Category Archives: Sex

Zika update: Spread, sex, abortions, and more


We begin with a video report from CCTV America:

Latin America Steps Up Efforts To Fight Zika

Program notes:

With growing fear surrounding the spread of the Zika virus, “Americas Now” brings together CCTV correspondent’s from across Latin America to report on how South American countries are being affected by the epidemic.They also tell us what’s being done to stop the transmission of the disease and what to expect next.“Americas Now” has reports from Stephen Gibbs in Caracas, Venezuela; Joel Richards in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Michelle Begue in Bogota, Colombia; Michael Voss in Havana, Cuba; Paulo Cabral in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Grace Gonzalez in Managua, Nicaragua; Dan Collyns in Lima, Peru.The Zika virus is transmitted through the bite of the Aedes mosquito. The virus originated in Uganda in 1947. Recently, Latin America has experienced a major outbreak.

The disease hits another country, from El País:

First Spanish Zika virus case involving pregnant woman diagnosed

The infected patient, who lives in Catalonia, contracted disease on visit to Colombia

Outbreak News Today covers an escalation:

Zika emergency declared in Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rican government declared a public health emergency due to the Zika virus after Governor Alejandro García Padilla signed an executive order Friday, according to a Diario de Puerto Rico report

Again from Outbreak News Today, advice is given:

Samoa added to Zika travel advisory

The South Pacific island of Samoa is one of several countries the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added to their interim travel guidance related to Zika virus Friday.

From the World Health Organization, another island hit:

Zika virus infection – United States of America – United States Virgin Islands

On 25 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the United States of America notified PAHO/WHO of the first laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus infection in St. Croix, one of the three main islands in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI).

And from RT America, preparing for the inevitable:

Florida prepares for statewide emergency over Zika Virus

Program notes:

Health officials in Florida have declared a state of emergency in four of the state’s counties over the Zika Virus outbreak, asking people to refrain from having unprotected sex or suggesting to abstain altogether. RT’s Marina Portnaya reports from Miami and takes a look at the government’s response to the crisis.

From Reuters, bodily fluids:

Brazil finds Zika in saliva, urine; expert warns against kissing

Scientists identified the Zika virus in the saliva and urine of two infected patients, a top Brazilian biomedical research institution said on Friday, prompting its president to urge pregnant women not to kiss strangers just as local carnival celebrations begin.

Sky News covers mortality:

Zika Kills Three As Carnival Revellers Warned

Three people have died in Colombia after contracting the Zika virus, which is spreading across South America and has emerged in Europe and the US.

More from the Associated Press:

In Brazil, pregnant women urged to be cautious with a kiss

In a sign of mounting global concern over the Zika virus, health officials on Friday warned pregnant women to think twice about the lips they kiss and called on men to use condoms with pregnant partners if they have visited countries where the virus is present

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control here in the U.S. have issued new guidelines for sexual conduct to visitors to Zikaland:

New recommendations for pregnant women, and men with pregnant sex partners who live in or have traveled to Zika-affected areas:

  • Pregnant women and their male sex partners should discuss the male partner’s potential exposures and history of Zika-like illness with the pregnant woman’s health care provider (http://www.cdc.gov/zika/symptoms/). Providers should consult CDC’s guidelines for evaluation and testing of pregnant women.
  • Men with a pregnant sex partner who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission and their pregnant sex partners should consistently and correctly use condoms during sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) or abstain from sexual activity for the duration of the pregnancy. Consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of sexual transmission of many infections, including those caused by other viruses.

New recommendations for non-pregnant women, and men with non-pregnant sexual partners who live in or have traveled to Zika-affected areas:

  • Couples in which a man resides in or has traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who are concerned about sexual transmission of Zika virus may consider using condoms consistently and correctly during sex or abstaining from sexual activity.
  • Couples may consider several factors when making this complex and personal decision to abstain or use condoms:
    1. Zika virus illness is usually mild. An estimated 4 out of 5 people infected never have symptoms; when symptoms occur they may last from several days to one week.
    2. The risk of Zika infection depends on how long and how much a person has been exposed to infected mosquitoes, and the steps taken to prevent mosquito bites while in an affected area.
  • The science is not clear on how long the risk should be avoided. Research is now underway to answer this question as soon as possible. If you are trying to get pregnant, you may consider testing in discussion with your health care provider.

El País covers concerns:

Zika virus could trigger illegal abortions spike, experts fear

Lack of contraception and strict laws may force women to seek unsafe procedures

From Al Jazeera America, a response:

UN calls for Zika-hit countries to loosen abortion restrictions

UN asks how countries can ask women to avoid pregnancies but not offer ways to end them; Puerto Rico declares emergency

More from teleSUR:

Men: No Sex to Avoid Spread of Zika!

Up until now, guidelines for avoiding the virus have focused on women

Another concern from CBC Radio:

Concerns over clinical trials with pregnant women could delay a Zika vaccine

Dr. Peter Hotez, one of the world’s leading experts on the Zika virus and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine Baylor College of Medicine, says safety concerns for drug tests on pregnant women will prolong the search for Zika vaccine. He estimates it is possible a vaccine could be created in about two years but not in time to be used for this round of infection.

From the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

French researcher says Zika link to Guillain-Barré Syndrome is ‘almost certain’

  • The correlation between paralysis and the Zika virus was first seen in French Polynesia two years ago
  • Didier Musso wrote then that Zika appeared responsible for a 20-fold increase in the condition
  • Microcephaly, now tied to Zika, was not noted in the 2013 outbreak

From Al Jazeera America, a class-based cause for concern:

In Brazil, stigma and poor care afflict microcephaly sufferers

Costs of caring for children with the condition, which is linked to the Zika virus, are often prohibitive

Headline of the day: Sex and presidential politics


UPDATED, with a second headline.

First, from Slate [with an esnl H/T to Undernews]:

Trump’s Supporters 11 Times More Likely Than Clinton’s to Expect Sex on the First Date

Single Trump fans are 99 percent more likely than singles who support Clinton to film themselves having sex, and 1,104 percent more likely to expect sex on the first date. That’s 11 times as many Trump supporters as Clinton supporters who believe that they have the right to pout if their date doesn’t put out as well as the right to take America back from whomever’s currently in possession. Clinton’s base is 2,133 percent more likely than Trump’s to have no expectations for any physical contact at all on the first date.

And then there’s this, from BBC News:

Bernie Sanders, the ‘sexy’ Democrat with friends on Tinder

So what are Bernie’s supporters doing differently to bolster his support amongst younger voters? One place where he is a surprising hit is the dating app Tinder.

A military milestone for sexual equality


Two leaders of two of the nation’s military services have call for women to be made subject to the draft, something esnl hadn’t expected to hear in his lifetime.

From Military Times:

The Army and Marine Corps’ top uniformed leaders both backed making women register for the draft as all combat roles are opened to them in coming months, a sweeping social change that could complicate the military’s gender integration plans.

Both services, along with the Navy, have begun work to open all military jobs to any service member after a decision by Defense Secretary Ash Carter in December to lift all gender-based restrictions on combat and infantry roles.

On Tuesday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told senators during a Capitol Hill hearing that full integration of those jobs will likely take a few years, to overcome logistical and cultural issues.

Headlines of the day: Zika crisis news updates


First, a crisis meeting called for Tuesday, via teleSUR:

Latin American Health Ministers Will Meet About Zika Virus

Health ministers across the region will meet to share knowledge and research about the virus, for which no previous information exists

Second, and from teleSUR again, an emergency declared:

Honduras Declares State of Emergency Over Zika Virus

The Honduran government declared a state of emergency Monday due to the Zika virus after the Health Ministry reported at least 3,700 people infected nationwide

And from the Associated Press:

The Latest: Female airline crew can request no Brazil flight

Swiss International Air Lines says female flight attendants and pilots won’t be required to fly to Sao Paulo, Brazil, if they don’t want to because of the Zika virus outbreak

And one final update, via Reuters:

U.N. ready to irradiate mosquito sperm to combat Zika virus

A new method to render male mosquitoes infertile by nuclear radiation could help reduce populations of the insect carrying the Zika virus that is linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil, the U.N. atomic agency said on Tuesday

UPDATE: From BBC News, the first case of Zika contracted within the continental U.S. has been announced by the Centers for Disease Control:

Zika virus infection ‘through sex’ reported in US

A rare case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sex, not a mosquito bite, has been reported in the US.

Ted Cruz and his frightening fanatical followers


A short excerpt from an Iowa caucus post mortem by Amanda Marcotte for Salon:

As Cruz noted in his victory speech Monday night, Bob Vander Plaats and Rep. Steve King are national co-chairs for his campaign. King, of course, is a notoriously loony right wing nut who has argued that legalizing same-sex marriage means people will now marry lawnmowers and has equated undocumented immigration with the Holocaust.

Vander Plaats, who heads up Iowa’s religious right behemoth, the Family Leader, has argued that his interpretation of “God’s law” should trump the actual laws of our country, that gay marriage will lead to parents marrying their children, and that Vladimir Putin was right to sign a law criminalizing those who speak out for gay rights.

 Right before the caucus, Cruz launched “Pro-Lifers for Cruz,” a group that is also a magnet for the most radical elements of the Christian right. It’s chaired by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, a group that is so virulently anti-gay that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has declared it a hate group.

Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue, is on the board as well. Newman is beyond a radical anti-choicer, a man who believe that abortion doctors should be executed and women who abort pregnancies, which is about 30 percent of American women by age 45, should be jailed for murder. Newman’s single-minded obsession with abortion has led him to blame everything from the California drought to HIV to 9/11 on the fact that we have legal abortion.

UPDATE: Here’s a video report from Thom Hartmann of RT’s The Big Picture with an analysis of Cruz’s supporters, including clips of them spouting their bile in their own words:

Why Ted Cruz Is Unfit to Be President

Program notes:

Ted Cruz has been endorsed by people who think Hitler was a gift from God — by people who think being gay deserves the death penalty — and by people who’ve called for the murder of abortion doctors. So why is the media still treating him like he’s a serious candidate for president?

Map of the day: Violence against women laws


From the Washington Post, a look at which countries have criminal laws against rape [both spousal and other], sexual harassment, and domestic violence [and click on it to enlarge]:

BLOG Violence against women

Why not call it Horny Honky Hookup Heaven?


Way back in the mid-Pleistocene, when esnl was a wee tad, there was a radio show centered on a blue collar bar with an all-white clientele where the manager invariably answered the phone “Hello, Duffy’s Tavern, where the elite meet to eat. Archie the manager speakin’.”

And somehow it was that Duffy’s Tavern refrain that sprang to mind, when we spotted this on RT:

Online racism? Whites-only dating site stirs anger – but it’s a hit

Program notes:

The dating website ‘Where White People Meet.com’ is pretty self explanatory. Despite its name which has infuriated plenty of people who say the site’s racist it is flourishing.