August 26, 2014

AHF takes out ads cautioning Truvada use

truvadaThe AIDS Healthcare Foundation is launching an ad campaign citing several studies that conclude anti-HIV drug Truvada is far from the panacea many sexually active gay men had hoped for. The reason: a significant proportion of people on the drug fail to take it every day, as directed. 

"The bottom line is that people won’t adhere and take the pill,” Michael Weinstein, president of AHF, told BuzzFeed. “That’s what studies have shown. If this catches on as a public health strategy, that means there are going to be people who will take Truvada irregularly and some will be infected, and some develop drug resistance.” 

In May, the Centres for Disease Control issued clinical guidelines on PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) to prevent HIV transmission, saying that if taken daily along with using condoms, it is over 90% effective in preventing HIV infection. It recommended that doctors with patients at high risk of infection should consider PrEP as part of their HIV prevention strategy, including regular HIV and STD testing and condom use. In July, the World Health Organization announced a similar recommendation, saying men who have sex with men should consider PrEP as an additional method of preventing HIV infection. 

In other words, no health agency recommends using Truvada instead of condoms and many Truvada users aren't taking the drug properly anyway. 

August 13, 2014

Man sues after doctor calls his gayness a "chronic problem"

Doctor sued for calling man's gayness a "chronic problem"An openly gay man in Los Angeles is suing his doctor after his homosexuality was listed as a "chronic problem."

Matthew Moore, 46, is also suing the Torrance Memorial Physician Network for failing to remove the offensive diagnosis from his medical records.

"It was infuriating. It was painful," he said. "It was another attempt by this doctor and this medical group to impose their agenda of discrimination and hate onto a gay patient."
He said his doctor defended her notes, claiming that the medical community was still split on whether being gay was, or was not, a chronic condition. 
"We would like to unequivocally state that the Torrance Memorial Physician Network does not view homosexuality as a disease or a chronic condition, and we do not endorse or approve of the use of Code 302.0 as a diagnosis for homosexuality," Torrance Health Association Senior Director Heidi Assigal wrote following a formal complaint from Moore. The Association promised the error would be corrected.
Moore's records were only amended slightly, but his gayness was still listed as a chronic problem. He decided to sue for the intentional infliction of emotional distress and libel.
The lawsuit also claims that the defendants "engaged in a pattern of deceit and medical record doctoring in an attempt to establish that they had earlier removed and retracted the defamatory content, when in fact they had not removed and retracted the defamatory content until the latter part of May 2014."
"I don’t want any gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual ever to hear from a doctor that their normal and healthy sexuality is anything other than that," said Moore.
Lawsuit Filed After Doctor Lists Homosexuality as "Chronic Condition" [NBC Los Angeles]

July 30, 2014

Revenge porn laws result in arrests

Revenge porn lawsThe first person has been charged with violating Colorado's new "Revenge Porn Law." The law took effect on July 1, and was designed to target individuals who post explicit pictures of another person without consent. Often such postings are done by an ex looking to humiliate a former lover.
Michael Clasen, 25, allegedly posted intimate pics of his ex-girlfriend on July 1. He is also being charged for stalking his ex and damaging her car. 
His charge, a misdemeanor, could land him in jail for 18 months and result in a $10,000 fine. 
21-year-old Brandon Oliver is also facing charges, under Virginia’s new revenge porn law. He faces 24 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Other states with similar laws include Hawaii, Arizona, California, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin.
Of course, these types of laws wouldn't be needed if people could just grow up and move on when a relationship ends.
1st Man Charged Under Colorado's 'Revenge Porn' Law [XBiz]

July 24, 2014

Commonwealth Games opens with gay kiss

Openly gay actor John Barrowman made the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow one to remember. He gave a big ol' smooch to another man!
The Games are the world’s third largest multi-sports tournament, with 53 nations that once comprised the British Empire competing. The kiss is very symbolic because 42 of the 53 countries competing at these games actually criminalize homosexuality. This includes some of the world's most homophobic nations like Uganda, Nigeria, Brunei and Jamaica, that have kept anti-sodomy laws from the old colony days on the books.
But the mother country has moved on: the UK does recognize same-sex marriage and Scotland is also funding a Pride House to support LGBTI sports during the games.
Ugandan gay activist Edwin Sesange described the kiss as "inspirational," saying that "now we need others to follow."
Hmmm, if Barrowman is handing out kisses ...

July 23, 2014

China says no to porn apps

China goes after porn on appsChina, which already censors adult content on the web, has extended its war on porn to include smartphone apps. The country's Ministry of Industry announced yesterday that it will be cracking down on any app that features adult content.
The Communist Party-run government is hoping to effectively “clean the Internet,” or at least the parts of the Internet it can control. Officials say they will "enhance abilities to discover pornographic and obscene apps" and "improve the process of punishment.”
Initially the government hopes companies will voluntarily remove objectionable material, but has promised to take action on anyone who does not comply.
The China Internet Network Information Centre says that the country accounts for over 600 million of the world's Internet users, of which over 80% rely on smart phones to access the web. There were no stats available on how many Chinese use porn apps. 
Of course, anyone who owns an iPhone knows what it is like to live without porn apps; the big difference is we can access plenty of porn with our browsers.
China cracking down on porn in mobile apps [Chicago Tribune]

July 16, 2014

Archie Andrews dies saving gay friend

Iconic comic star Archie Andrews died today, sacrificing his life for his gay friend, Kevin Kellar. The demise of the 73-year-old character had been announced in April.

Archie thwarted an assassination attempt on Kevin, the comic’s first gay character. Kevin is a military veteran and freshman Senator pushing for tougher gun-control laws.  He first made his appearance in a 2010 issue of “Veronica.” The character was popular enough to get his own solo title, “Kevin Keller,” which debuted in July 2011. In 2012 he married his African-American partner, Clay Walker. 
Archie has had a good run and, of course, the way it is with comics, you never know if he might be miraculously resurrected some day. 

July 10, 2014

Spornosexuals are the metrosexuals of 2014

The metrosexual is dead, long live the spornosexual: a more extreme sex- and body-obsessed male. But who exactly are they?

June 16, 2014

"Ex-gay" Republican: I eat food instead of fucking men

Jeremy SchwabTexan Republicans are determined to maintain their battle against the terrible sin that is homosexuality. They have officially endorsed reparative therapy in the party's state platform.
“We recognize the legitimacy and value of counselling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle,” the platform reads.
Apparently, the official position was written up by Jeremy Schwab, once a member of the Log Cabin Republicans who is now "ex-gay."
He claimed that he is no longer dealing with same-sex desires, choosing to redirect his urges toward food. He posted a former topless pic of himself, saying, "This picture was taken about 7 years ago. It was BEFORE I came back to the Lord. I think in some ways food replaced sexual sin for me and now I can’t even get into my OWN pants."
Preferred foods include hotdogs, whole cucumbers, popsicles, and penis-shaped chocolates with creamy centers.
“This resolution does not state that a person cannot be gay, nor does it try to intimidate gay persons," he argued, defending the policy. "It only seeks to protect the rights and health of self-motivated individuals in the state of Texas.”
Tell that to the next gay teen who tries to kill himself after failing to be "cured." 
Meet the ‘ex-gay’ man behind the Texas GOP’s reparative therapy plank [Lonestar Q]

June 10, 2014

Têtu Magazine doesn't care if you are a racist, as long as you are hot

French magazine Têtu doesn't think being a racist should disqualify someone from representing it in the Mr Gay World contest.

The issue arose after 22-year-old Matthieu Chartraire, who was selected by Têtu readers as "Mister Gay May," took to Facebook to complain about people of different races on Facebook. He also posted a video of a white woman being attacked by a black man, writing: "This is why I would vote for FN," he wrote. (Note: FN, or Front National, is a far-right anti-immigration, anti-Semitic and anti-gay political party in France.)

The magazine distanced itself from Chartraire, saying, "The fight against homophobia can't be separated from the fight against any other form of discrimination." But Chartraire is still welcome to compete in the Mister Gay 2014, in December.

"It's in his right to vote for FN, even if we don't share his beliefs," argued Têtu editor-in-chief Yannick Barbe. "This is a beauty pageant, and our readers' vote was only based on a single criterion! He only stands for himself, and certainly not for the gay community. (Excluding him) would be censorship, and the best way to victimize him."

Because models should never be held accountable for what they say.

France: Gay magazine refuses to disqualify ‘Mr Gay’ contestant over racism allegations [Pink News]

May 27, 2014

Is Truvada the Pill of our time?

On May 14, the U.S. Public Health Service released the first comprehensive clinical practice guidelines for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) using Truvada. The New York Times recently speculated that Truvada could have a social impact comparable to that of the birth control pill. 

The debate around Truvada sometimes seems moralistic, but it's  rooted in a fear of change. We've had it hammered into our heads for decades that condoms are the best way to prevent HIV transmission. Now suddenly we're being told that there is a better way, albeit with a hefty price tag and a commitment to taking a daily pill.   

There is also the consideration of an added layer of sexual negotiation, new classes of potential sexual partners and another level of assumptions about the risk to yourself. How many men will lie about being on PreP? Will there be a great divide between men who have the means or the insurance coverage to be on Truvada and those who don't? How many of us will have condomless sex because we start to assume there is a "herd immunity," thanks to Truvada.   

Aside from the cost, there are other negatives compared to condoms. STDs will surely increase when fewer condoms are used and there is a very real risk of treatment-resistant strains of gonorrhea and syphillis cropping up. 

Sex in the age of AIDS has always been complicated. But there should be no more shame in using Truvada to prevent HIV than there is in using the pill to prevent pregnancy. Making Truvada available at a much lower price and adding PreP to the list of anti-AIDS drugs governments will pay for should be a priority for organizations combatting HIV/AIDS.

Are we ready for H.I.V.s' sexual revolution?  [New York Times]

May 22, 2014

Anderson Cooper takes on Amy Kushnir

Amy Kushnir, a host of Texas morning show, was so enraged that Michael Sam was shown on ESPN kissing his boyfriend, that she went into a rant and then stormed off set. Gasp. Shock. Horror!

Well, Anderson Cooper added her to his Ridiculist ...

May 5, 2014

'Gay orgy' sculpture upsets Michigan town residents

Blue Human Condition
The sculpture pictured above, named Blue Human Condition, was designed to represent unity, but residents in Adrian, Michigan said it looked like a gay orgy.
Sculptor Mark Chatterley insisted the piece - part of the town's public art program - was not intended to be sexual, and was designed to represent that “living today, we can’t do it alone. We rely on other people (…) to try to survive.”
Local pastor Rick Strawcutter insisted it was a sign that the town was being left to Sodom. “Everybody I know who sees [the sculpture] just feels like it is in itself an abomination,” he said.
The piece was initially placed near the town hall. It has since been moved to a park where fewer people will see it, making it a rather impressive tribute to gay cruising in the area.

April 25, 2014

Ugandan homophobe may find out that karma is a bitch

Pastor Martin SsempaPastor Martin Ssempa hates gay people. A lot. He was one of the biggest supporters of Uganda's "kill the gays" bill (later changed to "put the gays in jail for a long time" bill), and claimed homosexuals like to "eat the poo-poo."
However, he may become a victim to the same bill he promoted. Paul Kaliisa, from Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), is just as homophobic, but claims that Ssempa should now be prosecuted under the law.
"Pastor Ssempa has, if anything, promoted homosexuality where he is allegedly trying to fight is,’ Kaliisa said. He said that Ssempa recently appeared on a morning show and explained how lesbians masturbate with cucumbers and carrots. He also pointed out that Ssempa loves to show gay porn to his congregation.
"He moves everywhere with clips of gay men. He is so disgusting that at one point he said homosexuals lick each other’s assholes like ice cream." Kaliisa added. (Mmmmm, ice cream. Mmmmmm, assholes.) "Very soon people are going to get used to the idea at some point, men can have sex with fellow men, and armed with the knowledge Ssempa has distributed, they will know exactly what to do."
His conclusion: "Pastor Ssempa easily comes off as Uganda’s number one and strongest fighter homosexuality but in truth, he is Uganda’s number one promoter of the vice. He is promoting the things of these monsters and destroyers of man-kind."
Melanie Nathan, an activist, responded, "If any such good news can be established from the onerous anti-gay laws of Uganda, is that as much as the laws were designed to shut up the LGBTI human rights defenders, and anyone providing much needed services, they will now also serve to shut up their critics and the anti-gay haters such as Ssempa. The less we hear about how Martin Ssempa perceives homosexuality with his phoney disgusting and graphic depictions, the better off all gays around the world will be."
Of course, the stupid law should be repealed immediately. But if people are going to be charged under the law, then it seems fitting that haters like Ssempa should experience it firsthand.
Anti-Gay Preacher May Be Charged Under Uganda’s New Law [Edge on the Net]

April 16, 2014

Professional homophobe arrested in Canada

Peter LaBarbera arrestedIt has been a rough week for Peter LaBarbera. 

First, the American was denied entry into Canada by Canadian border guards. The president of ‘Americans For The Truth About Homosexuality’ claimed he was going to a pro-life convention in Saskatchewan, but had been flagged by officials because of his extreme views against gays. His luggage was checked. His phone was checked. He was told to go home.

He appealed the decision and was, eventually, allowed to enter the country and attend the convention.

Well, yesterday he was taken into custody when he and Canadian-based hater Bill Whatcott started to hand out anti-gay leaflets at the University of Regina. The two were asked to leave, refused, and were arrested for trespassing. 

“The materials were graphic and the materials were disturbing," explained the University’s vice president, Thomas Chase. “The materials, we felt, could harm members of this campus community who we have a duty to protect and support.”

“I think freedom of speech has its limits,” added the University Pride Centre executive director Leah Keiser, “and when it starts inciting hatred and violence, as I personally believe this has been, that’s a line I think we should stop crossing, because we’re not talking about opinions anymore — we’re actually hurting human beings.”

You can watch him get arrested here.

Whatcott, LaBarbera arrested on U of R campus [Leader-Post]