Public Health England welcomes WHO announcement on PrEP for gay men

A large study on PrEP is currently taking place in England Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

The World Health Organisation’s decision to recommend that gay men should consider using antiretroviral drugs as an additional method against HIV has been welcomed by Public Health England (PHE).

The health agency is currently co-sponsoring a study into whether the drugs should be made available on the NHS – as part of routine HIV prevention efforts.

Last Friday, the WHO stated gay men should consider using Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as an additional method of preventing HIV infection alongside the use of condoms.

The announcement generated a mixed response. Journalist Patrick McAleenan feared such a sweeping statement could stigmatise gay men and undermine condom use.

However, other health campaigners welcomed the WHO’s intervention, viewing it as a watershed moment in the debate on HIV prevention.

On Thursday, Professor Noel Gill, head of the HIV and STI department at Public Health England, said:

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US: 3.4% of adults do not identify as straight, health survey finds

The federal survey was the first to collect information on sexual orientation. Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics GaylesbianbisexualsexualityhomosexualsurveyheterosexualdemographicsNational Health Interview Survey Share on WhatsApp 6 reader comments

The US government’s first comprehensive health survey into sexuality has found that 3.4 percent of adults do not identify themselves as being heterosexual.

According to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 1.6 percent of adults surveyed self-identify as gay or lesbian, while 0.7 percent self-identifying as bisexual. 96.6 percent self-identified as straight. A further 1.1 percent declined to answer, with some saying that they did not know or did not fit into any of those categories.

The figure for those who identify as bisexual is lower than previous estimates, such as the 2008 General Social Survey, which placed the figure at 1.1 percent.

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World Health Organization: HIV prevention urgently needed for MSM and transgender people

Image: C. Goldsmith via Wikipedia. Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics TransgenderHIVgay menBisexual menmen who have sex with mengay and bisexual menMSMhiv testinghiv transmissionhiv infectionHIV-preventionTruvadaPrEPPre-Exposure ProphylaxistranswomenantiretroviralWHOWorld Health Organization Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the global fight against HIV risks stalling without stronger preventative treatments for transgender people and gay and bisexual men.

As well as offering medical advice, WHO has recommended that countries

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Study: Children of gay couples have better ‘general health’ than those with straight parents

The study found that children of gay couples are generally healthier than those with straight parents Share on WhatsApp 5 reader comments

A study has found that gay parents provide children with better “general health and family cohesion”, than children of straight parents.

The study by the University of Melbourne, which looked at 315 parents and 500 children, found that in terms of those two factors, children being raised by gay couples did better by 6 percentage points.

Raw Story reported that most of the parents featured in the study were lesbians.

Lead researcher Simon Crouch, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.:”That’s really a measure that looks at how well families get along, and it seems that same-sex parent families and the children in them are getting along well, and this has positive impacts on child health.”

The preliminary findings from the Australian study from the University of Melbourne, released last year, further dispelled the idea that children do better with opposite sex parents, rather than being raised by a gay couple.

His decision to conduct the study was prompted by politicians on both sides of the equal marriage and adoption debate asserted that children did better when raised by a straight couple.

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US: Louisiana treasurer says ‘sex changes’ are unaffordable under social health care

John Kennedy argues that social health care programmes should not cover gender reassignment surgery Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

Citing an announcement in May by President Obama that gender reassignment surgery would be covered by social health care scheme Medicaid, Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy has called for the scheme to be “fixed”.

Writing for Daily World, Kennedy notes the estimated cost-per-patient for gender reassignment, and that Medicare would potentially follow suit in providing the surgery.

He also suggests the surgery, used in cases of gender dysphoria, should be removed from the scheme, claiming the state can’t afford to support it.

He wrote: “On May 30, President Obama directed Medicare to begin paying for ‘gender reassignment surgery,’ commonly known as sex change surgery, which costs between $25,000 and $75,000 per patient depending upon the gender chosen. Medicaid will likely follow, as it usually tracks Medicare’s coverage provisions, according to articles in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

“This additional cost is yet one more reason why Louisiana needs to fix its Medicaid Program before we can no longer afford it.”

The treasurer goes on to give further arguments against the social health care, and suggests that providing gender reassignment surgery under such schemes is not “wise” or “effective”.

“Taxpayers who are asked to pay are entitled to also ask whether their money is being spent wisely and effectively,” he continues.

Married same-sex couples are now able to apply for Medicare benefits regardless of in which state they live, it was announced in April.

A US public consultation on whether Medicare and Medicaid should cover gender reassignment surgery was last year put on hold, with the Department of Health and Human Services saying they must first consider a challenge to Medicare’s definition of the surgery as

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Public Health England: ‘Gay men disproportionately affected by ill-health’

PHE: Gay and bisexual men ‘bear a disproportionate burden of ill-health’ 0 reader comments

Gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected by poor sexual health, mental health challenges and the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco, Public Health England says.

The health agency has published the first of several documents which will together provide a framework for action over the coming six months.

Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) account for an estimated 5.5% of the male population in the UK.

Public Health England (PHE) said:

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