AIDS has become the most-feared disease of our time, yet it is a disease which is one-hundred percent preventable if we exercise care in our personal lives and especially, our sexual practices. The screening of donated blood for use in transfusions is now extremely effective and it is doubtful that another single person in the United States or western Europe will ever contract the disease via a blood transfusion. While there are other possible sources of infection -such as occupational exposure of health care providers- these risks are really quite minimal and can be well avoided with proper precautions. By far, the highest rate of AIDS transmission in the United States is through unprotected sex. To think that such a terrible pathogenic disease is so wide-spread largely because of a lack of proper education is what has motivated me to produce this web-site. It may be many years before our understanding of the HIV virus is such that we can produce an effective vaccine and effective treatments; but we can all protect ourselves from acquiring AIDS right now.
While AIDS has affected all walks of life in the United States, the primary focus of my own efforts at AIDS education is teenagers in general and gay or bisexual teens specifically. These young people often have very limited resources to turn to for accurate information concerning safer sexual practices and most sex education programs in the public schools omit any mention of detailed information concerning gay sex. If there is one single thing which I cannot understand about Americans; it is their strange fear of talking about sex-related topics and the overall fear of homosexuals which many Americans seem to have. I believe it is due to this fear that gay sex is almost never talked about in high school sex education courses. Yet the fact of the matter is that there are teenagers who are engaging in various forms of sexual activity with persons of their own gender and these are the people whom we, as researchers, health care providers, and educators, need to reach with the information which may, in fact, save their lives. Such an effort cannot be limited to the work of one person from one academic and professional background but rather must encompass the efforts and talents of many caring people. Therefore, I have provided below several useful links to a variety of safer-sex oriented resources. I also encourage you to feel free to e-mail me at the address below with your questions and ideas.
I was born Katherine Allison Drake in Korsør, Denmark, of a Danish mother and British father. My father was a marine biologist while my mother is a nurse with a background in microbiology, so you could say that science runs in our family. I was the youngest of three children; my sister is now a dentist in general practice in London and my brother is a professor of biology and animal sciences at the University of Aix-Marseille, in France so all the children have carried our family tradition on in some way. I studied biochemistry in Denmark as an undergrad. with plans of following my brother in the arena of academics but developed a strong interest in medicine and ended up going to medical school instead. In my last year of med. school in Denmark, I met a young fourth-year med. student from the United States named Ken Fordham, who would become my husband. After I married Ken and we completed our medical educations; we moved to the United States and opened our own practice in Tulsa -which is Ken's hometown. At first, I found life in a nation which I had never even visited before our move to be a bit hard on me, but I was lucky to have learned English -along with French and Danish- while growing up. Over time, I learned to love this country which is so large and vast. Ken and I have two boys, Ken Jr. and Tyler, and we are very happy living and working in the field of medical care together. I would like to thank all of those Americans who have made me feel at home here; some people have even said that I have picked up a southern accent! While it is hard to stay involved in medical research and education when you are in private practice; both Ken and I try as we have our own "pet" medical interests beyond general family practice. Ken's is diseases of the heart while mine is AIDS and HIV. Our lives, we thank God, are pretty much the American dream: we have two wonderful kids and careers which we enjoy. I hope that we can be -and are currently- making other lives better, as well.
Medscape, one of the best medical sites I know of.
The Centers For Disease Control Home Page.
Oasis: A "webzine" I write a column for.
Avicenna: a great medical info-site which includes Medline.
SaferSex.org: a good sex-education/AIDS site.
U.S. Surgical's Surgery Resources Network.
HIV Zone II: Another good source for safer-sex information.
Website of the American College of Surgeons.
The Virtual Hospital: from the University of Iowa Dept. of Radiology.
Look for more information coming soon! Please feel free to write with comments, questions, and ideas!
Private Practice of Family Health Medicine, Tulsa, OK, USA
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