Minding Your Health - Protecting Yourself Against Syphilis

Over the last two years, 43 percent of all primary and secondary syphilis cases reported in Missouri have been Kansas City residents, according to the Kansas City Health Department, even though Kansas City residents represent just 7.7 percent of Missouri’s total population.
When there is more disease in the community, you have a greater chance of having an infected partner with each sexual encounter. It’s a reminder that we must remain vigilant when it comes to reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, syphilis is called “The Great Pretender” because its symptoms mimic those of other diseases. The Kansas City Health Department reports that it has seen cases that have been misdiagnosed as a rash from an allergic reaction or prescribed topical creams. Syphilis sores, which can take 10 to 90 days to develop from infection, are painless and may look like a small bump.

The CDC reports that a syphilis infection in adults advances in stages. In the primary stage, a small sore may appear at the point of infection. It may heal within three to six weeks even if it is not treated. However, without treatment, the disease will progress.
In the secondary stage, rash-like symptoms may appear on the palms or the hands or feet, or all over the body. Additional symptoms may include fever, sore throat, weight loss, muscle aches and fatigue. Again, symptoms may disappear, but the infection remains. Without treatment, the disease will continue to progress into the latent and late stages.
At any stage, even the beginning stages, syphilis can cause neurologic issues, including paralysis, dementia and blindness.
Any sexual activity, including oral sex, is a risk for getting syphilis. Use a latex condom or dental dam every time you have sex to reduce the risk of infection. Do not assume that you are being tested for syphilis. Ask your health care provider for a syphilis test just to be safe. For detailed information on syphilis and other STDs, visit www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm/fact_sheets.htm.
STD testing is available at these agencies:
Kansas City Health Department
KC CARE Clinic
Planned Parenthood
(multiple locations in the Kansas City area)
Remember, syphilis can be tricky to detect, so be sure to ask your health-care provider to test for it. If you are sexually active, get tested at least every 90 days and take the necessary precautions to limit your exposure.
Kyle Danner is an organizer for the LGBT-Affirmative Therapists Guild of Greater Kansas City. He received a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City."

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less