Your daily health tips (check in everyday for new healthy DIY ways to take care of your body): Tea is a rich source of antioxidants that play a big role in protecting against some cancers and cardiovascular disease.
Employment Opportunity – Executive Director CDRN is a local, independent and non-profit-making non-governmental organization registered with the NGOs Board and the Registrar of Companies to operate in Uganda. It was founded in 1994 by a small group of Uganda-based professionals who were then involved in community development work. CDRN was established to support community development work through participatory techniques and to assist organizations involved in such work to be more effective in meeting their mandates. CDRN also recognizes the importance of influencing policies and decisions in the environment within which civil society operate. CDRN is strongly committed to making an effective contribution to righting social injustices in Uganda, which are seen as arising from gender and other forms of inequality, poor governance, limited empowerment and the denial of rights.
The Community Development Resource Network (CDRN) is looking for a qualified, experienced, innovative, committed and self-motivated person to fill the position of Executive Director. More details
Employment Opportunity – Executive Director
CDRN is a local, independent and non-profit-making non-governmental organization registered with the NGOs Board and the Registrar of Companies to operate in Uganda. It was founded in 1994 by a small group of Uganda-based professionals who were then involved in community development work. CDRN was established to support community development work through participatory techniques and to assist organizations involved in such work to be more effective in meeting their mandates. CDRN also recognizes the importance of influencing policies and decisions in the environment within which civil society operate. CDRN is strongly committed to making an effective contribution to righting social injustices in Uganda, which are seen as arising from gender and other forms of inequality, poor governance, limited empowerment and the denial of rights.
The Community Development Resource Network (CDRN) is looking for a qualified, experienced, innovative, committed and self-motivated person to fill the position of Executive Director. More details
Mode of Application
Interested individuals that meet the above job specifications should send their application letters along with an updated CV and, names and contacts of three referees. Applicants should also send a two page capability statement explaining their motivation for the position and how they meet the above job specifications. Application letters should be addressed to the Chairperson Board of Directors, Community Development Resource Network (CDRN), Plot 433 Balintuma Road, Namirembe Hill, P. O Box 35542, Kampala. Alternatively, you may send your application with all supporting documents to our email address- firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for receiving applications is Monday 2nd July 2012 at 5:00pm. No application will be accepted after this deadline. Only qualified candidates will be selected and contacted. Interviews will be conducted shortly after expiry of application deadline. Canvassing for this position will lead to automatic disqualification.
Both qualified male and female candidates are encouraged to apply.
1. Global Change Leaders
In 2011-2012, the International Centre for Women’s Leadership is launching the Global Change Leaders program - an inaugural certificate course for emerging women leaders in development.
Through campus-based education, field placements, mentorships and online platforms the program will:
- Enable a new generation of women to strengthen their leadership capacities to ignite unparalleled change at the community, national and international levels.
- Build a global network of pioneering women leaders who together are able to accelerate innovation and achieve extraordinary impact.
Learning themes are grounded in real world experiences and include topics such as: transformative leadership concepts, practical leadership skills, citizen-led and asset-based development, and oral and written communications in the post-print era.
The overall Program Objective is to enable Global Change Leaders to take on more powerful and dynamic leadership roles. Specific outcomes for participants include:
- Practical understanding of leadership concepts and application within their own context
- Enriched knowledge and experience in essential leadership skills
- Expertise in organizational learning and change management
- Strengthened capacity to realize sustainable, citizen-led and asset-based development
- Effective and compelling oral and written communications, and presentation skills
- Ability to apply strategies and tools that underpin innovative social and economic initiatives
- Active participation in a global network of like-minded women leaders
The certificate program involves a 20-week commitment that includes online orientation, onsite learning in Canada, an international placement, and engagement with a mentor and a global network of other women leaders.
For more information on this exciting new program, application process and scholarships,
visit: www.coady.stfx.ca/women call: 902-867-3676 or e-mail: email@example.com
2. AIDS 2012 YOUTH RECEPTION
Click for guide to venue
3. UHAI - East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative
Vacancy AnnouncementUHAI has an active internship programme through which we provide an opportunity for sexual minority activists actively involved in sexual minority organizations in East Africa to work within UHAI. We are currently seeking to recruit one intern into the programme. Attached please find belowthe vacancy notice/ internship description and the application form. To apply, one will need to send in a completed application form as well as their C.V. to firstname.lastname@example.org, by August 26th, 2011.
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Internship Application Form.doc
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Type : doc
Read about progress on HIV research
HIV infection awareness and willingness to participate in future HIV vaccine trials across different risk groups in Abuja, Nigeria
References: AIDS Care. 20 July 2010; 22(10):1277-1284.
Authors: Aliyu G, Mohammad M, Saidu A, Mondal P, et al.
The purpose of this survey is to generate baseline data on the level of HIV infection awareness and willingness to participate (WTP) in hypothetical vaccine trials, ahead of any trial conduct in Nigeria. In a cross-sectional survey, 500 respondents were interviewed, including sex workers, male motorcycle taxi drivers, students, and the general public. About 153 (30.6%) of the respondents did not believe that correct and consistent use of condom can protect people from getting , while about 66 (13.2%) respondents believed it is possible to get HIV by sharing meal with an infected person. Population groups considered at high risk for HIV were less aware of the disease, however, they were more willing to participate in HIV vaccine trials compared those at low risk of the disease. A total of 55% expressed WTP in a hypothetical after they were informed about it. Age, population group, and ethnicity were significantly associated with WTP.
for full text, visit http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a924584150&fulltext=713240928
HIV infections in gay men 'increasing in homophobic countries
Rates of HIV
infections in gay men are increasing in countries which have homophobic
attitudes, the chief of the UN AIDS agency has said.
What are transgender men’s HIV prevention needs?
Who are transmen?
Transgender (‘trans’) is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and expression do not conform to norms and expectations traditionally associated with their sex assigned at birth. Transgender men, or transmen, are people who were assigned ‘female’ at birth and have a male gender identity and/or masculine gender expression. Transgender people may self-identify and express their gender in a variety of ways and often prefer certain terms and not others. Some who transition from female to male do not identify as transgender at all, but simply as men. In general, transmen should be referred to with male pronouns. However, if you are unsure it is best to respectfully ask a person what terms and pronouns they prefer.
Accurate information about the diversity of transmen’s bodies is not widely available. Transmen have different types of bodies, depending on their use of testosterone and gender confirmation surgeries (which may include chest reconstruction, hysterectomy, metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, 1 etc.; see www.ftmguide. org for further information) . Transmen use a broad range of terms and language to identify their sex/gender, describe their body parts, and disclose their trans status to others. For instance, some transmen are not comfortable with the terms ‘vagina’ and ‘vaginal sex’ and may prefer ‘front hole’ and ‘front sex’ or ‘front hole sex’, although this is not true for all transmen. This diversity creates unique needs and barriers for negotiating and adhering to safer sex practices that are not addressed by current HIV prevention programs.
What do we know aboutand transmen?
The transgender community is diverse and not enough research has been conducted with trans people in general. We have very limited information about transmen in particular. To date, research related to HIV among trans people has almost exclusively focused on transwomen (people who were assigned ‘male’ at birth and have a female gender identity and/or feminine gender expression). However, there is evidence that there is a significant subgroup of transmen that engage in unprotected sex with non-trans men (trans MSM), including some transmen who engage in sex work.
Several cities have conducted needs assessments that focus on or are inclusive of transmen and HIV risk, such as Philadelphia, Washington D.C, San Francisco, and the province of Ontario. The few published studies that report HIV rates among samples of transmen have reported 0–3% prevalence.2- 4 These rates are self-reported, however, and are based on small, non-representative samples, so we do not have conclusive data about the actual rates. Due to the assumption of low rates of HIV among transmen relative to other high-risk groups, there has not been much research on risk behaviors among transmen.
We do know that HIV prevention messages are not reaching most transmen.5 We also know that many trans MSM seek services at gay men’s organizations, where there is little to no education for transmen and their non-trans male partners.4 Providers are generally not trained to identify or serve gay and bisexual transmen in culturally sensitive ways or understand their specific risks and prevention needs.
What don’t we know about HIV and transmen?
We do not have enough information about HIV and transmen. Data collection methods at testing sites do not accurately identify and track transmen or capture their experiences, which contributes to the lack of clarity around HIV rates among transmen.
Rates of HIV and sexual risk behaviors among transmen are also not well understood because transmen are often assumed to be primarily having sex with non-trans women. However, transmen, like other men, can be of any sexual orientation and may have sex with different types of partners, including (but not limited to) non-trans men, transgender women, and transgender men.6,7
What puts transmen at risk?
In one study, a majority of trans MSM reported not using condoms consistently during receptive anal and/or frontal (vaginal) sex with non-trans male partners and low rates of HIV testing and low perception of risk.4 In urban areas where HIV prevalence rates among non-trans MSM are estimated to be 17-40% and STI rates are increasing, trans MSM who engage in unprotected receptive anal and/or frontal (vaginal) intercourse with non-trans MSM may be especially vulnerable to HIV/STIs.8,9
Transmen may face complicated power and gender dynamics in their sexual relationships with non-trans men.4 For some trans MSM, having sex with a non-trans gay male partner is a powerful validation of their gay/queer male identity, especially in the early years of transition, and may be more important than insisting on condom use. Some transmen who use testosterone have reported increased sex drive and increased interest in sex with non-trans men after beginning hormone use, which may contribute to their willingness to take sexual risks.4,10 Transmen on testosterone and/or who have had a hysterectomy may have frontal (vaginal) dryness, which increases their risk for frontal (vaginal) trauma during penetration, thus increasing their risk for STIs, including HIV.10
Low self-esteem may contribute to sexual risk-taking among transmen. Rates of depression, substance use, and suicide attempts are high in this population, but multiple barriers exist to accessing culturally competent support and treatment.3, 11
Drug and alcohol use is a major risk factor for every community, regardless of their gender identity. Transmen may use alcohol or drugs to enhance sexual experiences or help to relieve anxiety about their bodies during sex.4 Some transmen may feel pressure to use drugs in order to fit into some gay men’s communities or subcultures. Although we have very little information about needle sharing for hormone or drug use among transmen, it may also be a risk factor for some.
What can help?
Online dating. Many transmen meet their non-trans male sexual partners on the Internet. Meeting partners through personal ads may allow transmen to describe their body and gender identity upfront (if they choose to do so) and discuss safer sex with potential partners before meeting in person.4
Educational materials for non-trans partners. Transmen’s non-trans male partners often do not have experience with transmen nor access to education about sex with transmen, which can lead to misconceptions about safer sex. For non-trans gay men, safe sex often simply means condom use with anal sex and they may not be aware of the risks associated with frontal (vaginal) sex. See the next section for information on available materials.
Greater visibility in the gay community. Gay and bisexual men need to be educated about the presence of transmen in their community. Increasing visibility and knowledge about transmen may help create a welcoming environment, help increase inclusivity, and help transmen feel more powerful in their relationships with non-trans men.7
What’s being done?
tm4m (tm4m.org) is a San Francisco-based project for transmen who play with men (or want to). They provide information, education, and support to transmen who have sex with men through monthly educational workshops and discussion groups, informational materials and continuously working to foster acceptance and build community. tm4m is a collaborative effort co-sponsored by Eros, Trannywood Pictures and TRANS:THRIVE (a program of the API Wellness Center).
The Gay/Bi/Queer Trans Men’s Working Group in Ontario has conducted a needs assessment with trans MSM, developed a sexual health resource,12 and a website at www.queertransmen. org. They are also providing training and consultation about trans MSM inclusion for prevention workers serving gay men across the province.
All Gender Health Online (www.allgenderhealth .org) is a study exploring the sexual health of non-transgender men who have sex with transgender people. The results will be used to develop an online intervention to prevent the spread of HIV and promote the sexual health of transgender people and their partners.
The STOP AIDS Project in San Francisco, CA strives to include transmen in their programming and community education. They include transgender men in their mission statement and have changed their data collection methods to better reflect varying bodies andin gay men’s communities.
What needs to be done?
We need to implement more inclusive data collection methods to better capture subgroups of transgender people. HIV prevention and care providers should not assume that all men they see were assigned ‘male’ at birth. You cannot tell if a guy is trans just by looking at him. The best method for data collection is a two-part question: 1) ask about current gender identity and 2) ask what sex was assigned at birth.13 If unsure, programs should ask transmen for their preferred name and pronoun and use those terms.
If rates of HIV among transmen are indeed low, we now have the opportunity to engage in true prevention work to keep those numbers low. Gaining a better understanding of transmen’s risk behaviors and the different ways that they protect themselves will aid in providing appropriate and effective HIV prevention education to transmen and their sexual partners.
Understanding New Research on Lubricant Use During Anal Intercourse
Two studies about the safety of lubricant use during anal intercourse were presented last week at the 2010 International Microbicides Conference in Pittsburgh. The data from the studies has yet to be published, but there have already been several write-ups about the research , which at first blush seem to suggest that using lubricant might be found to be associated with an increased risk of . As Jim Pickett, the chair of the International Rectal Microbicide Advocates (IRMA) one of the organizations involved in putting on the conference, said to me in an email, what is key is that this research be discussed and interpreted without hyperbole. If you're confused by what you've read so far, you're not alone. Let's start with the research itself.
One was a laboratory study of six popular lubricants used during anal intercourse. Actually only five of them are popular for anal intercourse (Astroglide,, ID Glide, and Wet Platinum), the sixth (Pre) was used because it is isotonic (more on that below). The popular lubricants were chosen based on a large global survey which asked over 9,000 people about lubricant use during anal sex. Researchers did not report on which specific style of each product was used in the research, but in one write up I read that the "basic formulation" was used from each brand. (Interesting side note from my years in sex shops: the lubricant Pre is a lubricant made specifically for women trying to conceive. In addition to being isotonic, it is the only lubricant on the market that is specifically designed not to harm sperm).
The overall purpose of the study was to see if lubricant might play a role in increasing risk of STD transmission during anal intercourse. To this end, the researchers wanted to understand what, if any, direct damage lubricants might have on rectal and cervical tissue. They also wanted to see how the lubricants might impact healthy bacteria that are present in the rectum. There are, of course, many ways to damage rectal tissue. In this study the researchers focused on one particular effect which can damage the tissue in the rectum essentially by drying up cells, causing them to die and slough off. This can happen if the lubricant being used has higher concentrations of salts and sugars than are found in the skin cells it comes in contact with. The lubricant can draw water out of the cells, resulting in damage that can increase risk of infection (the science minded among you can find more detailed explanations here, here, or here).
They found that the four water based lubricants that had higher concentrations of salt (Astroglide, Elbow Grease, ID Glide, and K-Y Jelly) did in fact damage the outer layer of skin cells of the rectal and cervical tissue whereas the silicone lubricant and the water based Pre lubricant did not. In terms of how the lubricants impacted the healthy bacteria, they found that both Astroglide and KY Jelly had a negative effect (KY much worse than Astroglide) and that the other lubricants did not have a toxic effect.
A second study looked at the use of lubricants during anal intercourse outside the laboratory. This study included 229 men who had reported having receptive anal intercourse in the past month, and 192 women who reported having receptive anal intercourse in the past year. Participants completed a computer assisted self-interview about sexual behavior. Among other things, participants were asked about use (or non-use) of lubricants and the particular brands they used during anal sex. From that group, 302 participants also had rectal tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Most of the participants reported using lubricant the last time they had receptive anal intercourse. Of the 302 participants, 25 tested positive for an anal STD. More than two-thirds of the people diagnosed with an STD reported using lube the last time they had receptive anal intercourse, compared with one third of people who had not used a lube. Read another way, people who reported using lubricants the last time they had anal sex were about twice as likely to have chlamydia or gonorrhea as those who did not use lubricants.
Taken together, these two papers seem to be suggesting that using lubricants, or at least some kinds of lubricants, might actually be a bad idea when you're on the receiving end of anal intercourse. And if you listen to the press conference that followed the presentation of the data, it sounds like at least some of the researchers are comfortable interpreting this very early data with some significance.
But don't put away that lube bottle just yet (and probably you won't be putting it away ever). Remember that collecting data, interpreting it, and reporting on it are three very different activities. While some blog posts have suggested this is radical news, consider the fact that all of the reporting from the researchers themselves and from IRMA makes it clear that this is very preliminary research, and should be interpreted as such. It's actually the first research of it's kind, and it involved sample sizes too small to draw any significant conclusions from. It raises far more questions than it answers. Here are just a few:
The clinical study of people based on recall of past anal intercourse wasn't able to take into account which lubricants were used. Participants reported using many different kinds of lubricants across encounters, sometimes combining different lubricants in a given sexual encounter. If, as the laboratory study suggests, some lubes are better than others, we need to figure out which ones are better, and do they need to be used every time, in full concentration, to be "safer"?
Risk is never absolute and it never exists in a vacuum. The clinical study seems to suggest that using lubricant increases risk of getting an anal STD. But it doesn't consider the risk of infection without lubricant. Sex educators have said for years that lubricant makes anal sex safer because it reduces friction and tearing, and therefore reduces the risk of STD transmission. This new data doesn't contradict that because it doesn't address it. It's looking at only one aspect of safety, harm, and risk. It's useful data to have, to guide further research. But alone it isn't data that should guide practice, as it could just as easily be refuted in a replicated study or as we begin to take a broader research snapshot of lubricant use during anal sex.
Similarly, the lab study of lubricants, which does seem to draw conclusions that some lubricants may be "safer" than others, needs to be contextualized, lest we forget how slippery the term "safe" is. When a researcher says that a silicone lubricant was found to be safe, what they mean was that it didn't do the one or two bad things they were looking at. It doesn't mean that if you use silicone lubricant you will be safe, or even safer, if you don't also consider other factors.
As usual, sexual pleasure isn't being talked about at all, and this too needs to be addressed in both the conducting and reporting of future research. The end goal of all this research is awareness of risk and behavior change. We aren't talking about dental hygiene here. We are talking about activities people engage in for a reason, and sexual pleasure is often part of that reason. To talk about anal intercourse and lubricant, particularly to talk about lube as a , outside of the context of pleasure makes sense only in the lab, only in theory. It doesn't matter how good the research is, if you want to affect change in people's lives, you have to speak to us in a way that we can connect with. If the only argument you make for behavior change is numeric, it might scare us for about three minutes, but it's not likely to help us at all.
What's exciting about the IRMA is that they have brought together such a dynamic group of researchers, academics, activists, educators, and participants to work together on a problem much more complicated than any one group of us could ever tackle. They've got all the right people there. Unfortunately when only one aspect of the work gets the media spotlight, it's easy to push out the other, more complicated voices.
I'll give the final paraphrased word to Jim Pickett, IRMA chair, who in a press conference about the studies cautioned that IRMA doesn't want people to stop using lubricant, and they aren't suggesting that educators tell people not to use lubricant. He points out that even if these results are replicated, it doesn't mean that unprotected anal sex without lube will be better or safer. At this early research tells us for certain is, as they have been saying for many years, more research is needed on lubricants and anal intercourse, and the sooner we get it, the better equipped will be to make informed decisions about the kinds of risks we're willing to take and the extent to which we'll go to protect ourselves from STDs, including .
Male Sex Work
More than half of male sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya who predominantly have male clients may also be having intercourse with women, according to findings presented at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in San Francisco.
Adrian Smith, MSc, of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, said that as many as 59% of men who have sex with men sex workers may have regular transactional encounters with one or more female partners. “This fundamentally changes ideas on the directionality of sex work,” he said.
The aim of the study was to determine the nature of interactions between the HIV epidemics among MSM and heterosexual populations in Africa.
“We observed a lower HIV prevalence among MSM sex workers who had sex with women than in those who only had sex with men,” Smith said.
Eighty-three participating MSM sex workers completed questionnaires and recorded details of 1,014 sexual partners in a diary during the course of six weeks.
Data on 215 (17%) female partners were recorded.
Among 43 recent female partners, 81% were unmarried and 19% were married. Three of those women were spouses of MSM sex workers.
The workers received money for sex from 144 women. MSM sex workers paid the women for sex in 18% of the encounters.
Among single-episode contacts, 99 of 138 were paying female clients. Payment was given in 45 of 77 recurring sexual relationships.
Penetrative intercourse occurred in 99% of the sexual encounters between women and MSM sex workers. Those encounters were broken down as follows: 87% vaginal, 54% anal and 43% for both.
Among the sexual acts, unprotected penetrative vaginal sex occurred in 38% of encounters, and unprotected anal sex occurred in 46% of encounters.
“Most unprotected acts overall occurred in partnerships that were new and being paid for by the female partner,” Smith said. “However, the chance of an individual encounter being unprotected was highest in a regular partnership where no money changed hands. Condom use was lowest within enduring, non-transactional partnerships.”
According to Smith, public misconceptions about the safety of anal sex vs. vaginal sex may exist. “They may think that anal sex is not as dangerous,” he said.
“Little is known of the personal risk awareness and motivations for women seeking sex with MSM sex workers,” Smith said.
“These issues of risk are being overlooked by interventions targeting risk reduction between MSM alone. Interventions should consider that MSM sex workers may be having female partners.” — by Rob Volansky
For more information: Smith A. #39. Presented at: 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; Feb. 16-19, 2010; San Francisco.
HIV counselling doesn’t adequately address mental health issues
“The drop-in centres and other AIDS-related healthcare service centres are providing counselling for to MSM and transgender people, but counselling for mental health issues is not being looked upon adequately” said Aniruddh Vasudevan, Director of The Shakti Centre in Chennai. Aniruddh was speaking at the plenary of the State Consultation for MSM and Transgender on “Confronting Crises: The Situation Today.” Read more
“Many transgender people in Tamil Nadu are school drop-outs. Many transgender activists who went for sex reassignment surgeries in Tamil Nadu broke down, cried, due to the trauma and insult they had to face while going through the psychiatric counselling process” said Aniruddh Vasudevan.
However a Kolkata-based psychological counsellor has another opinion. In AIDS related clinics, by integrating mental health in general healthcare has not only reduced stigma-related to mental health but also increased access to mental and general health services for the men-who-have- sex-with- men (MSM) and transgender communities. “Clubbing medical practitioner and counsellor together in the drop-in centre and other clinics has put off the mental-health related stigma” said Mou Bhattacharyya, Psychologicalwith PLUS (partner of MANAS Bangla).
There is no denying to the fact that mental health issues are unique to transgender and MSM people, and are not adequately being addressed.
“From the very inception of MANAS Bangla, Mental health issues are very much integrated. In each of the drop-in centres, the main agenda is to let people come in and talk and share things with each other. Every drop-in centre, has one doctor and one counsellor along with other team members like peer counsellors” shares Mou Bhattacharyya.
Are MSM and transgender people who come to these clinics willing to access counselling services? “People who come to these drop-in centres are more than keen to access these services. Every day they are going through several traumatic experiences, when they travel for work or travel for other reasons, or at home or from their partners with whom they may interact sexually or otherwise. Mainly the ongoing problems are with their male partners, family members and other closed relatives and their own confusion and frustration regarding their identity, sexual preferences and other issues” says Mou Bhattacharyya.
“People who have opened up regarding their sexual identities are coming to these drop-in centres. There are lot of people who are not yet open regarding their sexual identity and are difficult to reach. With rising HIV awareness, people are more keen to come in for services” says Mou Bhattacharyya.
Counselling is the main coping strategy counsellors at these clinics resort to. “If the person needs mental health medicines we refer to the doctors. Doctor who comes to drop-in centre is not a psychiatrist, so if we need psychiatric help, we need to refer to psychiatrists. We have a pool of psychiatrists who are sensitive to issues and people can access services with care without any stigma or discrimination at these healthcare settings” says Mou Bhattacharyya.
Please read the online brochure for more information on MAN. Also browse through the article section and the member area for up-to-date information on HIV, HIV programmes, and field challenges in Nigeria. Feel free to send us an email on email@example.com