Showing posts with label Condoms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Condoms. Show all posts

December 17, 2017

Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump Order on Denying Contraceptives/Condoms

A federal judge in Philadelphia on Friday ordered the Trump administration not to enforce new rules that could significantly reduce women's access to free birth control. 
Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued the injunction, temporarily stopping the government from enforcing the policy change to former President Barack Obama's health care law. 
Image: Birth control Rally
People in support of birth control participate in a rally outside of a local Health and Human Services office on November 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Erik S. Lesser / EPA file
The law required most companies to cover birth control at no additional cost, though it included exemptions for religious organizations. The new policy would allow more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing free contraception to women by claiming religious or moral objections. 
Beetlestone, appointed to the bench by Obama, called the Trump administration's exemptions "sweeping" and said they are the "proverbial exception that swallows the rule." 
She was particularly critical of the power to object on moral grounds, saying it "conjured up a world where a government entity is empowered to impose its own version of morality on each one of us. That cannot be right." 
Attorneys for the Trump administration had argued in court documents that the rules are about "protecting a narrow class of sincere religious and moral objectors from being forced to facilitate practices that conflict with their beliefs."  
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the new policy in October. It marked another step in the Trump administration's rollback of the Affordable Care Act, and supporters say it promotes religious freedom. 
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said that Trump broke the law to undermine women's health and that the ruling will protect women. 
"This is just the first step, but today is a critical victory for millions of women and families and for the rule of law," Shapiro said. 
The injunction will block the rule from being implemented around the country while the case brought by Shapiro moves forward in Pennsylvania. Shapiro's suit said the rules violate the Fifth Amendment because they pertain to women and not men and the First Amendment, by putting employers' religious beliefs over the constitutional rights of women. 
California, Washington and Massachusetts have also sued the Trump administration over the rules. Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia joined California in its effort. 
Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women's Law Center, praised the decision and said the group will continue to fight against the rules. 
"Employers' religious beliefs should never determine the care a woman receives," she said.
AP and NBC

May 13, 2014

NYPD Will Stop Confiscating Condoms from Suspected Hookers

NYPD Will Stop Seizing Condoms From Sex Workers

The New York Police Department will no longer confiscate unused condoms from suspected sex workers to be used as evidence of prostitution, ending a longstanding practice that had been criticized by civil rights groups for undermining efforts to combat AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.

Under the new policy announced Monday, officers may continue to seize condoms as evidence in sex-trafficking and promotion of prostitution cases, but they will not use them in support of prostitution cases. Critics had said the previous policy amounted to police harassment, and noted that New York City spends more than $1 million a year to distribute free condoms.

"The NYPD heard from community health advocates and took a serious look at making changes to our current policy as it relates to our broader public safety mission," Police Commissioner William Bratton said in announcing the new policy.
For decades, police in New York and elsewhere had confiscated condoms from sex work suspects ostensibly for them to be used as evidence in criminal trials, even though the overwhelming majority of prostitution cases never go to trial.

"A policy that inhibits people from safe sex is a mistake and dangerous," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday at an unrelated event in Queens. "And there are a number of ways you can go about putting together evidence" without condoms, he said.
Civil rights groups and advocates for sex workers and gay, lesbian and transgender young people commended the department's new policy, but want a ban on the use of condoms as evidence in sex trafficking and promotion of prostitution cases too.
They argue that even under the new policy police may continue to seize condoms from sex workers and teen runaways under the pretense of investigating pimps and traffickers, and that traffickers could punish sex workers who carry condoms because they fear they’ll be used against them.

"This is a step in the right direction but it doesn't go far enough and creates a loophole big enough to drive a truck through," said Andrea Ritchie, a coordinator at Streetwise and Safe, a New York City-based group that has long opposed the department's previous policy. "We will be monitoring the NYPD carefully to see how they implement this policy."
Measures to formally abolish the practice across New York state have been introduced in the Legislature for nearly two decades and last year passed the Assembly. Similar legislation has been introduced in California.

Corinne Carey, of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said lawmakers should go further than the NYPD by prohibiting law enforcement from seizing condoms as evidence of sex trafficking and other prostitution-related crimes.

"This (the new policy) is really too limited for us to be happy about it," she said. "The message needs to be that condoms aren't criminal."
A 2010 study by the city's Department of Health surveyed more than 60 sex workers and found that more than half had condoms confiscated by police. Nearly a third said they had at times not carried condoms because they feared getting into trouble.
Two years later, the group Human Rights Watch interviewed 197 sex workers in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco and found that many limited the number of condoms they carried or went without because they feared police attention. The report concluded that transgender teens, street-level sex workers and immigrants were especially targeted because of their appearance or behavior.

Prosecutors in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Long Island's Nassau County and in San Francisco stopped using condoms as evidence in prostitution cases last year.
The New York Police Department makes about 2,500 prostitution arrests a year.
One respondent in the Human Rights Watch study, Brooklyn sex worker Pam G., told the researchers she has had condoms taken by police.
"The cops say, 'What are you carrying all those condoms for? We could arrest you just for this,'" she said. "It happens all the time around here. I may be carrying eight condoms. If you have more than three or four, they will take them.”

May 1, 2014

Why The Argument About PrEP While 50k New Cases Pop-up?

It’s rare that I get pissed off about a debate playing out in our community, but I am pissed now and getting angrier every day. I sometimes walk to work and go over the facts in my head and mutter to myself in angry tones.
“It’s insane,” I say, before putting my phone to my mouth to pretend I am talking to someone.
Here’s the deal: studies, including the iPrEx study led by Gladstone Institutes senior investigator Dr Robert Grant, show that taking Truvada, a drug commonly used in a cocktail taken by people with HIV, can be used as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (aka PrEP).
Take one Truvada a day and your chances of contracting HIV from condomless sex are reduced by 99 percent. As a result of his work, Grant was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2012.
Wonderful — right? Not so fast. Do yourself a favour and check out our four-part video series above that addresses the debate around PrEP. We blew our budget on it because we think this issue is so important.
The bottom line is that PrEP seems to work for guys who are barebacking (having sex without condoms). Wear a condom and take PrEP and you are even more protected. A broken condom is no longer the anxiety-producing experience it used to be.
Yet, gay men are not embracing the drug. Even those who are riding without condoms are forgoing this seemingly logical choice.  
What is stopping them? Misinformation and shaming seem to be part of the answer. A recent Associated Press article (subsequently picked up by media outlets across North America) quotes Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation: “If something comes along that’s better than condoms, I’m all for it, but Truvada is not that. Let’s be honest: it’s a party drug.”
Weinstein and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have more concerns. And Weinstein is not the only person who harbours the sentiment that gay men running wild are taking PrEP just so they can party and fuck all night without contracting HIV.
But, I ask, what is the problem? Why this associated shame? Condom usage is down. So, god bless the party boy who has enough foresight and self-awareness to take his daily dose of Truvada.
Since the article’s publication, Michael Lucas, a porn producer and PrEP advocate, has called for Weinstein to be fired. We interviewed Lucas back in late 2013 about his use of PrEP as a safety net for occasional “slips.” Now he is going whole hog — dating an HIV-positive man and forgoing condom usage. Lucas also broke his long-standing ban on starring in and producing bareback porn
Does Lucas fit Weinstein’s idea of someone taking PrEP as a party drug?
Lucas wasn’t the only one outraged by Weinstein’s comments. An online petition on calling for Weinstein’s head is making the rounds. But Weinstein isn’t backing down.
“In the last few days, in terms of the people who have been yelling the loudest about this, they’ve all been associated with bareback porn,” he says in an interview with BuzzFeed. “Which kind of makes my point that it’s a party drug.”
But Weinstein’s “party drug” comment is nothing. How about this quote attributed to the University of Ottawa’s Dr Mark Tyndall: “If a gay man tells me that he will never use a condom and he will continue to have unprotected sex with anonymous partners, it seems counter-intuitive to me to give him a pill. He already has highly effective tools at hand to prevent exposure and we need to focus on removing the barriers that prevent him from using these tools.” (Here is the full article:
Good god.                                                                 

We have been bad, bad boys for not following doctor’s orders, and now we must pay the price. And if you don’t do as I say, you kind of had it coming to you. Has this doctor ever used a condom? This quote was from 2011, so maybe he has seen the light since then.
Or how about the argument that a firestorm of sexually transmitted disease will follow when gay men start using PrEP and abandon condoms? Visions of flaming chlamydia and cancerous warts fill my mind.
Another issue often mentioned is cost. “For me, the expense of this drug alone makes it a non-starter: it costs a tremendous amount of money that eventually everybody will pay for either in the form of more expensive insurance or further burdening of our healthcare system,” (Dan Falkenham)
I get it — to a point. Drugs fail and have unforeseen side effects. We have been burned before on the pharmaceutical front in our fight against HIV/AIDS.
Damon Jacobs is a New Yorker who actively promotes PrEP education. He is not involved in the porn industry and he’s been taking Truvada since July 2011. He’s more of a bottom and has been on the receiving end with HIV-positive guys. He remains negative.
He wrote about his experiences on the My PrEP Experience blog. He describes the online debate as “unusually unscientific” and sees sides in the debate being drawn along generational lines with first-wave survivors of the AIDS pandemic being the most ardent in their rejection of PrEP as a prevention tool.
He sees these guys as married to the condom-every-time mantra. Often they are “furious” when debating. Me too.
Thank god we are finally becoming furious, because about 50,000 new HIV infections are popping up in the US every year. Lives are affected, ruined and cut short. Whether you are a party boy or an older man and whether you bareback or not, you deserve protection and information.

April 20, 2014

Females Condoms, Do They Do the GGJ (gay guy job)?


At adamfoxie we are watching this subject constantly and report back to you as soon as any development comes out. Condoms for gay couples is been something in which nobody in the commercial development of condoms gave any serious thought until a few years ago. After all why spend the resources to develop something for an activity that was even illegal in certain areas? It wasn’t until the major accomplishments on gay rights in the US in the mid decade of 2000 that serious thought was given to it. 
It’s an easy thing to say use a condom by somebody that doesn’t have the need or the inclination to use them and another thing is to be the user. Condoms are simply not design for a gay user. There are used because there is been nothing else to replace them with. There are many people HIV positive today that would not be, if a condom was design for their use.  There has been so much money invested on advertising and spreading the word to use a wrong product for so long that if part of that was use for research we would have had a gay-use condom a decade ago. Because this blog is aware of people that have become positive either because the condom broke or the partner using it took it off without the knowledge of the receptive partner it’s always been a major concern here. positive
Male condoms are more likely to break during anal sex than vaginal sex, so some health clinics and workers have been promoting female condoms as an alternative. A handful of studies have found that 35-48 percent of gay men surveyed in the U.S. have heard of using female condoms for anal sex and about 13-21 percent say they’ve actually done so.
The hitch is that female condoms have only been approved for vaginal sex and there isn’t yet convincing evidence supporting their use during anal sex. “Our group did a review of the studies around anal sex and found that there really just weren’t enough solid studies to say whether it was safe or effective,” says Susie Hoffman, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York.

Some female-condom advocates recommend the female condom for anal sex because they believe it’s preferable to using no protection at all.

Certain design elements may, in fact, make female condoms inappropriate for anal sex. As a team of researchers wrote in a 2009 review, “The female condom has features specifically designed for insertion into the vagina, most notably a flexible inner ring secured by the cervix. When used in the anus, the female condom may not be easy to insert, comfortable, or even safe.” (Indeed, a small study of gay men conducted in 2003 suggests there may be reason for concern; female condoms slipped more during anal sex than male condoms and men using female condoms were more likely to experience pain, discomfort, and rectal bleeding.)
Still, some female-condom advocates recommend the female condom for anal sex because they believe it’s preferable to using no protection at all. “The Chicago Female Condom Campaign does promote it as a risk reduction strategy,” says Jessica Terlikowski, the director of prevention technology education at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, which is the coordinating partner of the campaign. “We’re very clear about what information does and does not exist,” she says.
While some state health departments agree with Terlikowski and recommend the female condom for anal sex, others specifically caution against it. Among the health departments that endorse the use of the female condom for anal sex, there is disagreement about whether users should remove the inner ring before inserting the device.
These mixed messages highlight the need for more research specifically into how the female condom performs during anal sex, as well as better options for couples, gay and straight, that want to engage in it. The anal condom may be the next frontier—Origami Condoms currently has one in development. If approved, it would become the first method of barrier protection designed explicitly for use during anal sex. “We’re all really excited to see that come out,” Terlikowski says.
edit and pics: adamfoxie

February 21, 2014

Condom Ad on UK too Much!!!! for US


UK’s Channel 4 delivered an all-inclusive safe sex ad leading up to Valentine’s Day that would almost certainly never air in the U.S.
The racy ad features couples and threesomes, both young and old, and of all sexual orientations, moaning and squealing to completion.
The ad is a refreshing attempt by International HIV/AIDS Alliance, to put the issue of HIV/Aids and safe sex back at the forefront of people’s minds.
Watch “Come Together” from the International HIV/AIDS Alliance below:

February 15, 2014

CDC to use 'condomless sex' to Refer to Sex Without Condoms

  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it intends to discontinue the use of the term "unprotected sex" to refer to sex without condoms, and will instead use "condomless sex," The Bay Area Reporter says.
According to the report, the CDC's change of terminology drew praise from HIV/AID activists and educators, as well as medical researchers. HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA) director Julie Davids says the change is recognition of the inaccuracy of making "sex without condoms" synonymous with "unprotected sex."
Davids contends that the label "unprotected" does not convey the array of methods gay men use, like serosorting and seropositioning, to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.
Sean Strub, founder of POZ magazine and author of Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, AIDS, Sex and Survival also hailed the "welcome and overdue change," the report adds. Strub notes that HIV transmission has been known to occur because of condom failure, arguing that having an undetectable viral load results in lower risk of communicating HIV than only using condoms.
One commenter on the story objected to the CDC's move, saying the change in language "misinforms the most at-risk people on the risks really involved, and only serves to encourage riskier behavior. For those people who are more sexually active, acting as if barebacking is not unprotected sex' is highly dangerous to them and those they sleep with."

April 29, 2013

NY Needs to Stop Arresting People That do The Right Thing } Carry Condoms!

Former assistant district attorney Abe George.
Carrying a condom in New York could lead to your arrest. Why? Because it is legal for law enforcement to cite condom possession as evidence that a person engaged in prostitution. Targeting condoms, however, is an ineffective deterrent to prostitution and threatens public health. The practice also contributes to police discrimination against New York's LGBT community. Thankfully, the city's five district attorneys can end the policy without having to wait for Albany lawmakers to fix the problem. So it's time to act.

 Law enforcement is inadvertently discouraging sex workers from using protection without actually keeping them from engaging in prostitution. Multiple studies have found that sex workers are opting not to carry condoms for fear of being prosecuted. In addition to the thousands of formal prostitution prosecutions in New York City every year, the NYPD routinely seizes condoms from suspected sex workers without actually making arrests. These efforts at deterrence are obviously not working: In one recent study, 20 percent of local sex workers reported that they engaged in unprotected sex mere hours after police confiscated their condoms. Every one of those cases represents a potential new infection of a sexually transmitted disease.  Targeting condoms is directly at odds with New York City's public health agenda. There are at least 110,000 people with HIV/AIDS in New York--many more are unaware of their condition--and the rate of new infections is three times the national average. The city distributes tens of millions of free condoms every year to battle the spread of HIV/AIDS, yet law enforcement is discouraging their use. This is both absurd and NYPD searches for condoms also contribute to police harassment against the LGBT community. As Make the Road New York noted in a recent report, transgender New Yorkers--especially those of color--are stopped and questioned by the police more frequently than the rest of the population. Make the Road and Human Rights Watch documented multiple instances of transgender New Yorkers being harassed, profiled, accused of prostitution because police discovered they were carrying condoms. There is absolutely no reason for New Yorkers, of whatever color or sexual identity, to worry that simply carrying condoms could lead to their arrest.

Since 1999, Democrats in the state legislature have proposed a law to bar the use of condoms as evidence. The bill has faced opposition from a number of quarters, including my opponent in this year's election for Brooklyn district attorney, incumbent D.A. Charles Hynes. Hynes has said that he opposed "any law that would restrict [his] use of evidence." In fact, police in Brooklyn are specifically ordered to document the number of condoms they seize when arresting suspected sex workers.

D.A. Hynes' evidentiary concerns are both unwarranted and outweighed by public health and civil rights considerations. As Nassau County D.A. Kathleen Rice argued, condoms provide "nearly worthless" evidence to prosecutors. Ending the condoms-as-evidence is actually an opportunity to strengthen law enforcement efforts. Police could focus on collecting more compelling forms of evidence through techniques like undercover stings and surveillance. Our priority should be to arrest human traffickers and others who prey on vulnerable people, and it will take more than circumstantial condom evidence to put them behind bars. 

New York prosecutors should study Rice's example for another reason: Last year she ordered prosecutors in her office to stop using condoms as evidence of prostitution. Rice showed that a D.A. has the authority to unilaterally end the condoms-as-evidence policy, at least in her own jurisdiction.
As a general philosophy, I believe it is time for New York's District Attorneys to stand up and help reform abusive or counter-productive law enforcement policies. When it comes to condoms-as-evidence, the case is clear: the policy undermines vital public health efforts, facilitates discrimination, and does little to help fight crime. I urge the New York State legislature to ban the practice altogether. But New Yorkers should not have to wait for Albany to act. The five District Attorneys should immediately order prosecutors not to use condoms as evidence of prostitution. By exercising their authority and showing some leadership, the D.A.s can make the city healthier and safer for everyone.

Abe George is a former prosecutor and candidate in the 2013 Democratic primary for Brooklyn District Attorney.

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