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Court of Appeals Rules In Favor of Compulsory Condom Use In L.A. Adult Films

A panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Measure B, the Los Angeles county ordinance mandating condom use by adult performers on set, does not violate the adult film industry’s First Amendment rights. Measure B was first adopted in 2012 after being put up to a vote by LA county residents. Though many adult film studios mandate routine health screenings, proponents of Measure B reason that compulsory condom use would create safer work environments by lowering the risk of potential exposure to STIs.

LaThe adult film industry’s legal representation contended that forcing studios to make their performers wear condoms was tantamount to limiting a studio’s right to free speech. The three-judge panel ruled that in order for the studios’ defense to be valid, there would have to be a demonstrable muddling of a studio’s intended message.

"Here, we agree with the district court that, whatever unique message plaintiffs might intend to convey by depicting condomless sex, it is unlikely that viewers of adult films will understand that message," Judge Susan P. Graber explained in the the panel's written majority.

In its decision, the Ninth Circuit also referred to a statement from the LA County Department of Health highlighting the fact that adult performers, on average, were about ten times more likely to test positive for STIs as compared to the general public. Since Measure B’s passing, the adult film industry in LA County has shrunk drastically. Some studios continue to operate without the proper permits, while others have simply left the area.

Similar efforts to increase condom use, like assembly bill AB 1576, have begun to pop up across California to varying degrees of success.  AB 1576, which was defeated earlier this year, was met with backlash for its potential to put certain adult performers out of work.


Gay New Yorkers Talk About Safe Sex, Barebacking, PrEP, and Protection: VIDEO

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Earlier this month we brought you the first in Impulse Group NYC's series intended to encourage dialogue about safer sex. That video, which you can watch at this link, explored sex, protection, health, stigma, and status.

The second in the series goes deeper into the subject of protection, asking the subjects how they protect themselves while having sex, what their thoughts are on bareback sex, how they ensure their safety when hooking up with a stranger, what the term "safer-sex" means to them, and if they've heard of PrEP. An HIV-positive participant is also asked if he would have taken PrEP had it been available when he was negative.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Impulse is an organization formed to mobilize gay men for social advocacy, HIV/AIDS health-centered education and community engagement, utilizing volunteer efforts of local community members to create campaigns, events and online content to gay men impacted by HIV.

Continue reading "Gay New Yorkers Talk About Safe Sex, Barebacking, PrEP, and Protection: VIDEO" »


80 Congressional Democrats Call Bull On One Year Gay Blood Deferral, Urge Obama Administration To Lift Ban

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Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, along with 78 other congressional Democrats, urged the Obama Administration to lift the ban on gay men donating blood on Monday, calling the 1983 policy archaic and a scientifically unjustified barrier reports BuzzFeedThe two lawmakers wrote a detailed letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell.

BloodThe lawmakers' request comes after the FDA reaffirmed that it will not repeal the longstanding ban on gay blood. The request also addresses the recommendation by the Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Blood & Tissue Safety & Availability's relaxation on the lifetime ban to instead ban donations from men who have had sex with men in the previous year. However, the lawmakers believe both policies are unfair saying, "both policies are discriminatory, and both approaches are unacceptable.”

In the letter the lawmakers request that the ban should be replaced with a "risk-based blood donation policy.” The most poignant part of the letter addresses the common objection of gay men donating blood; that gay men tend to be higher carriers of HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS.

Said lawmakers:

“The pertinent scientific question is not whether a cross-section of the population is more likely than another to transmit an infection, but rather whether an across-the-board, risk-based screening will reduce the likelihood of all infectious contaminations.”

Two other letters were addressed in the past concerning the ban however, the latest letter explicitly lays out the lawmakers’ policy platform and asks Secretary Burwell several pointed questions. The prominent question is will Burwell "Commit to replacing the lifetime deferral policy by the end of 2014?" And if a blood-screening network is established, when would it be functional, and would it need to be up and running to roll back the ban?

The lawmakers expect Burwell to address the matter before or on Dec. 22. 

Read the letter below:


Head Of U.S. Agency For International Development Says Human Rights 'Essential' In Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 1.01.30 PMRajiv Shah, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, linked human rights to the fight against HIV/AIDS during remarks he made during a World AIDS Day forum reports the Washington BladeThe forum highlighted a USAID-backed initiative through President Obama's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to combat the global epidemic among gay men, transgender people and other affected groups. 

Said Shah:

"Getting to where we need to go to a genuine AIDS-free generation will perhaps require even more determination, innovation and capacity to link the fight against HIV and AIDS to a broad range of critical issues, including the very basic and unassailable fight for human rights for all individuals.

"The only way to achieve the end goal of an AIDS-free generation is to more systematically embrace and empower this broader range of partners in this fight."

George Ayala, the executive director of the Global Forum on MSM and HIV, said that the U.S., Canada, Russia and Australia are among 61 countries with laws that criminalize people who have the virus. Lisa Carty, the director of the U.S. Liaison Office of U.N. AIDS, added that an estimated 80 countries have a policy or statute that, "Is a barrier to the communities we care about to get the services they need."

The State Department announced on Monday a $210 million public-private partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates and Nike Foundations through PEPFAR that is designed to lower new HIV infections in girls and women in 10 countries; an additional $116.5 million is going toward African nations' healthcare systems as well. However, the Associate Press reported that USAID hired nearly a dozen men from three Latin American countries to undermine the Cuban government through an HIV prevention workshop, among other means. U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, expressed dismay about the actions of USAID in the matter.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 1.05.05 PMSaid Lee:

"I am appalled by recent reports that the U.S. government orchestrated and funded clandestine democracy promotion efforts under the guise of public health and civic programs.

"I am particularly concerned by the revelation that HIV-prevention programs were used as a cover. This blatant deception undermines U.S. credibility abroad and endangers U.S. government supported public health programs, which have saved millions of lives in recent years around the world." 

Shah made no references to Cuba in his speech. The head of international development continued to discuss helping marginalized populations and linked human rights to national security.

Said Shah:

"Efforts that we will discuss today and take forward will help not only address HIV in marginalized populations, but will help society after society through that experience recognize that the universal reach of human rights is in our collective social and national security interest."


Chinese Gay Social App Blued Working With Government to Spread HIV/AIDS Awareness

BluedIn 2011 Ma Baoli left his job as a Chinese police officer after it was discovered that he was the creator and administrator of Danlan.org, a popular Chinese social network for gay men. Soon after resigning Baoli created Blued, a geo-location based mobile app similar to Grindr.

In the three years since Baoli launched Blued, the application’s userbase has expanded to over 15 million people. Unlike many of its predecessors, which the Chinese government has been known to proactively shut down, Blued has found an unlikely ally in governmental officials looking to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout the country.

In the early days of HIV/AIDS the virus was widely thought to be a larger problem for China’s rural population. In recent years, however, the rate of new infections is steadily rising within younger populations in more metropolitan areas.

“The proportion of young H.I.V./AIDS sufferers almost doubled between 2008 and 2012, and gay sex is considered a major reason for the increase,” Shang Hong, a researcher at the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said to Xinhua.

Reaching out China’s gay male population has proven to be difficult for the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Though consensual same-sex interactions were decriminalized in China in 1997, much of the country’s culture is still somewhat resistant to open frank discussions about LGBT public health when it comes to safer sex.

Blued’s parent company Blue City has proven to be an unlikely ally for the Chinese government in its efforts to increase HIV/AIDS awareness and offer HIV blood tests.

“None of our public awareness websites can receive such attention,” said Wu Zunyou, the director of the Chinese CDC, said at AIDS awareness gathering last week. “This is a very important channel to be able to spread information about AIDS prevention among the LGBT community."


'Kill All Gays' Pastor Steven Anderson Compares Gay People To Ax Murderers, Hitler - VIDEO

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An Arizona news anchor has challenged nasty anti-gay preacher Steve Anderson on his recent call for the stoning to death of all gay people, reports the Advocate.

Anderson, who has in the past wished for death by brain cancer for President Obama, gay people, and Michelangelo Signorile, told his followers in a World AIDS Day sermon that the best cure for HIV/AIDS is to kill all gay people. Anderson also told his congregation that “all homosexuals are pedophiles.”

In an interview with Phoenix TV station KPNX anchor Mark Curtis, Anderson refreshingly doesn’t claim to not hate gay people and refers to himself as a “religious zealot.”

Anderson, pastor of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, claims that “according to the Bible, homosexuality is a capital crime."

He masterfully avoids Curtis’s question as to whether he would want one of his own children to die if they were gay, arguing that homosexuality is a “fallacy” because people only become gay when the reject god. He admits that if he did have a gay child he would reject them.

Anderson bizarrely compares gay people to Adolf Hitler and murderers:

“That’s like saying, what if your daughter, you know, grew up to be an ax murderer?” he says. “What if your son grew up to be like Adolf Hitler?”

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Kill All Gays' Pastor Steven Anderson Compares Gay People To Ax Murderers, Hitler - VIDEO" »


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