Happy Birthday Cole Porter! In 1990, Red Hot + Blue, an AIDS benefit album was released featuring covers of Cole Porter's music by an electric array of performers accompanied by a TV special with music videos from the likes of Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders. Notable tracks include "Miss Otis Regets" by the Pogues and Kristy MacColl (video Neil Jordon) "Don't Fench Me In" by David Byrne "You Do Something To Me" by Sinéad O'Connor (video John Maybury) "Have You Evah" by Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop (video by Alex Cox) "From This Moment On" by Jimmy Somerville (video Steve mcclean) and "Ev'ry We Say Goodbye" by Annie Lennox (video by Ed Lachman)
Bryn Kelly, writer, performance artist, voice behind The Hussy, activist in the transgender and PLW HIV/AIDS communities, hairstylist and Lambda Literary fellow, died on Wednesday.
"This summer will mark 35 years since the first reports of AIDS. Additionally, two decades have now passed since combination antiretroviral treatment began to transform a health crisis into a more manageable public health concern. " [more inside]
"When protease inhibitors arrived, one era of the AIDS crisis was over. Many stories of the plague years in America end with this victory. Sometimes a coda is appended to acknowledge that the crisis itself isn’t over, referencing ongoing epidemics in Africa and, less often, in black and brown populations in America. What’s often missing from these analyses is an era that I’ve come to think of as the “footnote years” of AIDS activism: a sliver of about five years, from 1996 to 2001, in which a specific urban, queer-identified American activism played a role in changing the global response to HIV, and sought, less successfully, to use this work as a jumping-off point for a broader quest for justice."
An oral history of "Longtime Companion." The first major release movie to deal with the AIDS epidemic, 1990's Longtime Companion focuses on a group of gay friends in New York City, revisiting them one day per year starting in 1981. Bruce Davison won a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. [more inside]
Two studies published this week examine the politics of HIV in the United States and Europe and question the impact of personal responsibility. United States, HIV associated with race: "HIV is a biological phenomena and it is a behavioral phenomena, but in this day and age it is a social and structural phenomena," Perry Halkitis on a longitudinal study of MSM. The study claims Black and Hispanic men "do not appear to engage in more or riskier sexual behaviors compared with their white peers." (Reuters coverage of the study.) Europe, HIV associated with national homophobia: "Our findings suggest that rather than primarily being the result of personal failure, HIV risk is largely determined by national laws, policies, and attitudes toward homosexuality. This study shows that gay and bisexual men in homophobic countries are denied the resources, including psychological resources like open self-expression, that are necessary to stay healthy." (University Daily News coverage. ) [more inside]
I kept a memory book/photo album of everyone I knew that died of AIDS. It's quite large to say the least. Who were these guys? These were the people I had planned to grow old with. They were the family I had created and wanted to spend the rest of my life with as long as humanly possible but by the time I was in my late 40's, every one of them was gone except for two dear friends of mine.Redditors share memories of having lived through the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the early eighties. [more inside]
BuzzFeed LGBT editor Saeed Jones joins journalists Steven Thrasher and Dave Tuller to discuss sex, gay men, and what we are (and aren’t) doing. (SL Buzzfeed)
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]
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]
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]
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.
"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." Michael Harris writes in Walrus Magazine about coming of age in the long shadow of the AIDS epidemic. via utne. [more inside]
Are the Rules That Determine Who Can Donate Blood Discriminatory? Canadian AIDS researchers Dr. Mark Wainberg and Dr. Norbert Gilmore say that while the ban on blood donation from men who have sex with other men may have been ethically and scientifically justified in the 1980's, it no longer makes sense. (CMAJ.) Even though the US FDA reaffirmed their long-standing ban in 2007, they plan to revisit the policy in June. [more inside]