British Journal of Sexual Medicine - 2008

Comment: Mile highs and lows
Paul Woolley
pp 3-3
‘Airline bans A380 mile-high club. Singapore Airlines has taken the unusual step of publicly asking passengers on its new Airbus A380 plane not to engage in any sexual activities’. The potential problem has arisen because the first-class compartment contains 12 private suites, each with a double bed. Tony and Julie Elwood from Perth, Australia, were not impressed: ‘So they’ll sell you a double bed, and give you privacy and endless champagne – and then say you can’t do what comes naturally?’
What is the sexual behaviour of HIV-positive women?
Kathryn Eccleston
pp 4-7
Globally, nearly half of the 39.5 million people living with HIV are female. There were approximately 17.7 million women infected with HIV at the end of 2006, the majority of them being in sub-Saharan Africa. In all regions of the world, more adult women than ever before are living with HIV. Worldwide, twice as many women are infected than men, and women comprise the fastest growing group, often diagnosed later in the disease, when antiretroviral therapy is more likely to be indicated. The 17.7 million women living with HIV in 2006 represent an increase of over one million compared with 2004.
HRT and the menopause: attitudes and awareness today
Margaret Rees
pp 8-9
In the late 1990s, oestrogen-based hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was commonly prescribed to menopausal women and considered to be a universal panacea. Publication of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) studies, starting in 2002, led to the idea that HRT was extremely unsafe and significantly increased the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and breast cancer. Publications emanating from the Million Women Study showing an increased breast cancer risk also fuelled fears about HRT. Not surprisingly, HRT use has fallen.
Managing erectile dysfunction
Kevan R Wylie
pp 10-12
Men’s health can be assessed through a number of indicators affecting their quality of life. Impaired sexual activity can affect quality of life and thus cannot be ignored. In the USA, the Massachusetts Male Aging Study showed that 52% of men aged 50–70 experienced some degree of erectile dysfunction (ED).
Prescribing the combined contraceptive pill in 2008
Diana Mansour
pp 13-15
Much has changed in the field of contraception since the introduction of then contraceptive pill 45 years ago. Experts in this specialty have been heard to say that oral contraception is dead, the way forward being long-acting, reversible methods – such as injectables, implants and modern intrauterine contraceptives. Yet women are still choosing to take the contraceptive pill.
Female genital mutilation: an overview
Salem A El-Shawarby and Janice Rymer
pp 16-18
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting or circumcision, is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as ‘the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other nontherapeutic reasons’.
Those lips that Love’s own hand did make
David Hicks
pp 19-19
In some circumstances, girls have their external genitalia excised, as described in this journal in an article on female genital mutilation (see pages 16–18). In others, women who are not entirely content with the appearance of their external genitalia have them ‘fixed’.