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 »
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed the technology to create the all-purpose condom of the future. This new kind of female condom, made of “electrospinning” micro-fibers, will protect against pregnancy, release anti-HIV medicine (or other STI preventatives), and then, get this … just dissolve over a period of days, or even minutes. Here’s how the researchers describe the “electrospinning” technology:
“Electrospinning uses an electric field to catapult a charged fluid jet through air to create very fine, nanometer-scale fibers. The fibers can be manipulated to control the material’s solubility, strength and even geometry. Because of this versatility, fibers may be better at delivering medicine than existing technologies such as gels, tablets, or pills.”
Holy amazing! I’m far from a scientist, but I think this means they load the fibers with spermicide, anti-retrovirals so that they release within you and then just breakdown in your body. In the scientific abstract that you can read here, the researchers working on this project say that they are hopeful that similar technology can “serve as an innovative platform for drug technology for drug delivery to the lower female reproductive tract.” Really exciting stuff. [io9]
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]
“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 »
The L.A. Times
has an interview with Derrick Burts, the 24-year-old male porn star who contracted HIV recently. Burts, who has worked in gay and straight porn, as Derek Chambers and Cameron Reid respectively, discovered in early October through the adult industry’s AIM Healthcare Foundation that he had contracted the virus. Burts believes that he was infected by a fellow performer on the Florida set of a gay porn movie while AIM has previously stated that Burts was believed to have been infected through personal sexual contact and not while working in the porn industry. Whatever the case, Burts is speaking out now in an attempt to bring attention to the fact that most porn sets do not require condom use during sex scenes. “It’s very dangerous,” he stated of working in porn. “It should be required that you wear a condom on the set.” [L.A. Times
] 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 »