Thanks to a new study conducted by the Gladstone Institutes of the University of California-SF, a combination drug currently being used to treat HIV sufferers has been found to prevent infection by the retrovirus in at least 78% of those exposed and who
faithfully took the drug daily.
The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that Truvada, the brand name for the combination of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine, acts to prevent the HIV virus from
attacking the cells that make up the human immune system. Although much further research needs to be done, early results found that when 1,251 participants in the study—all gay and bisexual males and a small number of transgendered women—took
the drug combo daily, they had roughly half the number of infections—36 versus 64—as a control group containing almost as many volunteers taking a placebo.
The drug is very expensive, with daily doses costing anywhere from $5,000 to
$14,000 per year in the U.S., although a generic version is available overseas costing just 40 cents per day, and in any case, it's unlikely that most health insurance plans would cover the prevention drug.
Watching pornographic videos does not impact the sexual habits of a man and there is no ill-effect on his sexual relationships with his partner.
Allaying the fears of negative impact on men watching pornographic videos, a report conducted by a
Canadian researcher over a period of two years says that there is nothing harmful in the practice.
Simon Louis Lajeunesse, a Montreal University associate professor, has asserted that his research discards the common view that pornography
enthusiasts seek out in life what they see in X-rated videos, that ultimately leads to sexual abuse or denigration of women.
Denying the common apprehension of negative impact of porn videos, Simon said: It would be like saying that vodka ads
lead to alcoholism.
His research proves that a majority of men watch movies containing explicit pornographic content to satisfy their fringe fantasy and it is wrong to assume that it leads to criminal behavior.
Simon said that he
face a lot of problems while conducting his research, as adult video stores and sex shops refused to allow him to post notices inviting men to participate. However, a handful of universities permitted him to address their campuses, and after appealing to
some 2,000 mostly women students to take part, 20 heterosexual men agreed to come out to talk on the issue of sex in their lives.
Among the many discoveries that Simon derived during his course of the study, he reached a conclusion that all the
respondents watched adult videos online and almost all searched alone for online erotica, whether in a committed relationship or not.
The study also revealed that men tend to fast-forward through scenes that do not interest them, often involving
sexual violence or group ejaculation which they found disgusting.
Scientists held out the hope of a breakthrough in the prevention of HIV/Aids with the results of a study showing that a vaginal gel used by women before sexual intercourse halved the numbers who became infected.
Scientists have been hunting for
years for something that will allow women to protect themselves, and the excitement of Aids campaigners will be hard to contain, even though further research is needed to confirm the findings.
The director general of the World Health Organisation
(WHO), Margaret Chan, congratulated the scientists. If their results were confirmed by further tests, WHO will work with countries and partners to accelerate access to these products, she said.
A number of large microbicide trials have been
run, but all have failed. The success of this one (run in South Africa where one in three young women aged 20 to 34 is living with HIV) is attributed to the use of an anti-retroviral drug called tenofovir – of the sort used to treat Aids – in gel form.
The study, called Caprisa 004, was conducted by the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. The researchers recruited 889 women between 18 and 40 who were HIV-negative, sexually active and at
risk of becoming infected.
Half were given vaginal applicators filled with gel containing 1% tenofovir. The others got something that looked the same but was inactive. Until the end of the trial, nobody knew who was in each group. The women were
asked to insert a first dose of gel 12 hours before sexual intercourse and a second dose as soon as possible afterwards, within 12 hours. All were given counselling on avoiding HIV infection and a free supply of condoms.
At the end of a year, the
researchers discovered that the gel had halved the numbers of women becoming infected with HIV. After two and a half years, the numbers had dropped, but there were still 39% fewer infections in those women using it. The drop in the numbers protected,
they believe, is caused by some women tending to use it inconsistently as time went on, not knowing whether it was in fact having any effect.
The US Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved a drug that is designed to treat low sex-drive in women.
Flibanserin, also knows as female viagra or pink viagra , was voted down 10-1 by an FDA advisory panel who said that using
the drug was not significantly better than using a placebo.
Not convinced of the clinical meaningful benefit of flibanserin, said Paula Hillard, gynecologist from the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Flibanserin was developed
by the German Firm Boehringer Ingelheim and was touted to have the ability to provide satisfying sexual events in pre-menopausal women suffering from Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder or HSDD.
In response to the drug's web promotion,
which began before it the FDA had a chance to weigh in on its effectiveness, Thea Cacchioni of the University of British Columbia labeled the it a thinly veiled marketing campaign filled with bias, misinformation and celebrity endorsement.
Some were more blunt in their evaluation flibanserin,
I think it's a scam, said said Leonore Tiefer with the NYU School of Medicine.
Commercially knows as Girosa flibanserin has yet to be approved for sale in any country to date.
The Norwegian Directorate of Health has decided that certain diagnostic codes are now invalid in Norway.
The following diagnoses are taken out: fetishism, fetishistic transvestism, sadomasochism, multiple disorders of sexual preference, and
In our opinion there is no basis, neither in today's societal norms nor in professional health thinking, to classify these diagnostic groups as disease, says head of the Health Directorate Bjorn-Inge Larsen.
decision applies as of February 1st 2010, and the code register will be updated as soon as practically possible.
By making this revision Norway has now joined Denmark and Sweden which made similar revisions in 1995 and 2009 respectively. The World
Health Organization, WHO, is currently working on a new version of the diagnostic manual: ICD-11.
The diagnoses of Transsexualism remain unchanged
The diagnoses that cover transsexualism among adults and children are not affected by this
revision. Concrete treatment offers are available to these groups.
A new morning after pill which can prevent pregnancy for nearly a week after unprotected sex has been welcomed by pro-choice campaigners and patients' groups in Scotland who say it will allow women more time to seek help.
(UA) – dubbed the week after pill – provides a contraception window of up to five days, compared with just three for the traditional emergency pill.
But the news provoked a critical reaction from the Catholic Church in Scotland who
said emergency contraception encouraged risk-taking. Peter Kearney, spokesman for the Catholic Media Office, said: Several years of evidence indicate the use of the morning after pill has created a false sense of security and resulted in far greater
risk-taking by many people.
Although UA has been licensed in Europe since last May, it is not yet available over the counter and costs three times more than the alternative drug.
Trials showed that women taking UA were almost half as
likely to get pregnant as those taking the traditional morning after pill within five days after sexual intercourse.
If emergency contraception was used within 24 hours of having unprotected sex, UA reduced the risk of pregnancy by almost two
thirds compared with levonorgestrel.
The researchers, led by Professor Anna Glasier, from the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian in Scotland, said the expected pregnancy rate of women in their trial was less than 6%.
Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. and HRA Pharma won U.S. approval for an emergency contraceptive that women can take up to five days after sex and will compete with Teva's Plan B morning-after pill.
Watson will start selling the pill, to be
called Ella, in the final three months of this year, the Corona, California- based company said today in a statement. The drug will be dispensed as a single dose and requires a prescription.
Studies showed the treatment lowered the pregnancy rate
to 2.2% among women who took it 48 to 120 hours after unprotected sex. The expected pregnancy rate is 5.5%, Watson said.
Ella, whose chemical name is ulipristal, reduced the rate of expected pregnancy by about 60% in clinical trials when taken two
to five days after unprotected sex, FDA staff said in an evaluation released June 15.
Side effects among the 2,600 women who took part in studies included nausea, headache, abdominal pain and dizziness. Ella shouldn't be used when a woman is
pregnant or suspects she may be, Watson said in the statement. Women who become pregnant or complain of lower abdominal pain after taking the drug should be examined for the possibility that an egg has become fertilized and lodged outside the uterus, the
Plan B and Ella work by stalling ovulation. Watson's drug delays that process as much as five days, a key because sperm can live that long inside the body, Jeffrey Jensen, a professor at Oregon Health & Science University said.
The notion that hardcore pornography is addictive and, even worse, a corrosive hazard to individuals, families and society is running headlong into studies conducted by noted researchers that show precisely the opposite—that hardcore pornography is
good for you.
A blog post by Dr. Gad Saad on the Psychology Today website makes just that argument, citing two recent studies, including one conducted by Gert Martin Hald and Neil M. Malamuth.
I should mention, writes Saad, that
Neil Malamuth is a highly regarded scholar of pornography who has often argued for its supposed ill effects. Hence, if there exists a possibility of an a priori bias here, it would be in hoping to find that pornography yields negative consequences.
But that is not what the researchers found in their survey of 688 young Danish adults (men = 316; women = 372). Instead, Hald and Malamuth
found that respondents construed the viewing of hardcover pornography as beneficial to their sex lives, their attitudes towards sex, their perceptions and attitudes towards members of the opposite sex, toward life in general, and over all. The obtained
beneficial effects were statistically significant for all but one measure across both sexes. Now here is the kicker: A positive correlation was obtained between the amount of hardcover pornography that was viewed and the impact of the benefits reaped.
This positive correlation was found for both sexes. In other words, the more that one watched porn, the stronger the benefits (for both sexes)!
The second study yielded similar results. In a paper published in 2009 in the International
Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Milton Diamond reviewed a very broad number of studies that have explored the supposed ill effects of pornography, writes Saad.
Diamond concludes, Indeed, the data reported and reviewed suggests that the
thesis is myth and, if anything, there is an inverse causal relationship between an increase in pornography and sex crimes. Further, considering the findings of studies of community standards and wide spread usage of SEM [sexually explicit material], it
is obvious that in local communities as nationally and internationally, porn is available, widely used and felt appropriate for voluntary adult consumption. If there is a consensus against pornography it is in regard to any SEM that involves children or
minors in its production or consumption. Lastly we see that objections to erotic materials are often made on the basis of supposed actual, social or moral harm to women. No such cause and effect has been demonstrated with any negative consequence.
According to a new survey more than one in ten men have used a prostitute.
The latest poll, carried out by London paper, Metro, reveals that 12% of those questioned admitted to paying for full sex, 9% for oral sex and the same proportion said they
had joined a dating website just so they could sleep with other women.
In contrast to this, just 1% of women questioned said they had paid for full sex.
Furthermore, a separate survey of 1,035 people discovered that more than half of the
population wants prostitution to be legalized in Britain.
The report carried out by Harris Interactive found some 51% agreed prostitution should be allowed, with only 22% opposed to the notion.
So what do these figures suggest? It could
suggest that life experience makes people either more tolerant or more realistic, says Caterina Gerlotto, who managed the poll: Unsurprisingly, men do tend to be more open to such a move than women, although the gap is not as wide as could have
Equally indicative, a fifth of people said they had bought pornography, which breaks down to one in three men and one in ten women. Middle-class Londoners in their late twenties or early thirties were the most likely to spend
money on these types of magazines and television footage.