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 »
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 »