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Topic: HIV & AIDS

The new items published under this topic are as follows.
Feb 05, 2008# Quickie Link: HIV-Motivated Arrests and Convictions Threaten Justice and Public Health
HIV & AIDS (Egypt) - A series of arrests in Cairo, sparked by one man’s admission to police that he was HIV-positive, endangers public health as well as human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on Egyptian authorities to overturn the convictions of four men for the “habitual practice of debauchery,” and to free four others who are held pending trial. The government should end arbitrary arrests based on HIV status and take steps to end prejudice and misinformation about HIV/AIDS. “These shocking arrests and trials embody both ignorance and injustice,” said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch.
# Note: Read more on UK Gay News

Jan 26, 2008# Quickie Link: The Story of an HIV Convict
HIV & AIDS (Canada) - In February 2004, HIV-positive Ryan Handy met a man online. The two had unprotected sex. Handy says his mental illness had left him delusional and psychotic, that he believed he was a messiah, that he could cure HIV and that he had healed himself. Soon Handy realized he'd made a mistake. After he told the man he was HIV-positive, the man called police. Handy immediately confessed and was charged with aggravated sexual assault. He was convicted in November, faces up to 25 years in prison and is due to be sentenced on Jan 31. Handy, and other Gay men facing similar charges, are branded as sex criminals and pilloried in the mainstream press.
# Note: Read more on Xtra.com

Jan 15, 2008# Quickie Link: S.F. Gay Community Hit by a Virulent Staphilococcus Strain
HIV & AIDS (USA) - A new variety of staphilococcus bacteria, highly resistant to antibiotics and possibly transmitted by sexual contact, is spreading among Gay men in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Los Angeles. The study released online by the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found the highest concentrations of infection by the drug-resistant bug in and around San Francisco's Castro district and among patients who visit health clinics that treat HIV infections in Gay men in San Francisco and Boston. The culprit is a form of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bug that was once confined to hospitalized patients but, since the late 1990s, has been circulating outside medical settings, afflicting anyone from injection-drug users to elementary school students. The study estimated that 1 in 588 residents living within the Castro neighborhood 94114 ZIP code area is infected with that variant.
# Note: Read more on SF Gate

Jan 09, 2008# News: HIV Funding for Gay Men Still in Doubt
HIV & AIDS (UK) - “The 36% cut in NHS funding for HIV prevention work among Gay men in London has not been reversed,” said Gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage! “None of the local NHS trusts have said they will reinstate the cuts. “There have been some private assurances that funding will be restored but no official or public announcement. Moreover, these assurances are based solely on a recommendation that local NHS trusts reverse the reduction in funding. But the local trusts are semi-autonomous and under no obligation to implement the recommendations.
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Jan 07, 2008# Quickie Link: India's AIDS Workers Reluctant to Serve Gays
HIV & AIDS (India) - India's National AIDS Control Programme, initiated by the National AIDS Control Organisation, shifts from phase-II to phase-III. In phase-III the core group includes 'men having sex with men' (MSM), sex workers and injecting drug users (IDU). Some of the NGOs have actually given up their projects simply because it goes against their ideology. "There are some organisations which admitted that they would prefer to back out from such projects. Their argument is that they would not like to directly interact with sex workers or Gays instead of target groups including youths."
# Note: Read more on Times of India

Dec 11, 2007# Quickie Link: USA Entry Policy "Humiliating, Hypocritical"
HIV & AIDS (New Zealand) - A decision by the USA to continue invasive and repressive immigration restrictions on traveling HIV positive New Zealanders is being labeled hypocritical, humiliating and "a broken Presidential promise" by this country’s largest HIV organisations. Body Positive Auckland spokesperson Bruce Kilmister says he has seen HIV positive people merely transiting through the USA publicly humiliated by being placed under armed guard with their travel documents seized at the entry airport. They have later been marched onto a return flight home. The United States is one of only thirteen countries that bar HIV positive people from entering its borders, putting it alongside the likes of Iraq, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
# Note: Read more on GayNZ

Nov 27, 2007# Quickie Link: World AIDS Day to Urge Awareness
HIV & AIDS HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, is the cause of AIDS. The number of people infected with HIV is staggering -- more than 33 million worldwide have the disease, according to the latest estimates from the United Nations. And "more than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981," said David Bryden, spokesman for the Global AIDS Alliance Fund, an organization based in Washington, D.C. Established by the World Health Organization in 1988, World AIDS Day serves to focus global attention on the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The day provides an opportunity for governments, national AIDS programs, faith organizations, community organizations and individuals to demonstrate the importance of the fight against HIV/AIDS.
# Note: Read more on Herald Tribune

Nov 21, 2007# Quickie Link: A Bush Double-Cross on HIV Travel Ban -- By Doug Ireland
HIV & AIDS (USA) - The Bush administration is trying to pull a fast one - rushing through draconian proposed new regulations that will restrict even further the entry of HIV-positive people into to the US, just one year after having promised to ease them. On November 6, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued stringent proposed new regulations for HIV-positive travelers coming here which are "pretty regressive" and "extremely troubling," according to Nancy Oldover, assistant director for federal affairs and research at the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC). But the 30-day deadline for public comment imposed by DHS means a cut-off date of December 6 for reactions to the new regs, leaving little time for the AIDS advocacy community to mobilize.
# Note: Read more on Gay City News

Nov 13, 2007# Quickie Link: ’HIV-Negative Only Party’ Stirs Controversy Over Serosortin
HIV & AIDS (USA) - An HIV activist has gone off on a limb that has alienated him from AIDS researchers, activists and organizations by advocating "self-serosorting" by HIV-positive and--and this is the controversial part--HIV-negative Gay men. Even if his methods are unconventional and his rhetoric off-putting to many, he’s raising points that have been discussed for years. Just not in the open -- until now. Some 25 years into the AIDS epidemic, Gay men are debating serosorting more than ever before. Part of that is due to an "unstoppable protagonist" as he has been called, Robert Brandon Sandor. Bolstered by reports that suggest serosorting brings either psychological relief or danger to Gay men, Sandor has embarked on a crusade to keep "pozzies" and "neggies" out of each other’s bedrooms.
# Note: Read more on Edge Boston

Nov 04, 2007# Quickie Link: Helping Berlin's Male Prostitutes One Night at a Time
HIV & AIDS (Germany) - In Berlin, as in most major cities, boys and young men from as young as 14-years old work the curbs, sex cinemas and gay bars of the German capital. The fact that the rent boys of Berlin barely register on most people's radars led to the creation of an association in 1992 to help those in prostitution. The employees of "Sub/Way" visit the districts of Berlin where the boys work and supply them with condoms and advice on how to be safe on the streets. Once a week, the Sub/Way team loads their van up with condoms, lubricants, sexual health pamphlets, instant soups and hot chocolate before entering the dark underbelly of the German capital. Sub/Way doesn't only work with the boys on the streets. Its drop-in center in Berlin offers the boys washing, sleeping and eating facilities as well as advice and medical help. The workers there also help to put the boys into contact with each other, to share stories and find companions.
# Note: Read more on Deutsche Welle

Nov 02, 2007# Quickie Link: Sex Workers Play Russian Roulette With HIV
HIV & AIDS (Pakistan) - Shujaat plies his trade well. As dusk falls on the Pir Wadhai bus station in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, the slender 19-year-old gauges disembarking passengers for that ‘look’ – a responsive glance or wink suggesting a desire for more than just a quick bus ride home. “Here you can find all sorts; mostly truckers, soldiers, day labourers, and of course married men,” he said, leaning against the wall. “I always find someone,” the now veteran male sex worker (MSW) boasted. After three years on the streets, Shujaat’s confidence is dwarfed only by his ambivalence towards contracting HIV – a virus that he and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are increasingly at risk of.
# Note: Read more on UKGayNews

Oct 31, 2007# Quickie Link: NZ AIDS Foundation Struggles With Problems
HIV & AIDS (New Zealand) - Hoani Jeremy Lambert certainly didn't see eye to eye with Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia last week when she fired off a much-reported press release criticising the NZAF for neglecting Maori amidst what she believed was a massive surge in HIV infections amidst her constituency. Not for the first time, it was Lambert, not the NZAF's Executive Director, who fronted up to the indignant politician. The criticisms were "pretty easy to deal with," he says, "mainly because they are so unenlightened and I don't see those recent attacks as being all that serious because they are quite easy to fend off... they are basically just demonstrations of poor understandings of our work and also what I call identity politics gone mad."
# Note: Read more on GayNZ

Oct 28, 2007# Quickie Link: HIV Deaths Blamed on Late Diagnosis
HIV & AIDS (UK) - Scotland's top doctor has issued a plea to health staff to offer more patients HIV tests amid concerns that many are still dying from the disease because they were diagnosed too late. While there have been great advances in the treatment of the condition, a recent audit has revealed that late diagnoses account for at least 35% of HIV-related deaths among adults in the UK. The survey, carried out by the British HIV Association, also found that in around a quarter of cases, diagnosis came too late for effective treatment. The findings have prompted chief medical officer Dr Harry Burns to write last week to all doctors and nurses asking for a "special effort" to help combat the condition by offering a test when appropriate.
# Note: Read more on Sunday Herald

Oct 26, 2007# Quickie Link: Many Young Gay Men Too Careless About HIV
HIV & AIDS (USA) - The condom-friendly sex education of the ’90s has been replaced wholesale by the Bush administration’s devotion to abstinence-until-marriage, while, simultaneously, marriage has become a legal impossibility for most US Gay and Lesbians. And as Gay people fight for rights and acceptance from society at-large, many continue to struggle with self acceptance, tensions with their families and creating healthy intimate relationships. “If you have this feeling of yourself as not being worthy, perhaps you don’t really care about yourself, you don’t care about your health, and so you might not use a condom,” said Celia Lescano, a researcher at Brown University who studies condom use among young people.
# Note: Read more on Southern Voice

Oct 01, 2007# Quickie Link: Diseased Theories
HIV & AIDS (South Africa) - Francisco Chimoio, head of the Catholic church in Mozambique, made headlines last week with his claim that European-made condoms are deliberately laced with the HIV virus. This sabotage, he says, was intended to wipe out "the African people". But these aren't just whacky comments that can be filed under "strange things that religious extremists say". Worryingly, some HIV conspiracy theorists are key political figures. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, South Africa's health minister, earned herself the moniker "Dr Beetroot" because of her promotion of garlic and beetroot as Aids remedies - she believes that anti-HIV drugs are toxic. Clearly she is following the party line, because President Thabo Mbeki has famously denied that the HIV virus is the sole cause of Aids.
# Note: Read more on Guardian

Sep 28, 2007# Quickie Link: Catholic Archbishop Claims Condoms Infected With Aids
HIV & AIDS (Mozambique) - The head of the Catholic Church in Mozambique has told the BBC he believes some European-made condoms are infected with HIV deliberately. Maputo Archbishop Francisco Chimoio claimed some anti-retroviral drugs were also infected "in order to finish quickly the African people". The Catholic Church formally opposes any use of condoms, advising fidelity within marriage or sexual abstinence.
# Note: Read more on BBC

Sep 22, 2007# Quickie Link: Elton John in Aids Fund Fight Plea to British Prime Minister
HIV & AIDS (UK) - Sir Elton John urged Gordon Brown to take the lead in ensuring developing nations honoured their pledges to triple funding for the battle against Aids. In a statement through the Elton John Aids Foundation, the star said the Prime Minister's "leadership and vision" was "urgently needed, right now". He talked of the lives saved in Africa thanks to his foundation, set up 14 years ago, and the thousands who died for lack of access to what are affordable antiretroviral drugs. In June the G8 countries promised to make access to HIV/Aids treatment universal by 2010, through tripling the size of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, tuberculosis and Malaria to 6-8 billion dollars (£3-4bn). But Sir Elton claimed that at the present rate the world was barely on track to meet half that target.

Sep 20, 2007# Quickie Link: Criminal Persecution of Gay People in Uganda Promotes AIDS
HIV & AIDS (Uganda) - Ugandan moralist and pastor, Martin Ssempa, argued while being hosted on KFM’s Hard Talk that it is untrue that Gays and Lesbians face discrimination when seeking HIV/Aids treatment, care and counselling at public and private health clinics. The vulnerability of Gay women and men is not due to any biological predisposition, but is the result of an interlocking set of human rights violations and social inequalities that heighten HIV risk. When HIV positive Gay people go to HIV health care units they are given counselling on the basis that their partners are of the opposite sex. Even when they disclose their sexual orientation, very few doctors either understand Gay or Lesbian sex or are interested in handling patients who practise ‘illegal sex’.
# Note: Read more on Monitor

Sep 20, 2007# Quickie Link: Voluntary HIV Testing for Gay Students in Beijing
HIV & AIDS (China) - Gay college students in Beijing are being offered 50 yuan ($6.50) cash bonuses and free medical treatments in exchange for undergoing voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for HIV. So far, more than 100 homosexual university students have registered for the VCT. The students are enrolled at several Beijing universities, including Peking University, Tsinghua University and Renmin University of China, project coordinator Xiao Dong told China Daily. The project was officially launched on Tuesday at a private hospital specialized in treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The goal is to raise awareness of such diseases among homosexual students and to obtain more firsthand information about on-campus gay culture.
# Note: Read more on China Daily

Sep 19, 2007# News: Yet Another Proposal to Cut Down HIV Infections
HIV & AIDS (USA) - Researchers on the University of Pittsburgh have suggested giving antiretroviral drug tenofovir to uninfected individuals in order to protect them from HIV infection. The medicine has been tested on monkeys and proved to be very effective against a version of the HI virus. Tenofovir is a drug which is already used in AIDS treatment, and now it is reportedly being tested in humans for the specific purpose of preventive tratment. The US researchers claimed the suggested strategy of prescribing HIV medicine to healthy people could significantly inhibit the spread of HIV in Africa.
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Sep 12, 2007# News: HIV Infections Among Youngsters Raising in New York
HIV & AIDS (USA) - HIV infection is on the rise among young Gay and Bisexual men in New York City, according to preliminary research data from the US Health Department. New HIV diagnoses among Gay and Bisexual men under age 30 have grown by 33% in the past six years from 374 in 2001 to almost 500 in 2006. New diagnoses have doubled for the youngsters aged 13 to 19, while declining by 22% among older men. The under-30 group now accounts for 44% of all new diagnoses among Gay and Bisexual men in New York City, up from 31% in 2001.
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Aug 27, 2007# News: AIDS Victims Buried Alive in Papua New Guinea
HIV & AIDS (Papua New Guinea) - Reports from Papua New Guinea indicate evidence that AIDS victims were being buried alive by relatives who feared the infection passing to them. A health worker identified as Margaret Marabe, reportedly said she had seen five people buried alive. One was calling out "Mama, Mama'' as the soil was shovelled over his head, said Ms Marabe, employed with a volunteer organisation “Igat Hope.” Villagers explained to her that burying people with AIDS were a common practice. Ms Marabe urged the Government and aid organizations to ensure the HIV/AIDS awareness program in cities and towns was extended to the countryside, where many people are ignorant about the disease.
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Aug 27, 2007# Quickie Link: "Remove the criminality, erase the stigma"
HIV & AIDS (Sri Lanka) - "I am an un-arrested criminal in Colombo," says Justice Edwin Cameron from South Africa, expressing regret over Section 365 of Sri Lanka’s Criminal Procedure Code, which criminalizes homosexuality. Justice Cameron who sits in the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa and openly calls himself gay and HIV Positive stresses that the law must play a proper role in the HIV epidemic. "But this law (Section 365) is still an instrument of irrationality and prejudice." “It is irrational and odious for the law to be taken into the bedroom of consenting adults,” says Justice Cameron who was diagnosed with HIV in 1986 and disclosed his status in 1999, making an impassioned plea to Sri Lanka’s law makers to change it. Laws which also make commercial sex work illegal, not only in Sri Lanka but also in South Africa, make it more difficult to deal with HIV prevention, he explains.
# Note: Read full article on Sunday Times

Aug 22, 2007# Quickie Link: Other NZAF funds not being raided for ads
HIV & AIDS (New Zealand) - Concerns that the NZ AIDS Foundation is raiding budgets for other vital work, or even community donations, to fund the high cost of advertising safe sex on the NZ Dating website have been scotched by the Foundation. Replying to community concerns that the high cost of advertising its safe sex messages on NZ Dating is disadvantaging the Foundation's other work, which includes support for people with HIV, testing and counseling services, research and community outreaches, a spokesperson says any such concerns are unfounded.
# Note: Read full article on GayNZ

Aug 16, 2007# Quickie Link: Samoa to promote 'Safe Games'
HIV & AIDS (Samoa) - Samoa Aids Foundation president Ken Moala says HIV positive athletes can receive on-going treatment in Apia during the South Pacific Games. Samoa's Aids Foundation launched it's 'Safe Games' campaign with the theme, 'In Samoa, Be Safe, Be a Winner'. Youth will be at the airport, venues and athletes village with kits containing condoms. Meanwhile, SPG officials have overruled a ban on the country's Gay competitors at the event having sex. Team Samoa management issued a memo in June to its athletes and officials banning them from engaging in same-sex relationships at the games, which start in Apia on August 25. Homosexuality is illegal in Samoa, with a penalty for indecency between males of up to five years' jail. Five thousand people are expected in Samoa's capital Apia to attend the games.
# Note: Read full article on Fiji Times

Aug 09, 2007# Quickie Link: Canada OKs Generic AIDS Drug For Export
HIV & AIDS (Toronto, Ontario) - A generic pharmaceutical company has permission to produce the first HIV-AIDS drugs under Canada's three-year-old Access to Medicines Regime. GlaxoSmithKline has given consent for Apotex to make an antiretroviral medication for the treatment of HIV-AIDS patients in Rwanda. Consent was needed because GSK has patent rights for two molecules contained in the medication. The 2004 Access to Medicines program enables the federal government to authorize production of certain patented medicines for export to countries desperate for drugs to help control the pandemic. But the program has been criticized by AIDS activists because not one pill has been exported since its inception.
# Note: Read story at 365gay.com

Aug 03, 2007# News: Early Treatment for HIV Act Reintroduced in U.S. House
HIV & AIDS (USA) - US Representative Eliot Engel, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen reintroduced the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA), a bipartisan bill that will save lives by allowing states to provide Medicaid coverage to low-income, HIV-positive US citizens. The bill was introduced with 54 original sponsors evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. This bill addresses a cruel irony in healthcare coverage for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. Despite the fact that Medicaid is the largest single provider of HIV/AIDS care in the U.S., currently, most adults with HIV are not eligible for Medicaid until they have progressed to full blown AIDS.
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Jul 29, 2007# Quickie Link: Hongkong Center for Gay Community Fighting AIDS
HIV & AIDS (China) - Hong Kong's first government-aided community service center for homosexuals has begun operation with the aim of curbing the spread of AIDS among the gay community. "No More Denial! AIDS is our Business" is the motto of the center's founder, Rainbow of Hong Kong - a group advocating equal job opportunities and sex education for the grassroots society. With subsidy from the government's AIDS Trust Fund, the center said the coming year would test its effectiveness in guiding and sheltering homosexuals in the fight against discrimination and AIDS. A survey entitled "The Needs of Hong Kong's Gay Community," conducted by Rainbow of Hong Kong last week showed that although more than 90 percent of the 314 respondents felt they had adequate understanding of AIDS and safe sex, 36 percent were not sure if they had contracted HIV.
# Note: Read full article on www.thestandard.com.hk

Jul 26, 2007# Quickie Link: HIV Rates Skyrocketing Among Gay Men in Developing Countries
HIV & AIDS Discrimination and a lack of access to health services have sparked an alarming rise in the rate of new HIV infections among Gay men in developing countries. Studies have found that infection rates are growing among Gay men in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and less than 5 percent of those men have access to HIV-related health care, according to a statistics released by the American Foundation for AIDS Research, or amfAR. Statistics show the rate of infection with HIV among Gay men growing exponentially in parts of the developing world. In Kenya, around 40 percent are estimated to be HIV positive, compared to a 6 percent prevalence in the overall population, according to amFAR. In Senegal nearly 22 percent are thought to be infected, compared to 0.9 percent of the general population.
# Note: Read full article on International Herald Tribune

Jul 24, 2007# Quickie Link: Papua Considers Microchips for People with HIV/AIDS
HIV & AIDS (Indonesia) - The Legislative Council of Indonesia’s Papua province is deliberating a regulation that would see microchips implanted in people living with HIV/AIDS so authorities could monitor their actions. The Jakarta Post reports that according to Article 35 of the regulation on healthcare in the province, to supervise and control people with HIV/AIDS a detection device is needed to monitor the movements and sexual activities of people with HIV/AIDS. Dr John Manansang, a member of the working group deliberating the regulation, told reporters in Jayapura that if the regulation was approved by the council in its present form, the article on microchips would be implemented. Dr Manansang said the microchips would be imposed on people with HIV/AIDS "who practice high-risk behaviors."
# Note: Read full article on Radio NZ

Jul 04, 2007# Quickie Link: Survey Finds Shocking Ignorance of HIV in UK
HIV & AIDS (London, UK) - People are still alarmingly ignorant about HIV, finds a survey published today by Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) to mark the 25th anniversary of Terry Higgins’ death with what was then Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (now Aids) in St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, in 1982. Knowledge about HIV is not only poor among young people. Across all age groups 28% of people either thought that condoms had holes in which let HIV through or said they didn’t know, 12% thought that sharing cutlery carried a risk of HIV transmission and 10% thought you can be infected through sweat.
# Note: Read full article on UK Gay News

Jun 13, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay Bars Bring HIV Awareness Out Of Closet
HIV & AIDS (China) - Nineteen gay venues in Beijing have launched a joint education campaign to help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS among their clients. The venues, mostly bars, will distribute free condoms, display AIDS awareness posters and even promote the safe sex message in dance performances. Chaoyang Chinese Aids Volunteer Group has been leading a long campaign to promote safe sex among gay men, with mixed results. "When our volunteers promoted the concept of safe sex in entertainment places, people always showed antipathy to us," Xiao Dong, chief executive of Chaoyang Chinese Aids Volunteer Group, said. "The managers disliked us because it affected business. But now we have persuaded the owners to join in this campaign and make a united front."
# Note: Read full article on people.com.cn

Jun 10, 2007# Quickie Link: Ride Raises $11 Million For Calif. AIDS Services
HIV & AIDS (Los Angeles, California) This year's AIDS/LifeCycle has raised more than $11 million for HIV services on its annual 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles - a record amount organizers said. The money will support HIV/AIDS-related services at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. More than 2,300 riders rolled into West Los Angeles Saturday, ending the weeklong ride. The cyclists rode through eight counties, talking with local residents and media along the way to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and promote HIV prevention. This year saw participants from 10 countries and 43 states - including a contingent of people living with HIV known as the Positive Pedalers.
# Note: Read full article on 365gay.com

Jun 08, 2007# Quickie Link: Why Are So Many Mid-Life Gay Men Getting HIV?
HIV & AIDS (New York, USA) - New data released by the city's department of health show that the highest rates of new HIV infections are among gay men 35 to 49 years old. These findings are alarming and, to some, perplexing. Mid-life gay men have lived most of their adult lives during the worst of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, experiencing the loss of partners, friends, and people in their community. As witnesses to so much illness, death, and loss, their voices have seldom been heard and their needs largely overlooked. Having once been the activists, caregivers, and volunteers for our community, many mid-life gay men now feel invisible and isolated. Not only lives were lost, during this period, but entire social networks and ways of living disappeared too.
# Note: Read full article on Gay City News

May 30, 2007# Quickie Link: Surge in HIV cases in Hong Kong
HIV & AIDS (Hong Kong) - Efforts by health authorities to contain one cluster of HIV infections have failed, with genetic sequencing results showing that the cluster had grown to 53 infections from 34 in six months. According to reports, more gays had engaged in unsafe sex with people whom they made contact with through the Internet. Gay rights activists Joseph Cho Man-kit, vice president of the Hong Kong Ten Per Cent Club, said the government should adopt more qualitative research such as in-depth interviews with the homosexual community to understand their interpretations on risks.
# Note: Read full article on The Standard

May 11, 2007# Quickie Link: Plan to Track HIV Positive Visitors
HIV & AIDS (Australia) - HIV positive visitors to Australia could have their movements monitored or be prevented from coming altogether, under policy options being considered by the Government. Prime Minister John Howard has written to his immigration and health ministers asking them for advice on whether HIV/AIDS poses a public health risk and on the public health implications of letting HIV positive people into the country.
# Note: Read full article on www.gaynz.com

May 01, 2007# Quickie Link: Kenya: Legalise Gay Unions, Says Aids Researcher
HIV & AIDS (Nairobi, Kenya) - Chief Executive Officer of the South African based Human Sciences Research Council, Prof Olive Shisana, told an international conference on HIV/Aids that failure by Governments in Africa to legalise the relationships has adversely contributed to the spread of the disease. Shisana pointed out that African governments needed to accept that gay relationships existed and could not be stopped. "Why do Africans deny this gay relationships are a reality and they should be allowed," she added. The conference, held in the Lakeside town for the first time, has brought together more than 5,000 participants drawn from all over the world.
# Note: Read full article on allafrica.com

Apr 20, 2007# Quickie Link: New York's Circumcision Plan Derided as ‘Insane’
HIV & AIDS (New York, USA) - Gay health organizations and others are condemning a New York strategy that encourages circumcision for men who are at high risk of contracting HIV. Ryan McAllister, 30, a biophysics research fellow said findings from the three studies are inapplicable to gay men. “As far as I can tell, it’s pretty bad science,” said McAllister, who is gay. McAllister said researchers in Africa started tracking infections for both groups immediately after circumcision, even though most men cannot resume sexual activity for about six months following the operation. He also said circumcised men were advised to use condoms while uncircumcised men were not, and men in neither group were asked whether they had engaged in anal intercourse. “These studies are bogus and I am still against circumcision,” said John-Paul Morrison.
# Note: Read full article on Washington Blade

Apr 18, 2007# Quickie Link: HIV/AIDS Prevention Tough in a Secret Gay City
HIV & AIDS (Jakarta, Indonesia) - In Indonesia, to be out and gay remains a taboo. Gay community members are straightforward about their sexual orientation among themselves. Yakub, who is conducting self-funded research on gay awareness of HIV/AIDS, said few of the people he'd spoken to have a good knowledge of the disease, despite most having obtained higher education. Yakub said that the fear of stigmatization has hampered HIV/AIDS prevention in the gay community. "They refuse to get themselves tested because they fear society's judgment."
# Note: Read full article on The Jakarta Post

Apr 18, 2007# Quickie Link: Howard’s HIV Migrant Ban Plan Abandoned
HIV & AIDS (Australia) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard has been forced to abandon plans to refuse entry to HIV positive migrants and refugees. A government spokesman has said that the commitment made by Howard will be "quietly dishonoured," after he came under fire from HIV/AIDS groups. The Prime Minister was also slammed by state AIDS bodies and HIV medical specialists.
# Note: Read full article on www.gaynz.com

Apr 14, 2007# Quickie Link: HIV-positive Immigrants Should Not Be Allowed, Says Howard
HIV & AIDS (Australia) - Australia's leader said yesterday that he opposed HIV-positive people being allowed to migrate to his country, triggering anger among health care workers who said he was demonizing foreigners and blaming patients for getting sick. Other specialists puzzled why Prime Minister John Howard said he would consider tightening laws - already stricter than those in many countries - that already rejected the vast majority of prospective migrants and refugees who have AIDS. Howard was asked in a radio interview in Melbourne if he thought people with HIV should be allowed into Australia as migrants or refugees. Howard replied that he wanted more advice on the issue, but that "my initial reaction is, no."
# Note: Read full article on independent.co.uk

Mar 30, 2007# Quickie Link: Nevermind the Body Bags, ACT UP Lives
HIV & AIDS (New York City) - ACT UP is still alive. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the activist group this week, protesters thronged Wall Street and laid out symbolic corpses representing the 50 people who die of AIDS everyday. The action was a re-enactment of the group's first protest, complete with arrests. Yesterday's rally was also meant to be a call for a single-payer health care system in the US.
# Note: More info is in the Advocate
See also: Activist Larry Kramer Calls for New "Gay Army"

Mar 28, 2007# News: Circumcision Is No Anti-AIDS Strategy For Gay Men
HIV & AIDS (Geneva) - After meeting this month, AIDS experts say new info shows that circumcision is a way to decrease the average rate of HIV infection-- but only among str8 men. 'More study' is needed to see whether circumcision reduces gay HIV transmission. However, so far, the data seem to indicate that it might.
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Mar 25, 2007# Quickie Link: AIDS Groups Condemn "Miracle Cure"
HIV & AIDS African campaign groups on Friday condemned Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's "miracle" treatment for HIV/AIDS, saying it had no scientific basis and that giving it to patients violated their rights. Members of the African Community Platform on HIV/AIDS said they were "greatly concerned" by the remedy, which is based on medicinal plants and a Koranic verse, and according to Jammeh can cure the disease within days.
# Note: Read more at Breibart.com

Mar 22, 2007# Quickie Link: Living With AIDS in Apache Culture
HIV & AIDS Today is the first National Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and Isadore Boni, a San Carlos Apache, knows firsthand about the stigma and rejection experienced by a homosexual afflicted with AIDS — especially in American Indian communities. “I have been shunned by the tribe, but I also have forgiven those who have hurt me,” Boni said. “I’m not ashamed of being gay; I’m not ashamed of having AIDS.”
# Note: Read the rest in the Eastern Arizona Courier

Mar 18, 2007# Quickie Link: Why Are So Many Mid-Life Gay Men Getting HIV?
HIV & AIDS New data released by the city's department of health show that the highest rates of new HIV infections are among gay men 35 to 49 years old. These findings are alarming and, to some, perplexing. Why are so many mid-life gay men who were able to avoid HIV infection for so long now taking risks that are exposing them to the disease? The traumatic effects of AIDS-related losses were closely studied between 1988 and 1996. By 1988, gay men had already on average lost six lovers, friends, and/or family members. Researchers have shown that people who had more experiences of AIDS-related loss also had higher levels of traumatic stress response symptoms and recreational drug and sedative use.
# Note: Read full article on Gay City News

Mar 06, 2007# Quickie Link: Report Bashes One-Sided Aids Policies on Gays
HIV & AIDS (Johannesburg, South Africa) – People with same-sex preferences are still a largely ignored and underserved community in the design and execution of HIV-prevention programmes throughout much of Africa, gay rights activists charged recently.
# Note: Read full article on UK Gay News

Mar 02, 2007# Quickie Link: Anti-gay discrimination fuels HIV/AIDS in Africa
HIV & AIDS (New York, USA) - African governments are denying access to HIV prevention, counseling, testing and treatment to gay, bisexuals and transgender people, according to a new report. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in a report entitled 'Off the Map' said same-sex practicing couples are being denied basic human rights. Africa is the continent hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. With slightly more than 10 percent of the world's population, it is home to 60 percent, or more than 25 million people, living with HIV/AIDS. "But nearly a quarter of a century into the epidemic, there is a wall of silence that surrounds AIDS and same-sex practices that may prove to be a significant obstacle to conquering the disease," according to the 124-page report by New York based- non-governmental organization.
# Note: Read full article on Reuters

Mar 01, 2007# Quickie Link: Gene Flaw Spur Pfizer Hunt for AIDS Drug
HIV & AIDS In 1996, scientists solved a mystery surrounding certain gay men who were immune to AIDS. This year, Pfizer Inc. will sell the first drug based on that discovery. The U.S. and European researchers, writing in several science journals, said a small group of Caucasian gay men carry a gene mutation that provides natural protection against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This week, culminating an 11-year race among three drugmakers, Pfizer released successful studies of a new pill specifically designed to mimic the gene defect.
# Note: Read full article on www.bloomberg.com

Feb 24, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay STD vaccine use 'a waste of money'
HIV & AIDS (Australia) - Gay men who are demanding access to the Australian-made "sex disease" vaccine Gardasil may be wasting their money, says the drug's designer Ian Frazer. The Scots-born former Australian of the Year said while his vaccine probably protects men from genital warts and genital cancers, they would need to get the jab early in their sexual life to benefit. He said it was true homosexual men were at a much higher risk of anal cancer and genital warts, particularly if they are HIV-positive, because HPV was common and passed around "very enthusiastically". "But chances are they already have the strains," he said.
# Note: Read full article on www.news.com.au

Feb 24, 2007# Quickie Link: New study confirms medical marijuana helps people with AIDS cope with painful sy
HIV & AIDS (USA) - Neurology, confirms the value of medical marijuana for people with HIV/AIDS, proving scientifically what many of us have seen first-hand or through the experiences of friends. This new data should rouse our community and the organizations that represent us to action. This particular study dealt with peripheral neuropathy, a painful condition caused by damage to the nerves of the feet and other extremities caused by HIV or by some of the medications used to treat it.
# Note: Read full article on Washington Blade

Jan 27, 2007# Quickie Link: Irresponsible AIDS "cure" by Gambia's president terrify doctors
HIV & AIDS (Gambia) - Gambia's President Jammeh in recent days succeeded in dominating news headlines. The President says he now have the mandate to cure HIV patients, but would not say who had given him such a mandate. He summoned an emergency cabinet meeting in a bid to inform his colleagues about what he calls his new spiritual gift. The country's vice president was the first to applaud Mr.Jammeh for coming out with such an initiative. The VP believes that Jammeh's aids drugs would bring a sense of relieve for aids sufferers in the country. The Gambian leader said he had in the recent past cured some Gambian HIV patients and vows to treat more in days to come.
# Note: Read full article on freedomnewspaper.com

Jan 26, 2007# Quickie Link: Thailand To Break HIV Drug Patents
HIV & AIDS (Bangkok) Thailand's public health minister next week will announce details of government plans to break the patents on two drugs, reportedly one used to treat HIV/AIDS and another for heart disease, a ministry official said Thursday. The official was responding to reports in the Thai press that Public Health Minister Mongkol Na Songkhla had said that Thailand would declare compulsory licensing for at least two drugs because their high cost constituted a crisis for the health sector.
# Note: Read full article on 365gay.com

Jan 16, 2007# Quickie Link: Gay AIDS Worker Charged With Genocide
HIV & AIDS (Cape Town, South Africa) Zackie Achmat, South Africa's most outspoken AIDS care advocate and the head of the Treatment Action Campaign, has been charged with genocide at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for promoting the use of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV. The charges against Achmat were laid by attorneys for an organization that claims antiretrovirals are more dangerous than HIV itself and that the most effective way of treating the disease is with natural and tribal medicines.
# Note: Read full article on 365gay.com

Dec 18, 2006# Quickie Link: NIH Circumcision Policy Criticized
HIV & AIDS (New York, USA) A coalition of international medical experts and bioethicists who oppose circumcision generally have denounced the National Institutes of Health endorsement of circumcision as a solution to the HIV/AIDS crisis as being irresponsible. George Denniston, MD, President of the international group, Doctors Opposing Circumcision, says "The NIH suggestion is dangerous folly. Worse, the NIH plan will permit circumcised men to claim they are immune to HIV and engage in unsafe sex. In cultures where women are obliged to submit, this is a recipe for a human rights disaster to women on a massive scale. Safe-sex education and widespread availability of condoms are the only answers before a vaccine is developed." Critics of the plan, which include the umbrella group International Coalition for Genital Integrity, note that traditional African cutting and scarring rituals, and even modern medical care, are both proven sources of HIV infection.
# Note: Read full article on 365gay.com

Dec 06, 2006# US eases travel restrictions on HIV+ people
HIV & AIDS The White House used World Aids Day last week to announce a change in the rules relating to people with HIV travelling into the USA. The ban originates from 1987, when fear about the spread of the disease led US officials to require anyone with HIV to declare their status and apply for a special waiver visa. This led to many people not declaring their status upon arrival. It also meant that no international AIDS conferences could be held on US soil.
# Note: Read full article on www.pinknews.co.uk

Dec 04, 2006# NGOs call for change in way sex education is taught to students
HIV & AIDS (SINGAPORE) - Non-government organisations are calling for a change in the way sex education is taught in schools as a way to tackle the AIDS epidemic. They believe schools should move away from just preaching moral values like abstinence, and start teaching about safe sex and protection from the disease. Latest figures show the number of new HIV/AIDS cases in Singapore is bound for a new record high this year.
# Note: Read full article on www.channelnewsasia.com

Dec 01, 2006# The suffering that betrays a world divided
HIV & AIDS Today is World Aids Day. It was first marked in 1991, an attempt by the international community to alert humanity to the terrible scale of the threat posed by the disease. Yet despite advances in medical science and a growing political consensus over the need to act, the epidemic shows no signs of abating. In fact, it is getting worse. According to the United Nations, some 25 million people have already died from Aids. A further 40 million men, women and children are living with HIV. Since the turn of the millennium, 24.2 million people have been infected, 15.6 million have died.
# Note: Read full article on independent.co.uk

Nov 29, 2006# AIDS victim copes by facing the odds
HIV & AIDS (Hong Kong, China) - Living with AIDS is not just about battling a disease, but embracing reality for what it really is, said 31-year-old Don, who did not wish to reveal his full name to avoid discrimination.
# Note: Read full article on www.thestandard.com.hk

Nov 25, 2006# Quickie Link: The deadly degaying of AIDS
HIV & AIDS As World AIDS Day approaches, people around the globe are busily planning how they will commemorate this day. Around the world, communities are preparing to ask governments, institutions, and individuals to reaffirm their commitments to end AIDS and to affirm the lives of so many loved ones lost to this unnatural disaster. Is HIV over for the gay community? Have we become entrenched in a "post-AIDS" mindset of acceptance? Is HIV no longer an issue that we need to collectively own and act on? Or is HIV an issue that affects only some gay men because it infects only some gay men?
# Note: Read full article on www.xtra.ca

Nov 22, 2006# New HIV test - results in 20 minutes
HIV & AIDS (New Zealand) - A new HIV test giving results within 20 minutes is ready for use in New Zealand next week. This test, billed as the FASTEST (Free, Anonymous, Simple Test), simplifies the testing procedure and significantly reduces waiting times. “This new test gives a result within 20 minutes, whereas previously you’d have to wait anywhere up to eight days,” says NZAF Positive Health Manager Eamonn Smythe.
# Note: Read full article on www.gaynz.com