Art and Design | Chad White | Elsewhere | San Francisco | Steven Klein

road.jpg Gay Men of African Descent plans protest outside East Harlem barebacking party. Executive Director: "I'm sick of 18-year-olds coming in here HIV-positive. It's got to stop. We want to send a strong message to (the party's promoter) and promoters like him that it's unacceptable, and to the larger community that we're not all complicit in this behavior. We're not just idle bystanders."

Skull_1road.jpg Damien Hirst preparing world's most expensive artwork, a diamond-encrusted skull: "I just want to celebrate life by saying to hell with death.What better way of saying that than by taking the ultimate symbol of death and covering it in the ultimate symbol of luxury, desire and decadence? The only part of the original skull that will remain will be the teeth. You need that grotesque element for it to work as a piece of art. I want people to see it and be astounded. I want them to gasp."

road.jpg An American Idol stylist on Mandisa, Paula Abdul's outbursts, shopping with the contestants, and Ryan Seacrest's sexuality.

road.jpg San Francisco's annual Bay to Breakers run was as freaky as ever!

road.jpg Blind or gay: Analysis of a news anchor's on-air slip-up.

road.jpg Teachers in Scotland given the go-ahead to discuss how gays and lesbians can protect against sexually transmitted diseases, how to access gay-oriented sexual health services, same-sex crushes, and the laws on consent. Naturally, the church is infuriated.

road.jpg Stripper Dita von Teese was also involved with the sizzling Chad White/Steve Klein L'Uomo Vogue shoot I posted about last week.

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Comments

  1. The barebacking party mentioned in the article isn't anything unheard-of... but the HIV infection rates are horrifying. Are they serious? Is it really HALF of all african-american gay men (in New York, I assume). Terrible. But my question is what it has always been... HIV has been around for a long time now, and just about everyone in this country knows that the best way to contract HIV is to have unprotected anal sex. Given that we all have heard that message and understand it, why do we continue to do it? My friend Tim says that new HIV diagnoses happen in the gay community for the same reason unwanted pregnancies happen in the straight community. But is it really just that we get caught up in the moment and are only thinking with our dicks? Or is there more to it than that? We can't dismiss the role of personal responsibility and self-control, but it seems to me that if we really want to make a difference in HIV transmission rates, we should look harder at what it is that causes people to make the choices that they make.

    Half? Wow.

    Wow.

    Posted by: Brian | May 22, 2006 6:19:18 PM


  2. Brian,

    Yeah the numbers in terms of black gay men and HIV are simply staggering. What is even worse has been the response. Very hard to raise the alarm bells and all type of people, black and white, are not even paying attention. Heck there are black folk still convinced HIV is either a CIA plot or a white gay male disease.

    peace

    Posted by: James | May 22, 2006 6:32:26 PM


  3. And now, something completely different.

    I don't believe that dresser for Idol for the very reason that if he said something true but secret/damaging, he'd lose his job. Nothing but fluff and all we learn is that they go shopping for their clothes. He knows who signs his paycheck.

    Re Mandisa, if you ask me, I think the stylist's reason for her losing is stupid. That is, "the gays" only wanted her if she would be the next 2-ton 2 am disco diva, but when she said no, they all voted against her. What garbage. She lost "the gays" because of what she said, in or out of context (BTW, there was no context, she was just stupid to voice her prejudice).

    Posted by: Will | May 22, 2006 7:03:46 PM


  4. Almost all guys who would go to a barebacking party are HIV-positive. If it doesn't already, the invitation (and the organizer at the door) should make that clear.

    Of course, there's the whole problem of contracting new strains of HIV....

    Posted by: Marc | May 22, 2006 7:09:18 PM


  5. Why don't gay men wear comdoms?

    Posted by: Chad Hanging | May 22, 2006 9:14:21 PM


  6. This is just the really naive view ... but without people dying left and right on TV from AIDS, you aren't going to frighten a generation into using protection.

    Posted by: Keith | May 22, 2006 9:26:47 PM


  7. Keith has a point... I came up in the late 80s and early 90s, sort of this weird "inbetween" period at the tail end of the AIDS bloodbath but before the new generation of guys who don't remember the horror. I've only lost a couple friends to the disease (albeit extremely close friends), but I think my cognitive impression of the need for condom use is consistent with those who bore the brunt of the epidemic. So yeah, I think I've been frightened into using condoms by seeing people dying left and right on TV, and rightly so. But does that mean that for my entire life I've always used them, and never ever "slipped up"? Of course not. So my question remains... what is it that causes guys who really do know better to choose not to use protection? Is it getting "caught up in the moment", or is it the fact that it just feels better without the condom? Or is there something deeper that has an impact on that decision making process? I don't want to over-analyze, but if there really is a more fundamental process at work, then I think that more research should be done to understand it better...

    Posted by: Brian | May 23, 2006 9:02:56 AM


  8. Can anyone provide the source of the statistic Brian mentions? 50% sound very high to me.

    Posted by: Brian | May 23, 2006 10:26:46 AM


  9. I just posted this on the wrong thread, and I'm sure it'll completely confuse the discussion of Linday Lohan's Elizabeth Taylor-esque photo shoot.

    I thought the 50% prevalence rate was pretty high too, Brian. A quick PubMed search made me question whether the authors confused "prevalence", the number of diagnoses within a given population, with "incidence", the number of diagnostic occurrences within a given time frame. The closest thing to a 50% figure that I found in the most recent CDC report on the subject was the statement that of the estimated 1.2 million people in the US living with HIV, 47% were non-hispanic blacks. Another interesting quote from the paper follows:

    "Although blacks accounted for approximately 13% of the population of the 33 states during 2001–2004 (3), they accounted for the majority (80,187 [51%]) of HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Blacks accounted for the greatest percentage of cases diagnosed among males (44%) and the majority of cases
    among females (68%).

    Among males, 36% of MSM (men who have sex with men) cases, 54% of IDU cases, 39%
    of MSM/IDU cases, and 66% of high-risk heterosexual contact cases were in blacks. Among females, 70% of high-risk heterosexual contact cases and 60% of IDU (IV drug users) cases were in blacks. Moreover, 69% of cases of perinatal transmission were among blacks."

    Sobering statistics, and cause for concern and alarm, but I haven't found literature citing a 50% prevalence of HIV diagnosis in the african-american population of men who have sex with men. Perhaps someone who is more familiar with this literature can provide clarification?

    Citation with abstract is below.

    -----------

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Racial/ethnic disparities in diagnoses of HIV/AIDS--33 states, 2001-2004. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2006 Feb 10;55(5):121-5.


    Abstract: In 2003, an estimated 1.2 million persons in the United States were living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, 47% of whom were non-Hispanic blacks. This report describes racial/ethnic disparities in diagnoses of HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) during 2001-2004 and reported to CDC through June 2005 by 33 states that used confidential, name-based reporting of HIV and AIDS cases for at least 4 years. Of the estimated 157,252 diagnoses of HIV infection, the number of cases and diagnosis rates among blacks were higher than those for all other racial/ethnic populations combined. Among males, blacks had the largest or second-largest percentage of cases in every transmission category; among females, blacks had the largest percentage of cases in all transmission categories. Moreover, among both males and females, blacks represented the largest percentage of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in every age group. New and improved prevention strategies, including expanded HIV testing, targeted communications, and tailored prevention services, are needed to help address disparities in HIV transmission among blacks.


    Posted by: Brian | May 23, 2006 12:28:37 PM


  10. Yikes... the PubMed lit search must have scared everybody off...

    :-)

    Posted by: Brian | May 23, 2006 3:49:00 PM


  11. Thanks Brian.An informed public is the best weapon against ignorance and apathy.

    Posted by: Brian | May 23, 2006 7:25:46 PM


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