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The Advocates: Spry in the Sky

The Advocates: Spry in the Sky


Healthy travelling, multiorgasmic lesbians, HIV test questions

Spry in the Sky

At the height of the travel season, some tips for staying in the pink.

whether it's the airborne commercials on tv or an interview with Vice President Joe Biden, we're constantly reminded how unhealthful air travel can be. And there's some truth to that: Experts at Georgetown University and Tufts University's Lahey Clinic have found that there are some real health risks associated with flying, most notably decreased oxygen due to changes in cabin pressure, immobility in cramped coach quarters, and dehydration, which all can contribute to various circulation problems (like clots or deep-vein thrombosis) or increase one's susceptibility to communicable disease. But the vice president was ill informed when he warned us against flying because of the risk of exposure to swine flu; an infectious person's germs do not circulate throughout the cabin unless that person is meeting and greeting every passenger. In fact, studies have shown that a sneeze on a plane doesn't go beyond the surrounding three rows.

So don't let a fear of getting sick keep you from the friendly skies. Instead, take precautions before and during your flight. Start by skipping the alcohol and coffee; drink water instead and get some rest. Jet lag can also make you vulnerable to illness after you land. When you're flying eastward, take melatonin, a naturally occurring sleep-regulating hormone, at bedtime and then try to get some morning light before landing. When you're flying westward, get afternoon light and take melatonin in the morning to help adjust your internal clock. And if you want to be extra careful, take 1,000 mg of vitamin C and echinacea before stepping on board.

Sisters Doin' It for Themselves

A new study finds lesbians are more multiorgasmic than straight women.

In 1953, Alfred Kinsey noted that 78% of lesbians achieved orgasm in most of their sexual encounters, compared to 55% of heterosexual women. (A fun fact: In 1966, Masters and Johnson documented an orgasm lasting 43 seconds!)

Reportedly, 15% of women have experienced multiple orgasms at some point, but studies suggest that lesbians have them more often. Some doubters question whether this is a convenient myth made up by gay women to appear sexually superior. Unfortunately for the naysayers, there are facts to back up the findings. For one, it has been shown that unlike heterosexual sex, lesbian activity is geared toward partner gratification -- specifically by taking more time and varying positions so that both partners achieve orgasm. Studies consistently show that lesbians in long-term relationships have more gratifying sex than do straight women. Seems like someone needs a lesson in women's orgasms -- but is it straight women, their partners, or both?


Q: I recently went to my doctor for an HIV test. Since I hate waiting days for the results, he suggested the 20-minute test. I was surprised, however, when he swabbed the inside of my cheek instead of taking a blood sample. If you can't contract HIV through saliva, how can you test for the virus with saliva?

Many patients prefer the rapid HIV test so they don't have to wait for the results. Using an oral test for HIV might seem incongruous when studies have shown that HIV is not transmitted through saliva; however, the rapid test, called OraQuick, doesn't analyze saliva, nor does it actually look for the virus. The test uses a swab of oral mucosa -- the tissue inside your cheeks -- to look for HIV antibodies, proteins that the immune system produces in response to HIV infection. If an OraQuick comes back positive, the results will then be confirmed with a blood test.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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