Tag Archive | "HIV"

High Alert Issued After HIV Transmission on Nevada Gay Shoot


By Dustin Shrader

Two gay porn actors got a little more than they bargained for, unfortunately during a recent scene shoot in Nevada. California’s Department of Public Health issued a high alert on Monday indicating there was “strong evidence” HIV was contracted on set during filming.

Both actors tested negative before performing in the two-part film shoot involving unprotected “bareback” sex. However, one actor seems to have picked up the virus during the down-time between each filming, unawares what exactly he was carrying.

In the alert statement issued, “During the second film shoot, he had symptoms of a viral infection. The actor went to a clinic and had another blood test that showed he had recently become infected with HIV.”

An additional actor from the second film, reportedly showed symptoms and tested positive for HIV, which was “likely transmitted” by the first actor, according to health officials. The last known transmission of HIV while on set occurred ten years ago in 2004.

This recent incident has brought the age-old question concerning health risks of adult entertainment back to the forefront—should porn stars wear condoms while filming? In 2012, LA County voters passed “Measure B”, a measure approving the mandatory use of protection for adult performers, forcing many porn production companies to move to outlying states where the required use of condoms was lax.

President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation Michael Weinstein, an avid supporter of Measure B, wasted no time in telling the Associated Press his thoughts on the matter, “The big lie the industry has been saying all these years, [that] there are no on-set transmissions, has been proven to be untrue. It’s happened before, it’s happened now, and it will happen in the future.”

Porn industry officials have yet to comment.


Photo Credit: Webersode A&F Video

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Gay Dating App ‘Hornet” Takes Further Action In HIV Education & Prevention


By Dustin Shrader

Popular hookup app Hornet is rolling out new features designed to make safe-sex encounters a lot safer. Getting right down to the issue, users can now update their profiles if they are taking PrEP HIV prevention medication or if they are HIV positive.

Under “status” users can select whether they are “Positive: Undetectable,” and “Negative: On PrEP,” as well as all of the previous choices.
Hornet also plans to launch a community network for men who are positive, allowing them to meet other like fellows in similar situations, while also raising awareness and educating all other gay men globally.

Statistically speaking, HIV infections have risen in young, adult gay males. Just in the US alone, 20 percent of gay and even bisexual men are estimated to be living with HIV, while studies have shown that 44 percent of men who haven’t been tested for HIV fall in the ages of 35 and under.

That is quite a significant bracket.

In a released statement, Hornet CEO Sean Howell says, “We are committed to looking for ways to eliminate stigma about this disease and to share the latest health facts on preventing HIV and empowering those living with HIV better options for self-expression. With our global reach, we can really make a difference.”

The Hornet leader also added, “In planning all of these changes we were shocked when we surveyed a sample of our members about their lack of understanding of either of these options. In fact, nearly all guys told us they had to search online to find out what these meant before they could answer our questions. Having done so, a clear majority felt these new options were important and should be added to the app.”

The hookup app already includes reminders to get tested every 6 months and zip codes for easily finding a local test center.

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ICYMI: Arizona Pastor Preaches the Cure for AIDS

By Dustin Shrader

This is why hate for the LGBT community keeps on burning. People such as an Arizona Baptist pastor continuously add fuel to the discriminatory fire without a moment’s hesitation. In a viral YouTube video released earlier this week, Faithful Word Baptist Church pastor Steven Anderson proclaimed that God’s judgment on gay people is accrued through AIDS and “if you executed the homos like God recommends you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant.”

He went on to further elaborate that he believes that governments are wasting billions of dollars trying to cure HIV when he “actually discovered the cure for AIDS.” Following up, Anderson quoted Leviticus, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”

Despite being unaware that heterosexuals hold a higher percentage for contracting AIDS, Anderson is devoutly positive he has found the cure. Anderson drives home his absurd sermon suggesting we could have an AIDS free Christmas, if only his plan was enacted.

Quite the holly, jolly season we’re having folks. You can watch the pastor’s full sermon below.



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National HIV Testing Day 2014

By D. David Kinney

Friday is National HIV Testing Day and organizations throughout America are calling on individuals to learn their status by getting tested for HIV. Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, a contributor for the AIDS.gov blog, explained on the site yesterday that National HIV Test Day is “a day on which we join with partners from all walks of life to promote HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV across the United States, and remind every American that HIV testing saves lives.”

If you live in Atlanta there are several great doctor’s offices, organizations and clinics where you can get tested. Some also offer free testing. Additionally, you may need an appointment at some locations. Here are a few along with links to their websites:

AID Atlanta

Positive Impact

Someone Cares of Atlanta


Piedmont Avenue Health & Wellness

Dr. T. Douglas Gurley

Select Walgreens locations in the Atlanta metro area are also offering free HIV testing on Friday and Saturday in honor of National HIV Testing Day. You can receive a free HIV test on Friday from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at these Georgia stores:

2711 Metropolitan Parkway Southwest Atlanta, GA 30315

3740 Cascade Road Southwest Atlanta, GA 30331

2035 Candler Road Decatur, GA 30032

631 Professional Drive, #100, Lawrenceville, GA 30046

4120 Austell Road Austell, GA 30106

2351 Dawson Road Albany, GA 31707

7935 Tara Boulevard Jonesboro, GA 30236


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CDC Launches ‘Start Talking. Stop HIV’ Campaign

By D. David Kinney

Atlanta’s very own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a new campaign on Wednesday called Start Talking. Stop HIV. The goal is to foster dialogue between gay and bisexual men about HIV risk and prevention by highlighting “real-world gay and bisexual men talking openly with their partners and sharing their experiences about HIV.”

It’s a bold step forward by the CDC, and the campaign’s timing is spot on after last week’s major announcement that the CDC now recommends health-care providers consider prescribing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to patients at risk of contracting HIV. If you’d like to learn how PrEP works, click here.

According to the CDC, “Research suggests that communication leads to behaviors, such as testing and HIV status disclosure, that can help reduce HIV risk. However, important conversations about HIV do not occur within many relationships due to fear of discrimination.”

For more information about the CDC’s new Start Talking. Stop HIV. campaign, click here.

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Commissioned For A Better Atlanta

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Joan Garner is originally from Washington D.C. but she has called Atlanta home since 1978. In fact her love for the city prompted her to become a Fulton County Commissioner in 2010 – a job she appreciates so much that she will be running for re-election this year.

In 2010, Joan Garner made history by becoming the first openly gay commissioner to serve Fulton County, GA. She has since proven her worth to the residents of Fulton County by performing official duties l like setting policy, approving the county budget and providing funding for Grady hospital. Her 2010 campaign focused strongly on building healthy communities and her 2014 re-election campaign’s focus remains overall the same: “Healthy citizens means you have a healthy county where people are able to work and create value,” Commissioner Garner explains, “I strongly endorse preventative measures that will create a strong and healthy work force and I will continue to do so in my new campaign.” In her mind, it is important to address the needs of all citizens, which for her means taking a bird’s eye perspective on things when it comes to promoting health and building a better community.

Because of her personal relationship – she is married to Judge Jane Morrison and they reside in the Old Fourth Ward – Garner also has an eye on current LGBT issues in Atlanta and Georgia as a whole.

“Discrimination is still a factor when you look at it broadly,” Joan Garner says, “There are still issues that directly target our rights as LGBT people. Gay marriage is still not legal and gay people still experience discrimination when it comes to housing and employment. The same goes for parenting and adoption where LGBT people just don’t have the same rights as others.” She also sees HIV/AIDS as a major issue for Atlanta’s gay community. Although the fight against HIV/AIDS is largely improving, it still has the power to instill fear in others and, for example, prevent people from coming out in the workplace. “It is still a group of citizens whose rights are not protected and, of course, I want to work toward changing that,” Commissioner Garner says, “The fact that I am an out lesbian provides me with a unique lens that I use when looking at legislation policy to make sure it becomes more inclusive.”

In the big picture, the U.S. has come a long way concerning gay rights, but zooming in on Georgia there are still major breakthroughs to be had. Gay marriage is still not recognized and legislation here seems to move very slow. Also, there have recently be en attempts made to approve bills that could potentially legalize discrimination against gays. Garner acknowledges that there is a long way to go: “Personally, I cannot sit still and let this happen, because I know what discrimination feels like—albeit from another arena. I’m not sure it will go away, but I do see an opportunity here. Because if there is something that needs to be protected, let’s come together and make that happen. I believe that out of push-back and out of friction comes growth.”

And how about gay marriage? When will it become legal in Georgia? Will it ever? Commissioner Garner remains optimistic here also. Being married herself (they tied the knot in Massachusetts), Garner strongly believes in the official union of two people: “I’ve been married four years now, but I don’t think Georgia is there yet. But I think we have a strong case with a lot of legislators that back it up. We have a good civil debate and also the mayor has come out in support of gay marriage—kudos to him on this action. It’s people like him and other fair-minded legislators that have voiced their support who will help turn this around for us. So maybe we won’t see legalized gay marriage this year or not even next year. But it is gaining momentum.”

The primary election for the Fulton County Board of Commissioners is May 20. Republican-led redistricting means Garner, elected to the District 6 post, is running for the District 4 seat. Garner’s re- election bid has been officially endorsed by Georgia Equality.

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How Does HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Work?

By D. David Kinney

Truvada is a medication that some gay men are taking to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. This type of HIV preventative is known as PrEP, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. Currently, Truvada is the only PrEP medication approved by the F.D.A. 

Researchers have found that Truvada can significantly reduce the risk of contracting HIV (up to 99% protection) if it is taken regularly. However, it’s important to note that this medication is not a cure for HIV. If you’ve recently been exposed to HIV your doctor may prescribe different medication known as PEP, Post-Exposure Prophylaxis. The names are similar, but the medications work differently. 

So how does HIV PrEP work? YOUREKAscience and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation have created a fantastic video that explains the science behind PrEP and how it can reduce your risk of contracting HIV. You can watch their entire video below. If you’re interesting in protecting yourself with PrEP medication talk to your doctor about your sexual activity. If you’re located near Atlanta, AbsoluteCARE (404-231-4431) and Piedmont Avenue Health & Wellness (404-588-4680) specialize in this field of medicine and can help with starting PrEP.

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AIDS No Longer Ranks In Top 10 Cause Of Death In NYC

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Although the ranking itself is dreary, it does provide the LGBT community with some good news. Because for the first time since 1983 where the HIV/AIDS epidemic was exploding, AIDS is no longer listed among the top ten causes of death in 2012 in New York City according to NYC Health Commissioner Mary Bassett.

The reason for this is due to better medicine, treatment and effective preventative campaigning for protected sex. This means that the number of new HIV infections, which is around 3,000 per year in the New York area, has remained steady or even declined slightly from year to year.

Although this good news does not mean that there isn’t still a lot of work do, it is a hopeful sign for a brighter future – perhaps with no HIV/AIDS? United Nations officials have already given their optimistic prognosis saying that the global HIV/AIDS epidemic could be over by 2030 as a result of medical advances, treatment, control and prevention of the virus.

source: nydailynews.com, queerty

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Kiehl’s and Keys Collaborate On HIV Charity

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Singer and songwriter sensation Alicia Keys has teamed up with skincare brand Kiehl’s to raise money for Keys’ charity Keep A Child Alive–an initiative founded in 2002 that raises awareness and money to support innovative, community-led responses that increase access to life-saving HIV treatment and care, nutritious food, and loving support for children and families living with and affected by HIV in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and India.

A very good cause considering that 72% of children who need HIV treatment are not receiving it.  By purchasing the special edition Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, you can join the movement and help get HIV treatment and loving care to children who need it the most. Buying just one bottle of Midnight Recovery Concentrate helps Keep a Child Alive provide one month of HIV care, medicines and love to a child living with HIV.    

Apart from supporting a great charity, why should I buy this product, you might ask? Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery is a customer favorite–in fact, one is sold every minute around the world. The reason is quite simple: the facial oil is infused with numerous botanical extracts that work at night to replenish, strengthen, smooth and hydrate your skin. Plus, it’s perfect for both for both men and women. Regardless of skin type you will notice the difference on your skin–especially now when it is still chilly outside and the weather is changing by the minute. Check out the limited edition Alicia Keys Midnight Recovery Concentrate right here.

Naturally, you can also choose to donate money directly to the organization – visit keepachildalive.org to see how.

(Kiehl’s has provided the press material for the purpose of this post)

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Joining Hearts 26

Atlanta’s favorite pool party is finally here! Joining Hearts 26 is set to make a huge splash this weekend with hundreds of guys in their swimsuits, complimentary Smirnoff cocktails, DJ Luis Perez, and DJ/Remixer Joe Gauthreaux. The party starts this Saturday at 4 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m. at the Piedmont Park Aquatic Center.

Joining Hearts’ pool parties are always fun and lighthearted; however, the work the organization does is serious and desperately needed. “Joining Hearts isn’t just about a party or an event; it’s a lifesaver and a tribute to life. To keep the connection to our mission, we remind our guests of the ongoing need for housing, and the important history our organization — even gong so far as to create displays noting how and where the money is spent,” the organization says on their website.

This year Joining Hearts is celebrating 26 years of serving those in need. It is their passion and dedication for helping Atlantans living with HIV and AIDS with housing support that fuels their success.

General admission tickets are sold out. However, you can still purchase a VIP ticket for $175 by clicking here. What is the benefit of VIP? You’ll have access to a private bar with complimentary Smirnoff cocktails, an air-conditioned exclusive VIP lounge experience, and delicious food by Bridge Catering.

Want to know the best thing about your ticket to Joining Hearts 26? “100% of every dollar raised through ticket sales and tips is donated to our beneficiaries, AID Atlanta and Jerusalem House,” according to Joining Heart’s website.

This year all tickets to the event are electronic. So, you don’t have to worry about printing anything out. Just remember to bring your ID. You have to be 21+ to get in. The Weather Channel, right now, is reporting a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms on Saturday. But, don’t fear! The event will go on rain or shine. Last year’s event had occasional showers and the party didn’t miss a beat.

Want to stay up to date on everything Joining Hearts 26? You can follow #JH26 or sign up for text alerts here.

Still not sure what to expect? Check out our photos from last year:






























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