Category Archives: HEALTH

COUNTRY OF DISTINCTION: NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand Gay Marriage

New Zealand has become the 13th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage and the first in the Asia-Pacific region. On Wednesday night, the New Zealand parliament, backed by Prime Minister John Key voted on a bill to amend the 1955 Marriage Act.

New Zealand joins the following countries who recognise same-sex marriage:

Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Uruguay.

More information click here.

Do you think that New Zealand’s bill amendment will encourage other countries in the region to follow suit?

Note: The original Marriage Act that was amended on Wednesday was the 1955 Marriage Act, not the 1995 Marriage Act as originally reported.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

RULE NO.6: HOMOPHOBIA IS GAY (LITERALLY)

Homophobia Teen

Recent studies have shown that homophobic people may in fact harbor homosexual feelings and therefore respond negatively to homosexuality out of fear of their own emotions and impulses.

I believe that this research can be used to fight bullying of gay kids, teens and young men. Let’s dis-empower the homophobes by playing into their fears.

Follow me for a moment. What is homophobia? Homophobia is negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality. What are homophobes? Homophobes are people that possess these negative feelings and attitudes. If we can turn the tables around and put the homo onto the homophobes then perhaps they would be afraid of showing any signs of homophobia? If everybody knew that homophobes were actually closet homosexuals then these homophobes would be hesitant to outwardly bully people based on their sexual preference. Through a public awareness campaign in schools, advertisements and social media we have a possible solution to reduce bullying of young gay teens and men.

I honestly believe that bullying is one of the most challenging issues facing gay youth but it’s also one of the most difficult issues facing educators and parents. Bullying has been around for as long as there have been teenagers and it seems that pockets of teenagers will always pick on others no matter what steps are put in place to try prevent it. The approach I’m suggesting plays into teenagers fears, similar to anti-smoking campaigns play into adults fears i.e “If you smoke, you will get cancer” or for the homophobia example “studies show that people who bully gay kids may be gay themselves”. Now, I don’t mean to associate homosexuality with cancer but teenagers are a simple minded group, they just want to fit in and will do anything to do so. If we can exploit this need to be the same as everyone else then I believe we have the first practical solution to fighting gay bullying.

What do you think is the solution to stopping gay bullying? 

(Read this Huffington Post article for more information on the studies of homophobia).

Photo credit: Jean-Francois Carly

Tagged , , , , , , ,

RULE NO.5: YOU CAN CONTRACT HIV FROM SOMEONE YOU LOVE

Young Gay Couple

One of the best things about having a boyfriend is choosing not use condoms. I’ve heard from friends of mine that they choose not to use condoms with their boyfriends after a certain period of time dating. They rationalise that they’ve been together for long enough that they can trust their partner but this is a grave mistake. A large portion of newly diagnosed HIV cases are the result of a person contracting the virus from a partner who did not know that they were HIV positive. You cannot assume that your partner is negative simply based on the period of time that you’ve been dating. He may not be aware of his own status.

When and if you decide to stop using condoms in your relationship it’s important to follow the Four T’s: Talk, Test, Test, Trust. This is the safest approach to ensuring you look after your health and the health of your partner.

I have copied the following information from the ACON website (an Australian health organisation established to promote sexual health for the gay community) as they explain the Four T’s best.

Some HIV negative men in ongoing relationships with other HIV negative men choose to have anal sex with each other without using condoms. At best this decision can help make the sex they have special, at worst it can increase the risk of either or both partners contracting HIV.

Choosing not to use condoms with a regular partner is a major decision. It’s not only a decision about the type of sex you have together, it’s a decision about how much responsibility for your sexual wellbeing you’re prepared to hand over to your partner. By choosing to have sex without condoms within your relationship you are saying to each other ‘I trust you with my health and safety’.

THE FOUR T’S

Step One – Talk

To safely stop using condoms within your relationship you need to be able to talk openly and honestly with each other about why you want to do it, what the potential benefits and risks might be, the ground rules for sex inside and outside the relationship and how you’ll deal with any problems that may arise.

If you come to an understanding with each other on all of these issues and still want to ditch the condoms you should then move on to Step #2.

Step Two – Test

Step 2 is for both of you to have an HIV test. You can do this together or separately. If you’re going to have anal sex without a condom you should both be totally sure you are HIV negative and aren’t going to put each other at risk.

If the tests for both of you come back negative, you should still continue to use condoms for 3 months before moving on to Step #3.

Step Three – Test

Step #3 is to get a second HIV test. If neither of you have had unsafe sex throughout the three-month period then the second test will confirm that both of you are HIV negative.

If this is the case and you still want to stop using condoms with each other you can then move on to Step #4.

Step Four – Trust

Step #4 is to negotiate a clear agreement for sex with each other and other people outside the relationship (if that’s what you’ve decided) as well as guidelines for dealing with any problems that might arise.  Once these have been made clear you can then trust that you and your partner will stick by them.

If the two of you decide to stop using condoms for anal sex with each other remember it depends upon open and honest communication.  The discussions you have about condoms and sex can help you understand each other better and build a stronger relationship

www.acon.org.au

Photo Credit: “Viva Las Vegas” by Matthias Vriens McGrath

How have you negotiated safe-sex with your partner?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
Advertisements