My college best friend and I coined the term “bipolar week.” It was used to describe a week filled with both overwhelmingly amazing events and truly terrible moments: winning a prestigious award and then getting dumped by your boyfriend, or perhaps acing a midterm and losing a childhood pet. When reflecting on this past week, in terms of LGBT rights, I could really only describe it as a week “having or relating to two poles or extremities.” The highs: two cases before the Supreme Court to treat gays and lesbians like, you know, actual people.
The low you ask? Well the low can be found in Kansas. It’s so ridiculous it might as well be a perverse Oz: a bill passed in the State Senate which has language that would quarantine those who are HIV-positive or have AIDS. I would insert a Judy Garland joke about being a gay icon, but this is really not a laughing matter. It’s completely f**ked! Keep reading »
Yesterday, doctors announced that they had, for the first time, cured a baby who was born with HIV, an incredible achievement that could lead to more aggressive treatments used on babies born with HIV and a reduction of the number of children living with the virus that causes AIDS. Dr. Deborah Persaud, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and lead author of the report on the baby, said, “It’s proof of principle that we can cure HIV infection if we can replicate this case.’’ Once the doctors’ report has been confirmed, the baby would be only the second documented case of an HIV patient being cured. (The first was a middle-aged man with leukemia named Timothy Brown, who received a bone-marrow transplant from a donor genetically resistant to H.I.V. infection.) Keep reading »
Clever use of Facebook Places, Finnish condom PSA! Too bad you had to resort to slut-shaming to do it. Twenty sexual partners might sound like a lot, but all you need is one roll in the hay with one person with HIV. The number of partners a person has really isn’t the point. (And FWIW, there’s also a male version of this PSA where the dude had 35 sexual partners. Point still holds true.) [Copyranter via Buzzfeed]
We like kittens, and glow-in-the-dark things, and also things that fight AIDS, so the fact that science (!) has managed to create a cat that is all of those things at once just warms our hearts. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, genetically engineered the glow-in-the-dark cats by modifying cat cells with those from expressed antiviral proteins taken from rhesus monkeys, which have been known to block HIV and feline AIDS. Preliminary results found that the genes did in fact provide protection against the virus. What’s more, the genetic protection — and the cool glow-in-the-dark side effect — was passable from mother cat to kitten. So, researchers are hoping that they’ll be able to help prevent feline AIDS in kitties, and can use some of that research to figure out ways to combat AIDS in humans, too. So, yup, science is way cool. [Live Science] Keep reading »
“Which has destroyed and ended the life of more people? Terrorism attack here in America or HIV/AIDS? In the last 20 years, 15 to 20 years, we’ve had maybe three terrorist attacks on our soil with a little over 5,000 people regrettably losing their lives. In the same time frame, there have been hundreds of thousands who have died because of having AIDS. So which one’s the biggest threat? And you know, every day our young people…they’re bombarded with ‘homosexuality is normal and natural. It’s something they have to deal with every day. Fortunately we don’t have to deal with a terrorist attack every day, and that’s what I mean. It’s more dangerous, and yes I think that it’s also more dangerous because it will tear down the moral fiber of this nation.”
— That’s Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (R), who is quite a sensitive and thoughtful lady. You heard it here first, folks: the cast of “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” is more dangerous than al-Qaeda! Someone needs to inform Rep. Kern that lots of people who contract HIV are not gay. [Think Progress] Keep reading »
“The stigma [around HIV/AIDS] hasn’t gone away after 30 years, and young people are still getting infected. We can’t get to the young people in this country because it’s very conservative and you can’t get into schools to teach people about sex. We can in Africa, but we can’t seem to over here. With young people, the infection rates rise and until you inform people and make this disease a non-stigmatized thing, you’re never going to have any change and we’re batting our heads against a brick wall. We need to get into schools.”
— Elton John, blabbing about sex education at his Oscars bash this weekend, makes more sense when he talks than the entire religious right and their “abstinence only” nonsense. Bristol Palin, listen to the crazy gay Brit who wears the silly costumes! [Fox 411] Keep reading »
It’s World AIDS Day, and millions of people are doing their part to raise awareness and funds for the fight against AIDS and HIV. This epidemic continues to ravage the world with an estimated 1.8 million deaths and 16.6 million orphaned children caused by the disease in 2009 alone. Currently, an estimated 33.3 million people are living with HIV or AIDS. Thanks to the efforts of activists, doctors, governments, and everyday citizens, these numbers have continually declined over the past decade. But there is still much we don’t know about AIDS and HIV. [AVERT]
After the jump, five interesting facts about the virus. Keep reading »
Kate is just like you or me: She is 29, lives in Ohio with her husband, holds down a job, and is the mother of a 3-year-old son. But for the past few years Kate has been living with the knowledge she is HIV+.
Kate blogs about HIV+ life at A Girl Like Me, a group blog written by women who are living with HIV. The blog is a program by The Well Project, a non-profit started by a woman living with HIV/AIDS which focuses on the needs of women living with the virus.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2010, Kate has generously opened up to The Frisky about how she contracted HIV, what her day-to-day symptoms are like, and how others treat her when they learn she is positive. — Jessica Wakeman Keep reading »
Hey, great news, male prostitutes with HIV/AIDS! The Pope has given you his blessing to use condoms! In the upcoming book Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, Pope Benedict XVI concedes that in very rare cases, condom use could be considered justified to help stop the spread of AIDS. The example he specifically uses is for that of male prostitutes, for whom condom use “can be a first in the direction of moralization a first assumption of responsibility.” When the media was quick to jump all over this statement as a reversal of the Catholics Church’s long-standing policy banning contraceptives, the Church was quick to clarify that the Pope’s statement was no such thing. Because, I mean, let’s face it, the Catholic Church certainly doesn’t believe male prostitutes (with AIDS!) are getting into heaven anyway. Keep reading »
Help! The Howard Brown Health Center, which has been serving the LGBT community since the ‘80s, needs donations, baaaaad. Two top officials were dismissed earlier this year for financial mismanagement of grant funds, and now the new CEO, Jamal Edwards, has regretfully announced that the center needs to raise $500K by Jan. 1, or it will have to close its doors. Noooooo! The clinic has been a cornerstone of AIDS research and gay outreach in Chicago. In fact, Howard Brown is currently conducting a decades-long research program, the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, and it would be a cryin’ shame for humanity if it had to give up on the work now. Keep reading »