myU OneStop


Unit's home page.

Recently in Sexual health Category

Coleman-Chair-BP-7.jpgMedical advances, improved access to care, prevention initiatives, and our nation's aspiration of an AIDS-free generation are all good signs, but as a culture we will need to shift our perspective to stop the spread of HIV.

 
Over the last 30 years, where have we failed? We know that HIV is still mostly spread by sexual behavior. Yet, the disease is rather easily preventable through the use of condoms. Condoms are reasonably inexpensive, potentially readily available, easy to use, and highly effective in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (and unintended pregnancy). What a bargain! So, why are they not used more?


Behavioral HIV prevention strategies and interventions have tried to get people to reduce risky sexual behavior and promote condom use. While reasonably effective, there needs to be continuous implementation of these interventions, and they are costly. Investment in prevention strategies has always been difficult.


New strategies are overdue. In the United States, we continue to experience 50,000 new infections a year, with young people aged 13-29 accounting for 39% of all new HIV infections.* And, there are serious health disparities.  People of color, youth, and sexual minorities are much more likely to become infected than other groups. While 60% of new infections around the world are found in gay and bisexual men, only 2% of the global prevention budget is directed at this group. Also, transgender individuals are an overlooked population at major risk for HIV, due in large part to continued stigma and discrimination. This disparity in funding efforts represents the institutionalized stigmatization, heterosexism, and homophobia that exist in our cultures as well as in our public health systems. If we do not attend to this population as well as other marginalized populations such as sex workers and drug users, we will fail in our efforts to stop the spread of infections.


A fundamental problem remains. We remain a sexually dysfunctional culture. We live in a culture that is still uncomfortable talking about sex and sexuality in a mature and honest fashion. We continue to debate and hold back on providing comprehensive sexuality education. It is very clear that what distinguishes the United States from other developed countries in sexual health indicators is the existence of (or lack thereof) early and sustained comprehensive sexuality education. When kids are educated early they grow up to be more comfortable with talking about sexuality, more likely to be sexually responsible, and have lower rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies. They contribute to a cultural climate that is sexually healthy. That climate then insists on comprehensive sexuality education and thereby creates a cycle of healthiness. In the United States, we are still caught up in a negative and unhealthy vicious cycle. The goal of the Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education is to reverse this negative cycle.


As the current Chair in Sexual Health, I continue to push a sexual health agenda in HIV prevention. I believe in the need for a broad sexual health approach to stem the tide of the HIV epidemic. I envision an approach that goes beyond venereology and on an individual level

• emphasizes a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual expression throughout the lifespan;

• acknowledges sexuality as a basic and fundamental aspect of our humanness and that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is natural and desirable;

• combats sexual coercion, shame, discrimination, and violence;

• promotes positive sexual identity and esteem;

• encourages honest communication and trust between partners;

• supports the possibility of having pleasurable, fulfilling, and satisfying sexual experiences;

• insists that individuals take responsibility of the consequences of their sexual choices and their impact on others; and

• optimizes reproductive capacity and choice

 

At the community level, it is achieved through

• access to developmentally appropriate, comprehensive, and scientifically accurate sexuality education;

• clinical and preventative sexual health services; and

• respect for individual differences and diversity and a lack of societal prejudice, stigma, and discrimination.

As the Chair in Sexual Health, I will continue to work with our faculty at the Program in Human Sexuality and with partners around the world to promote a sexually healthier culture - not only to address the sexual problems in the world -- but to advance the opportunity for everyone to lead sexually healthier lives which are pleasurable and satisfying.

Eli Coleman, PhD
Professor and Director
Chair in Sexual Health

 

New HIV Infections in the United States by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER


MN-Med-cover-BP.jpgPHS faculty contributed to the August issue of Minnesota Medicine titled "Can we talk about sex?"

"Promoting Sexual Health: Why it's every physician's responsibility" is an editorial written by Eli Coleman, PhD. Coleman emphasized the importance of sexual health to a patient's overall health, through all stages of development. He also called for the improved training of medical students and practicing physicians.

Sara Mize, PhD, and Brian Zamboni, PhD, were interviewed for the article "Seven things physicians need to know about sex and the older adult." Also contributing to the article was June La Valleur, MD, retired University of Minnesota faculty member in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health and past-chair of the PHS Leadership Council.

Michael Miner, PhD, commented on sexual offender treatment, current research, and Minnesota's unique system in "View from the Hotel California: Is it possible to rehabilitate Minnesota's most serious sex offenders?"

Katie Spencer, PhD, discussed the Standards of Care and insurance coverage for transgender patients in "Falling Through the Cracks: Health insurance policies increasingly include coverage for treatments related to gender dysphoria, but gaps remain,"

Several PHS colleagues and collaborators were featured in the article, "Out: The climate has changed for gay and lesbian physicians," including Chip Martin, MD, chair of the PHS Leadership Council.

Minnesota Medicine is an award-winning publication of the Minnesota Medical Association.

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Faculty Profile: Jamie Feldman, MD, PhD

| No Comments
BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Jamie-Feldman-BP.jpgAssociate professor Jamie Feldman, MD, PhD, is a family physician passionate about sexual medicine research, education, and clinical care.

While Feldman was working on her medical degree at University of Illinois, Urbana, she also completed a PhD in anthropology. In 1996, after a family medicine residency at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL, she joined the faculty at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota. Initially she worked as a family physician and trained residents in HIV/AIDS clinical care. In 1998, when the HIV/AIDS residency training program was eliminated, Feldman joined the faculty at the Program in Human Sexuality, replacing retiring physician Leon Nesvacil, MD. Feldman's interest in research, HIV, sexuality, and culture has made her a great fit for PHS. "Family physicians are uniquely qualified to address sexual health. They are trained in the whole person, across all ages and genders," said PHS director Eli Coleman, PhD,

Feldman's early research was in the area of HIV/AIDS.1 When she started at PHS she realized the lack of transgender-specific research and level-1 evidence. Since then, Feldman has been involved in studies focused on transgender health from HIV/AIDS prevention to the effects of hormone therapy. She has given numerous international presentations and published many scientific articles, book chapters, and guidelines based on her research in the areas of sexual functioning and transgender health. In addition to her recent publications2, Feldman is currently working on updating guidelines for The Fenway Institute for physicians on primary care of transgender patients and guidelines for physicians in British Columbia on the physical aspects of transgender endocrine therapy. Since 2001, Feldman has served as the chair for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's Transgender Medicine and Research Committee. As she looks to the future, she is hopeful that the National Institutes of Health and other grant funding organizations will respond to the Institutes of Medicine report, The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People (2011), by funding research in transgender health beyond the rubric of HIV.

Feldman is currently working with colleagues at PHS to build a framework for clinical research in the area of transgender health care. Feldman's current research includes looking at feminizing hormone therapy in patients over age 50; a retrospective, multicenter study on the long-term health of transgender individuals receiving hormone-therapy; and a study of immunological factors and the risk of Vulvodynia (based in U of M Epidemiology).

Feldman is involved in every aspect of education at PHS. She believes that, "Caring for a patient's whole health means that family physicians should be comfortable with sexuality." On most clinical days she is shadowed by medical students or residents from family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, or other medical schools. She is the director of the sexual medicine course required for family medicine residents. Along with her colleagues, she is an instructor for the human sexuality course for first-year medical students and gives didactics for PHS postdoctoral fellows.

At the PHS clinic, the Center for Sexual Health, Feldman sees patients for all aspects of sexual medicine including sexual functioning concerns, women's sexual health, and transgender-specific care. In addition to her time at PHS, she see patients for two half days at the Women's Health Specialists Clinic at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

A native of Chicago, Feldman lives in Saint Paul with her husband, sci-fi /fantasy writer Doug Hulick, and their two sons. Her hobby is historical rapier combat.

1. Feldman, J.L. (1995). Plague doctors: Responding to the AIDS Epidemic in France and America. Westport, Connecticut, Bergin and Garvey.

2. Recent publications

Feldman, J., & Spencer, K. (2013). Gender dysphoria in a 39-year-old man. Canadian Medical Association Journal. Published online ahead of print, October 7, 2013. doi:10.1503/cmaj.130450

Eckman, P.M., Dhungel, V., Mandras, S., Brisco, M.A., Emani, S., Duval, S., Lindenfeld, J., Sulemanjee, N., Sokos, G.G., Feldman, J. (2013). Sexual Function After Left Ventricular Assist Device. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 61(19), 2021-2022. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2013.02.022

Deutsch, M., Feldman, J. (2013). Updated recommendations from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care. Editorial in American Family Physician, 87(2):89-93.

Coleman, E., Bockting, W., Botzer, M., Cohen-Kettenis, P., DeCuypere, G., Feldman, J., Fraser, L., Green, J., Knudson, G., Meyer, W., Monstrey, S., & the WPATH Standards of Care Revision Committee. (2012). Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, 7th Version. International Journal of Transgenderism. 13(4), 165-232.

Feldman, J.L., Safer, J. (2009) Hormone therapy in adults: suggested revisions to the sixth version of the Standards of Care. International Journal of Transgenderism (11)3:146-182
Eyler, A.E. and Feldman, J.L. (2008). "Primary Care of the Transsexual Male." In Clinical Men's Health: Evidence in Practice. Heidelbaugh, J. (ed.) Atlanta, GA: Elsevier

Feldman, J.L. (2008). "Medical management of transgender patients." In The Fenway Guide to Enhancing Healthcare in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Communities, Makadon, H., Mayer, K., Potter, J., Goldhammer, H. (eds.), Philadelphia, PA, American College of Physicians.

Feldman, J.L. (2007). "Preventive Care of the Transgendered Patient: An Evidence Based Approach." In Principles of Transgendered Medicine and Surgery. Ettner, R., Eyler, A.E., Monstrey, S. (eds.) Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.

Ross, M.W., Rosser, B.R., McCurdy, S., Feldman, J.L. (2007) The advantages and limitations of seeking sex online: A comparison of reasons given for online and offline sexual liaisons by Men who have Sex with Men. Journal of Sex Research. 44(1):59-71

Feldman, J.L., Goldberg, J. (2006). Transgender Primary Medical Care: Suggested Guidelines for Clinicians in British Columbia. Vancouver, British Columbia: Vancouver Coastal Health, Transcend Transgender Support & Education Society, and the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition.

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Whipple-Coleman-Puebla-BP.jpgThe University of Puebla and several other colleges in Puebla have collaborated to develop the Centro de Investigación en Sexología Dra. Beverly Whipple (CISex), dedicated on October 18, 2013, in Puebla, Mexico. Eli Coleman, PhD, will serve as a member of the center.

The dedication event was part of a research conference to launch the opening of the research center. Coleman made a presentation and workshop at the conference, "Parafilias en el Siglo XXI: Definiendo la Normalidad y Anormalidad en la Sexualidad Humana" and "Evaluación y tratamiento de Conducta sexual Impulsiva/compulsiva."

The mission of CISex is to advance collaborative sexuality research and promote the exchange of ideas across professions and academic disciplines. In her acceptance speech, Whipple said, "I hope that this research center will provide the incentive for many of you here in Puebla, and in other parts of Mexico, to conduct more research studies and to publish your findings. The field of sexual health has so much that we don't know about and there is the need for much new research. . . . We need to have your findings published, not only in Spain, Central and South America, but internationally."

Beverly Whipple, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor Emerita of Rutgers University in the College of Nursing. She is a certified sexuality educator, sexuality counselor, and sex researcher, and is the co author of the international best seller, The G Spot and Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality. Her other co-authored books are: Safe Encounters: How Women can say Yes to Pleasure and No to Unsafe Sex; Smart Women, Strong Bones; Outwitting Osteoporosis; The Science of Orgasm (2006); and The Orgasm Answer Guide (2010). Her concern with women's health derives naturally from her more than forty years of helping women to feel better about themselves, as a nurse, a nurse educator, and researcher.

Rutgers University press release (English)

Blog coverage of the dedication (Spanish)
Inauguración del CISEX
Centro de Investigación

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER


BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER




If you were not able to join us for the great lecture by Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, you can now watch the video online or download the audio.

As part of the John Money Lecture series hosted by PHS, Herbenick presented "First Blush: Adolescent and Young Adult Sexual Experiences in America" at the University of Minnesota Medical School on September 13, 2013. Herbenick presented data from two nationally representative studies of sexual behavior in the United States - the 2009 and 2012 National Surveys of Sexual Health and Behavior, conducted by Herbenick and her colleagues at Indiana University. Together, the studies track the sexual experiences of about 10,000 Americans from ages 14 to 94.

Herbenick is co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, the sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, a widely read sex columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. She has authored more than 70 scientific publications on sexuality topics and is particularly focused on research related to sexual behavior in the US, female orgasm, and genital perceptions.

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Letter from the Chair in Sexual Health

| No Comments
BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Coleman-Chair-BP-7.jpgIt is an end of an era. Virginia E. Johnson, pioneering sex researcher and sex therapist, died on July 24, 2013, in St. Louis, MO. At age 88, she was one of the last great pioneers in the field of sexology and sex therapy.

Johnson worked with William Masters, MD, for more than three decades. They were researchers, teachers, and clinicians, and they were not afraid to be in the public eye to inform the public on sexual health matters. Their collaboration revolutionized our field through studying the human sexual response and pioneering sex therapy approaches. They helped to establish modern sex therapy and trained a generation of therapists throughout the country and around the world. The impact of their pioneering work is felt today as some of the basic understandings of human sexuality and treatment of sexual problems are rooted in their work. Masters and Johnson became household names, bringing public awareness to the importance of sexual pleasure and functioning in intimate relationships. Their research findings debunked a number of myths and led to an increased understanding of how to give and receive sexual pleasure based upon sound scientific understanding.

VC410JohnsonVE01-BP.jpgMasters and Johnson along with Alfred Kinsey, Helen Singer Kaplan, Harold Lief, John Money, and other pioneers made major contributions to our understanding of human sexuality and helped to legitimize the field of sexology and sexual therapy. With their deaths and now with hers, it seems like an end of an era.

The work of Masters and Johnson helped to influence the development of the Program in Human Sexuality (PHS). Masters was on the original national advisory committee when PHS was founded. More than any investigator before them, Masters and Johnson studied human sexual behavior in the laboratory and collected direct physiological and observational data. This forged the way to studying sexuality objectively and scientifically using direct physiological measurement.

In the 1970s, PHS conducted similar ground breaking research under the guidance of Joseph Bohlen, MD, PhD, Margaret Olwen Sanderson, MD, and James Held, BChE (see list below). These researchers refined the findings of Masters and Johnson and develop new approaches for sexual arousal measurement. They also documented women's multiple orgasm pattern. This led to other psychophysiological research which continues. Today scientists are able to record and observe sexual arousal and response not only in the genitals but also in the brain.

Currently at PHS Michael Miner, PhD, is investigating the phenomenon of compulsive sexual behavior through measurement of sexual arousal following negative mood induction to understand the basic mechanisms that are at play.

While the work of Masters and Johnson has continued to influence the field, unfortunately the Masters and Johnson Institute (1964 - 1994) that they built died with them. That is true for many of the pioneers in our field.

At PHS we are trying to ensure that our legacy is preserved and that the work will carry on for generations to come. While we carry on a tradition of harmonizing research, teaching, clinical practice, and advocating for a sexually healthier society, we are working diligently to preserve our institution through development. Through our fundraising effort and the establishment of endowed chairs, research funds, and fellowships, we not only enhance our work, but ensure its future. While we honor Johnson and the other pioneers in our field, we must not be complacent or take for granted the institutions we create. It takes great effort and determination to establish these institutions, and an even greater resolve to ensure their life beyond our work. So as we honor an end to an era, we must recognize our accomplishments, and prepare for the future.

Bohlen, J. G., Held, J. P., & Sanderson, M. O. (1980). The male orgasm: Pelvic contractions measured by anal probe. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 9(6), 503-521. doi: 10.1007/BF01542155

Bohlen, J. G., Held, J. P., & Sanderson, M. O. (1983). Update on sexual physiology research. Marriage & Family Review, 6(3-4), 21-33. doi: 10.1300/J002v06n03_03

Bohlen, J. G., Held, J. P., & Sanderson, M. O., & Ahlgren, A. (1982). The female orgasm: Pelvic contractions. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 11(5), 367-386. doi: 10.1007/BF01541570

Bohlen, J. G., Held, J. P., Sanderson, M. O., & Boyer, C. M. (1982). Development of a woman's multiple orgasm pattern: A research case report. Journal of Sex Research, 18(2), 130-145. doi: 10.1080/00224498209551144

Bohlen, J.G., Held, J.P., Sanderson, M., & Patterson, R.P. (1984). Heart rate, rate-pressure product, and oxygen uptake during four sexual activities. Archives of Internal Medicine, 144(9), 1745-1748. doi: 10.1001/archinte.1984.00350210057007

Photo of Virginia Johnson courtesy of Bekcer Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Debby-Herbenick-BP.jpgWhat do young women and men do as part of their sexual experiences? How many are abstinent? How many engage in sex - and what types of sex? And, importantly, to what extent do they experience sexual pleasure as well as sexual difficulties in connection with their sexual experiences?

Join us for "First Blush: Adolescent and Young Adult Sexual Experiences in America," by Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH. Herbenick will present data from two nationally representative studies of sexual behavior in the United States - the 2009 and 2012 National Surveys of Sexual Health and Behavior, conducted by Herbenick and her colleagues at Indiana University. Together, the studies track the sexual experiences of about 10,000 Americans from ages 14 to 94.

Herbenick is co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, the sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, a widely read sex columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. She has authored more than 70 scientific publications on sexuality topics and is particularly focused on research related to sexual behavior in the US, female orgasm, and genital perceptions.

"First Blush: Adolescent and Young Adult Sexual Experiences in America"
Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH

Friday, September 13, 2013
12:10 - 1 PM, doors open at 12 PM
Moos Tower 2-620

Free and open to the public
Lunch will be provided while supplies last

Please reserve your seat at phs@umn.edu

The John Money Lecture in Pediatric Sexology is hosted by the Program in Human Sexuality, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Photo: Courtesy of Indiana University

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Coleman-&-Bowbeer-BP.jpgWe are excited to announce the new Michael E. Metz Fellowship in Couples' Sexual Health that will help prepare postdoctoral fellows for a career that will combine clinical and scholarly endeavors in the area of couples' sexual health.

The Metz Fellowship was created with a generous gift from Hildy Bowbeer to honor the life and work of her husband, Michael E. Metz, PhD. Metz was a nationally respected psychologist and couples therapist, who for 12 years served on the faculty of PHS and directed the relationship and sex therapy program. Metz passed away in March 2012.

Bowbeer said, "Mike was not only committed to couples' sexual health in his own clinical and research work, but was also passionate about training the next generation of scholars and therapists in this field. I'm thrilled to be able to help PHS carry on his legacy in this way."

The Metz Fellowship is a two-year program that will follow the training model of our postdoctoral fellowship, but the Metz Fellow will focus her or his clinical work on couples' sexual health. Bowbeer's gift will enable the Metz fellow to dedicate thirty percent of their time to research in the area of couples' sexual health. "This is a great opportunity for a postdoctoral fellow to have more time to focus on research and scholarly work," said Eli Coleman, PhD, director.

As a clinician Metz worked with more than 6,000 couples, addressing and resolving relationship and sexual problems, improving their quality of life. He authored 4 books and more than 60 professional articles and book chapters in the areas of couple intimacy, relationship conflict styles, sexual health, sexual medicine, and cognitive-behavioral features of satisfying relationships. He conceptualized the "Good Enough Sex Model" which was greeted with great appreciation. Throughout his career, Metz received many awards and honors.

Now accepting applications for fall 2013
http://z.umn.edu/metz

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Letter from the Chair in Sexual Health

| No Comments
BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Coleman-Chair-BP-7.jpgSo what does the New Year hold for the future of sexual health? Can we be optimistic? I think so. There are four broad reasons to feel optimistic.

1.  As governments struggle with the complexities of the sexual problems and declining resources to commit to alleviate the myriad of problems, they will have no choice but to create broad strategies to promote sexual health. We have a public health imperative. We have an opportunity to use an evidence-based approach to public policy. Public health policies recognize that there is no choice but to address the barriers and opportunities for all citizens to enjoy the right to sexual health. They also recognize more and more that sexual health is a function of the recognition of basic human rights for all citizens.

2.  Sexual Health has taken root in public health policy and sexual science will be needed to guide it. Now is the time of a unique opportunity in history of which we must take advantage.

3.  The field of sexology has clearly established itself as a key player in the effort to promote a healthier society in the new millennium. The HIV pandemic alone continues to drive home the need to understand human sexuality in its full complexity--from the interdisciplinary perspective of sexology. Now sexologists are being asked to come to the table and help direct public policy by sharing our knowledge, research, and expertise.

4.  Public health officials recognize more than any other time that comprehensive sexuality education is essential. They need to support sexuality research and we see a flourishing of funding that is rooted in sound theory and scientific methodology. We see an increase in research publications which add to our knowledge and legitimacy of our scientific field.

In the United States, we have seen major developments that are guiding lights for the future of sexual health. There have been 5 major developments which will have a major impact in the coming year.

1.  In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a sexual health consultation to develop a broad consensus of how we could develop a strong, comprehensive, broad and integrated approach to sexual health. The meeting report was published in 2011. After another year of further consultation, the CDC is about to publish a white paper outlining the basic and fundamental strategies for the coming decades. The CDC adopted its own sexual health definition that could guide its work in this area.

2.  In 2010, the office of the President of the United States published a National HIV Strategy - the first comprehensive national strategy since the beginning of the epidemic! In this strategy, there was a strong statement that we must move away from thinking that one approach to HIV prevention will work, whether it is condoms, pills, information or prevention programs. Instead, we need to develop, evaluate, and implement effective comprehensive prevention strategies and combination therapies. While obvious, it was stated clearly that all Americans should have access to a shared base of factual information about HIV - a revival of the basic premise that US Surgeon General Koop stood upon in disseminating frank and scientifically accurate information to all households in the mid-1980s. Finally, this new strategy outlined a public health approach to sexual health that includes HIV prevention as one component. This was the first time the term sexual health was used in public policy in the United States. The President and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have called for a concerted approach to creating an AIDS-free generation.

3.  In 2011, the office of the US Surgeon General released a report that was developed by the National Prevention Council. This report was the first national strategy on prevention that called for us to work together to improve health and quality of life by moving from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. Reproductive and sexual health is one of the seven targeted priorities. Many of these recommendations have been incorporated and will be funded by the Affordable Care Act.

4.  In 2011, a report commissioned by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and conducted by the Institute of Medicine, was released on the health of gay, lesbian, and transgendered individuals. This report called upon more understanding and research on these marginalized populations and outlined a broad strategy to promote the health and wellbeing of these American citizens. This report has already had profound positive impact on public policies and public attitudes.

5.  In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services set broad health goals for the coming decade entitled --Healthy People 2020. In this broad health strategy "Reproductive and Sexual Health" was clearly identified as a leading health indicator. The outcomes of the recent national elections have ensured that these broad strategies to promote sexual health will go forward with commitment, leadership, and essential funding.

So, I think we can look forward to 2013 with a sense of optimism. We cannot be complacent, but we can ride this wave of renewed commitment to the promotion of sexual health for all Americans.

The Program in Human Sexuality will do its part - but it will be made easier by this social and political climate that shares our ideals of creating a sexually healthier climate and overcoming barriers to sexual health.

Thank you all for your support of the Program's activities and we wish you the very best in the coming year!

Eli Coleman, PhD
Director and Professor
Chair in Sexual Health

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Summit on sexual health in medical education

| No Comments
BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Summit-BP.jpgA recent summit hosted by PHS gathered key medical school educators and sexual health experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities for ensuring physicians are properly trained to address the sexual health needs of their patients.

Participants included former US Surgeons General Joycelyn Elders, MD, and David Satcher, MD, PhD, as well as representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Medical Student Organization, and a wide range of medical schools, universities, and organizations. The summit's premise was based upon a series of recently published papers, covering the state of sexual health education in the US and Canada and recommended curriculum changes. Invited speakers shared their perspectives in a think-tank format culminating in a working group session. A meeting report will be prepared and shared with interested parties and key stakeholders.

Eli Coleman, PhD, the event organizer said, "It is our hope that this summit and meeting report will serve as a catalyst for re-invigorating the necessary sexual health curriculum to meet the needs of physicians of the future."

During the summit participants heard from educators, students, and researchers, including many of the authors whose articles were used for background. Educators from a range of medical schools shared information about their sexual health curricula and training programs. On Tuesday morning participants gathered into work groups around the topics of curriculum placement, evaluation, faculty development, inter-professional education and training for integrated care, and cooperative strategies and partnerships.

The event was held on December 3 - 4, 2012, at the Commons Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The event was made possible through funds from the Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education and the University of Minnesota Medical School through support of a Herz Grant and the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity.

PHOTO: summit participants; credit Duane Rost

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

Letter from the Chair in Sexual Health

| No Comments

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

 

MSM-global-forum-crop-BP.jpgI am writing this letter from the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. It has been 22 years since the International AIDS conference was held in the United States (mainly due to the unwillingness on the part of the United States to grant visas for HIV-infected individuals- only recently lifted).

Here 25,000 scientists, policy makers, health and education ministry officials, advocates, and activists from around the world are gathered with a renewed determination to stem the tide of this epidemic. Medical advances, improved access to care, prevention initiatives, and our nation's revived determination are all good signs, but as a culture we will need to shift our perspective to stop the spread of HIV.

Recent news of pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis treatment has been encouraging. Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent the spread of HIV to high-risk, healthy individuals. Other similar preparations are under investigation and HIV therapeutic drugs are being developed for prophylactic use. These drugs are very costly and require individuals to adhere to rigid compliance in order to be effective.

Also, last week, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced nearly $80 million in grants to increase access to HIV/AIDS care across the United States. The funding will ensure that low-income people living with HIV/AIDS continue to have access to life-saving health care and medications. This effort stemmed from President Obama's determination to create an AIDS-free generation.

In addition, there is reduced stigma for HIV infected individuals. The CDC just launched "Let's Stop HIV Together" a new campaign that is part of the 5-year initiative started in 2009 to reduce stigma around HIV and advocate for more access to testing and treatment "Act Against AIDS."

The United States, through its National AIDS Strategy, has outlined a "prevention" strategy through early detection and early treatment, focusing on vulnerable populations.

These new strategies are overdue. In the United States, we continue to experience 50,000 new infections a year. And, there are serious health disparities. People of color, youth, and sexual minorities are much more likely to become infected than other groups.

Over the last 30 years, where have we failed? We know that HIV is still mostly spread by sexual behavior. Yet, the disease is rather easily preventable through the use of condoms. Condoms are reasonably inexpensive, potentially readily available, easy to use, and highly effective in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (and unintended pregnancy). What a bargain! So, why are they not used more?

Behavioral HIV prevention strategies and interventions have tried to get people to reduce risky sexual behavior and promote condom use. While reasonably effective, there needs to be continuous implementation of these interventions, and they are costly. Investment in prevention strategies has always been difficult. With the recently adopted National Prevention Strategy, National AIDS Strategy, and the Affordable Care Act, there is new hope that these investments will be made.

But a fundamental problem remains. We remain a sexually dysfunctional culture. We live in a culture that is still uncomfortable talking about sex and sexuality in a mature and honest fashion. We continue to debate and hold back on providing comprehensive sexuality education. It is very clear that what distinguishes the United States from other developed countries in sexual health indicators is the existence of (or lack thereof) early and sustained comprehensive sexuality education. When kids are educated early they grow up to be more comfortable with talking about sexuality, more likely to be sexually responsible, and have lower rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies. They contribute to a cultural climate that is sexually healthy. That climate then insists on comprehensive sexuality education and thereby creates a cycle of healthiness. In the United States, we are still caught up in a negative and unhealthy vicious cycle. The goal of the Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education is to reverse this negative cycle.

Both Walter Bockting and I, along with over 600 delegates from around the world attended the "Global Forum on Men who Have Sex with Men (MSM) and HIV" as part of the International AIDS Conference. While 60% of new infections around the world are found in gay and bisexual men, only 2% of the global prevention budget is directed at this group. Also, transgender individuals are an overlooked population at major risk for HIV, due in large part to continued stigma and discrimination. This disparity in funding efforts represents the institutionalized stigmatization, heterosexism, and homophobia that exist in our cultures as well as in our public health systems. If we do not attend to this population as well as other marginalized populations such as sex workers and drug users, we will fail in our efforts to stop the spread of infections.

Walter Bockting and I also attended two important meetings pertaining to transgender health and HIV. The first was called "The Great TRANSformation: Towards a Holistic Approach for Healthier and Happier Trans Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean." Walter Bockting talked about "Avenues for Action for the Provision of Care and the Promotion of Well-Being." This symposium represented some of our ongoing work with the Pan American Health Organization in developing and finalizing a "Blueprint for the Provision of Prevention and Care for Transgender Individuals through Latin American and the Caribbean." We also participated in a second special session on "Addressing Stigma in Transgender & Other HIV-Vulnerable Communities" sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care, the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, and the Pan American Health Organization.
 
As the current Chair in Sexual Health, I was happy to participate in this conference and push a sexual health agenda in HIV prevention. I was very pleased that the Program in Human Sexuality was a co-sponsor along with the Pan American Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of a satellite session on "Addressing Sexual Health and Evidence-based Sexual Health Education: Evolving Opportunities." I spoke on "Towards a Broader Vision of Sexual Health in the New Millennium." I emphasized the need for a broad sexual health approach to stem the tide of the HIV epidemic, which emphasizes a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual expression throughout the lifespan and that acknowledges sexuality as a basic and fundamental aspect of our humanness and that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is natural and desirable. A broad sexual health approach combats sexual coercion, shame, discrimination, and violence. But a sexual health approach must go beyond venereology and, on an individual level, promote positive sexual identity and esteem, honest communication and trust between partners, the possibility of having pleasurable, fulfilling and satisfying sexual experiences, taking responsibility of the consequences of one's sexual choices and their impact on others, and optimizing reproductive capacity and choice. At the community level, it is achieved through access to developmentally appropriate, comprehensive and scientifically accurate sexuality education, clinical and preventative sexual health services, and respect for individual differences and diversity and a lack of societal prejudice, stigma, and discrimination.

The Chair in Sexual Health will continue to work with our faculty at PHS and with partners around the world to promote a sexually healthier culture - not only to address the sexual problems in the world -- but to advance the opportunity for everyone to lead sexually healthier lives which are pleasurable and satisfying.

Eli Coleman, PhD
Professor and Director
Academic Chair in Sexual Health

PHOTO: Omar Banos (Impacto at AIDS Project Los Angeles), Rafael Mazin (Pan American Health Organization), and Eli Coleman

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

 

Together-BP.jpg"Let's Stop HIV Together" is a new initiative launched by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on July 16, 2012. The campaign is a new phase of Act Against AIDS effort launched in 2009 to fight the complacency about HIV/AIDS in the United States and to reduce the risk of infection for the hardest-hit populations. The new campaign shares personal stories of individuals who are living with HIV and asks you to and your community to "Get the facts. Get tested. Get involved."

Based on 2009 statistics, the CDC estimates that in the United States each year 50,000 individuals become infected with HIV. At the end of 2008, an estimated 1,178,350 persons aged 13 and older were living with HIV infection in the United States. Of those, it is estimated that 20% had undiagnosed HIV infections.

If you are interested in promoting "Let's Stop HIV Together" or contributing your story to the campaign visit their website.

BACK TO PHS NEWSLETTER

 

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Sexual health category.

Research is the previous category.

Sexual offender is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.