Daily Rounds: Health Advice From Porn Industry; Filling The ER Gap; Sandy’s Baby Boom; Anti-Sitters Unite; Go Vote!

Unlikely Model In HIV Effort: Sex Film Industry (The New York Times) — “Before they take off all their clothes, the actors who perform as James Deen and Stoya go through a ritual unique to the heterosexual adult film industry.First, they show each other their cellphones: Each has an e-mail from a laboratory saying he or she just tested negative for H.I.V., syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Then they sit beside the film’s producer, Shylar Cobi, as he checks an industry database with their real names to confirm that those negative tests are less than 15 days old. Then, out on the pool terrace of the day’s set — a music producer’s hilltop home with a view of the Hollywood sign — they yank down their pants and stand around joking as Mr. Cobi quickly inspects their mouths, hands and genitals for sores. “I’m not a doctor,” Mr. Cobi, who wears a pleasantly sheepish grin, says. “I’m only qualified to do this because I’ve been shooting porn since 1990 and I know what looks bad.” Bizarre as the ritual is, it seems to work. The industry’s medical consultants say that about 350,000 sex scenes have been shot without condoms since 2004, and H.I.V. has not been transmitted on a set once.”

Filling A Gap Between ERs And Patient Inpatient Rooms (The Wall Street Journal) — “Patients who show up with complaints that can’t be quickly or conclusively diagnosed are more frequently being shifted to observation units adjacent to or close by emergency rooms. Not only does this reduce crowding in harried ERs, but the units allow emergency staff to closely monitor at-risk patients and conduct tests more quickly and cheaply than by admitting them as an inpatient to a hospital room. For patients, observation care that lasts longer than 24 hours can be costly, with higher copayments for services deemed by Medicare and some insurers to be outpatient care. But when operated efficiently, with decisions made within a day on whether to discharge or fully admit patients, they have been shown to reduce costs and improve care.”

Will Sandy Bring A Baby Boom Or Baby Bust? (Slate) — “Next year, expect to see a rise in the number of marriages in the areas hit by Sandy. Hurricane Hugo hit South Carolina in 1989 at a time when the marriage rate in South Carolina was declining. In their examination of the social consequences of Hugo, Catherine Cohan and Steve Cole found an upward hitch: The marriage rate increased by 0.7 per 1,000 people in 1990 before returning to the pre-storm decline. Although the overall effect was small, it was especially pronounced in the seven counties hit hardest by the disaster. The marriage-rate boost seems fairly intuitive. People seek security in the face of threats and grow closer to their sources of comfort. (The whole field of attachment theory is based on how this phenomenon plays out.) Catastrophes can also give people a push into the next stage of their lives and provide a reality check about what’s important. Those same bonding mechanisms should make the already coupled more likely to stay together after Sandy, right? After all, one of the least-known legacies of the 9/11 disaster was its impact on divorce: In September 2001, the number of couples filing for divorce in New York dropped by 32 percent. The researchers who analyzed the effects of Hurricane Hugo also examined divorce rates after 9/11 and found that the drop in filings couldn’t be explained by interruptions to civil services.”

Anti-Sitting Movement Gaining Followers (The Boston Globe) — “The don’t-take-a-seat trend, which has already made its way into offices, where workers are braving colleagues’ ridicule as they stand, walk or even cycle at special desks, is now infiltrating other spaces. It can be seen at restaurants, where some patrons would rather stand at the bar than grab a table; at meetings, where anti-sitters discreetly rise from their chairs, as eager to avoid detection as a scofflaw texting during a show; and at parties, where those eager to avoid chair time help the host serve — and not just to be helpful. How long before chairs are required to come with cigarette-pack-style health alerts? Warning: This La-Z-Boy can kill you. In some circles, friends and relatives engage in what Sara Rimer, a media relations specialist at Boston University, only somewhat jokingly calls “competitive non-sitting.” When she and her sisters get together, Rimer said, “I would notice my oldest sister seemed to be making a habit of standing while my middle sister and I were sitting. So then the two of us starting standing up, too.”

State By State, Battle For Presidency Goes To Voters (The New York Times) — “The most expensive presidential race in American history now becomes the biggest show on television, a night with enough uncertainty that it could become a telethon lasting well into morning.”

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