Story

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