Monday, September 26, 2005

Celebrating Diversity? Or a Public Health Crisis?

We thought the Boston Globe just blindly "celebrated diversity", but today the business section reports, "Sex drugs called avenue to HIV; misuse of sex drugs studied." Now what group do you suppose is misusing Viagra and contributing to the spread of AIDS?

Yes, even the Globe has to deal with the reality that it's homosexual men involved here. While Pfizer Inc., manufacturer of Viagra, publishes "safe sex" information, it is "more tailored to the general population than to gay men who have high-risk sex." The Globe admitting that homosexual male sex is "high risk"? Wow. (Should we keep celebrating diversity?)

The problem is seen especially in the PNP ("party and play") set. First they pop crystal methamphetamine, which reduces their inhibitions, but also is a downer for you-know-what. So to regain "their ability to have sex," the PNP set next pops Viagra. "That worries public health officials who say the drug combination promotes risky, unprotected sex with multiple partners." And the drugs together "are also potentially deadly."

According to the Globe, ED dysfunction drugs
"might be contributing to the transmission of HIV and other diseases." Oh really? Here we must disagree with the Globe. We think the problem is the behavior of the person taking the drugs, not the drugs.

Excerpts from the Globe article:

WASHINGTON -- Richard Gallo's experience is shared by thousands of men who sometimes find other men through e-mail messages that read: ''Do you want to PNP?" It stands for ''party and play." To party, they take crystal methamphetamine, which reduces inhibitions but also their ability to have sex. To play, they pop Viagra at the same time. Gallo, a 28-year-old Boston resident, said he had many such sexual encounters.

That worries public health officials who say the drug combination promotes risky, unprotected sex with multiple partners....

In cities across the nation, including Boston, reports of new cases of sexually transmitted diseases between men are on the rise. One reason, some health officials say, is the misuse of Viagra.

Dr. Jeffrey D. Klausner of the San Francisco Department of Public Health said that city was poised to eliminate syphilis in 2000. Now, there are thousands of new cases. He said gay men seeking treatment for sexually transmitted diseases report an average of 18 partners in the prior two months.

His research also links erectile dysfunction drugs with risky sexual behavior and an increase in sexually transmitted diseases in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Klausner said drug companies should curb free samples and limit refills of erectile dysfunction drugs, which are used by more than 20 million American men.