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Recent Sexual Health News & Updates

June 29, 2008

There has been some great stuff going on lately in the area of sexual health news. Individuals, couples and other families will enjoy increased pleasure in their lives through improved access to medical care and related resources as well as political support for healthy & happy sexuality through moves such as these. Click the links to get the full stories. Topics below include vaccines, sex ed and Title X funding alert, more states are declining Title V (abstinence-only) funding, Yasmin & YAZ (oral birthcontrol Rxs) go generic, and NY teens kick butt to get the sex ed they want from their schools.

– As many of us now know, HPV (a sexually transmitted infection) has been linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer, while rubella is related to miscarriages and birth defects. Thankfully, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation has recently moved to invest $3.5 Billion in vaccination strategies including these infections (among others) for adult women. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with several other national governments (not including the USA), contributed funding. Full article – here

– Last week a Senate appropriations subcommittee passed a bill that would reduce abstinence-only sex funding, while maintaining the 2008 level of funding for Title X family planning programs. Community health centers would receive increased funding while low income women would maintain the current level of funded access to cervical and breast cancer screenings. Bush, no surprise, is expected to veto the bill; however, there is some promising dedication to pushing it along one way or another from the Senate level. Senator Harkin, (D-Iowa) plans to bring it the bill to the Senate floor in July. Contact your government representatives (and any of the rest of them) by phone/email/post repeatedly to make your voice heard – here. If you have never spoken to one of your elected government representative’s (and/or their staff) I suggest you give it a try. It’s a very enlightening process, and I am told that they really do pay attention to their constituents (that’s you, especially if you vote). They’ve got a job because of you, after all, so they should be much more worried about how you feel about them than the reverse! Show ’em some love, or show ’em some ire, as you are so inclined. Either way, I think it’s kinda fun! Read the full article – here

– Let’s catch everyone up on what Title V is, and whats going on there recently. Title V is this government effort to promote abstinence-only sex ed, which means the teachers are told to ONLY promote abstinence while warning of severe dangers to pre- or non-marital sex. It does not address adolescents who are or will become sexually active, except to encourage holding out for a ring. The education providing by Title V must meet a curriculum determined by the V folks, and so it is not responsive to local needs, either. Can you tell that this is not good news, in my eyes? It’s one of 3 federal abstinence-only programs, by the way. Anywho, more and more states are dropping this money, which is intense since the gov will pay for over 50% of such programs ($4 for every $3 of state money). Concerns about the effectiveness of such education, as well as the continued availability of such funding has scared folks off, and rightly so. Read the whole article – here

– YAZ and Yasmine, two oral contraceptions (aka birth control pills) are now going generic ahead of schedule! Yay! Read more – here

– NY continues to rock their local governments and agencies in order to get the sexual health resources they need and want! This time teens across the state have mobilized to demand better, more comprehensive sexuality education. I’m seriously impressed with the news coming out of NY these days. Good work, New Yorkers… I miss you. Read more about their efforts – here


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