Mario|30.07.2012|News

Guest blogger and editor/host of The Lancet News podcast Mario gives us a  his review of the week’s HIV related news stories…

Arrested for possession…of a condom!

The USA were trailblazing in the fight against HIV/AIDS at the International AIDS Conference, in Washington last week, however at the same time police in the USA continue to target sex workers and using their condoms against them as evidence to support charges of prostitution.

A report published by the Open Society, looked at how the policing practices are putting sex workers, particularly female sex workers, at risk of HIV.

It’s shocking see how frequently the police (the people who are meant to “protect and serve”) are arresting sex workers for possession of condoms.

Black, gay, and at risk

Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK and USA are more likely to be HIV positive than MSM from other ethnic groups, according to The Lancet.

Young black MSM are mainly at risk; the number of new HIV infections in these men increased by 48% between 2006 and 2009.

So why is this happening?

You might think the answer is related to sexual behavior – like having multiple sexual partners and anal sex. But this isn’t the case. In fact, stats suggest black MSM had risky sex less often than MSM from other ethnic groups.

Instead, the problem seems to be related to social and economic factors.

Add some discrimination to the mix and things get worse.

In New York, young black men are “stopped and frisked” more often by the police. This kind of discrimination can increase the chance of arrest and incarceration, and eventually expose these men to additional HIV risks in the prison system.

US teens using more condoms, having less sex

Congratulations to US teens—60% say that they used a condom last time they has sex. That compares with only 46% in 1991, according to study] of high-school students in the USA.

With nearly 40% of new HIV infections occurring in people aged 15‒29 years, more condom use can only be good news.

In terms of sex, the number of teens having sex decreased from 54% in 1991 to 47% in 2011.

So instead of “getting busy”, more teens might actually be busy with other things (or because sex is “against [their] religion or morals”; the most common reason given by US teens for avoiding sex).

However, condom use has stalled at around 60% since 2003. So something needs to be done to get more teens to strap-up.

That’s up for my new weekly article for MTV Staying Alive  and we have already covered topics ranging from rights for sex workers, the impact of race in the fight against HIV and whether sex really are having sex less…

Stay tuned for my all new “The News Wrapped Up” next week and tell us:

We need more teens to strap up and use protection… so how would YOU bring up the issue of condoms with a partner?

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