The HPV Vaccine May Soon Be Readily Available To Americans Up To Age 45

The HPV Vaccine May Soon Be Readily Available To Americans Up To Age 45

A few years ago, I decided to get the HPV vaccine. This vaccine didn’t hit the market until I was well into adulthood, so I didn’t have a chance to be vaccinated in my youth like most kids today (about 6 in 10 US parents are currently choosing to have their kids vaccinated against HPV). Unfortunately, I found that it was a ridiculously difficult and expensive process. 

Because the recommended age for the vaccine is only up to 26—and I was older than that—my insurance company wouldn’t cover it and many providers weren’t willing to give it to me, even though I said I would pay out of pocket (long story short: I eventually got it, and you can read all about the experience here). Fortunately, things look like they’re about to get easier (and cheaper) for the over-26 crowd.

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Infographic: How STD Rates in the United States are Changing

Infographic: How STD Rates in the United States are Changing

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a massive public health issue in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 110 million infections in the U.S. today. Furthermore, 20 million new infections are estimated to occur each year. All of these infections translate to significant healthcare costs: believe it or not, we spend an estimated $16 billion per year on STD treatment! 

So what's going on with rates of STDs? Have they been increasing or decreasing over the last few years? 

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The U.S. Teen Birth Rate Has Reached A Historic Low (Infographic)

The U.S. Teen Birth Rate Has Reached A Historic Low (Infographic)

The teenage birth rate in the United States has hit a record low, according to a new report from the CDC. Check out the infographic below for a look at some of the major highlights and statistics from the CDC's analysis. As you’ll see, the changes that have occurred over the last two decades are truly staggering.

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Infographic: Recent Trends in STD Rates in the United States

Infographic: Recent Trends in STD Rates in the United States

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major public health issue in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are as many as 20 million new infections that occur each year in the U.S. and that we spend upwards of $16 billion annually on health care to treat them. So what's been happening with rates of STDs in recent years? Are they increasing or decreasing? Check out the infographic below for a look at some of the data. To learn more, check out the CDC's full report here (please note that HIV/AIDS is covered separately in its own report here). In addition, visit this page for information on the CDC's current STD screening recommendations.

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Are Women Really More Likely To Be Bisexual Than Men?

Are Women Really More Likely To Be Bisexual Than Men?

I recently posted an article in which I concluded that “while it is indeed possible for both men and women to be bisexual, evidence from a variety of sources suggests that bisexuality may be a more natural occurrence among women than men” (see here for the complete article). I received a couple of comments on the site as well as a few e-mails that were critical of this conclusion, so I thought it might be useful to do a follow-up post and dig a little deeper into the research in the hope of clearing things up a bit more.

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Should Men Be Circumcised?

Should Men Be Circumcised?
In the not too distant past, circumcision (i.e., surgical removal of the foreskin from a penis) was a routine procedure performed on virtually all infant boys in the United States. However, circumcision has become increasingly controversial in recent years and the number of parents opting to perform this procedure on their male children has dropped considerably. The Centers for Disease Control currently estimates that 55-57% of newborn boys in the U.S. are circumcised [1]. The percentages differ greatly around the world, with higher rates in the Middle East and lower rates in Europe. So is circumcision a good idea? Unfortunately, there is not a definitive scientific answer to this question. Thus, the goal of this article is not to advocate one position or another, but rather to present you with some different perspectives and allow you to come to your own conclusions.
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Fact Check: Is the Saliva of an HIV+ Person Really a “Deadly Weapon?”

Fact Check: Is the Saliva of an HIV+ Person Really a “Deadly Weapon?”
It was recently reported in several media outlets that an HIV-positive Texas man was sentenced to 35-years in prison for spitting at a police officer. The reason? Prosecutors argued that because he was infected with HIV, his saliva constituted a “deadly weapon.” Had the man not been infected with the virus, he still would have been prosecuted for his actions, but the sentence would have been far less severe. So was this ruling justified? Is there a strong risk of disease transmission from coming into contact with the saliva of an HIV-positive person?
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