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Robyn, Hot Chip, and Sufjan Stevens Turn in Gorgeous Covers of Arthur Russell Classics: LISTEN

Robyn

A tribute to the late composer, cellist, and all-around musical genius Arthur Russell, mostly known for his successes in underground dance and disco, is set to be released on October 21. Russell died of AIDS-related causes in 1992 after a career which included collaborations with Talking Heads, Philip Glass, Allen Ginsberg, and Bootsy Collins.

Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell features contributions from Hot Chip, Cults, Scissor Sisters, Sufjan Stevens, Phosphorescent, José González, and Blood Orange, among others. The release is the latest from the Red Hot organization which dedicates itself to fighting AIDS through pop culture.

Swedish pop/dance princess Robyn offers an upbeat cover of "Tell You (Today)". Check it out after the jump, along with equally gorgeous covers of "A Little Lost" by Sufjan Stevens and "Go Bang" by Hot Chip.

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via vogue)

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NIH Lab Study Finds Effective HIV-Suppressing Antibodies

HIV antibodies

Well this is promising:

In this study, NIH scientists obtained HIV from the latent reservoirs of 29 infected people in whom antiretroviral therapy fully inhibited viral replication. In the laboratory, the researchers found that several bNAbs [broadly neutralizing HIV-specific antibodies]—particularly PGT121, VRC01 and VRC03—effectively blocked HIV from entering the CD4+ T cells obtained from uninfected healthy donors. In addition, the scientists demonstrated in the laboratory that these antibodies could completely block HIV replication in CD4+ T cells obtained from infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy.

The researchers conclude that passive immunotherapy involving bNAbs individually or in combination may control HIV in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. A number of clinical trials are already underway or planned to test this hypothesis.


DotHIV Top Level Domain Generates Funding For HIV Orgs One Click At A Time

Dothiv_logo-880x509

dotHIV is the charitable top level domain that wants to generate funding for groups fighting HIV one click at a time. The “Digital Red Ribbon”, as the Berlin-based organization describes it, is designed to draw money from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) based on the number of clicks directed at domain addresses ending in “.hiv.” Every click generates a donation of 0.1¢ drawn directly from the $17/month registry fees that domain administrators pay for the ownership of their specific .hiv website.

“Imagine simply using .HIV as you use .COM. Each time you visit website.HIV, buy a ticket on movies.HIV, or shop at store.HIV, a small donation would reach HIV and AIDS projects,” explained co-founder of dotHIV and CEO of the TLD dotHIV Registry Carolin Silbernagl in a press release.

Silbernagl envisions major brands with a  demonstrated interest in raising awareness in the fight against HIV, like those involved in Product(RED), using dotHIV to generate money even when products aren’t actually purchased. Rather than creating entire websites that would exist in connection to a .hiv top level domain, administrators would be able to have the .hiv address immediately redirect a web browser to their primary domain to the same donation-creating effect.

dotHIV opened registration up to brands last week and saw immediate adoption from a number of high-traffic websites. Amazon, Instagram, tumblr, and LinkedIn have reportedly registered their respective .hiv domains, joining thjnk.hiv, a collaborative domain shared by POZ magazine and the German ad agency thjnk.

“Worldwide, approximately 35 million people are living with HIV. Worldwide, 2.5 billion people use the Internet - .hiv unites them all.” said Ina von Rosenstiel, dotHIV’s managing director. “Companies and organizations over the world can use .hiv as their ‘Digital Red Ribbon,’ as a symbol of solidarity and one that contributes to organizations helping people living with HIV.”

Watch dotHIV’s introductory explainer video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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San Diego Man Charged With Willfully Exposing Boyfriend To HIV - VIDEO

Thomas Guerra

The San Diego City Attorney's Office has charged a 29-year-old man with knowingly exposing an ex-boyfriend to HIV, who is now testing positive. Thomas Guerra has also been accused of infecting 24 other men with HIV, reports Gawker.

Guerra's unnamed accuser said that he was messaged by a man on Facebook who told him of Guerra’s HIV positive status.

The accuser also said that he discovered a number of text messages on Guerra's phone allegedly implicating him:

"Texts where he's stating he's negative to people then bragging to others about giving people his 'positive load.’ It's crude, it's...I don't know how someone could treat another individual like that."

Guerra, who is also known as Ashton Chavez, currently faces a maximum of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. However, his alleged victim is hopeful that additional text message records could prompt prosecutors to upgrade the case to a felony, punishable with up to eight years in prison.

Watch an ABC 10 News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Bathhouses Across America Threatened By Lowered Attendance, Outdated Public Opinion

70sBathhouseOriginally conceived as important bastions of sanitation in urban centers, American bathhouses became meccas for gay hook-up culture and entertainment in the 1960s and 70s. At that time, nearly 200 bathhouses were open around the country; now only 70 remain, and owners are scrambling to alter their image and attract youthful crowds of a new generation.

ABC News reports:

"Bathhouses were like dirty bookstores and parks: a venue to meet people," said Sykes, who still owns the smaller North Hollywood Spa. "Today, you can go to the supermarket..."

Privately run, gay-owned bathhouses proliferated in the 1970s, offering a haven for gay and bisexual men to meet. Clubs like New York City's Continental bathhouse and Los Angeles' 8709 Club saw a steady stream of patrons...

Amid the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, bathhouses were vilified for enabling promiscuity and helping spread the disease, and many either closed voluntarily or by legal pressure. Those that remained were stigmatized, and now many younger gays see them as anachronisms.

BathIn an effort to regain appeal, many bathhouses offer cheap admission prices for the younger set and amenities beyond the standard towel. Ohio's Cleveland-based Flex Spa, for example, contains luxury hotel rooms and nightclub venues; as such, it has become a fixture of gay culture beyond its sexual and social connotation, serving as the location for the Gay Games and the city's gay pride parade.

[Flex Spas CEO Todd] Saporito said more progressive views on homosexuality aren't evenly spread across the country, underscoring the need for modern bathhouses in some areas. Still, he takes nothing for granted, regardless of the location.

"Bathhouses at some level will go extinct if you don't offer something more than a towel," Saporito said.

And there is community, safe sex, and companionship to be found as well.

"You're either hooking up online or you are here, or you go to bars in West Hollywood, get drunk and hook up," said [22-year-old Brett] Sparks, acknowledging that although the bathhouse crowd skews older, it's not as risky as going home with a stranger. "Here it's a safer environment — there's condoms and other protection."

Here's hoping that bathhouses overcome the stigma and become important communal fixtures once more.


Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Gay Blood Donor Ban - VIDEO

Ban

Equality California, the largest LGBT advocacy organization in the state, has partnered with Assemblymember Richard Bloom to advance an assembly joint resolution (AJR 50) urging President Barack Obama to compel the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to introduce blood donor policies that do not discriminate against men who have had sex with other men.

Currently, the FDA prohibits men from donating blood for life if they have even once had sex with another man since 1977.

Medical organizations including the American Red Cross and the American Association for Blood Banks have called for a reevaluation and/or repeal of the policy citing its excessively broad nature and advances in blood testing.

BloomThe Williams Institute think tank estimates that an additional 130,150 men would likely donate 219,200 pints of blood each year if the ban were lifted, helping blood banks which routinely operate with a short supplies.

Bloom said:

“The FDA's archaic exclusions are both discriminatory and unwise, considering the nation’s chronic blood supply shortages. It is time for the FDA to restructure its blood donor deferral policies to reflect sound science, not outdated social prejudices.”

The resolution, which passed the Assembly Floor yesterday with a final bipartisan vote of 58-15, will now move to the Senate for consideration.

Watch a report on a blood donor protest at the University of Cincinnati's Hoxworth Blood Center last month, AFTER THE JUMP...

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