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 »
“It was like a ticking time bomb before something like this happened.”
–Porn star Jenna Jameson weighs in on the latest HIV outbreak in the adult movie industry. Condom use is not required and oftentimes discouraged. “I think a lot of the women feel pressure to not use condoms because they’re in fear of not getting hired,” Jameson noted. [Radar] Keep reading »
No Angels was the German answer to the Spice Girls. Formed in 2000, one of the band’s members was the beautiful Nadja Benaissa. Who, sadly, is no angel. Nadja was a crack addict at age 14, and got preggers at 16. And that’s when she found out that she was HIV positive. She hid this fact from the world and went on the TV show “Popstars,” earning herself a spot in No Angels.
Now Nadja is on trial for knowingly infecting a man with HIV. Keep reading »
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have found that minocycline, an antibiotic used to treat acne since the 1970s, can be used as an added defense against HIV. The drug targets immune cells in which the virus remains dormant and prevents them from replicating and reactivating. Minocycline, according to the researchers, is a great weapon in keeping HIV dormant because the virus appears less capable of developing a drug resistance to minocycline, unlike HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) medications. The antibiotic goes after T-cells, which are “major immune system agents and targets of HIV infection,” and decreases the ability for the T-cells to multiply and activate, whereas HAART attacks the virus. However, the researchers say that minocycline will have to be used in conjunction with HAART drug cocktails in order to keep HIV dormant. [Science Daily] Keep reading »
Could bananas really be the key to stopping the spread of HIV? Some researchers believe they could be. They’ve discovered that BanLec, a type of lectin naturally found in bananas, binds to the sugary envelope that encases the HIV virus, thus blocking its entry into the body. It was even more effective in preventing the spread of the virus in lab tests than two synthetic HIV drugs currently on the market. So what’s the next step? Researchers will work on a way to make it into a type of vaginal or anal microbicide ointment. They believe that a cheap, effective, self-applied BanLec ointment may prevent up to 2.5 million HIV infections in three years. Now that’s bananas! [MNN] Keep reading »
A few years ago a big secret was revealed: American men would flock to Brazil for secret sex getaways. But now that this is known, the Dominican Republic has replaced Brazil as the sex tourism capital, according to Keith Murphy, who wrote “Fool’s Paradise” for Essence. Men, especially black men, are traveling to the D.R. to have sex with (and exploit) beautiful women, who are willing to do anything to support themselves and families. There are three main reasons the D.R. is ripe for sex tourism. One, prostitution is legal. Two, the peso is so weak compared to the dollar that a man of meager means in the U.S. can feel like a big spender there. And three, travel to the Dominican Republic is relatively inexpensive — an all-inclusive stay on the popular Boca Chica Beach and round-trip airfare can cost as little as $600. And some pay-for-play can run only $20. Several online companies specialize in adult vacation packages. DR Nights, an online sex tour company, has a $2,500 package that includes deluxe hotel accommodations, a 24-hour companion for three nights, and three more companions for two hours every day. But what might be cheap initially could end up costing a life later. Many in the Dominican Republic sex trade act as if HIV/AIDS doesn’t exist, and even more disturbing, one of the men Murphy interviewed said he can tell whether a woman is infected. Then, there’s the potential to bring the virus or another STD home to a girlfriend or wife. Keep reading »
Of all the crazy schemes men use to get laid, this one has got to rank at the most vile. That’s both saying a lot and putting this catastrophe mildly.
According to a report at The Huffington Post, a 35-year-old HIV-positive man in New Zealand injected his sleeping HIV-negative wife with the virus so she’d pony up and have sex with him. Keep reading »
Even though the days are sunny and the air is sweet, things aren’t always perfect on “Sesame Street” … especially in South Africa. There is a new kid on the block there and she’s teaching her neighbors about some of the tough realities of life. Meet Kami (short for the Setswana word “Kamogelo” which means “acceptance”), the 5-year-old, HIV-positive muppet. The cute, yellow girl showed up on “Takalani Sesame” (that’s what it’s called in South Africa) a nervous orphan, afraid that she wouldn’t be accepted because of her disease—but, of course, her neighbors embraced her. And so has the rest of the country. Kami has become a role model in South Africa, providing hope for 28,000 HIV-positive children and 1.4 million orphans and teaching others about the challenges of living with HIV/AIDS. She has even been named a UNICEF ambassador for children. So will Kami be visiting the American “Sesame Street” anytime soon? Not a chance. Keep reading »