HEALTH
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Sex with other men while generally safe if practiced with care, can raise several health issues and protecting yourself and your partner must be a priority.
On the gay scene there is plenty of free advice available but many Asian men do not go on the scene and are not open to this advice.
We present below some basic information. This is not intended to be a encyclopaedia of sexual health problems just some guidelines to safer, healthy, and enjoyable sex.
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Kairos in Soho is a small London based charity promoting well being for  lesbians, gay men and their friends. We offer holistic health,self-development and broad-based spiritual resources in the form ofactivities, events, courses, workshops, discussions and groups. We're basedin the heart of London's Gay Village and we aim to compliment the bars,cafes and pink businesses of Soho.
webmaster@kairos-soho.demon.co.uk
 http://www.kairosinsoho.org.uk
Kairos in Soho
56 Old Compton Street
London W1D 4UE
Tel: 020 7437 6063    Fax: 020 7734 1527


HealthExpress.co.uk 
The UK's first online clinic for impotence, hair loss and obesity. UK doctor and pharmacy service with next-day delivery.


HIMAT 
Social support group 
People can contact me at the phone number/email address below 
Fazal Mahmood 
Positive East
159 Mile End Road
Stepney, London E1 4AQ
Email: fazal.mahmood@positiveeast.org.uk
Tel: 020 7791 2855 
www.gaymenswellbeing.com
Signpost: Confidential telephone helpline, Tuesdays & Thursdays 
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm - 020 7790 5795
Positive East has been formed by the merger of London East AIDS Network (LEAN) and The Globe Centre. Registered Charity No. 1001106
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"I think I might be gay." 
A site which describes everything  young gay guys experience while growing up 
www.youth.org/yao/docs/i-think-article-gay.html 
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Two more sites giving advice about sexually trasmitted diseases
www.sexplained.com 
www.WillyWorries.com
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You can also contact
THE TERRENCE HIGGINS TRUST 0207 7242 1010 www.tht.org.uk
GAY MEN FIGHTING AIDS  0207 7738 6872
LONDON LESBIAN AND GAY SWITCHBOARD 0207 837 7324
BODY POSITIVE 0207 287 8010
IMPORTANT NOTICE.
Information on this page is for advice only and you should always seek the advice of quaified people if in doubt about any medical facts. If you do not wish to speak to your doctor use a sexual health clinic. These may be listed in your local phone Book under GU clinics. We have not attempted to tackle AIDS on this page except in the safer sex context. The best advice on this is on a specialist website such as that run by The Terence Higgins Trust (see above)

INDEX

POPPERS
GU CLINICS
HEPATITIS B
PUBIC LICE
LUBRICANTS
CONDOMS
ANAL SEX
ORAL SEX
GONORRHEA
SYPHILIS

 
HEPATITIS B

Hepatitis B is a serious infection which is sexually transmitted and is becoming increasingly common among gay men. A simple course of injections however can protect you and these are obtainable free of charge to gay men who are considered a high risk group.

If you ask you doctor for the injection they will ask why you want it. If you are not comfortable with telling your GP you are gay then the STD clinic can be totally anonymous. If you do not mind your GP. knowing about your sexuality then he or she  will provide it.

A Hepatitis A injection is also available and this is especially important when travelling abroad in the sub continent even without having sex !

Hepatitis
A comprehensive site with information on Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E
www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/

CONDOMS
Condoms come in all shapes and sizes. For anal sex you need the extra strong variety. The manufacturers will not recommend any of their products for anal sex, not because they are not aware they will be used for such practices but to stop anyone suing them if they catch an infection.

Learn to put condoms on properly, rolling them on not pulling. Open the condom packet carefully, many cases of condom failure are due to damage when opening the packet. If you come inside your partner, withdraw slowly holding condom onto the penis until you are outside.

Many men go soft while putting on a condom. It's quite normal !. Practice masturbation using a condom until you get used to wearing one. getting your partner to actually roll the condom onto you can also be more stimulating than putting it on by yourself.
For oral sex ordinary condoms are fine, and flavoured ones can add a bit of fun although some of the flavours are quite revolting !

Suitable brands for anal sex
MATES SUPERSTRONG, CONDOMI STRONG,DUREX ULTRASTRONG, SAFEGUARD FORTE, HT SPECIALS

POPPERS
"Poppers" is the name given to a family of compounds named the alkyl nitrites. Included in this family of compounds are Isobutyl Nitrite, amyl nitrite, and plain butyl nitrite. Amyl nitrite was used for over a century to treat angina. (Isobutyl Nitrite was originally considered for use as a medicine rather than amyl - as it is the most potent of all the nitrites, but was discarded in favor of amyl nitrite  As a prescription drug amyl is rarely used anymore

However, other nitrites, particularly Isobutyl, have been used for nearly 50years as the primary ingredients in a class of consumer products called"room odorizers". Often sold as Liquid Incense® or Liquid Aroma®, the most popular among these are RUSH®, HARDWARE®, QUICKSILVER®, RAM®, HEAVY DUTY BOLT® and LIQUID AROMA BRAND®.

For sale in small glass bottles, these products are often misused asinhalants by the consumer, who removes the cap and places the bottle to the nose to inhale the vapors. The effect is immediate and pleasant for most people although some people report headaches - these are most often the result of impure  brands or products which have 'gone off'. r.

Though there are no true aphrodisiacs (defined as anything that will "create" a sex drive if it doesn't already exist).  But,some researchers claim that these products are the nearest  thing to a true aphrodisiac. 

The pharmacology of these compounds is very simple; when inhaled these products simply relax smooth muscle. Smooth muscle tissue surrounds the body's blood vessels and, when allowed to relax, the heart speeds up to pump more blood through the body  This immediate increase in blood flow is very pleasurable for most people, who nearly all report heightened sensations such as a limited sense of being dizzy, an enhanced sense of touch and taste, as well as a genuine "rush" reportedly making orgasm intensely enhanced and longer in duration. All the body's sphincter muscles
are smooth muscle, which means the anus is relaxed and made to feel more pleasure, as well.

The effects last only about 90 seconds to a couple of minutes. It is reported that users continue to achieve these effects throughout the sex act, or while dancing, by frequently inhaling small amounts during the activity. These products were very popular in discos and bars as well, where users inhaled from them to supposedly better enjoy the sensations around them also in combination with other drugs.

There is a large body of data that appears to demonstrate that these products are perfectly safe. Although there was some immediate concern about a possible correlation at the onset of the AIDS crisis in the early 1980's, those old theories have since been discredited. Data indicates that no evidence of long-term psychological or physical harm is associated with the use of poppers.

Some people are prone to short duration headache with these compounds, and
the problem is further increased with the use of inferior  brands or the "video head cleaner" products. Poppers are best kept in the fridge between use and discarded if they start to give headaches.

In rare instances, if the liquid contacts the skin, it can cause minor  rirritation, as well as a rash - sometimes around the lips and nose. (This is usually caused by inferior  brands, which may contain  impurities.)

These products are highly flammable, and should never  be used near an open
flame.Always read the instructions on each bottle.These products  should never be swallowed. If that happens, drink one or two glasses of milk or water, and induce vomiting. See a doctor immediately.

Some users soak a tissue with the liquid and insert into their nostrils. This is not advisable because of irritation to the nose tissues and liquuid on the fingers can be transfered to the eyes which is incredibly painful as the writer can testify !

Since they both act similarly on the body, Poppers and Viagra® should not be
mixed! (Both cause a drop in blood pressure, which can be dangerous. Viagra®
comes with a package insert that explains this. Please read it if you are a
Viagra® user!). People with heart problems should avoid the use of poppers.

Although we cannot know the laws of every country in the world,we believe that possession or use of poppers is not illegal in theUnited States, United-Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, France, Switzerland or most other countries. It is a good idea to check the status where you live or intend visiting. If in doubt, leave them at home !

Used with care, poppers can be pleasurable and safe. 
The above information is extracted from the website www.poppers.to  This Company offers branded products mostly of US origin and the site also contains more detailed information.

ANOTHER VERY GOOD WEBSITE FULL OF INFORMATION ABOUT POPPERS IS AT

 http://www.allaboutpoppers.com


SUCKING (ORAL SEX)
Oral sex is consided by most authorities to carry a low risk of transmitting the AIDS virus but NEVER let anyone come in your mouth and don't suck if you have sore gums or any cuts in your mouth.

AIDS, however is not the only risk to consider. Many' old fashioned' STD's such as Gonorrhea and Syphillis can be transmitted this way and although they are not fatal and can be cured, they can be unpleasant. Don't suck a dick which is not clean, has cuts or lesions. 

Herpes is another risk. IT CANNOT BE CURED. Don't get sucked by anyone with cold sores or other sores on the lips. 

You can always insist on using  a condom and this time you don't need the extra strong variety and even flavoured versions can be exciting.

GONORRHEA
A nasty bacterial infection which affects mainly rectum, ureatha, and throat. Can be spread by anal and oral intercourse (and vaginal intercourse !) Usually symptoms appear around two weeks after infection and include white or coloured discharge from end of penis, pain when pissing and irritation or discharge from the anus.

Can be treated effectively with anti biotics and cured completely. At one time was known as the 'clap' or 'gay flue'

Using condoms for anal and oral sex can give protection. Avoid sex for a month after treatment and if you did have sex in the weeks before discovery, inform your partners so they can get a check up.

Cases dropped over last 20 years but are rising again in the UK. You do not have to go to your GP, a STD clinic will treat you anonymously and with understanding and without criticism. See GU CLINICS

SYPHILLIS
Once considered as big a threat to the nation's health as AIDS was in the eighties but now curable . Caused by a bacterium and can be spread by anal, vaginal and oral intercourse. Symptoms can be varied from rashes to sores around the genitals but even on other parts of the body. These will disappear after some weeks but infection  remains and can be very serious.

If you visit a GU clinic for a regular checkup, they will normally always test for the infection and give treatment if needed. Condoms during oral sex can prevent infection as can condons during anal sex.

The infection is not common in the UK but common in many other parts of the world including the USA. Even so care is needed and awareness and prompt attention if any symptoms occur.

FUCKING (ANAL SEX)
Unprotected anal sex is a prime cause in the transmission of all STD's including AIDS. Condoms may 'spoil' the fun and the feeling a little and you might feel that the other guy is OK but DON'T DO IT !

I am still amazed that I meet guys who don't want to bother with a condom. More often than not it's ignorance  because many guys especially Asians, are not on the scene, young and their sex education incomplete due to stupid government policies.

Anal sex is great fun, exciting  and low risk if you use strong condoms, plenty of lubricant and keep checking that the damm thing hasn't slipped off or split. As a final precaution pull the penis out as you come.

REMEMBER A CONDOM ALSO PROTECTS AGAINST MANY SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS BESIDES HIV

LUBRICANTS
When having anal sex with a condom, you will need a lubricant. Before AIDS and the need for condoms, men used spit, vaseline, baby oil in fact almost anything to hand ! I enjoyed many sessions in the past  using Stork margarine ! This is no longer acceptable and the only lubricant you should use with a condom is a WATER BASED product such as KY. There are also many other water based products now on the market and the FREEDOM SAFE SEX  packs available in gay bars in London contain two sachets of a very good product. 

You can buy lubricants  at Clone Zone shops across the country and by mail order. For web sites stocking such products visit www.londongayman.co.uk shopping page.
Use lots of lubricant to reduce risk of condom tearing. Never use any other lubricant, they can weaken the condom. Liquid Silk is very good.

Lubricant should be placed inside the passive partner with a finger and rubbed all over the active partner's  penis after the condom is in place. 

GU CLINICS
Also know as 'clap' clinics, sexual health centre,STD clinics and sometimes given obscure names to hide their real purpose. They still, in some towns, have discreet side entrances.

Don't let this put you off ! These clinics exist in most towns in most large hospitals. They exist to stop the spread of sexually transmitted disease. They won't judge you, they are there to help you if you are worried that you may be at risk. You don't have to give your real name and if you do they will keep information you give them private and confidential.

The doctor will ask very personal questions about your sex life and partners. Just be honest, he or she will have heard it all before and can only help if you do not hold anything back.

The tests may include urine, saliva and blood samples and the physical checks may include an internal examination using a rather sinister looking appliance. Don't worry, it doesn't hurt !

You will be asked to phone a few days later for the results of some tests except if you have an HIV test where results are normally given in person. 

You will not be given an HIV test unless you ask for one. If you do ask for one you will be given counselling before and after the test.

If you have sex with men on a regular basis, a visit to the clinic is just a sensible part of life. It will hopefully reassure you and stop any worries you may have

PUBIC LICE (CRABS)
No one likes talking about subjects such as this but, pubic lice do exist, have existed as long as human beings have existed and  they can be got rid of easily ! they are small insects which live in coarse hair on the human body.they are light in colour and difficult to see. They glue their eggs to the hair close to the skin.

They survive by sucking blood and the first signs may be itching, small white dots on the hairs of the chest, underarm or pubic area and small dark spots on underwear of dried blood.

Sexual contact is one way they spread but any simple body contact can also cause infestation. They can also be spread by clothing or bedding.

Creams, lotions and shampoos exist which kill both the lice and their eggs. Don't be scared of asking a pharmacist for advice. usually the liquid will have to be applied to the whole body and left for twelve hours or so. A second treatment may be needed.
Bedding and clothing should be well washed.

If you have had sexual contact with someone while infected, it may be as well, if difficult, to let them know. Most gay men are quite unfazed by such information. Quellada lotion/shampoo is a popular and widely sold treatment.
 

More Health advice on www.healthfirst.org.uk
 

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Protect you health. Play safe, always.
If anything worries you, go to your doctor without delay !
Always be honest with your doctor.
If your doctor has a problem with your sexuality, get a new one !