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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.

December 1, 2014

Edwin Sesange, Uganda gay rights activist, reveals how gay people with HIV are treated in Africa

Take a moment to pay respect on World AIDS Day.

Many people all over the world have been affected by this virus in many ways either by losing a relative, friend or family member. There are so many children all over the world who have lost parents and left to face the world on their own.

We have lost many talented straight, bi and gay people to this virus, people who could have shaped and help develop the world in ways we couldn't possibly imagine if their lives hadn't been cut short.

December 1, 2014

Don’t die ignorant

Almost a third (28%) of British people wrongly think you can get HIV from kissing, sharing a glass, spit, a public toilet seat, coughs and sneezes.

It sounds like a myth from the 1980s, but it is actually believed by more people today than in 2010, when the figure was only 18%.

That’s according to new research for National AIDS Trust by Ipsos MORI and published for World AIDS Day today (1 December).

Only 45 really know what can give you HIV.

November 30, 2014

The truth can be even more surprising

The myths about HIV and AIDS grow each year – making the fight against the virus even harder.

So here is the annual GSN myth buster, with help from our friends at National AIDS Trust.

It’s dedicated to breaking down the prejudices and rumors and giving you some surprises, however much you think you know about the virus.

Myth: Lesbians can’t get HIV from each other.

November 30, 2014

'This World AIDS Day, we come together to honor all those who have been touched by HIV/AIDS and celebrate the promising public health and scientific advances that have brought us closer to our goal of an AIDS-free generation'

In honor of World AIDS Day, US President Barack Obama has issued a proclamation.

Released on 28 November, the two page document noted the early stage of the epidemic.

'Just over three decades ago, when we knew only the devastation HIV inflicted, those living with it had to fight just to be treated with dignity and compassion, and since the first cases of AIDS were reported, tens of millions of vibrant men and women have lost their lives to this deadly virus,' Obama wrote.

November 28, 2014

Former Project Runway contestant and HIV activist, Jack Mackenroth, wants you to take shower selfies to demonstrate that – HIV positive or negative – we’re all ‘clean’

Despite advances in medication and treatment, there remains a huge amount of stigma around HIV.

Combatting this stigma has proved a consistent challenge, but a new social media campaign launched by HIV activist, Jack Mackenroth is attempting to tackle preconceptions head on and raise money for a good cause in the process.

November 28, 2014

Former Project Runway contestant and HIV activist, Jack Mackenroth, wants you to take shower selfies to demonstrate that – HIV positive or negative – we’re all ‘clean’

Despite advances in medication and treatment, there remains a huge amount of stigma around HIV.

Combatting this stigma has proved a consistent challenge, but a new social media campaign launched by HIV activist, Jack Mackenroth is attempting to tackle preconceptions head on and raise money for a good cause in the process.

November 28, 2014

‘Prevention and control of HIV among men who have sex with men has to be a cornerstone of national HIV programs,’ says head of European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Europe will miss its 2015 targets for curbing the spread of HIV, says the World Health Organisation (WHO), with an 80 per cent increase in HIV transmission in 2013 compared with a decade earlier.

November 28, 2014

Brenda was raped to ‘cure’ her of being lesbian, leaving her with HIV which she passed on to her female partner

In Kenya, where same sex relationships are illegal, sexual minorities, especially lesbians, are marginalized and often lack access to HIV prevention.

‘It’s as if we don't exist!’ laments Brenda, 23, who is a lesbian living with HIV. ‘There’s no data or specialized HIV programs that address lesbians which has led to our receiving poor HIV health care services.’

On World AIDS Day (1 December), take a moment to consider this fact: currently there are five million young people (15 to 24) living with HIV, the majority of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa.