Today is the National Gay Blood Drive
, a campaign
dedicated to bringing attention to the fact that the FDA still bans any men who have had sex with other men (MSM), at any
time since 1977 from becoming blood donors.
This month, the US Public Health Service released
(PDF) the first comprehensive clinical practice guidelines for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) which outlines the criteria for determining a person’s HIV risk and indications for PrEP use. (PrEP FAQ
) The CDC states
, "When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken consistently." The FDA's approved drug — Truvada — that was previously approved for H.I.V. treatment in 2004, is now approved it for prevention of HIV transmission. (Truvada previously
) [more inside]
To those who have read Randy Shilts' "And the Band Played On
", or seen the 1993 movie
, French-Canadian airline steward Gaetan Dugas is known as Patient Zero. It has been only in the past few years that the full truth
about how the "Patient Zero
" narrative was crafted has come out
(2013) focuses on an American man who, after initially visiting as a tourist, moved to India to volunteer at the Arias Home of HOPE
, a home for HIV-positive children in Acharapakkam, near Chennai. He eventually became an Indian citizen by marriage. [more inside]
It's not all bad news.
People are living longer, we're winning the fight against malaria, worldwide poverty is down, and eight more reasons for hope in the coming year.
[Eleven] days ago, The New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog published an essay by Michael Specter titled “What Young Gay Men Don’t Know About Aids,
” in which Specter points to the increase of “unprotected anal intercourse among gay men,” claims that “the rates of HIV infection will surely follow,” and then identifies the cause of this shift as the ignorance of my generation, who weren’t around to see the AIDS epidemic for themselves. The piece is a call to arms of sort, stating the need for increased public funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, and concludes by quoting Larry Kramer’s famous 1983 warning, “1,112 and Counting.” It’s a familiar argument—one that, in my lifetime, I have heard repeated ad nauseam and, I fear, largely misses what AIDS means to me and many other young gay men.
Tommy "The Duke" Morrison
, grand nephew of John Wayne, former WBO heavyweight champion, co-star of Rocky V
, and, later, supporter of the HIV Denial movement
, has passed away at 44. [more inside]
The men of "King Kong: The Musical" perform "Big Spender"
The song was performed at a performance of Twisted Broadway: Melbourne. Twisted Broadway
is a charity fundraising organization based on New York’s ‘Broadway Backwards
’, an annual charity every raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; Twisted Broadway will continue to raise money for research and developmental programs for people living with HIV/AIDS through Oz Showbiz Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. [more inside]
Men Who Want AIDS—and How It Improved Their Lives
Some homeless people find that having AIDS entitles them to assistance that will allow them to get off the streets. Some are desperate enough to deliberately get infected as they see no other way to get the help they need.
Sean Sasser – perhaps best known as Pedro Zamora's love interest on the Real World: San Francisco
– passed away
from mesothelioma. He was 44. [more inside]
Senators Mike Quigley, Tammy Baldwin, Mike Enzi, Elizabeth Warren, Barbara Lee, along with thirteen other senators and 64 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter
last Thursday asking the Department of Health and Human Services asking for an end
to the ban on blood donation of all gay men who have had sex with other men since 1977. [more inside]
"Emma Whitehead was near death from acute lymphoblastic leukemia but is now in remission after an experimental treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia."
The New York Times has a feature from December 2012
and this incredible story was the subject of a short film
as part of a GE/cinelan-sponored Vimeo series of 3 minute documentaries on "big ideas"
‘People Think It’s Over’
Spared Death, Aging People With H.I.V. Struggle to Live
"The Sound of Stigma
: An essay by Mark S. King—an AIDS advocate, an author and a blogger living with HIV since 1985—on why HIV stigma among gay men persists."
Fourteen adults have also been "functionally cured" after they were given combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for their HIV infection. [Warning: autoplay] They have been able to stop taking the treatment while still keeping their infection under control, according to a new study in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
There is an important distinction between 'functionally cured' and 'HIV negative'. [more inside]
Arrested for carrying condoms? Maybe not any more.
Last week, California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced legislation that will prevent police from arresting or charging someone for sexual solicitation based solely on the possession of one or more condoms. [more inside]
Two weeks ago, Lee Thompson ("Uncle Poodle" of Honey Boo Boo fame) gave an interview
stating that he had successfully prosecuted his ex-boyfriend for transmitting HIV to him. Now, one blogger has come out saying that Uncle Poodle might actually be lying. [more inside]
Tainted: Why Gay Men Still Can't Donate Blood
- "Since 1983, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines have disqualified men who have ever had sex with men (MSM) from donating blood... Uneven application of exclusion to at-risk individuals suggests that risk aversion disproportionately impacts MSMs. For example, a non-MSM individual who has had sexual contact with a commercial sex worker or HIV-positive partner is deferred for only twelve months... The fact that the U.S. upholds a lifetime ban on MSM donation while Australian policy allows MSM individuals to donate a year or less after contact reveals a glaring discrepancy. Both ethics and science point to a flaw in FDA policy. That I could have had sex with 365 partners this year and be a perfectly fine candidate for donating blood, while the MSM next to me wouldn't qualify, betrays a faulty line of logic." [more inside]
"The Most Important Gay Porn Film Ever Made?"
[NSFW Warning: Pictures of a naked guy, no sex or penis shown.]
"Dawson's 20 Load Weekend
redefined bareback porn and the men who appear in such porn. It influenced subsequent videos and expanded the availability of bareback films. It depicted a prevailing truth about gay sexual behavior "post-AIDS" and arguably encouraged risky sexual adventure-seeking. It led to the saturation of bareback porn online, making unprotected sex normative to whomever might be watching. To dismiss this film, to minimize its social and cultural impact, would be to demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of gay sexuality today."
Just as the 19th Annual International AIDS Conference
is set to convene in Washington DC (the first IAC in the United States since 1987, when a travel ban
was instituted and not lifted until 2009), President Obama has announced that his administration has invested
$80 million in new grants for HIV/AIDS services, essentially eliminating the AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists
, which currently hold the names of 2,030 Americans waiting for access to HIV-related health care.
In 1971, "decades before any state had seriously considered legalizing gay marriage, long before anyone had thought of creating—never mind repealing—a policy called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” before Reagan, before AIDS, before the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness, and before half the people currently living in America were even born, a man named John Singer stepped into the King County marriage license office in Seattle." Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist who pioneered the fight for same-sex marriage in Washington State, 41 years ago. Via.
AIDS Quilt - 25 Years Later
: Yesterday marked the end of the "largest showing of the AIDS Memorial Quilt
in [San Francisco] since the NAMES Project Foundation -- the quilt's caretaker -- closed its original Market Street location in 1999 and relocated to Atlanta the following year."♥
What started 25 years ago "as a single 3-foot-by-6-foot fabric panel has grown to a more than 54-ton tapestry with more than 47,000 panels
remembering the [90,000
] names of those lost to HIV/AIDS."
Mr. George said in a telephone interview that his goal for “The Announcement” was not only to tell the inside story of Mr. Johnson’s personal deliberations but also to “make people aware this thing hasn’t disappeared.” He added: “People are still dying of the virus. People are living very tough lives because of it. It’s falling off the national agenda, I believe, and this in some way helps us reintroduce it.”*
On March 11, 2012 at 9pm Eastern, ESPN will air the documentary The Announcement
, about Magic Johnson's diagnosis with HIV and his decision to go public with his diagnosis. The film is directed by Nelson George
, a award-winning author and noted filmmaker whose sister is Andrea Williams
, an HIV+ activist for AIDS causes in Brooklyn
(and who inspired
George's HBO movie Life Support
, which won Queen Latifah several awards for her role
as a fictionalized version of Williams).
Freddie Mercury, Anthony Perkins, Rock Hudson, and other people with AIDS on stamps
25 to Life: William "Reds" Brawner
In 1980 after being burned as an infant, William Brawner received a blood transfusion with HIV tainted blood. Learning of his illness five years later, his family decided to keep his status a secret. [more inside]
"The best way I can describe our predicament to someone outside our culture
is to call up the sensation of orgasm. You lose control of your destiny, and you are grateful for the loss. Time dissolves. Nothing that came before matters. You lose all sense of consequences and would sacrifice anything to safeguard the moment.
Then, just seconds later, the blighted past and an uncertain future rush back in to drown you."
writes in Walrus Magazine
about coming of age in the long shadow of the AIDS epidemic. via utne
. [more inside]
Magic Johnson still beating HIV 20 years later 2 decades
after being diagnosed with HIV - the virus that causes AIDS, Magic Johnson is still going strong. His foundation is helping others
, giving them hope
while educating people about the disease.
"In the last few years, the rise of free online porn — content-rich sites that tease viewers to subscribe for more — and pay-site juggernauts like Brazzers have put the L.A.-based adult-video industry against the ropes. Its answer, in part, has been the high-dollar parody, designed to attract ComicCon nerds, science fiction fans and other pop culture aficionados who must collect everything within their target oeuvre." -- The troubled US economy affects pornstars too, so "Porn Defends The Money Shot"
(NSFW) [more inside]
Researchers have apparently found a way to prevent HIV from damaging the immune system.
Johns Hopkins and Imperial reseachers have developed a chemical that breaks down the cholesterol membrane around HIV. This stops the virus intererfering with immune response, and may allow a vaccine that prevents infection. [more inside]
Yeah so here are some kittens we made that glow in the dark
something something cure for AIDS science.
is a non-profit publisher of books and newsletters for community-based health care, mostly aimed at the third world. Their first book, Where There Is No Doctor, A Village Health Handbook
, has been translated into 88
languages and is one of the most widely used
training and work manuals for community health care in the world. They have now made 20 of their publications available for free download, many of which can now also be browsed online through their website
using an "Ebrary
" in-browser interface. [more inside]
is an Australian company that provides advertising on street furniture, such as shelters at bus stops or bins. In the last 48 hours they have been at the centre of a public fight between the Australian queer community and the Australian Christian Lobby. [more inside]
In 2009, Ctrl.Alt.Shift
, the "youth initiative
of Christian Aid," held a national competition in the UK for aspiring filmmakers aged 18 to 25. Their mission: create a short film treatment based around three key issues: "War + Peace," "Gender + Power" and "HIV + Stigma." The results were then screened to an audience at the 2009 Raindance Film Festival. The films: 1000 Voices
, HIV: The Musical
, Man Made
, No Way Through
and War School
. (All YouTube links. Vimeo links and descriptions of each film are inside this post.) These films deal with adult subject matter and may be disturbing for some viewers. Some may also be nsfw. [more inside]
An NIH clinical trial has shown
that early treatment of HIV with antiretroviral drugs reduces the odds of the virus being transmitted to an uninfected sexual partner by 96%, with only one new HIV case recorded out of the 1,763 couples participating in the trial.
Grandmothers are agitated to the point of singing K’naan songs
. This basically concerns the frustration over the Canadian Senate killing Bill C-393
(a law to facilitate production of cheaper life saving HIV/AIDS drugs for developing countries). With the new election looming, the “Grannies” would like to see folks use aidsaction.ca
to email their candidates
and ask them about their Access to Medicines stance
"Anyone who was around New York City in the late 1980s and early '90s couldn't have missed the work of the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power
, better known as ACT UP
. Its group's activism reached a fever pitch during the early '90s, when the iconic black 'Silence=Death
' posters and t-shirts seemed ubiquitous downtown and served as somewhat more defiant symbols for the Gay community than the rainbow flags that took over to serve that role slightly later. ... So what were we to think
as we wandered through Barneys Co-op
in Chelsea yesterday when we spied a whole shelf full of T-shirts featuring ACT UP's famous imagery
[priced each at $50 ... 'a portion of that price tag will go to the activist group'] as if they were magically transported there from 20 years ago?" [more inside]