LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about HIV

February 18, 2015

HIV strain CRF19 can progress to AIDS in less than 3 years, meaning anti-retroviral drugs may come too late to control it, but Cuban and Belgian scientists are working together to study the virus

Scientists in Cuba are dealing with an aggressive new strain of HIV that progresses so fast to AIDS that many patients do not even realize they are infected before their immune system is seriously compromised.

The strain has been named CRF19 and is a combination of HIV sub-types A, D and G.

CRF19 has been observed before in Africa but only in isolated cases and it is unknown why or how the strain is now appearing in Cuba.

February 18, 2015

New trials proclaimed a huge success in monkeys, but HIV charities urge caution

An HIV trial in monkeys is being pronounced a huge success, after it inactivated all strains of the virus and also prevented infection.

Researchers developed a protein-based treatment, when given to monkeys, worked as a 'vaccine' for the simian version of HIV - SHIV.

It found the protein, known as eCD4-Ig, when it enters the body, HIV cannot enter the immune cells and actually becomes inert.

In a paper published in the journal Nature, the team of researchers the technique can 'function like an effective HIV-1 vaccine'.

February 12, 2015

Officials are concerned about the high HIV rate among gay men

Bangkok officials have urged youths to forgo sex on Valentine's Day and burn incense at a temple instead.

The appeal was made out of concern for the high HIV rate among gay men and the country's teenage pregnancy rate, which is the highest in southeast Asia.

In the capital, HIV prevalence in men who have sex with men stood at 30% in 2013, which is comparable to AIDS hotspots in Africa.

February 7, 2015

  Health officials are calling on Washington single gay men to get checked as soon as possible  

Two gay men in King County, Washington have been left permanently blind after contracting a rare strain of syphilis.

Six cases of ocular syphilis have been reported in the state since mid-December, three gay men, with three being HIV positive.

All of the patients reported they were suffering from a loss of vision, blurring, having a blue tinge to their vision and seeing 'floaters' and flashing lights.

Three of the patients were hospitalized to receive intravenous penicillin treatment; one patient refused care.

February 5, 2015

The Supreme Court of Florida is hearing a case where it must decide whether sex between men meets the legal definition of intercourse in the state’s law criminalizing people who lie about having HIV to their partners

Florida’s state Supreme Court will have to decide whether sex between people of the same-sex constitutes intercourse after a defense lawyer successfully argued that his client had not violated the state’s law criminalizing people who lie about their HIV status because the sex was gay.

The case came about after a Key West man named Gary Debaun was accused of lying to his partner about whether he had HIV.

According to court records Debaun was asked to take a HIV test by his partner.

February 5, 2015

The Supreme Court of Florida is hearing a case where it must decide whether sex between men meets the legal definition of intercourse in the state’s law criminalizing people who lie about having HIV to their partners

Florida’s state Supreme Court will have to decide whether sex between people of the same-sex constitutes intercourse after a defense lawyer successfully argued that his client had not violated the state’s law criminalizing people who lie about their HIV status because the sex was gay.

The case came about after a Key West man named Gary Debaun was accused of lying to his partner about whether he had HIV.

According to court records Debaun was asked to take a HIV test by his partner.

January 29, 2015

Ethan Regal, a gay man living in Nigeria, writes about his experiences growing up and living in one of the worst places in the world to be gay

When I was a young boy in Lagos, Nigeria, I had a mysterious, unexplainable tingling sensation whenever I saw an attractive guy. The stories I heard regarding romance involved a boy and girl. So I thought to myself: maybe I’m a girl deep down. That seemed like the only explanation for my attraction.

I kept thinking that perhaps God made a mistake. Perhaps I was meant to be a girl. I never had issues with my body. I wasn’t interested in getting rid of my penis or growing breasts. I just thought that in order to be with a boy I have to be a girl.

January 19, 2015

New South Wales politician loses battle with cancer

Paul O'Grady, Australia's first openly gay state MP, died yesterday (18 January) in Sydney after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 57 years old.

The Labor politician was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1988 to 1996. He became the first parliamentarian in the state to publicly come out in 1990.

O'Grady went on to champion LGBTI issues in parliament and invited all MPs to march with him at Sydney Mardi Gras in 1992.

January 19, 2015

New South Wales politician loses battle with cancer

Paul O'Grady, Australia's first openly gay state MP, died yesterday (18 January) in Sydney after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 57 years old.

The Labor politician was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1988 to 1996. He became the first parliamentarian in the state to publicly come out in 1990.

O'Grady went on to champion LGBTI issues in parliament and invited all MPs to march with him at Sydney Mardi Gras in 1992.

January 19, 2015

Report finds the women face 'amplified stigma' due to their gender and job

Transgender female sex workers are among the most marginalized and discriminated populations in China, according to a new report.

Based on 10 months of research by Asia Catalyst and two Chinese community-based organizations, Beijing Zuoyou Center and Shanghai CSW (commercial sex worker) and MSM (men who have sex with men) Center, the report found transgender sex workers experience 'amplified stigma' due to both their gender identity and their profession.

January 12, 2015

'The culture of shaming and silence has harmed us as people, especially in Africa.'

A Nigerian author and brand expert has taken to Facebook to publicly come out as gay.

Kenny Brandmuse, who was married for six years, had also recently disclosed that he is HIV positive.

In two separate posts, Brandmuse addressed both his sexuality and his HIV status saying he would continue to write for those who are misunderstood and discriminated against.

‘One day, very soon, it will no longer be news that some of us are gay because the next generation will regard all mankind with dignity, irrespective of sexuality,' he said.

January 9, 2015

Gay rights activists have applauded the decision

A health minister in Zimbabwe has said men who have sex with men in prison should be protected from HIV and AIDS.

Dr Owen Mugurungi, the HIV and TB Director in the Ministry of Health, said it would be ‘disastrous’ to ignore homosexuality was ‘rife in prisons’.

He said:  'We might want to deny that men have sex with men but we know that in prison that this thing does happen.’

This has been received well by the LGBTI community in the country who have applauded the minister.

January 1, 2015

Newly released documents from the government of Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke reveal that it considered forcing gay men to be tested for HIV as it was feared the virus could have been running rampant in the community without anyone’s knowledge

Newly released cabinet papers for the years 1988 and 1989 have revealed the fears of the government of Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke during the earliest years of the AIDS epidemic.

At that time over a thousand cases of HIV had been diagnosed since 1983, with around half of those people having died by 1988.

However as it was known by that time that a person could have the virus for many years without showing signs of being sick the Australian Government feared as many as 25,000 Australians could have already have been infected by 1988.

January 1, 2015

Newly released documents from the government of Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke reveal that it considered forcing gay men to be tested for HIV as it was feared the virus could have been running rampant in the community without anyone’s knowledge

Newly released cabinet papers for the years 1988 and 1989 have revealed the fears of the government of Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke during the earliest years of the AIDS epidemic.

At that time over a thousand cases of HIV had been diagnosed since 1983, with around half of those people having died by 1988.

However as it was known by that time that a person could have the virus for many years without showing signs of being sick the Australian Government feared as many as 25,000 Australians could have already have been infected by 1988.

December 31, 2014

California health authorities have warned that an unnamed gay adult film performer recently became infected with HIV after having sex with another male performer who thought he didn’t have the virus but later tested positive for it

The California Department of Public Health issued a public bulletin warning of the health risks of not using condoms in the adult film industry after an unnamed adult performer was recently infected during a condomless gay porn shoot.

According to the bulletin, ‘A male adult entertainment actor obtained a test for HIV that was negative. Over the following two-week period, the actor had unprotected sex with several other male actors during two separate film shoots.’

December 31, 2014

California health authorities have warned that an unnamed gay adult film performer recently became infected with HIV after having sex with another male performer who thought he didn’t have the virus but later tested positive for it

The California Department of Public Health issued a public bulletin warning of the health risks of not using condoms in the adult film industry after an unnamed adult performer was recently infected during a condomless gay porn shoot.

According to the bulletin, ‘A male adult entertainment actor obtained a test for HIV that was negative. Over the following two-week period, the actor had unprotected sex with several other male actors during two separate film shoots.’

December 23, 2014

Change would require they abstain from having sex with other men for a year prior

The US Food and Drug Administration has proposed lifting its 31 year ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

But the FDA wants to replace the policy - enacted during the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the US - with a one-year deferral that would only permit gay and bisexual men to donate blood if they have not had sex with another man in the past year.

December 19, 2014

In the most tumultuous two months of his life, Greg Guelda split from his partner, adopted his daughter, and then found out he’d become HIV positive

In early 2007, Greg Guelda thought that he had everything; relative financial security, health, a loving partner and a child on the way.

A successful entrepreneur, Guelda, now aged 46, had long dreamed of being a father and had began the process of adopting a baby from Guatemala. He’d been with his same-sex partner for two and a half years.

December 12, 2014

Recriminalization of homosexuality leads to an increase in anti-gay violence

More than 500 LGBTI activists yesterday attended a hearing in New Delhi on the consequences of India's recriminalization of gay sex.

The Supreme Court reinstated Section 377 of the penal code on 11 December 2013, which organizers India HIV/AIDS Alliance (Alliance India) said has led to an increase in anti-gay violence, stigma and discrimination and adversely affected the uptake of HIV services.

December 3, 2014

'NGOs and whites come deceiving you that circumcision and condom use are the best ways to protect yourself'

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has said people living with HIV 'have betrayed their families' and advised youths to completely abstain from pre-marital sex as the way to prevent infection.

The notoriously anti-gay leader made the comments on Monday (1 December) to a group of youths at a World Aids Day event in Kabarole District, the Daily Monitor reported.

December 2, 2014

'In the future, people could have no symptoms for decades'

HIV is evolving into a milder form, a major study has claimed.

Researchers at the University of Oxford says the virus is becoming 'watered down' as it adapts to our immune systems.

This means it is becoming less infectious and less deadly.

With changes in the virus, it is taking a longer time for HIV infection to cause AIDS and could eventually even become 'almost harmless', according to some virologists.

December 2, 2014

'In the future, people could have no symptoms for decades'

HIV is evolving into a milder form, a major study has claimed.

Researchers at the University of Oxford says the virus is becoming 'watered down' as it adapts to our immune systems.

This means it is becoming less infectious and less deadly.

With changes in the virus, it is taking a longer time for HIV infection to cause AIDS and could eventually even become 'almost harmless', according to some virologists.

December 1, 2014

Royal revelation motivated by # FeelNoShame campaign

Prince Harry may seem relaxed and in good humor during his many public appearance but on Monday (1 December) he admitted he is often quaking inside.

The prince, currently fourth in line to the British throne, made the revelation in honor of World AIDS Day and the #FeelNoShame campaign which asks people to reveal their own secrets to try and reduce stigma around HIV/AIDS.

'Believe it or not, I get incredibly nervous before public speaking, no matter how big the crowd or the audience,' Harry says in a YouTube video.

December 1, 2014

WHO issues a call to action after new data shows nearly half a million people in the country are living with HIV

The World Health Organization has issued a call to action to China after government figures revealed nearly half a million people were living with HIV and 25% of new cases were among gay men.

A total 497,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in China, with 154,000 deaths, since the country's first case in 1985, according to National Health and Family Planning Commission data released yesterday (30 November).

There were 87,000 new diagnoses on the mainland in the first 10 months of this year, more than 90% of which were sexually transmitted.