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Using statistics for risk reduction : Swingers Discussion 1937051021
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TOPIC: Using statistics for risk reduction
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A link to the abstract for the study (only one?) done on swingers' STI risk: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20577016

Results: Older swingers had a CT (Chlamydia) prevalence of 10% and an NG (Gonorrhea) prevalence of 4%... Because I could only read the abstract, I'm not sure what constitutes an "older swinger." The share in STI diagnoses in the older age group (>45 years) comprised 55% for swingers and 31% for MSM. Swingers were higher than MSM!

Baltimore MD
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And lastly (on the topic of barebacking), some made the argument that because people lie, there is no point in asking about condom usage. I would have to disagree. From a statistics perspective, if you ask someone and they tell you that condoms are optional, you know that they are at higher risk. You can automatically eliminate them from your risk-reduction plan. So, you are able to eliminate more risk (if only just a small amount). And, from personal experience, some people are honest (like the barebackers posting on this board). Its always worth a conversation. And for those who are honest with their behavior, I sincerely say, thank you.

Baltimore MD
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Almost done (on the topic of barebacking)... Many advocacy groups of various high risk populations (be it prostitutes, IV drug users, etc) have expressed the value in creating a "safe space" to increase public health. I'm talking about the groups who supply IV drug users with clean needles and prostitutes with condoms and STI screenings. Their reason- when these populations are at risk of persecution or prosecution, they are less likely to be open about their status. You aren't going to get screened for an STI if it means going to jail. Another example, the homophobic African American culture (again, broad statements, not specifics), that has lead to the "down low" phenomenon which lead to closeted gay and bi AA men to behave in high risk (often condom-less) sex with men only to return home and infect their wives. Why was this happening? There was such a stigma attached in a specific culture, that these men could not be honest about who they were (including carrying condoms, which would have somehow implicated their intent to have sex with men). Applying these concepts (openness to increase public health and acceptance so that people are honest with others about their behaviors), one can imagine that not persecuting a group (barebackers) may have positive implications on everyone's health. If its more accepted, more people would be honest that they engage in this behavior. Allowing those of us who want to limit our risk from engaging with those folks. There was a lot of mention of "liars" on this board and yet, those posts were coming from the same people condemning the behavior of what I can only imagine is a "closeted" large part of the swinging population (and general population for that matter). Ironically, there would be less liars if there were not such judgement.

Baltimore MD
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Following on my last post... Barebacking does have public health implications. And NO, i am not just talking about within the swinging community or specific groups. I am making a very broad statement about those, for whatever reason, taking whatever precautions* do not use condoms. People who do not use condoms are at an increased risk for STIs. [PERIOD]. Is it a valid lifestyle choice? Yes. *I am aware that there are some groups of swingers who take "precautions" when barebacking with a select group of people who they "trust" or have some type of exclusivity arrangement with. Much like my last post, it comes back to cost-benefit analysis, which is always a personal choice. Furthermore, there have been mentions of only barebacking with a spouse or primary partner (lifestyle choices used by some who are adamantly against barebacking in general). I would make the argument that barebacking with anyone, spouse/partner included, also increases your risk of an STI. Trusted, untrusted, it doesn't matter. As expressed earlier condoms are not 100%, with some STIs, not even close. So, your spouse may be with another partner, using a condom, then coming home to you and inadvertently giving you a disease. Are you at less risk because he/she is a trusted partner? Of course. Are you still putting yourself at a higher risk? Hell yes. So, you did your cost-benefit analysis and decided that having condom-less sex with your spouse/partner was worth the increased risk. Very much like various barebacking folks out there.

Baltimore MD
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I have many thoughts about this thread. But, I'll start with the first one what seems to be the controversial topic of barebacking. First, lets start with research. It tells us that the only 100% safe sex is NO SEX. Every single one of us (virgins excluded) can all agree that the 100% prevention of getting a disease was not worth not having sex. We thought about it (some may not have even taken it to that level) and decided that having sex was worth getting a disease. [PERIOD] What I am getting at is that we all took a cost-benefit analysis (cost: possible disease, benefit: SEX!) and decided sex was for us! So, following this analogy, we started assessing the risks and running the cost-benefit analysis again. For most of us, the first and "easiest" risk reducer is condoms. Condoms significantly reduce our risk for STIs. But, lets not fool ourselves, studies show that even with 100% condom usage, our risk for things like HSV (Herpes, an incurable disease) is only reduced by 30%. We all made that first choice to risk an STI by having sex with condoms or without. We increase that risk when we chose a lifestyle which likely includes having sex with multiple partners (And if we're here, on a swingers website, we're likely accepting some increased risk because we're choosing to have sex with more than one person). We may further increase our risk by doing any number of things (i.e., oral, vaginal, anal, etc with condoms or without). Some of us have decided, for whatever reason, that the cost (increased risk disease) is worth the benefit (increased pleasure, pregnancy, fluid bonding, saving money, cream pies, *any barebackers can chime in here*). It is a personal choice. We all make ours. Do our personal choices have implications for others? To some extent, yes. *I have more on this, but I know that its not going to fit into one post* But, unless we are celibate, we are assuming the level of risk of what is out there. Also, my apologies if I am being redundant as I didn't read all of the posts, at some point the name calling became difficult to sift through.

Baltimore MD
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The CDC is not a data service or responsible for conducting studies for every demographic and for every disease. The CDC is an organization founded to help protect public health and is made up of experts in Infectious Disease, Microbiology, Virology, Statistics and other disciplines. Areas of concern to the CDC include food safety, occupational safety (such as with health care workers), controlling the spread of diseases, recommending preventions (vaccines, hand washing, appropriate and proven treatments), and, of course, sexually transmitted diseases.

The thought leaders at the CDC look at all available data and make recommendations that are regularly communicated to physicians and the public. The CDC recommends condom use for sexually active adults to help prevent the spread of STDs. It is an important public health issue, and there is no debate that condom use reduces the risk of STDs. It is also very well established that unprotected vaginal or anal sex is much riskier than kissing or oral sex (this misconception is expressed by several people in this and other threads).

When my wife and I wanted to begin swinging, I consulted my brother, a physician and a Professor of Medicine who has published research (not pertaining to STDs). Using some of the data search services to which he subscribes, we looked at many studies... and not just the summaries you may see online, but the study itself along with physician comments. I only saw one study (the Dutch study) specifically looking at swingers, but there is much data on risks seen in promiscuous individuals (some of whom may have been swingers), sex workers (male and female), studies of partners where one is infected with HIV, and studies enrolling those found to have an STD and looking retrospectively at their sexual practices. The CDC uses all available data to make recommendations to health care providers and the public.

Some in this thread have incorrectly asserted that oral sex and penetrative sex have similar risk, and that is not true. It may not seem logical, since HIV and other STDs are present in saliva, and there are bleeding gums, etc., but it is very clear that kissing and oral sex is less risky. Some experts speculate as to the possible reasons-- that there may be a protective effect of saliva, exposure to air may factor, differences in the mouth compared to the anus or vagina... and other theories. Lately the CDC is more concerned with the overuse of antibiotics, because if pathogens become resistant, common illnesses could become very dangerous. The CDC is very concerned with new strains of syphilis and gonorrhea that are resistant to antibiotics.

Based on all of the data that I have reviewed, and my discussions with several Doctors, my wife and I have made the decision together to occasionally enjoy swinging. We think it is wise to use condoms and to be tested regularly so that if we do get an STD it can be treated. We would also be prepared to share any positive result with our play partners, so that they could be tested.

This is a serious subject, and I would rather be in other threads, laughing, flirting, or talking sports. The only reason my wife and I occasionally pop our heads in is to try to clear up misconceptions when we see them.

I understand that this subject is very personal, and strong feelings can escalate into insults. I have been sarcastic to make some of my points, but it is not my intention to be insulting.

Gibsonia PA
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Does any creditable sources exist for the statistical probability of infection per different sexual act per different STD?

Harmony FL
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You can only eliminate high risk people if you can gather honest data and that is impossible on here.

If you play with men at all. Guaranteed you play with bi men.

Mount Juliet TN
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Eric

Like I said, I don't fault anyone for their choices, just be honest and try to be informed.

Pittsburgh PA
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Perfect,

I didn't try to turn this into a barebacking thread. I suggest you reread all my posts, as I have repeatedly stated I do not dispute the claim condoms significantly reduce the risk of contracting an STD.

I was hoping so see what other things statistics could be used for to reduce risk. It appears, with the information currently known, that condoms is the only one. That is scary.

Your hypothesis does factor in other variables, which is why a study would be interesting.

Harmony FL
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TOPIC: Using statistics for risk reduction