Monthly Archives: June 2011

New Pitt Study Shows Gay and Bi Youth Experience Abuse More Often

Press release from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh:

PITTSBURGH, June 22, 2011 – Young people who identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, experience same-sex attractions or engage in same-sex sexual ehaviors are more likely to experience sexual abuse, parental physical abuse and bullying from peers than other youth, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study.

In addition, these adolescents – identified as “sexual minority youth” in the study – are more likely to miss school due to fear. The American Public Health Association recently published the findings online; the study will appear in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

“The higher rates of abuse experienced by sexual minority youths are clearly one of the driving mechanisms underlying higher rates of mental health problems, substance use, risky sexual behavior and HIV by sexual minority adolescents and adults,” said Mark S. riedman, Ph.D., assistant professor of behavioral and community health sciences. “However, I cannot stress enough that these youth experience sexual and physical abuse and bullying because they identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual or experience same-sex attraction; abuse does not ‘cause’ sexual orientation or identification.”

Go to the UPMC Media Relations Website for the full press release.

Health Alert – Syphilis cases in PA being driven by gay and bi men

Almost a year ago, the Pitt Men’s Study sent out an alert about the rise in Syphilis cases in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, the number of new infections is still on the rise. The disturbing fact is that the surge is being driven by cases among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Signs of Syphilis

Syphilis usually begins with the appearance of a sore (called a chancre) about 10 to 90 days after exposure. The chancre is usually firm, round, small, and painless. The chancre lasts 3 to 6 weeks, and it heals on its own. However, the infection doesn’t go away without proper treatment.

As the disease progresses, it can include fever, swollen lymph glands, rash, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue. The signs of this “secondary stage” of syphilis will resolve with or without treatment, but, again, it doesn’t go away.

In its later stages, years later, the disease can cause damage to internal organs, the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints. Signs and symptoms of the “late stage” include difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness, and dementia. This damage may be serious enough to cause death.

What can you do?

Get tested. Syphilis is easily cured in its early stages. A single injection of penicillin will cure a person who has had syphilis for less
than a year. For more information about MSM and syphilis, you can go to the CDC’s Syphilis and MSM web page

You can also go to the STD testing resource page. Enter your zip code to find testing centers near you.

Online tool shows HIV infections by county

“AIDSVu is an important new public health tool that makes data on the geography of HIV in theUnited States available to anyone with an Internet connection. AIDSVu shows us that every area of the country is affected by HIV, and we hope that AIDSVu helps individuals better understand HIV in their communities and take charge of their health.”

Dr. James Curran
Dean of theRollinsSchoolofPublicHealthEmoryUniversity

Visit the Website for the fully interactive map.