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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > April 2017 > GO VIRAL

GO VIRAL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE STI WE ALL HAVE

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the UK. Here are the facts: HPV is spread mainly by skin-to-skin contact, is highly contagious, and nearly all sexually active people get infected with HPV at some point in the lives. The risk increases with the number of sexual partners you have, and even those in relationships can contract it. The majority of HPV infections, however, do not result in any symptoms and resolve on their own. But, infections that persist can lead to cancers, notably: anal, throat, and penile in men.

Since 2008, girls aged 12 to 13 have been given a vaccine to protect against HPV, which can also lead to cervical cancer. The logic behind only immunising women comes from the assumption that this will, in turn, protect men, as women vaccinated against HPV cannot pass it on to men. This disregarding of men who have sex with men (MSM) was controversial from the start, but has finally begun to be addressed. A pilot vaccination scheme is now being offered to MSM aged up to 45, on a voluntary basis, and only in England.

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Connor Franta commands attention. With 5.6 million YouTubers subscribed to his channel and over 350 million views, his video diaries offer a window into the life and mind of this 24 year old entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author. Life is not always rainbows and butterflies, though. In our April issue, we sit down with Connor to discuss his battle with depression, how coming out wasn't a cure-all, and about our individual and collective roles in the fight for LGBT+ equality.  Elsewhere in the issue, the world-exclusive interview with all the queens from Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race; Nicholas Afoa becomes the first Disney theatre star to pose for a gay magazine; comedian Richard Gadd on using comedy to deal with sexual assault; Dan Matthews, SVP of PETA, on throwing pies at Anna Wintour; LDN Muscle's brothers on their game-changing approach to fitness; plus, style, travel and community features.