Outside the box: HIV prevention with hard-to-categorize people.

Focus (San Francisco, Calif.) 06/2008; 23(2):5-8.
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Douching is a common practice among certain groups of women and MSM, and it is conducted for the purpose of cleanliness as part of bodily hygiene maintenance. Although there has been considerable research about female vaginal douching, understandings of rectal douching (RD) for MSM are limited. In the epidemiological and medical literature, RD is presented as a behaviour that removes beneficial bacteria and the surface epithelium layer of the colon, which can, potentially, increase the risk of HIV transmission in MSM. The paucity of research on male douching practices is curious given the primacy of anal sex in HIV prevention initiatives and the widespread nature of rectal douching among this population. This paper provides preliminary data on RD and is intended to engender a dialogue about male douching and the need for additional research into the cultural construction of the body among MSM, namely with respect to the anus. Findings were derived from qualitative interviews with 12 young HIV-positive men who had recently become HIV-infected and 12 HIV-negative age-matched counterparts who were participating in a prospective cohort study. Beliefs about RD differed according to HIV serostatus; HIV-positive men discussed the practice much more openly than their counterparts did. Pre-coital RD is an embedded behaviour about which very little is known. However, it is a critical issue to include in the development of effective HIV prevention strategies and warrants an acknowledgement of importance of the anus in the lives, sexual practices, and identities among MSM.
    Sexuality & Culture 01/2010; 14(4):327-343.
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to determine incidence of, prevalence of, and risk factors for sexual orientation-related physical assault in young men who have sex with men (MSM). We completed a prospective open cohort study of young MSM in Vancouver, British Columbia, surveyed annually between 1995 and 2004. Correlates of sexual orientation-related physical assault before enrollment were identified with logistic regression. Risk factors for incident assaults were determined with Cox regression. At enrollment, 84 (16%) of 521 MSM reported ever experiencing assault related to actual or perceived sexual orientation. Incidence was 2.3 per 100 person-years; cumulative incidence at 6-year follow-up was 10.8 per 100 person-years. Increased risk of incident sexual orientation-related physical assault was observed among MSM 23 years or younger (relative hazard=3.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6, 5.8), Canadian Aboriginal people (relative hazard = 3.0; 95% CI=1.4, 6.2), and those who previously experienced such assault (relative hazard=2.5; 95% CI=1.3, 4.8). These data underscore the need for increased public awareness, surveillance, and support to reduce assault against young MSM. Such efforts should be coordinated at the community level to ensure that social norms dictate that such acts are unacceptable.
    American Journal of Public Health 07/2008; 98(6):1028-35. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    Sexuality & Culture 12/2010;