Media reports of a new, drug-resistant HIV strain are ‘fake news’

This is what HIV looks like when it infects a cell Asian HIV advocates have warned reports that a new, drug-resistant HIV strain in the Philippines were ‘fake news’.

A report in DW was first published on 9 March that an ‘aggressive and drug-resistant HIV subtype is behind skyrocketing HIV infection’.

That story was then picked up by news outlets around the world , including many gay media outlets .

But HIV experts in the region have condemned the news reports labelling them ‘sensationalized’ and ‘fake news’.

UNAIDS Phillipines country director, Louie R. Ocampo, said the reports were inaccurate.

‘The variants of the HIV found in the country have not changed and are similar to the strains of the virus found throughout Asia and in other parts of the world,’ he said.‘In addition, there is no conclusive evidence that the strains of the virus found in the country are more infectious than other virus variants, nor is there evidence that they are resistant to the current treatment regimens available.’ But HIV is a problem in the Philippines HIV is a massive problem in the Philippines with some advocates labelling it a ‘ national emergency ‘.New HIV cases have risen 3,147% in the the ten […]

Did Australia miss its chance to address LGBT abuse in Indonesia?

Malcolm Turnbull and Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit. | Photo: Twitter/@ASEANinAus Australia and other Asian leaders may have missed a golden opportunity to confront Indonesia on the increasing persecution of LGBTI people there .

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull held the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit over the weekend in Sydney. The summit was for ASEAN members including; Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

Many hoped human rights in the region would be a top priority for discussion .

Much of the mainstream media attention was focused on the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s growing abuse of power.

But LGBTI advocates were also hopeful Turnbull would directly address the LGBT crackdown on the LGBT community with Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo. Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull takes a selfie with his wife Lucy (far right) and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and his wife, Iriana. Photo: Instagram/@turnbullmalcolm Advocates have been concerned about the pending criminalization of homosexuality in Indonesia, the targeting of trans women and ongoing raids at the homes, businesses and social gatherings of suspected gays and lesbians .

Australia and Indonesia are close neighbors and share a […]

‘The LGBTI community have made life worse for gay men and women’

WeHo 2007 Gay Pride parade. | Raul / Flickr If you don’t fit the typical mold, you’re not welcome in the LGBTI community, claims one Reddit user.

Reddit user BBremer283 took to the social media platform to vent his frustrations at what he calls a community of ‘spoiled toddlers.’

‘As a gay man, I’m frankly embarrassed of the LGBT community,’ he started. ‘I don’t fit the typical “gay” mold.’

He continues: ‘I like to watch basketball, go to the gym, and am a right leaning libertarian. They want to shun people like me away, as if you don’t fit their political agenda, you aren’t welcome.’ Folsom Street Fair, San Francisco 2012. | Photo: torbakhopper / Flickr The Redditer also claims the LGBTI community ‘loves men who are extremely feminine’ and says it needs to stop calling people bigots.

He references an LGBTI discussion group kicking him out for offending someone after he said the community ‘brings it on themselves.’

‘Don’t throw a bitch fit, just move on,’ he said.‘Yes, there are people that are going to hate you just for being gay, but who gives a shit? Just IGNORE those people.’ Read the full post: As a gay man, I’m frankly embarrassed of […]

Anti-LGBT Democratic Congressman Bests Progressive Challenger in Illinois

Marie Newman and Dan Lipinski Conservative Democrat Dan Lipinski, who has taken many anti-LGBT positions, narrowly won his primary against progressive challenger Marie Newman, assuring him of another term in a heavily Democratic Chicago-area district.

The Associated Press called the Illinois Third Congressional District race for Lipinski shortly after midnight Wednesday. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Lipinski led Newman by just 1,599 votes, 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

So far, there are no victory or concession statements from the candidates. Tuesday evening, Newman said she “would like Mr. Lipinski to have a very painful evening,” according to the Chicago Tribune, and Lipinski said the situation looked good for him, but he told supporters he wouldn’t yet declare victory because he was being “careful.” Newman also sent an email to supporters saying they may wake up in “recount mode,” the AP reports, but Illinois election rules make it hard to get a recount.

The race drew national attention, with groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood Action Fund strongly supporting Newman, who has been active in antibullying work and takes a progressive stance on LGBT issues and reproductive rights, in stark contrast to Lipinski, one […]

AEG’s Phillip Anschutz donates $1 million to Elton John’s AIDS Foundation, following anti-LGBT controversy

The Elton John AIDS Foundation announced yesterday that it had received a donation of $1 million to its LGBT Fund from the Chair of live music major AEG, Philip Anschutz. This follows further scrutiny of the billionaire’s previous funding of various anti-LGBT groups.

“The donation by Phil to EJAF is in keeping with the special connection and consistently supportive, collaborative relationship I have developed with AEG for more than a decade”, says John. As suggested, AEG has promoted John’s shows for more than ten years now, and it is behind the musician’s upcoming three year farewell tour.

John, meanwhile, launched his AIDS Foundation charity in 1992. The $10 million LGBT Fund was first announced in 2015 as a public-private partnership with the US President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, handing out its first grants the following year. Its main aim is to tackle stigma and discrimination in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.

“We will put [Anschutz’s] donation to work to ensure that vulnerable groups are not left behind in the fight against HIV/AIDS”, John continues. “This funding will help our programmes provide life-saving work for LGBT communities around the world, starting with the LGBT Fund in Sub-Saharan Africa”.

Anschutz himself added: “We are […]

Eastern Caribbean: LGBT People Face Bias, Violence

Expand Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados. © 2017 Amy Braunschweiger for Human Rights Watch (Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 107-page report “‘ I Have to Leave to Be Me’: Discriminatory Laws against LGBT People in the Eastern Caribbean ” covers seven countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. All seven countries have versions of buggery and gross indecency laws, relics of British colonialism, that prohibit same-sex conduct between consenting persons. The laws have broad latitude, are vaguely worded, and serve to legitimize discrimination and hostility toward LGBT people. “While people are rarely prosecuted for these crimes, the laws single out a vulnerable social group,” said Boris Dittrich , LGBT advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The laws give social and legal sanction for discrimination, violence, stigma, and prejudice against LGBT people.”

The report is based on interviews with people from all seven countries during February 2017 with a total of 41 self-identifying LGBT people between […]

LGBT festival Palm Beach Pride returns to Lake Worth

2017’s Palm Beach Pride at Lake Worth’s Bryant Park. The LGBTQ festival is produced by Compass Community Center. (James Stafford Photography / Courtesy) Despite being a festival celebrating the LGBTQ community in Palm Beach County, politics is very much a part of this year’s Palm Beach Pride. “Rainbow Resistance” is the theme for the celebration to be staged March 24-25 in Lake Worth.

“We are in Trump’s back yard,” says Julia Murphy, chief development officer for Compass Community Center, which produces the event. “To be able to stand tall and proud is very important. The political climate has changed, and it’s not very good for our community. It’s not supportive.”

Yet Murphy is quick to add that Lake Worth “has been extremely open and supportive of not only Compass, but Pride.” Compass is the community center for Palm Beach County’s LGBTQ population and their allies. Palm Beach Pride, formerly known as Pridefest, moved from West Palm Beach to Lake Worth in 2000.

“We started as a picnic in 1992 with a few hundred people,” Murphy recalls. “Now, we have 25,000. And allies and people come from all over the state. Who wants to be anywhere else in the month of March. We’re […]

UK government claims ban on gay cure therapy could have ‘unintended consequences’

(Photo by Simon Dawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images) The government has issued its third contradictory response on gay cure therapy in just five months – after being slammed in Parliament for its “inadequate” responses to calls for a ban.

It is currently legal for unregulated quacks and faith groups to attempt to ‘cure’ people of homosexuality in the UK, though the practise is banned on the NHS under a voluntary ‘Memorandum of Understanding’.

The government has been repeatedly pressed over its failure to listen to campaigners on the issue – and the Department for Health and Social Care has now issued no less than three contradictory responses in just a few months. In the first response in November last year, Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price claimed the government had “already taken the necessary steps to prevent the practice of gay conversion therapy in the UK”, and that it “does not believe creating a criminal offence is the right way forward”.

The minister also claimed to be “unaware” of high-profile reports of gay ‘cure’ practises, despite this being raised in Parliament.

The response was deemed inadequate by Parliament’s Petitions Committee, and Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price was told to try again.

In her second response in January […]

Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will not lift a finger to help transgender kids

(Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images) Donald Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has taken a resolute stance against transgender children.

DeVos has rolled back Obama-era protections for transgender children, and earlier this year directed the Department of Education to stop investigating allegations of discrimination against transgender kids who have been banned from restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender.

The Trump cabinet member was challenged over her policy during a House Appropriations subcommittee this week, where she was challenged by Rep. Mark Pocan.

In her response, DeVos confirmed that the department will limit any action against discrimination to a literal reading of discrimination law, which states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be subjected to discrimination under any education program”. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) While the Obama administration had taken a proactive interpretation of this to also tackle homophobic and transphobic discrimination, DeVos stated she would not do so unless directed to by Congress.

She said: “We have continued to protect the rights of students as defined under Title IX, we have continued to do so, and consider those matters brought through the Office for Civil Rights.

“We will continue to […]

Eurovision’s Saara Aalto comes out as lesbian ahead of ‘sassy and fun’ album and new single Monster

Saara Aalto PinkNews Exclusive
The X Factor UK made Saara Aalto the most Googled person in Finland in 2017. She was already one of the country’s biggest homegrown stars, but prior to her stint in the UK the “sassy, fun and colourful” Saara didn’t feel like she fitted in back home.

“In Finland I was too theatrical, too flamboyant,” she tells PinkNews over a bowl of noodles in Camden. “In Finland they like neighbourhood girl artists – I wasn’t like that.”

A year on from X Factor and Saara has come on leaps and strides. She is now openly, proudly identifying as a lesbian (with a policy to never say never to men).

“I am very proud to be lesbian and I feel very much like I am lesbian, totally,” she tells us. The flamboyant singer has a new, strong message of empowerment tied into the release of her forthcoming as-yet-untitled fifth album, which drops ahead of her Eurovision stint where she represents Finland this May.

New single Monsters , which Saara will perform at Eurovision, is about “living life as you want, finding your strength, being brave as who you are and not being afraid to show it.”
Saara knew she […]