- After abandoning earlier plans to push through a 20-week federal abortion ban because President Obama threatened to veto the hell out of it, Republicans in the House pushed through some bullhooey banning federal funding of abortion yesterday. (Reuters)
- Unfortunately, many states already have laws in place banning abortion at 20 weeks, and more are sure to follow. (NPR)
- Weird scenario … You find out you’re pregnant and give birth to a 10-lb. kid an hour later. Ahh! Talk about an American Horror Story! (USA Today)
- A new health and wellness center specifically for members of the LGBTQ community has opened in Tucson. The very first of its kind in Arizona! (Tucson Weekly)
- Are “hookup apps” the cause of rising STD rates among gay men? (HuffPo)
- Hormonal birth control may be increasing women’s risk for a rare brain tumor. (Luckily that risk is small.) (Medical Daily)
- Black women are making themselves heard on the topic of abortion access. (Think Progress)
- And with black women being four times more likely to die during childbirth than white women, it’s high time our voices are elevated. (Think Progress)
- With his birthday just passing, it’s important to remember that Martin Luther King Jr. was a champion of birth control. (HuffPo)
- An Arizona abortion provider speaks about the changing political landscape and how it’s affected her practice and its patients. (WaPo)
- Oh gawd. Someone decided to give men a platform (’cause they don’t have enough of those already) to speak out about their “abortion regrets.” In particular, not engaging aggressively enough in reproductive coercion to force the women they got pregnant to continue their unwanted pregnancies. I could seriously vomit reading this tripe. (RH Reality Check)
- Good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good: If you’re a fetus in Alabama, you have a legal right to a state-paid attorney to “protect your rights”! Even though you can’t, like … communicate your wishes to the attorney, or think coherent thoughts even. It doesn’t matter! You get a lawyer on the state’s dime! Now the bad news: If you’ve had the misfortune of being born already, you don’t have the right to an attorney paid for by the state. Sorry. Your protection ends once you leave the womb, pal. (Jezebel)
Before antibiotics, syphilis was the most feared sexually transmitted disease (STD) out there. It was easy to get, quack cures were ineffective and often unpleasant, and it could lead to blindness, disfigurement, dementia, or even death. When we were finally able to zap infections away with drugs like penicillin, it seemed like we’d finally won the battle against this scourge. Whereas syphilis rates were highest before antibiotics became widespread in the 1940s, by 2000 we saw a low of 2.1 cases of syphilis per 100,000. At the dawn of the new millennium, many scientists thought the United States was at the dawn of the complete elimination of syphilis.
Using condoms, regular STD testing, and limiting sex partners are the best ways for sexually active people to stay healthy.
Must all good things come to an end? They shouldn’t have to, but in the case of syphilis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that syphilis rates are rising, with incidence doubling since 2005. In the United States, there are now 5.3 cases of syphilis per 100,000 people, but that number is a bit misleading because it represents an average across the general population. When you break the population down by age, race or ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, that rate might be much higher or much lower. For example, syphilis rates are actually on the decline among women (at only 0.9 cases per 100,000), but among men it is 9.8 per 100,000. In fact, most new syphilis cases — 91.1 percent of them, to be precise — are in men, most of whom are gay or bisexual.
Syphilis is rising the most dramatically among men in their twenties, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM). While some wonder if syphilis is growing among twenty-somethings because this group didn’t live through the early era of AIDS, when HIV was seen as a death sentence and safer sex practices were more common, it might also be due to the fact that STD rates are higher among young people in general. Continue reading