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March 11, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Rimming: The Next Public Health Crisis?

It may sound tongue-in-cheek, but more people eating ass might increase the rate of Hepatitis A in New Zealand.

 

Although not usually fatal, Hep A can be debilitating and cause vomiting, pain, tiredness, and discolouration of the skin and eyes. Recovery can take several weeks or months.

Transmission is usually facilitated by poor sanitation, but can be transferred through sex acts like rimming, making it a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

The Ministry of Health describes Hep A as “rare”, but it is sufficiently prominent that the New Zealand Sexual Health Society (NZSHS) included it in their 2017 STI Management Guidelines.

The guidelines, used throughout New Zealand, only recommend regular Hep A testing for men who have sex with men (MSM).

Sexual health physician Sunita Azariah, speaking on behalf of NZSHS, said that Hep A testing was recommended for MSM because of the greater prevalence of certain high-risk sexual practices, including rimming.

Azariah also cited a  recent “major” Hepatitis A outbreak among MSM in Auckland in the 1990s.

Non-MSM individuals, who have lower recorded rates of such high-risk practices, are not included under the same recommendations.

A problem presents itself with the anecdotal rise in rimming amongst non-MSM, after the release of the 2017 guidelines.

Reporter Madeleine Holden outlined this trend in a recent article in MEL magazine, titled “Do Straight Men Really Eat A Lot of Ass Now? An Investigation”.

In the article, Holden talked with 60 straight men across the USA.

She concluded rimming is on the rise.

Holden suggested ‘straight’ attitudes in the USA and New Zealand could be similar.

This means that people not covered by regular Hep A testing could be increasingly participating in a practice known to transmit the disease.

The world holds its breath.

 

If you are concerned you may have Hep A, contact a GP or sexual health clinic.

Mauri Ora: (04) 463 5308

Wellington Sexual Health Service: (04) 385 9879

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