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London Transit Authorities Reject Sexy Poster For AIDS Play 'My Night With Reg'

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My Night With Reg is a classic AIDS-themed comedy production by Kevin Elyot that has been making the rounds since 1994. For the 20th anniversary a new poster was produced, featuring actor Lewis Reeve's hanging buns, partially obscured by David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust album. But while the ad met London's advertising restriction standards, Transport for London - which runs the underground - deemed it too racy and banned it from being displayed. 

The Evening Standard got a statement from a TfL press officer, confirming "if it has been rejected it means that it doesn't meet the guidance that we have set." The Standard noted that Justin Bieber's photoshopped bulge evidently does meet the guidance of the TfL.

The play's revival began Saturday and officially opens this Friday at the Apollo Theater and is scheduled to run through April 11th.


Unnamed Gay Actor In Sero-Discordant Couple Reports Successful Surrogate Conception Thanks To Sperm Washing

WashingStatistical data about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents raising children tells a complex story about the modern American family. An analysis of census and survey data conducted by the Williams Institute estimated that about 37% of LGBT-identified individuals were the parents to children at some point in their lives.

Less than 10 percent of the surveyed male couples reported that they were raising biological children of their own, compared to 24 percent of female couples. Unsurprisingly, the study does not explicitly mention HIV positive men, an even smaller portion of gay population seeking to have biological children of their own.

For decades the path to biological parenthood for men living with HIV has been complicated given the few, costly medical innovations in the perinatal field available to them. According to an unnamed actor writing for The Hollywood Reporter, however, he and his sero-discordant partner have found success with a technique known as sperm washing.

“We had done our research and found a lab that was working with parents who shared our status,” he writes. “We were lucky: We were set up with a surrogate who was educated and compassionate.”

Sperm washing is a controversial technique the involves the separation, or “washing” of viable sperm cells of the seminal fluid that might carry the HIV virus. Currently the Centers for Disease Control still advise most doctors against assisting HIV positive men attempting to conceive through the use of washed sperm. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, however, reversed its position in 2002, twelve years after an HIV positive man accidentally infected his wife via sperm washing. There are today a handful of clinics scattered throughout the country willing to attempt the method.


ACT UP Planning An Organized Protest of the HRC's Upcoming Corporate Gala

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Members of ACT UP are organizing a protest at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual gala where the organization plans to celebrate a number of Fortune 500 companies highlighted in its problematic 2015 Corporate Equality Index. Representatives in attendance will receive awards for meeting the HRC’s guidelines that only require that corporations have basic equality measures, despite many having awful track records when it comes to their involvement in funding anti-LGBT legislation. In particular, the protesters are taking issue with the HRC’s seeming lack of widespread support for large-scale HIV awareness and prevention initiatives:

“We demand that HRC include several criteria to evaluate companies on their treatment of employees living with HIV, as well as their contributions to organizations and causes relate to reducing the incidence of HIV among LGBT Americans, particularly among the young,” the protest’s Facebook page reads. “For over 30 years, too many have been fired, harassed, outed and discriminated against at work for having HIV.” The promoters of the protest add,

“Also at this gala, many of the corporations that HRC will honor actively work against the interests of middle-class and poor Americans, including people with HIV. ACT UP denounces this frequent practice of '"pinkwashing" whereby corporations with policies and practices that undermine the people's well-being are given positive publicity in exchange for maintaining LGBT-friendly (or just equal) workplaces.

This is short-sighted and divisive. We demand that HRC develop other criteria that takes into account the impact of companies' policies on every American, not just LGBT Americans.”


Los Angeles Compulsory Condom Measure Is 'Legislating Problems That Don't Exist'

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In November 2012 Los Angeles County passed Measure B, which was directed at porn production in the county and required, among other things, that porn actors wear condoms during intercourse. A subsequent attempt to spread the mandate statewide with AB 1576 last year was voted down, despite the full and vocal support of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

All of this has stirred up a variety of conversations, including the rights of grown adults to take risks, the responsibilities of their employers to protect them, the efficacy of condoms, and the utility and effectiveness of PrEP. Jim Pickett, director of Prevention Advocacy for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, is viewing all of this focus on the regulation of the porn industry as unnecessary, saying in an interview with TheBody.com:

I've never been a fan of legislating problems that don't exist. Condoms in or out of porn don't begin to address the approximately 50,000 new HIV infections in the United States every year, mostly among young, gay black men. This ruling does absolutely nothing for them and it ignores that we have a scientifically-proven, CDC-endorsed tool to prevent HIV called PrEP -- among other non-condom options. Condoms are only one method of protection; they are not alone.

There are certainly plausible arguments to be made for people wanting to emulate what they see in porn, as welll as for employers mandating measures to protect their employees, but the time, effort, and money spent into creating these measures and bills seem to come more from emotional reactions to change than genuine attempts to solve a problem. Or, perhaps more generously, are going about solving the problem of HIV transmission rates in the least effective way possible.


Nigerian Author and Marketing Exec Kehinde Bademosi Comes Out As Gay

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Kehinde Bademosi, founder of Nigerian marketing school Orange Academy, has come out as gay in a public posting on Facebook. In a similar move Bademosi publically disclosed his HIV-positive status last December on World AIDS Day. Bademosi’s latest announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary of Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act being signed into law by president Goodluck Jonathan. Similar to bills passed in Uganda and Kenya, Nigeria’s anti-gay bill threatens gay couples attempting to marry with up to 14 years in prison.

In his Facebook post Bademosi describes his previous marriage to a woman (with whom he has a child) who could not accept his homosexuality:

“It will be exactly a year today, when Nigeria instituted a law to jail people like me. What’s our offense? Because we are simply wired differently.

There are only about 5 to 10% of homosexuals in every population as cited by popular findings and documents. Why is a 90% dominant population afraid of its 10%? Shouldn’t you care about us? Don’t you think it’s a lot easier to be seen as part of the 90%?”

Since dissolving his marriage in civil court, Bademosi has been a vocal advocate for Nigerian LGBT rights and made a point of dispelling some of the common misconceptions surrounding HIV. In particular Bademosi has focused on spreading information about being HIV positive and parenting children.

In a follow-up post earlier today, Bademosi wrote: 

 

Indie Video Game 'I'm Positive' Looks At What It's Like Getting A Positive HIV Test Result - WATCH

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I’m Positive is the indie-developed, retro-styled video game that won the Center for Disease Control’s “Health Game Jam” earlier this year. The game is simple, cross platform, and designed to give you the experience of learning that you’re HIV positive from a first person perspective. After receiving a call from a former sex partner you, the player, begin to navigate through a series of events that are informed by the revelation that you yourself might be positive.

Through conversations you learn more about the main character’s fears and concerns and are presented with a realistic picture of what it’s like to grapple with the prospect of being positive. Though it’s designed to inform players about HIV, how it’s spread, and how best to minimize risk of exposure, the game doesn’t make a point of hounding players to follow a specific script. You can choose not to follow up and get tested if you so please. In many ways the game is immersive because of its resemblance to everyday life. There’s nothing special to the game except that you’re one step removed from it being your actual life.

I’m Positive is free to download for Windows, Macs, and Linux systems at their website with Android and iOS versions of the game currently in development. Watch the trailer for I'm Positive AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Indie Video Game 'I'm Positive' Looks At What It's Like Getting A Positive HIV Test Result - WATCH" »


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