France Hub

New PrEP Studies Show 86% Reduction In HIV Transmission Rates, Even As 'On-Demand' Treatment


Truvada taken as an HIV preventative is shown to be an incredibly effective way of stopping the spread of HIV. In 2014 the iPrEx OLE study showed that when taken between 3 and 7 times a week, seroconversions were close to 0%. A new study from Britain called PROUD has come out with some slightly different numbers, but numbers that are still encouraging: 86% of the men studied were protected by a Truvada regimen. Not as great as 99.99%, but still a good notch better than the 76% offered by condoms alone. Naturally, the best results are achieved when multiple prevention tools are used in tandem, and condoms plus PrEP make for an even more solid barrier.

Here's where things get interesting: the IPERGAY study out of Canada and France showed that the 86% efficacy can be achieved even when taken "on-demand", which is defined here as once 2 to 24 hours prior to sex and once after.

These "on-demand" results could completely change everything, as both cost and potential side effects are some of the biggest concerns voiced against Truvada. The cost per pill is still somewhere in the neighborhood of $50, unsubsidized, so it's still not within everyone's reach, but being able to drop $100 without insurance for a preventative measure broadens the reach far beyond the standard of uninsured or underinsured people going without because they can't pony up $3k+ for a month's supply. Also, while the side-effects of the pill are minimal and typically reversible, just two pills could provide the needed benefit without being enough to make most of those side effects kick in.

Stand by for Michael Weinstein to rehash his accusation that Truvada is a party drug...though if Truvada is a party drug, does that make condoms party balloons?

Ballsy French Ad Explains Why We Don't Have Unicorns Today: VIDEO


Ever thought to yourself, why aren't there unicorns? In a new bit of balls-out advertising for French TV channel Canal+, a man shares the very gay story of why unicorns no longer exist. The video, which is best appreciated spoiler-free, awaits you, AFTER THE JUMP...

Today is sure to be a big day for commercials in the U.S. How much queer and queer-baiting advertising will we see during today's Super Bowl?

Stay tuned to Towleroad for updates on all the advertising highlights from today's Super Bowl. 

Continue reading "Ballsy French Ad Explains Why We Don't Have Unicorns Today: VIDEO" »

France Clears Binational Same-Sex Marriage For Franco-Moroccan Couple


The Cour de Cassation, the highest French appeals court, has decided to allow the marriage of a Moroccan-French gay couple in spite of current legislation barring binational unions. Though gay marriage was legalized in France in 2013, the French government made agreements with 11 other nations saying that France would block marriages for binational couples in which the non-French partner’s country of origin did not recognize gay marriage.

Dominique and Mohammed, who have asked to have their last names withheld, were initially denied a marriage license in Chambery, a city in the southeastern region of France. Two other courts, however, issued rulings arguing the opposite, which brought the couple’s case to the Cour de Cassation.

The Cour de Cassation cited a specific section of France’s agreement with Morocco that allows either country to ignore one another’s laws should the other country’s law be "obviously incompatible with public order.” In this instance the Cour de Cassation interpreted marriage as a fundamental right necessary to the public order, overriding Morocco’s legal stance on gay marriage for gays living in France.

French Courts Convict Three For 'Burn the Gays' Hate Tweets

Brûlonslesgayssurdu trendThree were convicted in a Paris court this week on anti-gay hate speech charges for tweeting "#brûlonslesgayssurdu", which approximately translates as, "let's burn the gays" in August 2013. Comité Idaho brought the case to court on grounds of inciting hatred and violence on basis of sexual orientation, and the three offenders have been punished with fines, one for €300 ($336.09) and the other two for €500 ($560.15) each.

There is mixed reaction to the verdict. On the one hand, French LGBT groups are calling it a "significant victory", while other LGBT rights groups consider the punishments to be light given that the maximum penalties for the crimes they committed are up to a year in prison and a €45,000 ($50,413.50) fine.

Regardless, president of Comité Idaho Alexandre Marcel remarked:

It's a small amount to pay for calling for the death of homosexuals.

Former Danish President Reflects On Protecting The Press' Right To Free Speech: WATCH

Screenshot 2015-01-13 10.50.33

Days before the religiously-motivated attacks on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, former Danish President Anders Fogh Rasmussen sat down with Big Thing to reflect on his own struggles dealing with civil unrest sparked by controversial cartoons. In 2005 protests swept through the country after Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, published a number of cartoons that depicted the prophet Mohammed. Despite calls for the Danish government to step in and mitigate tensions within the country, Rasmussen and his cabinet elected not to become directly involved.

Though Rasmussen describes that time as “Denmark's worst international relations incident since the Second World War,” he still stands by his decision not to bend to the public’s will. In remaining uninvolved, he said, he was defending the Danish press’s right to free speech.

Similar sentiment has echoed through the French press as Charlie Hebdo prepares to release its largest print run in the publication’s history. Soon after the shooting, an outpouring of financial support to the newspaper came from across the globe, enabling the surviving editorial staff to publish some 1 million copies of this week’s forthcoming issue. Since announcing its intentions, Charlie Hebdo has upped its projected publication numbers to 3 million copies to be printed in 16 languages, including Arabic, and distributed throughout 18 countries.

"There is a future. But we don't know yet what it will resemble. There will be a newspaper," said Hebdo’s sitting editor-in-chief Gerard Briard. "For the time being we can't tell you anymore because we don't know ourselves."

Listen to former Danish President Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s reflections on dealing defending the press AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Former Danish President Reflects On Protecting The Press' Right To Free Speech: WATCH" »

Thousands Break Into John Lennon's 'Imagine' At Paris Unity Rally: WATCH


At a unity rally in Paris held to show national solidarity in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in France, thousands burst into singing John Lennon's "Imagine", Mashable reports:

[Redditor] ilHGG, who claims to live near the location of the march, wrote on Reddit that he or she played music, "especially peace songs," from his or her window, so passersby participating in the march could hear.

The poster of the video on YouTube commented,

"As no one could advance, my neighbor opened her windows and started to play classic tunes, to the delight of the audience. A great moment."

The rally in Paris combine with those held across France drew crowds of 3.7 million people, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, President Obama came under criticism for not attending the rally which saw a broad swath of world leaders in attendance including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. As The Washington Post reports, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest commented, “I think it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile." The U.S. was represented at the rally by Ambassador to France Jane Hartley. 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) said of the President's absence, 

“I understand that when the president travels, he brings with him a security and communications package which is intense. And I understand you drop that into the middle of something like this, it could be disruptive,” Rubio said. “There’s a plethora of people they could have sent. I think in hindsight I hope that they would have done it differently.”

For his part, Secretary of State John Kerry called the hullabaloo surrounding the President's absence, "quibbling a little bit." 

In Paris, however, President Obama's absence was hardly felt, with many dubious of the presence of foreign leaders to begin with:

“I consider these heads of state to be taking part in my march,” said Thierry, a 56-year-old painter, who declined to give his last name because of fears of terrorism. “I’m not taking part in theirs.”

Watch the video of the attendees singing "Imagine", AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Thousands Break Into John Lennon's 'Imagine' At Paris Unity Rally: WATCH" »


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