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sexual health

FDA Approves HPV Vaccination

The vaccine, Gardisil, is only approved for women and girls right now but its maker (Merck) is looking into its use in boys and men. Hopefully it will be available to males soon since they can also be infected and transmit the virus to their partners. A few things have to be cleared up yet, such as at what age girls should be vaccinated and if pediatricions should include it in their vaccination schedules. The CDC makes its reccomendations June 29th.

The only downside I can see is the cost: $300 - $500 for a vaccine that only lasts four years. Many communities do offer financial help for medical needs like vaccines whether via sliding scales or specific programs so hopefully this will accessible for everyone. Globally, this has the potential save 200,000 lives each year that would otherwise be ended by cervical cancer.

More information on the vaccine: What Does Gardasil Mean For Women?

More information on HPV: STI File: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV, Warts) and Herpes & HPV.

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From OW! to WOW! Demystifying Painful Intercourse

At least once every couple of days, someone posts or writes into Scarleteen reporting that vaginal entry -- usually intercourse or manual vaginal sex, and usually (but not always) with male partners -- is painful, uncomfortable, or unfulfilling for them. Whatever sort of vaginal entry we're talking about -- with fingers, a penis or a dildo, with partners of any gender -- not only doesn't have to be painful, it really shouldn't be. More than that, any kind of sex shouldn't be about a lack of pain, but about the presence of pleasure.

Medicare to Cover Viagra, While Bush Administration Continues to Block Women's Access to Morning-After Pill

To: National Desk
Contact: Ted Miller of NARAL Pro-Choice America, 202-973-3032

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 /U.S. Newswire/ -- NARAL Pro-Choice America, the nation's leading advocate for personal privacy and a woman's right to choose, said Americans are outraged that the Bush Administration will allow Medicare to cover prescriptions for sexual enhancement drugs such as Viagra while blocking efforts to give women access to emergency contraceptives that would reduce the need for abortion.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, issued the following statement: "Americans opened their newspapers today to read yet another example of the Bush Administration not giving women's reproductive health needs equal treatment. The president is willing to allow coverage of Viagra under Medicare, but his FDA continues to delay a decision on whether women can have access to Plan B, a morning- after pill, from their pharmacies."

"Despite overwhelming support for the pill's safety and effectiveness f

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Gender key in addressing AIDS epidemic

"In a community hall in South Africa's largest informal settlement, Soweto, about 20 men and women are seated in a semi-circle, talking about sex and gender roles. Working in groups, they have just completed two lists, one beginning "I'm glad to be a man/woman because ... " and the other, "If I were a man/woman I could ... " The "I'm glad I'm a man" list, compiled by the male group, includes, "because I can have multiple partners," while the women's "If I were a man" list says, "I could sleep around the way I want." The resulting discussion is heating up faster than the corrugated iron roof of the hall. "If a woman says 'no' to sex she's destroying her family because her husband will be forced to go outside for sex," one of the men says.

Dean Peacock...pointed out that so far AIDS awareness campaigns focusing only on women had proved redundant, as women were unable to negotiate safe sex with their male partners.

Research conducted in preparation for designing the MAP project revea

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An international team of researchers has brought millions of vulnerable women closer to a potentially powerful weapon against HI

Because most HIV infections are transmitted across mucosal surfaces -- the vagina and the rectum particularly -- scientists have been concentrating on microbicides to prevent transmission. The research has intensified in recent years because of promising theories like the one behind PSC-RANTES and the lack of a viable vaccine.

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Honorably Discharged: A Guide to Vaginal Secretions

Vaginal discharge and secretions are normal and usually healthy. The vagina is a passageway between the outside of the body and the internal reproductive system. Vaginal secretions are how the vagina cleanses and regulates itself -- how amazing is that? -- in the same sort of way that saliva helps keep your mouth clean and healthy and part of the fertility cycle.

The STI Files: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV is a virus that destroys the immune system and thus weakens the body's ability to fight disease and infection, even common infections like flus and colds. HIV usually progresses to AIDS. This makes HIV the most dangerous sexually transmitted infection today. It is the fifth leading cause of death for the young under 40 in the United States. At this time, no one has been cured of HIV or AIDS.

Testing, Testing...

Whether you are with a new partner, or are already in a sexual relationship, getting a full STD/STI screening can give you peace of mind and ensure your physical well-being as well as your partners.

Your First Gynecologist Visit

Want to know what to expect at your first gynecologists' or reproductive health exam? We've got the lowdown for you here.

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