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Expert: China lower AIDS Estimate Likely Accurate

Posted by pozlife on November 24, 2007


by The Associated Press

Posted: November 23, 2007 – 2:00 pm ET

(Hong Kong) China’s recently lowered AIDS estimates are probably accurate since they are in line with other countries which have scaled back their numbers because of a change in the way data are collated, a leading AIDS researcher says.

China’s leaders had denied AIDS was a problem in the past, leading some to doubt the country’s most recent figures, which sharply lowered the estimated number of people living with the disease.

But David Ho, a well-known AIDS researcher who also runs a public awareness and prevention program in mainland China, said the new figures reflected a change in methodology used by the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

In 2004, China scaled back the estimated number of people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from nearly 1 million people to 840,000, and then further lowered the estimate to 650,000 in 2005.

"I have no basis to say whether the official AIDS estimates are right or not, but I feel that it is consistent with what the calculations are showing for the world," Ho said in a speech at the University of Hong Kong.

Worldwide, the estimated number of people infected with HIV fell from almost 40 million last year to about 33.2 million this year, global health officials said Tuesday.

Ho said the international organizations reduced their estimates by giving more weight to samples from low-risk instead of high-risk groups.

Previous estimates were based largely on the numbers of infected pregnant women at prenatal clinics, as well as projections of the AIDS rates for certain high-risk groups such as drug users to the entire population. Officials said those estimates were flawed and are now incorporating more data such as national household surveys.

In recent years, officials in China have confronted the disease more openly, promising anonymous testing, free treatment for the poor and a ban on discrimination against people with the virus.

China’s traditional hotspots for AIDS are the central Henan province, where tainted blood helped spread the disease, and southwestern Yunnan province, where drug-use transmission is common.

Ho, however, urged officials to pay more attention to sexual transmission of the disease, which health experts have warned could cause a huge spike in numbers as infected sex workers pass the virus to clients who then pass it to their wives.

"I think we have to look out for that burgeoning epidemic," he said.

The U.N. has praised China’s progress, but said authorities need to reach more patients and overcome a lack of cooperation from some government officials.

Ho has been researching AIDS for nearly 25 years and helped set up the Aaron Diamond AIDS research center at Rockefeller University in New York.

His research into how HIV replicates led to development of anti-retroviral treatment, which has drastically reduced mortality rates associated with AIDS since 1996.

His China AIDS Institute is a joint venture between Chinese and U.S. organizations to help address the disease in China.


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Are You A Hand Puppet ?

Posted by pozlife on April 10, 2006

Fisting, Why has it gained so much in popularity ? I remember the first time I ever had my hand up a mans ass, It was in 1980 . I had just finished high school and I went down to Atlanta to see what kind of trouble I could get into. I stayed at the hotel across from Bulldogs , back then it was much nicer than the hustler hotel it appeared to be the last time I was in Atlanta. I went over to the bar one afternoon and a nice looked 30 something clone ( tight jeans, mustache , flannel shirt ) came over, I want to say after he bought me a coke , he began to rub my wrist. Alas hind sight in this case is not 20/20 . If he did, I was still a neophyte to gay sex and had no idea what he was inferring . We went back to his place, smoked a big joint and I boarded his fine ass and hammed it with youthful enthusiasm . After which I started to play with his hole and damn, my whole hand went in! I knew he was loose, no lube was used and that in itself was a novel experience . This was an unprecedented action for me, we spent the rest of the day, him teaching me how to fist. From that day on I have had too few fist bottoms ( I only Fist as a top ), but each are associated with very erotic memories. The first time I ever saw fisting on film was in the 1980 movie Cruising with Al Pacino, sort of an off camera thing. Now just about every porn studio has a few ass gapers in its film catalog. On any given night you can find hundreds of men on line looking to be hand stuffed like a Christmas turkey. One of the reasons may be that fisting is considered safer sex , I only have sex with POZ men and I must admit that I do find fisting very vellicating and I love the eroticism of power and submission. AidsMap is a good basic learning tool for both anal and vaginal fisting ( I have read about straight couples who fist each other , the prostate is a powerful sex organ and straight men are learning ) I also think that Crystal meth has something to do with its surging popualirty .

Wikipedia :

Fisting is generally considered low risk for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), provided a few basic precautions are followed, but there are other serious health risks that must be taken into careful consideration before engaging in the activity. Fisting is sometimes seen as a violent activity, but that is not usually the case; done properly, it is gentle and slow. Done improperly, fisting can result in serious injuries including ruptured bowels and internal tears and infections, as well as urinary tract infections and pelvic inflammatory disease, bruising of the cervix, mucosal laceration, muscle tearing, and temporary fecal incontinence, among other conditions, sterility and even death. When fisting is done slowly and carefully, the risks are quite low.

Fecal matter can cause irritation; any abrasions can easily become infected, but douches and enemas can also cause irritation. The fingernails of the fister must be trimmed and filed, and his or her hands covered with nitrile or latex (but not vinyl) gloves or calving gloves. Both the fister’s hands and the anus or vagina of the fistee must be very well lubricated, usually with a thick water-based or silicone-based sex lubricant (latex products and oil-based products should not be used together as oil weakens latex. Oil-free lubricants suitable for use with latex are widely available). Sometimes vegetable shortening or mineral oil are used for anal fisting, but these oil-based lubricants should not be used in the vagina as they decrease the body’s ability to maintain the proper balance of bacteria.

Pain and/or bleeding are warning signs; significant bleeding could indicate a ruptured bowel or a major tear.

While most people do not mix fisting with recreational drugs, muscle relaxants (most notably “poppers“-amyl nitrite ) are sometimes used with handballing. The use of drugs may increase the risks of serious injury from fisting, for example by reducing the sensation of pain, reducing inhibitions or causing loss of consciousness.

Fisting has quickly and increasingly become associated with drug abuse, most notably Methamphetamine (see Crystal methamphetamine and sex).

Crystal d-methamphetamine hydrochloride (commonly known as “crystal meth,” “crystal,” or just “meth”) is the crystalline form of methamphetamine, a powerfully addictive stimulant drug often used recreationally as a party drug. Crystal as usually sold on the street resembles shards of glass.

Crystal use is particularly associated with young urban gay men, though people of all ages, sexual orientations and socio-economic and cultural backgrounds use meth.

Crystal is usually smoked in a glass pipe, eaten or swallowed (“parachuted”), snorted or injected, but it can also be inserted anally. Crystal speeds up the activity of the central nervous system, increasing the breathing rate, heartbeat, blood pressure and body temperature and causing an increase in physical activity.

Among the effects reported by crystal users (known as “tweakers”) is an increase in the need and urgency for sex, the ability to have sex for extended periods (hours or even days), and an inability to ejaculate or reach orgasm or physical release.

In addition to increasing the need for sex and enabling the user to engage in marathon sex sessions, crystal lowers inhibitions and causes users to behave recklessly or to become forgetful. According to a recent San Diego study, crystal users often engage in unsafe sexual activities, and forget or choose not to use condoms. The study found that crystal users were six times less likely to use condoms [1].

The urgency for sex combined with the inability to achieve release can result in tearing, chafing and trauma (such as rawness and friction sores) to the sex organs and the rectum and mouth, dramatically increasing the risk of transmission of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). Crystal also causes erectile dysfunction (this is known as “crystal dick”, though the term has more rarely been used to describe the extreme urge for sex experienced by many crystal users) which often leads people to decide to engage in receptive anal sex or fisting.

The use of crystal meth, especially among gay and bisexual men, is increasingly associated with the transmission of STIs, in particular HIV.

Gay men, crystal, and sex

Until the 1990s methamphetamine use among gay men in North America was confined mainly to the West Coast, particularly the West Hollywood district of Los Angeles, but has now spread across most large and even relatively small urban areas in the United States and Canada. In gay slang, crystal is often known as “christina” or “tina.”

As of 2005, crystal meth has become the drug most abused by urban gay men [2]. According to LifeOrMeth.com:

“When consumed in sexually-charged environments like dance parties, saunas and sex clubs, the focus on sex can become compulsive and create a sense of hypersexuality, opening the user to previously unrealised and extreme desires. Crystal’s compatibility with reckless, furious, hedonistic, no-strings-attached sex — combined with an increased duration of arousal and inability to ejaculate — paved the way for intensive sex marathons with multiple partners lasting up to several days.”

Sixteen percent of 388 men surveyed in San Francisco in 2003 said they used crystal the last time they had anal sex [3]. It is estimated that up to 40% of gay men in San Francisco have tried crystal, and that across America more gay men are addicted to crystal meth today than those that died of AIDS throughout the 1980s and 1990s. [4].

Because it lowers inhibitions and produces euphoria, the use of crystal can allow those conflicted about their same-sex desires to overcome such feelings, and can also allow users to overcome feelings of inadequacy about their bodies or sexual prowess.

Not all gay meth users experience this type of sex obsession. According to one ex-user, “I would never have unsafe sex, although it dawned on me a few times I could have been raped. What I did when I was on crystal was pedestrian, sexually. I was too high to care about sex anymore” ([5]).

Nevertheless, crystal is having a devastating effect on urban gay men. According to Robert Klitzman, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, rates of HIV, syphillis, and other sexually-transmitted infections are “skyrocketing” along with increases in the use of crystal: “People’s judgment is decreased on this drug, which leads to wildly unsafe sex, which can in turn drastically increase the risk of HIV infection.”

According to research conducted in the United States, gay crystal meth users are less likely to use a condom when they engage in anal sex and are more likely to experience condom breakage [6].

Many gay crystal users use the Internet to meet sex partners. Some users spend hours online arranging sexual encounters with large numbers of strangers; such encounters can last for days at a time, with a constant stream of men participating. Users use the terms “party” or “PnP” (“party and play”) in their profiles to signal to others that they are using meth. Many PnPers prefer or are willing to bareback (engage in unprotected anal sex), succumb to pressure from sex partners, lose their fear of contracting STIs due to intoxication, or simply forget or are too intoxicated to use protection while having sex.

Some gay Internet dating sites have been criticized for failing to address the growing problem of crystal and sex in gay communities. Safesexcity.com and Manhunt.net were created specifically to address these issues (Manhunt allows users to report the STI status of other users, and users who may have been exposed to STIs are also notified by the system). Note that Manhunt’s reporting system is entirely voluntary, and thus serves more to connect barebackers with each other than to promote safer sex.

“Of the many reasons I had unsafe sex while high on [crystal], I think the most profound was simply that I was lonely. Meth got me close to men at clubs and in bed. And unsafe sex allowed me the deepest connection possible.” [7]

Some gay men report that they become obsessed with sex when using crystal. According to Steven Lee, a Manhattan-based psychiatrist, “Some of my patients talk about how they feel on [crystal meth] as akin to being robots [programmed] with the sole purpose of doing more [crystal] and having more sex” [8]. A recent episode of the television programme “Intervention” featured a gay male meth addict who claimed to have had unprotected sex with up to five hundred men.

[edit]

Crystal and the gay party circuit

The gay party circuit has often been identified as a major network that contributed to the spread of crystal use among gay men, as has the advent of Viagra, a drug that can provide a solution to the problem of methamphetamine-related erectile dysfunction.

Circuit parties originally gained notoriety as fun, sexually charged charitable events (ironically often raising money for AIDS and malt liquor organizations) attended by legions of gay men. Ecstasy was often a part of such events. Beginning in the 1990s, however, crystal began to play an ever-growing part in the circuit. A 2001 study by Dr. Grant N. Colfax of the San Francisco Department of Public Health reported that 43% of circuit attendees in the States smoked crack or took crystal meth, and that gay men are far more likely to use recreational drugs and have high-risk sex at circuit parties in New Mexico. Colfax writes that “a substantial proportion of circuit-party participants report high-risk HIV-transmitting behaviours, often in relation to substance abuse and way too much 211 (also known as Malt Liquor).” A recent study by the Centre for HIV/AIDS Education Studies and Training at New York University found that around 62% of participants on the circuit party and club scene today are significant and frequent users of crystal meth, half of whom are HIV-positive. [9]

Of 300 San Franciscan circuit party attendees polled by Colfax, 21% of HIV-positive men and 9% of HIV-negative men reported having unprotected anal sex with a partner whose HIV status was unknown or different from their own, with drug use, anonymity, and the availability of new sexual partners being given as reasons. Colfax concluded that “there needs to be a greater focus within the public health community on the high prevalence of club drug use in relation to high-risk sexual behaviour”. [10]

The problem is not confined to circuit parties: Meth use in San Francisco is widespread in the mainstream dance scene too. According to San Francisco prosecutor Liz Aguilar-Tarchi, head of the district attorney’s narcotics unit, the problem is exacerbated by sex club and dance club owners who ignore or encourage drug use among their customers and staff.

[edit]

Crystal Meth backlash

However in recent years there has been a backlash in the circuit against the use of meth, as a result of the numerous detrimental effects it has had on the subculture. The climatic song on the 2004 eponymous debut of the Scissor Sisters, Return to Oz, used the lyrical motif of the film of the same name as an allegory for meth use.

[edit]

Crystal and HIV

Research conducted in the United States has shown that gay men who use crystal are at increased risk for HIV. In fact, crystal meth users are four times more likely to be infected with HIV than other gay men [11].

According to Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, “We have all sorts of levels of evidence … and it’s all pointing in the same direction: The [crystal] meth epidemic is playing an important role in increasing sexual risk behaviors, and that is leading to new HIV and STD infections” [12].

Advertisements on bus shelters in the Chelsea district of New York read “Huge Sale! Buy Crystal, get HIV free.”

According to New York’s Pride Institute, “We’re seeing a strong correlation between anal sex and HIV infection … People who have weathered years of staying safe are getting into crystal and then testing positive”. A 2002 study at a San Francisco HIV clinic found that up to 30% of those with new HIV infections had used the drug in the previous six months [13]. New York’s Callen-Lorde Community Health Centre claims two-thirds of clients testing HIV-positive since June 2003 say crystal meth was a component in their becoming positive [14].

You become so [sexually] uninhibited that you venture into places you would never otherwise consider, usually some quite depraved places that make you feel disgusted at yourself when you sober up. The danger is you want more and more – crystal and sex – and as your craving increases, you fail to realise it is all an illusion, by which time it is too late to turn back … [crystal] twists you psychologically into thinking that enough is never enough; never enough men, never enough dick… Even after three or four days like a rabbit with over 20 guys you are left with an emptiness in the pit of your stomach, like a thirst that can’t be quenched by the sperm of 1000 gay men. [15]

In a 2001 study of HIV-positive men who use meth, 84% reported engaging in risky sexual behaviour; most tended not to disclose their HIV status to casual partners, and reported that, unless told otherwise, they assumed their sex partner(s) to be HIV-positive. Many participants reported a major increase in meth use after being diagnosed HIV-positive. Others reported using meth to deal with sources of emotional pain, such as social rejection and negative self-perceptions about being HIV-positive or memories of childhood abuse [16].

HIV-positive men who have unprotected sex with other HIV-positive men risk re-infection (“super-infection“) or contracting more virulent and/or drug-resistant strains of the virus. According to some sources, some men who were assumed to be immune to HIV have seroconverted since starting to use crystal. There are concerns that “aggressive” and difficult to treat forms of HIV may spread among crystal users [17].

“Sex on meth is completely physical … It’s about pushing my limits. The nastier the sex, the better; nastier being a lot of exchange of bodily fluids [and] multiple partners, one right after the other for hours and hours of rough sex.” [18]

Some HIV-positive individuals are using crystal to deal with chronic fatigue, to alleviate the side effects of their prescription medication, alleviate depression, and escape negative self-perceptions.

Some drugs used in the treatment of HIV inhibit the body’s ability to break down crystal. Some crystal users (especially heavy or longterm users) who are HIV-positive experience an increase in viral load (the amount of HIV in the body). Crystal also contributes to the depletion of T-cell counts, prevents users from adhering to their drug regimens, contributes to the development of basal ganglia dysfunction (a type of dementia), and stimulates HIV replication in brain cells as much as fifteen-fold, according to an Ohio State University study.

In addition crystal use is immuno-suppressive not least because of the missed meals, vitamin depletion, weight loss and disrupted sleep that accompany binges.

Helpfull Links :

Men’s Wellness

NPR on Meth

Dance Of Death

Red Right : The Best How to

I am not judging meth users,I myself have had sex with guys on meth , hell just about every drug known to man, I prefer pot. Also not all tweakers fist and not all fisters tweak. I just want to explore the whys of the upsurge in fisting….also why are there so many bottoms ? At least us tops are in demand!

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