Nearly a fifth of the world’s transgender women are infected with HIV. A recent analysis compiling the results of 39 studies involving 11,000 transgender women from 15 countries came to this startling conclusion. This number is 49 times higher than the general population, 36 times higher than males and 78 times higher than other females. For the study, transgender women were defined as individuals born as biological males who currently identified as female. Transgender women who engaged in sex work were also significantly more likely to be infected with HIV than male and other female sex workers.
So why are transgender women so much more likely to contract HIV? The authors of the report offered several reasons. They believe that many of the infections occurred through unprotected anal sex. Next to direct blood to blood contact through needle sharing, anal sex is the easiest route for transmission. Anal tissue is more easily torn during anal sex than through either vaginal or oral sex. If they have had a recent vaginoplasty/vaginal construction, they are also at greater risk of infection. Transgender women are more likely to be involved with sexual partners who are infected with HIV and engage in sex work.
The stigma, discrimination, and fear of judgement associated with being transgender are significant factors that lead to many women avoiding routine health screenings. And to make matters worse, few health care workers, HIV counselors, and physicians are trained in transgender women’s health care issues.
Hopefully, this study will help open doors to future strategies to help address this overlooked population. To read the entire article, click here.
When the subject of anal sex comes up many people make strange faces or negative comments. Sometimes because of their religious beliefs that teach them anal sex is wrong or unnatural, while others can’t wrap their heads around why anyone would want to go near their bum. We all have three categories for sexual acts that we deem as sometimes, maybe, or never ever would I do …that!
The reason why males and females who are straight, gay, bisexual, or undefined enjoy anal play is because there are a lot of nerve receptors in and around the opening to the anus, and it feels good for many individuals. More specifically, males may enjoy anal stimulation because it can stimulate their prostate gland causing a different type of sensation. According to The Guide to Getting It On, women may enjoy anal stimulation because the wall between the vagina and rectum swells when women are sexually aroused which can intensify orgasms. Anal sex or anal play can be with fingers, a penis, a tongue, or sex toys.
Before deciding whether to participate in anal play, both parties involved must consent and have it be on their terms. Whether someone is engaging in oral, anal, or vaginal sex it is important to always use protection unless both partners have been tested and agree to only sleep with each other. When discussing protection for anal sex there are three options: a male or a female condom with a very liberal amount of water-based or silicone based lubrication and a dental dam for oral play.
Good communication is key when it comes to ensuring that both parties feel pleasure vs. pain. The person receiving the stimulation should feel comfortable telling their partner if they need more lube, to slow down or speed up, and should be very relaxed. Check out Oh Megan to see a YouTube video on how to prevent anal sex from hurting. It is important to remember that anal play is not something you rush into.
If you are interested in trying something new with your partner it is recommended that you do a little research. The Guide to Getting It On recommends you check out: Jack Morin’s Anal Pleasure and Health and Tristan Taormino’s Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex For Females.
The Female Condom (FC) was approved by the FDA in 1993 to help prevent pregnancy and STIs. The FC has been distributed in 77 countries throughout Africa, Latin and South America, Australia, Asia, and several countries in Europe. It was invented to empower women with another form of protection as an alternative to a male condom.
How do you use it?
Rub the outsides of the pouch together to ensure the proper amount of lubricant is spread over the condom. Then locate the arrow at the right-hand corner of the pouch and tear the package open. Examine the condom to make sure it is not damaged. Sit or lay down to insert the Female Condom (FC) and follow the diagram seen below.
What are the benefits to using it?
- It can be inserted several hours ahead of time
- It is made of nitrile (a non-latex material) for individuals who are allergic or don’t like the smell of latex
- It conducts heat better than latex
- The manufacture claims it feels more natural because it clings to the walls of the vagina and fits loosely around the penis.
- The ring on the outside of the condom covers more of the vulva which gives her and her partner more protection from skin-to-skin STIs.
- The ring may rub against the clitoris creating more pleasure for the woman wearing it.
- The condom can stay in, even if her partner loses his erection
- Unlike male condoms, heat will not destroy FC’s
- Lubrication can be water-based, silicone based, or oil based
- Women can protect themselves with an FC when their partner does not want to use a male condom
- The condom can be used for anal sex (though it is only approved by the FDA for vaginal sex)
Try another option to keep yourself safe this year – try the female condom!