During his tenure as Surgeon General, Koop was not political. He was not ideological. And he was not quiet (like many of his predecessors had been). He saw his position as a platform to speak to the public, and he used it, surprising both the right and the left along the way.
Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa’s health minister, reported that 77,771 legal abortions were performed in 2011, a 31 percent increase over 2010. This statistic has rattled the country’s growing anti-abortion movement, sending it into a frenzy of activity to roll back the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act passed 16 years ago.
Though the mainstream media’s virtual silence on the issue suggests otherwise, the HIV epidemic continues to rage in the U.S., and African Americans and blacks are those hardest hit.
The bishops and their allies aren’t celebrating with us that the country’s huge unmet contraceptive need and rising rate of HIV infections may soon be somewhat ameliorated. Instead, they are busy planning the downfall of the legislators who courageously withstood the many statements that “contraception is corruption.”
On January 7, the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) made the welcome announcement that it had added the first clinical trial of a microbicide for women living with HIV to its research portfolio.
A new study suggests that smoking can cut the lives of HIV-positive patients by over 10 years; a new app wants to reassure you that the cute guy at the bar doesn’t have an STD; and research shows that women who find their partner sexy feel best about him during ovulation.
Twenty-two Philadelphia schools installed condom dispensers as part of a city-wide effort to reduce STDs; a new at-home HIV test hit drug store shelves but some worry if this is the best way for individuals to find out their status; and a new study suggests that public health efforts may be leaving some men unprotected.
The CDC surveillance numbers for 2011 show that gonorrhea and chlamydia are up especially among young people and that three-quarters of all syphilis cases are among men who have sex with men; an analysis of STIs in New York City finds they are inextricably linked to poverty, and research suggests dormant HPV may reactivate as women near menopause.
Moving forward, our agenda is clear: young people must be meaningfully involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of international development policies.
Just in time for World AIDS Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled a Blueprint for Achieving an AIDS-Free Generation. Overall, the Blueprint is surprisingly strong, especially in light of the fact that over the past few years, the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) has done a lackluster job on young people and focused its rhetoric almost exclusively on biomedical approaches.