NYC Health Officials Worried Meningitis Outbreak Could Claim Many Lives; Some Gay Men Urged to Vaccinate
A unique strain of bacterial meningitis has New York City health officials worried and they are urging “men, regardless of H.I.V. status, who regularly have intimate contact with other men through a Web site, digital application or at a bar or party," to get vaccinated, the NYT reports:
New York City health officials are growing increasingly worried that this strain of meningitis, which is an inflammation of the lining around the brain and the spinal cord, is so insidious that it could suddenly mushroom into a major outbreak, claiming many lives before anything can be done to stop it...
...There have been 22 cases, all among men, of the unique strain since 2010, 13 of them last year and 4 this year, Dr. Varma said. Seven of them have died. Twelve were H.I.V.-positive, a possible risk factor. Ten of the cases were in Brooklyn — in neighborhoods as varied as Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, East New York, Prospect Heights and Williamsburg.
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Many of men who are at risk may not identify themselves as either gay or bisexual, even though they are having sex with other men, health officials said. So it is hard to reach out to them through gay organizations, and it is hard to get them to come forward to be vaccinated.
More at the NYT...
A judge has ruled in favor of London Mayor Boris Johnson in a case brought by a Christian group challenging Johnson's decision to ban "gay cure" ads from city buses, the Guardian reports:
A judge found on Friday that Boris Johnson did not abuse his position as chairman of Transport for London (TfL) last April when he imposed the ban on the advert, which suggested that people could be cured of homosexuality.
The decision is a defeat for the Core Issues Trust, a Christian charity that funds "reparative therapy" for gay Christians, which it claims can "develop their heterosexual potential". They believe Johnson was "politically driven" when he intervened to block the ad.
The ad posters earmarked for the sides of the capital's buses read: "Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!"
Johnson condemned the "gay cure" ad as "offensive to gays" and said it could lead to retaliation against the wider Christian community.
The judge agreed, though she said that Johnson's process "was procedurally unfair, in breach of its own procedures and demonstrated a failure to consider the relevant issues".
The judge also allowed an appeal, but said she thought it didn't have much of a chance.
Morrissey has been advised to retire from music after a series of serious health issues, MSN reports:
Morrissey tells Mexican radio station Reactor 105.7, "I had a very bad time. I had internal bleeding and I was rushed into hospital and I had lost a lot of blood. They tried to patch me together over the following five weeks but it didn't work. ... I was on lots of IV drips for almost five weeks, and each time it seemed as though I was back to robust health I would decline ... I had lost so much blood I had become anemic, but I'm still receiving ongoing treatment and I am very optimistic now.
"It almost became absurd the number of things that happened to me, but everything just attacked me at once. The double pneumonia -- everything was really a result of the fact I had lost so much blood, so the immune defenses were very, very low and couldn't cope with anything, so therefore the slightest gust of wind and I would have a terrible cold."
Morrissey is recovering in Mexico.
He added: "I have been cautioned to [retire], but it's difficult for me because it's very ingrained in me."
Powerful Anti-Hate Ad Imagines What Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard, and Others Would Be Like Today: VIDEO
A powerful new ad from the Anti-Defamation League takes a look at a number of well-known figures whose lives were cut short by hate, imagining what their lives might be like today. MLK Jr., Anne Frank, Harvey Milk, Daniel Pearl, James Byrd, JR., Matthew Shepard, and Yitzhak Rabin are included in the ad which marks the organization's centennial year.
The ad is set, appropriately, to the music of John Lennon.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Long Island's Philip Fusco gets in front of the mic for The Underwear Expert.
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is under review and revision and is expected to be reintroduced in April, the Washington Blade reports, with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) as its lead author:
Multiple sources familiar with ENDA say the legislation is being reconsidered before its reintroduction in the 113th Congress, and maintain no final decisions on the bill have been made.
It’s unclear what the nature of the changes might be, but one source familiar with ENDA told the Washington Blade the bill is being reconsidered with respect to religious exemption and disparate impact to make the legislation’s protections stronger for LGBT workers than previously written. The changes are being considered under the assumption the legislation won’t pass anyway with Republicans in control of the U.S. House.
ENDA has previously included a strong religious exemption. In the most recent version of the bill, Section 6 provided an exemption for religious organizations and businesses that were also exempt under Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964.