Category Archives: Health

Men give themselves a testicular self-exam (Safe For Work)

Earlier this week I shared a post about Movember (or to be more precise (HO)MOvember, which is an annual month-long fundraiser dedicated to raising awareness and money for men’s health issues.  I saw this video posted on Accidental Bear and thought it would also be good to share.

Testicular cancer is most common in men between the ages of 15-30 years. This video of seven men performing a routine self-exam shows how easy it can be. When detected early, testicular cancer is extremely curable.  I hope that this funny – and very safe for work – video will remind people to perform a self-exam.

(HO)MOvember

simon dunn, movember, mens health

Australian Olympian Simon Dunn models his ‘stache for (HO)MOvember

You may start to notice more men with some upper lip hair over the course of the next few weeks as Movember kicks off for its 9th year here in the US.  Australian Olympic bobsledder, Simon Dunn, put a twist on this annual month-long fundraiser that is used to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues, with his (HO)MOvember video which you can watch here.

Through a cruel twist of fate, I have no ability to grow more than a few wisps of facial hair so I thought the way I would participate this year was by helping to remind everyone about the event and if you live in Boston to encourage you to join the Movember Team Boston.

Fenway HIV study needs you: Help spread the word

HIV Testing, AIDS, Fenway Health, LGBT health, gay health, mens healthEarlier this spring I wrote about an ongoing national study that the Fenway is participating in that follows 400 gay couples, called Stronger Together.

Stronger Together is a research study that aims to improve the sexual health of male-male couples through unique testing opportunities. HIV infections still occur and it remains both a deeply personal and difficult issue to talk about and that is the real issue: lack of communication.

If you would like to help be part of the solution, Fenway Health would like to hear from you. Participants receive up to $350 ($700 per couple). For more information and to see if you are eligible please call 781.479.2330 or email StrongerTogetherBoston@gmail.com.

Who may be eligible to participate?
Male-Male couples over the age of 18
One partner is HIV+  (serodiscordant couples)
Couples willing to test for HIV and STIs together

How you can help?
Sign up for the study if you are eligible.
Tell your friends about the study and help spread the word.

Medical marijuana back in the news this week

smoking weed, pot, 420This morning Hub medical dispensary applicant Patriot Care went before the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal for a hearing about their planned Milk Street operation; despite opposition from the mayor.  Later this week on Thursday, August 6 medical marijuana activists will gather in support of H.2065, “An Act to protect patients approved by physicians and certified by the Department of Public Health to access medical marijuana.”  Advocates and family members of patients will march from Boston Common to Beacon Hill. Organizers with the MA Patient Advocacy Alliance (MPAA) encourage attendees to dress in black.

Read more about this here.

The Republican party is becoming a group of misogynists

women's healthWhy do I believe the Republican Party is becoming a party of misogynists? There are a lot of reasons, but the current efforts to defund Planned Parenthood – seemingly supported by every Republican Presidential candidate – is a good place to start.

97% of Planned Parenthood services go to providing STD testing and treatment, access to contraception, cancer screening and prevention and general women’s health services.  Presumably these services to more than 3 million women through out our country would be perceived to have merit and help to keep our communities healthy.

Only 3% of Planned Parenthood services go to abortion services

If you agree that Planned Parenthood is doing important work to help women who would not otherwise have access to these health services 97% of the time does it seem reasonable for Republican candidates to be actively campaigning to defund Planned Parenthood?    Republican, presidential candidate, women's health, The message I take away from this war on Planned Parenthood is if you do not align with the Republican Party’s or candidate’s pro life values 100% of the time there is no room for compromise. That does not sound like a “moderate” party or moderate candidate.  Below are recent quotes from the three front runners and their staff who (if you believe the polls).

“We have got to defund Planned Parenthood, by the way, and Gov. Bush supports those efforts.”
– Jordan Sekulow (Jeb Bush Presidential Campaign Senior Advisor)

“We defunded Planned Parenthood, which is particularly important these days”
– Gov. Scott Walker

“In in my opinion, they [Planned Parenthood] should absolutely be defunded”
– Donald Trump

Map depicts STD rates by city in US

sexually transmitted diseases, CDCMany cities in the south east and the rust belt regions of the US seem to have a higher rate of STD infections according to data compiled by the CDC. Their report also found that there is a “troubling rise in syphilis infections among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM)”.

I thought I would share this news for two reasons: first, I’m a firm believer that if you are not having safe sex then you should get tested;  second I worry that with so many gay men now on Truvada there is more risky sexual behavior and while Truvada may reduce the risk of HIV infections it won’t protect against STDs.

Source: CDC’s annual report, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2013

Source: CDC’s annual report, Sexually
Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2013

You can read more about this study here and for more information about free STD testing in the Boston area is available here.

New Fenway Institute study explores revolutionary method of HIV prevention

HIVThe Fenway Institute is conducting a study to test a manufactured antibody that will prevent HIV and help researchers learn how the antibody works.

The Fenway Institute is looking to enroll HIV-negative individuals between 18 and 50 years of age and in good health.  Anyone interested in participating in this study should know that it is impossible for the vaccines to give you HIV and cannot cause you to give HIV to someone else.  The study involves up to 11-18 half hour scheduled clinic visits over 8-months. Eligible participants will receive up to $975 for study completion.

While it is great that HIV treatments are prolonging the lives of those with HIV it is time we make AIDS history. If you agree and would be interested in learning more, please contact the Fenway Institute at 617.927.6450 or email bethechange@fenwayhealth.org.