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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 It is time for the FDA to restructure its blood donor deferral policies to reflect sound science, not outdated social prejudices.”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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What Goes On Inside A Depressed Person? - VIDEO

 

Asap

ASAP Science has a new explainer on depression.

Noting that the true causes of depression have yet to be pinned down precisely, the video explains the biological basis for depression and how the growth and connections of brain cells play a large roll.

It also considers the hereditary nature of depression and bipolar disorder - studies have shown that if one identical twin has bipolar disorder the other twin has a 60 to 80 percent chance of developing it too.

The video concludes with an introduction to depression in other species.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

You can also read David Mixner's recent piece on his struggles with depression here.

Continue reading "What Goes On Inside A Depressed Person? - VIDEO" »


Robert Oscar Lopez: Same-Sex Marriage Is 'A Tidal Wave' Sweeping Up Children - VIDEO

Robert Oscar Lopez

In a July speech to the Stanford Anscombe Society, anti-gay activist and "ex-gay" Robert Oscar Lopez said that he cannot support same-sex marriage because it has become a “tidal wave” that has “swept up children,” reports Right Wing Watch.

The Stanford Anscombe Society aims “to help university students and young adults to promote the values of marriage, family, and sexual integrity to the broader popular culture” and “defines marriage as a union, until death, between one man and one woman.”

Lopez said that although he once supported same-sex marriage, many people “have chosen to yoke gay marriage and gay parenting together” which forced him into the opposing camp “because it ultimately means that in order to protect the sexual relationship between two adults, you have to shatter the relationship between a child and either his father or his mother.”

Lopez also attacked what he called “a very powerful gay lobby that has a lot of money” which works to “erase” the realities of life for LGBT people, including high rates of domestic violence in same-sex relationships,”rampant problems with depression, anxiety, eating disorders” and “the fact that HIV infection rate recently went up among boys 13 to 19.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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HIV Testing During Dental Visits Could Become Effective New Way to Stop Virus's Spread

Dentist

The next big step in combating the spread of HIV could come from your dentist’s office. Testing and knowing one’s HIV status are crucial components to curtailing HIV, but oftentimes there exists a significant social stigma that comes with requesting a test from one’s primary physician. Dentists offices, according to University of Chicago Center for Health Administration Studies Faculty Chair Dr. Harold Pollack, provide the perfect setting for making HIV testing de rigueur. Unlike clinics geared towards sexual health, which can be few and far between depending on one’s community, dentists’ offices are widespread and more easily accessible.

In the same way that pharmacies offer tests for cholesterol, blood pressure, and vision, dentists offices could branch out their services offered. A visit to the dentist could begin with a quick swab one’s cheek and end with HIV test results without any blood work necessary.

“We don’t need anything from our primary-care physicians,” Pollack explained to Ozy. “We want nice-looking white teeth with no cavities.”

Generally speaking people visit the dentist more frequently than they do their doctors, according to Pollack’s research. He estimates that nearly 70% of high-risk individuals schedule annual dental appointments, whereas most people only go to the doctor when they are certain that something is wrong.

Dentists in Canada, Mexico, and South Korea have begun administering HIV screenings as a part of a regular checkup. In the U.S., the practice is not nearly as common, and not without significant hurdles. For all of their scarcity, HIV clinics are more than merely a place that will administer health screenings and medication. Clinic staff are trained to handle and  share kinds information that dentists don’t have to deal with very often. But Pollack is certain that HIV testing deserves to a feature of modern dentistry.

“In the U.S., we’ve done a bad job of carving oral health out, having separate insurance plans.” He insisted. “We need to have a mentality that really grasps that oral health is part of health.”


Depression Is A Bitch; Trust Me I Know

BY DAVID MIXNER

America's attention has once again turned to the horrors of depression, anxiety, and dark demons after the death of Robin Williams. Williams, like millions of others, struggled with it on a daily basis.

MixnerThe stigma against those with mental illness, depression or even anxiety runs deep.

Trust me I know.

Over the years I just have been reluctant to share my own journey with mental stress. Williams' death compels me to share with you some of my personal struggles.

All my life, many members of my family have struggled with depression. I have to believe there is a genetic component to it. I have not been immune to that struggle.

Living in the closet, I often contemplated suicide. There just didn't seem to be any future for me. When I did eventually come out of the closet at 30, I had a full-fledged nervous breakdown that took the form of a psychosomatic illness. I was totally incapacitated for months and often would sit for days looking at four walls or weeping.

Thank God for the loving family and friends who guided me through horrible darkness.

I sought out therapy from an early age and it has been a savior off and on through my journey. Early on my therapist would recommend medical treatment but I believed if I was on medications it would affect my ability to think and that it would make me truly mentally ill. Hell, even going to a therapist in my youth was considered radical.

As middle age hit, I was plagued with paralyzing anxiety attacks. At night I would fall fast asleep in total peace, then in the middle of the night wake up with so much anxiety I would walk or drive for hours until totally exhausted and with no choice but to collapse and finally end the pain. I thought about climbing to the roof and jumping off to end the anxiety.

The entire process was simply a nightmare.

The anxiety attacks finally moved into the daytime. With that I relented and started taking the prescription drug Zoloft.

The drug has changed my life. Not only has it not affected my mental process but the anxiety attacks have stopped, the depression has mostly disappeared and I feel like I have been given back my life. Now I understand that modern medicine can make the lives better of those of us who have suffered to various degrees with mental stress, and it is time to removed the stigma and allow science to perform its miracles!

Hopefully by opening up in this column, others will be inspired to seek appropriate care and also rid themselves of damaging and deadly stereotypes about mental illness. Our minds are just another part of our body that needs treatment. We fix broken bones and we should celebrate our advances to fix broken minds.


Right-Wing Radio Host: Ebola Outbreak Could 'Solve' America's Problem with Homosexuality: AUDIO

WilesEnd Times radio host Rick Wiles, the insane right-winger claiming Miley Cyrus sold her soul to Satan and had sex with a demon, is back in the news saying an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. might actually be a good thing - provided it helps end America's tolerance of gays and non-believers. 

Said Wiles:

“Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming. Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion. If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you..."

Later in the programming, Wiles spoke to Republican Rep. Frank Wolf (VA) about how Obama is allowing terrorists to cross the border by refusing to enforce immigration law.

89 days until Election Day folks...and the GOP is still catering to the craziest swath of the electorate.  

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

[via Right Wing Watch]

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