Friday, 1 July 2011

The Misconception

I keep getting mad at the misconception of the LGBT community here in Uganda and in the world at large. In Uganda, for example, there is a big belief that one chooses to be LGBT and that being LGBT is learnt from the whites from the western world. Very absurd indeed!

The claim that LGBT persons recruit young children in to "the act of homosexuality" is one thing that really got me to wonder how naive our society is and how much effort is needed to sensitize them about LGBT issues. I do believe that we have a voice that can be heard by everyone, through one on one conversations, blogs and other avenues! If we cant use the local media or radio to convey our message, why cant we use other avenues to speak out? Facebook, twitter, netlog among others are open avenues to tell our society that we are LGBT and no one taught us to be this way.

I am a gay boy who grew up fighting my sexuality thinking that I was abnormal, I went through day school all my life and I have never been in any boarding school and neither had I been in a single school. I did not know about internet and I had no idea about the world outside. I would pray to God everyday to get rid of the feelings I had towards my fellow male students. I even tried to date girls but whenever it came to having sex, I would always come up with excuses because I could not get any sexual feelings towards them. I went for counselling, and also consulted exorcists but nothing really seemed to work.

By the time I learnt how to use a computer and using Google, I searched for anything that could help me to be what society considers "normal" built was all in vain. then that was when I came upon a site called Gay Uganda and upon opening it with anxiety, I saw a picture of one Elephant then below saying that you think you are alone then below was another picture of many elephants moving together and a caption saying,"you are not alone" This made me more curious and I continued on to look through this site and to my amazement I found many people like me. Many lonely souls searching for love and understanding. That was when I started to find out the truth about me. Sad that that site is no more because of our homophobic society.

Given a brief of my history, there is no where I learnt to be gay. No white person taught me and neither did anyone molest me when I was young. I urge all of you to give your personal life stories to let society know the truth and get rid of the misconceptions they have towards the LGBT community. I have done my part, what are you doing about it? Please feel free to comment and add on to this campaign. And circulate widely.

Condoms and erectile dysfunction

Condoms and sexual dysfunction has been a very neglected area of research. Here’s the unedited draft of NAM’s summary of it from the forthcoming new edition of Preventing HIV.

A 2004 study of 78 HIV-positive gay men in London[1] found that while 38% of the men reported some degree of erectile dysfunction[ix], this went up to 51% in the context of trying to use condoms. In other words, more than half of the men experienced difficulty in getting or sustaining an erection when trying to put a condom on. Furthermore 90% of the 37 men whose erectile dysfunction was associated with condom use reported inconsistent condom use during insertive sex, compared with 28% of those who did not report condom-related erectile dysfunction.

Subsequent studies have strengthened the evidence that performance anxiety and fear of impotence may be important drivers of men’s reluctance to use condoms.

A US-study of 278 young (average age 23.7) heterosexual men attending an STI clinic, for example,[2] found that men who reported at least one erection loss, either while putting on condoms or during sex with a condom, in the previous three months had 50% more episodes of unprotected sex during that period (an average of 10.6 episodes versus 7.0 in men with no erection difficulties). Forty point eight per cent of men who’d experienced erection failure also reported removing condoms before sex was over – twice as many as the 21.3% of men with no erection problems. Erection loss, even in this young group, was common, with 28.1% reporting one experience of erection failure in the three most recent episodes of sex.

One of the other predictors of erection loss was, importantly, having multiple partners. Forty-five per cent of men reporting sex with three or more partners during the previous three months reported erection loss compared with 30% of those with one or two partners. This suggests a synergy between multiple partners, erectile dysfunction and unprotected sex: author Cynthia Graham suggested that men were more likely to be nervous with new partners, which would make them reluctant to use condoms, even though they were the very people who should be using them.

“Once bitten twice shy” also seemed to apply to gay men when it came to experiencing erection loss during condom use, according to a study presented to the Mexico World AIDS Conference in 2008.[3] If gay men experience erection loss when they use condoms for insertive anal sex, they are both less likely to use condoms over the following six months, and less likely to intend to use condoms, Dutch researchers found.

So called COINED - COndom INduced Erectile Dysfunction – was such a strong independent predictor of subsequent premeditated, as opposed to unpremeditated, unprotected sex, the researchers found, that it could be used as a ‘surrogate marker’ for it.

The researchers looked at the relationship between COINED and deliberately risky sexual behaviour in 435 men, 6% of them HIV-positive, taking part in the Amsterdam Cohort Studies of Homosexual Men.

Deliberate risk was defined as unprotected insertive anal intercourse (UIAI) that was planned in advance, while COINED was defined as loss of erection because of condom use. The data from the questionnaires suggested rates of UIAI reached 18% (55/306) with casual partners and 17% (46/272) with steady partners of discordant or unknown HIV status.

COINED was not associated with UIAI with steady partners. But among casual partners, COINED was significantly associated with deliberate UIAI (odds ratio of 6.57) but not with non-deliberate UIAI. The researchers conclude that COINED is a unique predictor of deliberate UAI between casual partners.

If men experienced COINED they were 2.71 times more likely, six months later, to have risky UIAI (p = <0.05) with casual partners and 2.57 times more likely with steady partners (not statistically significant). With steady partners men with COINED tended to avoid anal intercourse, being three times less likely to have it (not statistically significant). Men who had experienced COINED were 63% more likely to have UAI over the next six months, and 59% more likely to intend not to use condoms over the following six months, indicating that COINED could be considered as a surrogate measure or predictor of deliberately unprotected sex. HIV status had no relation either to COINED or to deliberately planned unprotected sex.

Since COINED influences the intention to use condoms in advance, traditional, intention-based prevention strategies will probably be ineffective in addressing this problem and alternative strategies, “such as the prescription of erectile medication like Viagra,” should be sought, commented the researchers.

Erectile dysfunction drugs have been found, in a number of studies, to be associated with multiple partners, unsafe sex, and HIV seroconversion – but this is probably because Viagra and other ED drugs are often used by gay men who practice sex with multiple partners and take other recreational drugs – whose effects of erection may necessitate the use of Viagra.


Sunday, 26 June 2011

My Encounter with the Homophobic Pastor

Well my mom asked me to escort her for prayers at her new found church early that week on Monday 7th December 2009. Reaching there, the pastor was preaching against homosexuality and how it has eaten up the church. I told my mom that we were in a wrong place and she agreed with me. So we decided to get up and leave. Then as we were leaving, The pastor shouted out, "boys these days grow hair like girls a case in point that one getting out right now! It is not the way of God!" Thats where I lost it, I got back and asked him what right he has to judge, Then I told him, He has the wrong calling, He should be preaching about love and bringing people closer to God, Not pushing them further from him by preaching hate!

I emphasized that Gay people are children of God and they deserve to know about his unconditional Love! It is only and only God to Judge them not the pastors. Their duty is to preach love for everyone! Not condemn!

As for my hair, I told him to read the book of Samson! I also told him that God said come to me the way you are and this is me and I came here to my father's house to be loved not condemned! It is my heart that God is after not my appearance! I may be a fun of Gucci, Prada, Georgio Amani, Dolce & Gabana and all other designer things But still a lover of GOD! I may be trendy but that does not stop me from going to my father's house!

He Shouted out, "Children of God, see the works of the Devil!" Pointing at me and I shouted back saying, " If the Devil is for Love, peace tolerance and unity among the society, then you are right and am proud to be his child!" Then I just turned and left.

On the way back, My mom (who had been watching all the circus) never said a word and she looked as if she never saw or heard anything. Until the next day when she talked to me and said, "I have been thinking a lot about what you told that pastor yesterday and I asked my self, Where is the Love? Son no wonder you are a human rights activist! But next time, be careful because you were lucky those people never bashed you!" I took her advice and promised to be careful next time.

Okay, Lets face it, I had my rage buried inside me already about the tabled anti homosexual Bill and looking at this Pastor preaching, It drove me nuts because I felt that Pastors like that and other religious leaders preaching hate against homosexuals are to blame for the lives of the children of God who are now in fear and danger! So I lost my self. But really was I wrong to speak up?