The L.A. Times today reports on efforts to educate the baby boom generation and their elders about safer sex practices.

Though “approximately four times as many HIV diagnoses occurred in people ages 25 to 44 as in those 50 and older, according to a 2005 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” there is a growing concern that older Americans — who are enjoying extended sex lives — are not getting the message that HIV strikes anyone at any age.

P.J. Huffstutter describes the prevention efforts supported by public health officials and educators like Jane Fowler, a founder of the National Association on HIV Over Fifty:

In Arizona, volunteers regularly have passed out free condoms at community centers, and state health workers in Florida host safe-sex programs in retirement communities. In Broward County, Fla., the Senior HIV Intervention Project recruits retired boomers and older residents throughout the region to become “safe-sexperts” who can convince their neighbors to get tested for STDs.

At the University of Michigan Health System, enough patients were concerned about the impact of aging on intimacy that a clinic was opened in Ann Arbor last year devoted to dealing with the sexual concerns of the 60-and-older crowd. And in Ohio, professor Nancy Orel and staff at Bowling Green State University have preached about the risks of casual sex and offered free HIV tests at a workshop targeting “boomers and beyond.”

Plus: Be sure to visit A Little Red Hen, where Naomi writes about “peace, politics and yarnlife after 60,” which includes knitting condom amulets and writing about safe sex after 50.

Earlier this year she wrote, “Being a grandmother who is a feminist carries much responsibility. I am unable to ease into mindlessness about the impact of our current state of affairs on the lives of my grandchildren. Like the implosion of HIV/AIDS in the world, in the city where I live. Not ingenuous enough to believe that knitting Condom Amulets equals finding a cure, I see my role as nudge …”

Taking Marriage Private: In a New York Times op-ed, Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history at Evergreen State College and author of “Marriage, a History: How Love
Conquered Marriage,” argues for taking marriage out from under the purview of the states.

Green Investing 101: Curious about investing in sustainable companies, Rebecca Clarren of Salon interviews Eric Becker, a vice president of Trillium Investment Management Company who co-manages Green Century Balance Fund, a mutual fund that invests in environmentally responsible companies.

Feminist Bookstore Struggles in Texas: The Austin American-Statesman reports on the financially struggling BookWoman, one of about 15 remaining feminist bookstores in the United States and the only one in Texas. has been set up to raise funds and support.

“Opened in 1975 by a dozen women who pooled $500 in seed money, the store was first opened in an abandoned storefront at 21st and Guadalupe streets, opposite the University of Texas, that had been firebombed in a drug feud,” writes Edward Nawotka. “Originally called the Common Woman Bookstore Collective, the store’s name derived from a famous feminist poem by Judy Grahan that reads, in part, ‘a common woman is as common as a common loaf of bread/and will rise.'”

Construction Boom Puts More Women in Hard Hats: The New York Times reports on a “small but noteworthy shift in the construction industry: since 2005, more women have gone into the building trades in New York City than at any other period in history, according to trade union officials. The women are training to be electricians, plumbers, steamfitters, ironworkers, bricklayers and, most often, carpenters.”


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