Wednesday, July 21, 2010
While the International AIDS Conference is happening in Vienna it is instructive that nearly all the conversations I have seen so far are just on men, especially MSMs and rightly so in some respects and the African almost guinea pig typed studies on women trying out gels and other supposed safer sex methods. Bisexual women and lesbians hardly get captured in these agitiations towards behaviour change messages.
The few studies on lesbians and HIV are a drop in the bucket when compared to those readily available on my MSM counterparts.
Here are some tips for the YOU! the ordinary citizen out there as a woman to consider in designing how you negotiate and navigate sexual acitivities. Please review and do your own browsing as well on the subjects shown below.
Why should lesbians think about safe sex?
Generally lesbians are at low risk of HIV infection and unplanned pregnancy. However sex between women is not always safe, and lesbians are just as vulnerable to certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as women who have sex with men. Therefore women need to know the risks and how to protect themselves.
What is ‘safe sex’ for lesbians?
‘Safe sex’ is any activity through which you are at no risk of becoming infected with HIV or an STD. 'Safer sex' refers to sex in which the risk of becoming infected with HIV or an STD is minimised. Lesbians can protect themselves from HIV and many STDs by ensuring that infected fluids, such as blood or vaginal fluids, do not enter their body during sex. Precautions that can be taken include not sharing sex toys, or if doing so, using a new condom for each partner. Certain sexual activities are also considered to be lower risk, for example hugging, touching, massage and masturbation.
However, STDs such as herpes and crabs can be passed on through skin contact alone. The only way for two women to be sure that they are not at risk during sex is if both have been fully tested, and have not had sexual contact with any other women or men since.
Lesbians, sex and HIV
Lesbian or bisexual women are not at high risk of becoming infected with HIV - the virus that causes AIDS - through woman to woman sex.
However, like many women:
Some lesbians have unsafe sex with men - one British study found that 85 percent of women who have sex with women reported also having sex with men.
Some lesbians inject drugs and share needles - research into injecting drug users has shown higher HIV prevalence among women who have sex with women, compared to heterosexual injecting drug users.
Some lesbians wanting to get pregnant face decisions about sperm donors - legitimate sperm banks screen donor's semen for HIV and other STDs. However, many lesbians chose to use the sperm of someone they know, rather than using a sperm bank.
Some lesbian sexual practices are risky.
It is argued that the widespread assumption that lesbians are a low-risk population increases some lesbians risk of HIV infection as they believe HIV is not something that they need to be concerned about
What are the HIV risks for lesbians?
HIV is in the blood, breast milk, vaginal fluid or semen of someone with HIV, so you are at risk if you get any of these fluids inside your body. The risks of sexually transmitting HIV between women are low. Very few women are known to have passed HIV on to other women sexually. However, some lesbian sexual practices do carry a risk of HIV transmission and precautions need to be taken to protect against infection.
Oral sex - the risk of HIV being passed on through oral sex is low, but it is increased if a woman has cuts or sores in her mouth, or if the partner receiving oral sex has sores on her genitals or is having her period. Oral sex is safer if you use a 'dental dam' (a square of latex or cling film) to stop any vaginal fluid or menstrual blood getting into your mouth. A condom cut open and spread flat can also be used for this.
Sharing sex toys - sharing sex toys (for example vibrators) can be risky if they have vaginal fluids (juice), blood or faeces on them. Always clean them well and have one each. This is one area of sex where sharing is a bad idea!
Rough sex - any sexual activity that can lead to bleeding or cuts/breaks in the lining of vagina or anus is risky, including 'fisting' or certain S&M (sadomasochism) activities.
What other STD risks are there for lesbians and bisexual women?
Although we have seen that lesbian and bisexual women are at low risk of getting HIV from sex with another woman, many other STDs - such as herpes or thrush - are just as common for lesbians as for women who have sex with men.
•Thrush is an overgrowth of yeast causing vaginal itching and soreness, often with a white discharge. It can be passed via sex between women, though oral sex is low risk.
•Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an overgrowth of vaginal bacteria causing a smelly discharge, which lesbians often experience. There is a possible link with perfumed soaps and bath oils.
•Genital warts are painless bumps on the vulva, in the vagina, on the cervix or round the anus. They can be passed through contact with the wart, for example by touching, rubbing or sharing sex toys. It is unlikely non-genital warts, such as on hands, can be transferred to the genitals.
•Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) gives a frothy, itchy vaginal discharge and is passed on by contact with the vagina only, for example by touching or sharing sex toys.
•Herpes can cause painful sores on the inside of the vulva/vagina or anus (these are genital herpes) or on the mouth (cold sores). Herpes can be passed on through contact with a sore, for example by touching, fondling or sharing sex toys.
Oral sex when a cold sore is present can also transmit the virus. It can be possible to have the herpes virus, be infectious and yet never have had any symptoms. An American study found that the majority of women who have sex with women, who are infected with herpes, are unaware of their infection.
•Crabs/pubic lice cling to pubic and other body hair causing itching and sometimes blood spots from bites. They are spread through naked body/skin contact.
•Chlamydia and gonorrhea are rare in lesbians but if they are present may be passed on through sharing sex toys or rubbing vulvas together. Often there are no symptoms, though there may be a discharge. The first sign of both infections may be pain in the pelvic region (pelvic inflammatory disease or PID).
There is a risk of infertility for women who have had untreated chlamydia.
•Syphilis is very infectious and close skin contact during sex can pass it on. Syphilis causes painless ulcers (or chancres) to appear where the bacteria entered the body. A chancre on the vagina can be almost unnoticeable.
•Hepatitis refers to viral infections that cause inflammation of the liver. Certain forms of hepatitis can easily be passed on in sex - for example by touching or sharing sex toys. There are often no symptoms, though it can cause jaundice (yellow skin) or nausea.
Treatment is available for all the STDs mentioned above, often with antibiotics, and most can be cleared up quite rapidly. It is vital you seek help as soon as you notice any symptoms and that you do not have sexual contact that could pass on any infection until it has been dealt with.
Some Popular Posts
How To Use a Dildo for Strap-on Sex From Kathy Belge, Your Guide to Lesbian Life . Lesbians who like penetration may want to try a dildo f...
What Are Poppers? Poppers is slang for a variety of alkyl nitrites, particularly amyl nitrite. Poppers are available over-the-counter and c...
Found this comment on a blog from wordpress , thanks for the interest my friend and a very good blog. ONE LUV.................. Dear ...
France's Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault delivers a speech as he attends a political rally for the upcoming second tour of the l...
As news and pictures from last night's scene at Trafalgar Square in New Kingston, the same square that was in the news earlier ...
Egale Canada and the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention recognize leaders in the fight for human rightsEgale Canada and the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention recognize leaders in the fight for human rights Toronto, Ontario – Egale Canada and...
ANY activity that requires skin to repeatedly rub against skin can lead to chafing. Therefore, the most common causes of vaginal chafing are...
Minister of Education says no to condoms in schools & grooming of children to see homosexuality as acceptedThe last time I looked at this was via two podcasts entered on October 28, 2012 and September 18, 2012 and written entries as well on th...
The Bahamian Chief Justice has said that he believes that courts will address the issue of equal marriage soon in the country. In an optim...
Malene Alleyne NOT in this Cabinet. Not in this Charter. Not in this country. This seems to be the sentiment in Jamaica towards Lesbia...
GLBTQ Jamaica 2011 Summary 02.01.12 (AUDIO)
This Week In The 2013 Texas Lege-Week Ending May 17 - The 2013 Texas Legislative session is rapidly drawing to a close. But until the session ends on May 27 and the legislators are all headed back home, as the...9 hours ago
Intersex Activists Speak Out In Support of M.C. Crawford - Hi, everyone! It's been a few days since new first broke that eight-year old M.C. Crawford's family is suing various South Carolina institutions for perfor...10 hours ago
Let Damian Walk X2: Two Events Planned In Support Of Transgender Senior Damian Garcia - There will be two rallies in support of Damian Garcia the male transgender student from Albuquerque NM. Damian may not attend his own graduation on May 2...23 hours ago
Action Requested: This Old MUZOPHILE Site Shutting Down 2Day, Add the New MUZOPHILE Blog - Info Follows: - Hey Guys - Just in case U didn't know, this blog you are reading now has been inactive for a few months now, so it's time for you to update your MUZOPHIL...1 year ago
resurrecthobbes: merebox: gossipgirlcentral: (via... - resurrecthobbes: merebox: gossipgirlcentral: (via fuckyeahprettygirls) i really loved someone in germany I’m looking at him right now :)3 years ago
Report of fertility in a woman with a predominantly 46,XY karyotype - Dumic M, Lin-Su K, Leibel NI, Ciglar S, Vinci G, Lasan R, Nimkarn S, Wilson JD, McElreavey K, New MI. Department of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, U...3 years ago
Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide
Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide a 2009 Word focus report where the history of the major explosion of homeless msms occurred and references to the party DVD that was leaked to the bootleg market which exposed many unsuspecting patrons to the public (3:59), also the caustic remarks made by former member of Parliament in the then JLP administration. The agencies at the time were also highlighted and the homo negative and homophobic violence met by ordinary Jamaican same gender loving men. The late founder of the CVC, former ED of JASL and JFLAG Dr. Robert Carr was also interviewed. At 4:42 that MSM is still homeless to this date but has managed to eek out a living but being ever so cautious as his face is recognizable from the exposed party DVD
Thanks for your Donations
thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venure that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part.
Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
- To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus
- Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives
- To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony
- Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions
- To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term
- Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere
- Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public
- Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner
- Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially and otherwise
- Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL
Information & Disclaimer
Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.
Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.
This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.
This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.
Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.
This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practioner
Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.
As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.
Recent Homophobic Incidents
CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact email@example.com
Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist
c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation
e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports
f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)
g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible
h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions
j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it