Sex and the City of New Orleans

Dr. Lisa Moreno-Walton, MD, MS, MSCR

Emergency Medicine Physician at University Medical Center

Director of Research, Diversity, Viral Testing, Latino Health Scholars Program

The topic of sex is always an attention grabber.  It’s something everyone does, but not everyone talks about.  And when we do talk about it, we sometimes fall back from the more serious and more important issues related to sex.  Interest in sexuality begins in early childhood, with a curiosity about our bodies and the bodies of others, and extends well in to old age, when continued sexual activity keeps us healthier and happier in our senior years.  Like all physical activity, good sex requires us to be healthy and in good physical condition.  The healthier and more sexually fit the body is, the more pleasure the owner of that body can experience when having sex.  This column is the first in a series that THINK 504 will be featuring monthly to educate New Orleanians about sexual health and wellbeing.  We will talk about such topics as hygiene, nutrition, physical fitness as it relates to sexuality, talking to children about sex, sexual responsibility, sexually transmitted diseases (how you get them, how to prevent them, and what to do if you develop symptoms of STI), testing protocols for sexually active people, the HPV vaccine, cancers related to STI’s, hormonal changes in the life cycle, disparities in the prevention and treatment of sexually related illness and even more topics than you knew existed that are related to good sex!

New Orleans is a city of diversity and color, but like everywhere else in the USA (in the world, to keep it real), people of color experience worse outcomes for almost every disease tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These worse outcomes are not related to socioeconomic status (how much money you have or make), level of education, access to health care or insurance status.  If you are a person of color living in the US, your outcomes will be worse.  Period.  This includes higher infant mortality, more likelihood of maternal death (women dying because of complications of pregnancy and giving birth), more likelihood of getting an STI, more likelihood of getting HIV and hepatitis, and less likelihood of being treated for these viruses.  As owners of the miracle that is the human body, we need to take responsibility for giving this body the best care and maintenance possible.  We need to choose a physician we trust to partner with us to take care of this body.  At University Medical Center and at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, we want to partner with our community to ensure that EVERY NEW ORLEANIAN is living their best and healthiest life! 

Our efforts include a terrific event this month.  You are invited to attend the NOLA KNOWS HEALTH FAIR on Saturday, August 10 at 1900 Gravier Street from 10 am to 2 pm.  NOLA KNOWS is the UMC Emergency Department’s viral testing division, and my staff will be on hand to offer testing for HIV and HCV, along with screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure, nutrition lessons with FREE FOOD, dental care demonstrations with FREE DENTAL HYGIENE ITEMS, and pharmacists from Walgreen’s giving out advice and FREE BLING.  Special guest stars include DJ WILD WAYNE and music producer DON BARTHOLOMEW, with music by the BARTHOLOMEW BOYZ.  A free NOLA KNOWS tee shirt will be given to the first 200 guests, so come early and stay on for the food demos! 

And stay tuned for my monthly column on all things relevant to your happy, healthy sex life!

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