Making the World Safer for Anal Sex
My friend Jim Pickett is obsessed with anal sex. So much so that he recently traveled from Chicago to New Delhi to get a little action. You will probably remember Jim from his post The Future of Anal Sex.
Jim went to New Delhi was not because of an inability to get a date in Chicago, but because of his role as chairman of International Rectal Microbicides Advocates (IRMA). On February 24th IRMA issued a new report called Less Silence, More Science that looked at the history of research into rectal microbicides as a way to reduce the number of HIV infections and urges the U.S. government to step up with more research funding. A microbicide is an agent could potentially be used as part of a lube or douche to prevent the transmission of HIV.
A paltry $7 million a year is being spent on research into rectal microbicides, only about 3 percent of the total microbicide portfolio. Almost all of the rectal funding is coming from the National Institutes of Health. IRMA is calling for a five-fold increase to $35 million by 2010, and a diversification of funding from multiple sources.
Common misconceptions are that only gay men are interested in a rectal microbicide and that heterosexuals don’t engage in anal sex. But research shows otherwise. Studies in the United States and the United Kingdom have found that anywhere from 10 percent to 35 percent of heterosexual women have engaged in anal sex.
Check out Life Lube for more info on Jim’s travels and the efforts to make anal sex safer.