Our resident blogger Mario gives us his review of this week’s HIV related news stories…A good reason to be faithful

People don’t advertise their infidelity. All physical evidence of an unfaithful liaison can be hidden but there’s no hiding a sexual transmitted disease like HIV.

It turns out that having “a bit on the side” is having a major effect on the spread of HIV.

A survey of about 27000 married or cohabiting couples in 18 African countries showed that having sex with another person while in a relationship contributed to 21–61% of all HIV infections in men and 21–51% of all infections in women were spread .

Looks like a pretty good argument in favour of monogamy!

Drugs and the London gay scene

Pills, MDMA, cocaine, ketamine, gamma-butryolactone (GBL), mephedrone, speed. These are just some of the popular drugs in London’s legendary 24-hr gay scene.

Now crystal meth (or tina) is increasing in popularity because it can give users the stamina to party non-stop for days.

The problem is that this drug not only has severe comedowns, but it also increases the likelihood of high-risk sexual encounters.

The way users are taking crystal meth and other drugs (ie, intravenously [aka “Slamming”]) is also increasing their chances of blood-borne infections and STIs like HIV and hepatitis C.

The vicious cycle doesn’t stop there. STIs can damage the lining of the rectum which in turn further increases the risk of hepatitis C infection in men who have sex with men.

Too many men?

A simple explanation has been suggested for the terrible acts of violence against women in India: there are too many men.

This explanation is much too simplistic and doesn’t account for the inhumane acts of rape that have occurred in India, but it shouldn’t be completely dismissed.

In Indian cities, for every 1000 boys there are 800 girls. This unbalanced sex ratio means that many boys will not have the opportunity to be paired off in a normal relationship. Some have suggested that this effect could equate to millions of restless and frustrated male teens.

While unbalanced sex ratios might contribute to violence against women, the culture of misogyny and disrespect for women that seems to be rife in India seems to be the more pertinent issue and urgently needs to be tackled.

Culture is a defining trait of humanity. Unfortunately, sometimes culture itself can be destructive.

Do you think the fact that cheating increases the risk of HIV will make people more faithful?

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