The LRU is a compilation of items from the past week that may be of interest to VPers and is intended to broaden the kinds of conversations we have here.
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This week's round-up includes: HIV transmission risk, Catholic group ordains transgender priest, emotional first aid tips, verbal abuse poster campaign, another look at "crazy," and porn and relationships.
- Undetectable Viral Load Essentially Eliminates Transmission Risk in Straight Couples at POZ (Keywords: AIDS, HIV, antiretroviral medications, sexual health)
According to a recent review of multiple studies, heterosexual serodiscordant couples have an almost non-existent risk of HIV transmission if the HIV-positive partner has an undetectable viral load as a consequence of successful antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Policy (NATAP) reports.
- Catholic Church Group Ordains Transgender Priest by Stacy Lambe at BuzzFeed (Keywords: religion, Catholicism, transgender, gender roles)
On Saturday, Jan. 19, the North American Old Catholic Church ordained Shannon T. L. Kearns to priesthood. Kearns became the first transgender priest for the independent Catholic group, which ordains women, members of the LGBTQ community, and married/partnered/divorce people.
- Emotional First Aid Tips by Vanissar Tarakali (Keywords: emotional health, anxiety, stress, triggers, coping strategies)
These survival responses are swift and automatic. We cannot stop them. That’s a good thing—survival strategies have kept our species alive by overriding slower brain/body functions. When a predator is chasing you, it’s not the time for strategy and reflection. The goal is to stay alive to strategize and reflect later.
- Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones, But Dammit, People, Words Hurt Too, Y'Know by Rebecca Eisenberg at Upworthy (Keywords: verbal abuse, physical abuse, gendered slurs, graphic images)
This ad campaign for a Lebanese organization called KAFA, which promotes gender equality and works to end violence against women, turns the sound wave patterns of derogatory words into physical wounds. The result is a sad but powerful reminder of just how deeply scarring verbal abuse can be.
- A Thing about Disablist Language by Melissa McEwan at Shakesville (Keywords: language, ableism, mental health stigma, "crazy")
I get it: Words and phrases with disablist etymologies are deeply embedded in contemporary US English—lame, dumb, crazy, insane, maniac, lunatic, idiot, moron, imbecile, cretin, freak, spaz, -tard, -nut, madness, sickness, myopic, blind and deaf used as synonymous with ignorant, etc.—and there is an obstinate tradition in political discourse of dismissing one's ideological opponents as "crazy."
- Does porn hurt relationships? by Tracy Clark-Flory at Salon (Keywords: pornography, sex, relationships, heterocentrism, Cosmopolitan)
Similarly, Debby Herbenick, a research scientist at Indiana University and author of “Sex Made Easy,” tells me in an email that porn “is so many things” — from professional to amateur, vanilla to kinky, natural bodies to artificially enhanced. ”I’m always a bit wary when I hear people say that ‘porn’ does anything specific unless they are willing to say what type of porn they mean and under what circumstances,” she says.
Thoughts on any of these stories? Also, what have you been reading (or writing!) this week?