Archive for August 7th, 2011

Every third young Iranian is having homosexual sex

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

News.az

A few years ago Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadnejad declared that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

The world again misunderstood the president. Ahmadinejad likely  meant western homosexual culture that has almost become official. Nothing of the kind is observed in Iran. Anal sex between Iranian men is present, according to the study published in PLoS Medicine scientific magazine.

The article in the magazine is devoted to AIDS and is called “Epidemic among men having sexual intercourse with men: Middle East and North Africa. Systematic analysis and review”.

The table “Anal sex among different groups of population in Middle East countries” indicates: “Iran. Single sexually active young men-29%.

The authors explain that these people are not homosexual. Iran’s problem is that 45% of men at the age before 29 years old, that is on the sexuality peak, are not married, mostly, for economic reasons. In the country where premarital sexual intercourse is strictly restricted, most practice the old eastern way – premarital sexual intercourse between men.

Dollywood Theme Park Accused of Discrimination Against Homosexuals

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

The New American

Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park has made some unwanted headlines after a lesbian visiting the park with her partner was asked to turn her T-shirt, which included the message “Marriage Is So Gay,” inside out to avoid offending other park patrons. In early July, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel, same-sex partners Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton visited the park with some friends, including the friends’ eight- and five-year-old daughters. Odom wore a shirt with a message that was “intended to be a statement supporting same-sex marriage,” reported the paper. As the group entered the park, an employee taking tickets told Odom that she would have to turn her shirt inside out. “I questioned why,” she recalled to the Sentinel, “and he told me because it was a family park.”

While Odom complied, she and Tipton later contacted “the recently formed Campaign for Southern Equality, a support group for gay, lesbian and transgender people who are the subject of discrimination, harassment or violence,” the Sentinel reported. “The campaign’s Jasmine Beach-Ferrera suggested the couple write a letter to [Dollywood] as a first step.”

Odom wrote a letter to the park managers, asking them to implement “policies that are inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; conduct staff sensitivity training; and issue a public statement indicating that the park is inclusive of all families.”

Pete Owens, a spokesman for the park, explained to the Sentinel that the park has always been “inclusive,” and that Odom was not asked to leave the park, only obscure the objectionable message on her T-shirt.

The Dollywood website stipulates that clothing “with offensive words and/or pictures will not be permitted inside the park.” Reported the Sentinel: “Owens said park gatekeepers are regularly reminded to make sure dress in the park is appropriate, and guests are asked to cover up tattoos or turn shirts inside-out on a regular basis. He said gatekeepers are given the discretion to decide what is offensive and to politely offer ways to cover the offensive shirt or tattoo, including letting guests wear a Dollywood shirt.”

As to charges that the park actions were discriminatory against the homosexual couple, Owns told the paper that “Dollywood is open every day to everybody. If you’ll walk around the park you’ll see that it’s very ethnically and socially diverse. There are families of all kinds … We’ve been very inclusive of everyone and I’m proud of that record that we’ve had through the years.”

According to the Sentinel, park owner and country music celebrity Dolly Parton “came out in support of gay marriage in 2009 in an interview on CNN and has long been outspoken in support of gay rights.” In fact, Parton recently told the homosexual newspaper the Dallas Voice that “I have always loved my gay fans. They accept me and I accept them. We get along just fine. I am very proud and honored when they dress up like me or whatever they want to do!”

The homosexual couple said that Odom was not the only person wearing a shirt that might be deemed offensive, noting that other guests wore shirts with religious and political messages, and there were even some bearing the confederate flag. “Our whole deal is about marriage equality and being treated equally,” said Tipton. “It’s not that we’re trying to cause a big stir.” But forcing her homosexual partner to “turn her shirt inside-out because Dollywood is a ‘family park’ was one of the aspects that particularly upset” Tipton, the Sentinel related. “Families have so many different definitions these days … We were with our family,” Tipton insisted.

Not only did the incident receive wide coverage on TV and radio, in newspapers, and on Internet sites, but homosexual groups used the story as an opportunity to explore the issue of discrimination against same-sex couples and homosexual marriage in general.

For example the Advocate, the nation’s premier homosexual magazine and website, queried Dollywood’s spokesman Pete Owens on the park’s policy to determine if park officials were specifically targeting homosexuals. Owens responded by explaining that “thousands of times a day our front gate hosts are asked to enforce our dress code policy.” He emphasized that the park’s strict dress code “doesn’t have anything to do with who the people are or what their belief system is or with anything other than the fact that we try to prevent as best as we can … one of our guests being offended by something someone else is wearing.”

The Advocate was able to ferret out some criticism of Dollywood from Odom, who recalled being “in disbelief” over the park employee’s request that she hide the offensive slogan on her shirt. “I didn’t think it was the policy of Dollywood to discriminate against the LGBT community,” she said. “I was curious what he found offensive about the shirt — if it was the fact that it had the word gay on it or that it was in conjunction with the word marriage.”

The homosexual group Campaign for Southern Equality, which the same-sex couple first contacted for assistance in their grievance against Dollywood, insisted in a press release that what Odom experienced was nothing less than “an example of what can happen when a LGBT person or ally is out in public life: they are pressured to go back in the closet.” The organization stressed that Odom’s campaign against the park stemmed not only from her need to stand up for homosexual rights, but also to make certain that the children who were with her and her homosexual partner at the park “know that what happened was unfair and that it’s important to stand up for equality in such moments.”

LGBT-Seeking Detectives Find Many On Network TV

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Thye New American

Professional homosexual activists undoubtedly broke out the pink champagne recently when their television analysts finally finished the “Network Responsibility Index” for 2010-2011.

The NRI, published by GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, measures how many “LGBT” (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual) characters the television networks can push into prime-time television programs to brainwash viewers into thinking that sexual identity disorders are perfectly normal. (In 1952, when the American Psychiatric Association published its first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, homosexuality was included as a disorder.)

GLAAD was glad about the results. A plenitude of the sexually disordered are appearing before the cameras. Some networks increased the number of deviant characters. But alas, not all is well among the gay community. Other networks dropped the number, which left the gay agenda activists at GLAAD redder than Boy George’s (pictured) bottomless pot of rouge.

Results

GLAAD creates two categories of hospitality to homosexuals; one for cable networks, the other for broadcast. Of television’s 4574.5 hours of prime-time programming, GLAAD’s LGBT counters analyzed 1382.5 hours, an eye-glazing 30 percent.

Sadly enough, the top cable network when it comes to putting the gay crowd front and center is ABC Family. Fifty-five percent of the network’s prime programming, which targets teeangers particularly susceptible to images on the boob tube, contains what GLAAD calls “LGBT impressions.” That means the programs feature a homo, lesbian, switch-hitter, transvestite, or “trans-gendered” person.

Such was ABC “Family’s” commitment to proselytizing perversion that GLAAD gave the network a rating of “excellent.”

Of the 10 cable networks evaluated, ABC Family posted the largest increase (+18%) and ranked highest for LGBT-inclusive original content. Out of 103 total hours of original primetime programming, 56.5 (55%) hours included LGBT impressions. This year, ABC Family becomes the second network, cable or broadcast, to receive an “Excellent” rating in this report due to the quality and diversity of its many LGBT impressions.

Showtime was second with 37 percent and TNT third with 33 percent. Thirty-one percent of HBO’s programming features a pervert. AMC scored 29 percent. TBS brought up the rear with 9 percent.

As for the broadcast networks, The CW came in first with 33 of programs featuring a blatant homosexual or some other character involved in an “alternative lifestyle.” Fox, that bastion of “conservative” news programming, came in second with 29 percent, but then again Fox’s programming has always been a little off color. “Married with Children” is just one example of the prurient fare that Rupert Murdoch spewed into the American living room. However, the neocons who appear on his news programs to pound the drums for war in the Middle East didn’t seem to have a problem with such suggestive programming.

Anyhow, ABC came in third with 23 percent, NBC fourth with 15 percent and CBS on the bottom with 10 percent.

Nine networks, including NBC, CBS and ABC Family, increased their coverage. Four of them, including CBS, Fox and TNT, decreased it.

Racial Bias

Yet GLAAD doesn’t just measure the number of homosexuals on television. It studies the complexion of “LGBTs,” and that doesn’t mean whether they wear Estee Lauder or Elizabeth Arden face powder. Rather, GLAAD’s deviant detectives check for the network’s commitment to racial and sexual “diversity” within the homosexual world. How many lesbians versus homosexuals? GLAAD can tell you. How many black versus white homosexuals? GLAAD is on the job. Such is the group’s taxonomy they even measure how many Asian and Pacific Islanders disport themselves on the gay side of the stage.

Thus, GLAAD reports, “NBC led the broadcast networks in overall racial diversity of its LGBT impressions. While a total of 65% of the 1584 total LGBT impressions on the broadcast networks were white characters, only 38% of the 227 impressions on NBC were white.”

Conversely, 36% of NBC’s impressions were from Latino characters thanks largely to Oscar Nunez on The Office, and 23% were Asian-Pacific Islander (API) because of Dr. George Huang on Law & Order: SVU. However, only 3% of impressions on NBC were black/African American.

ABC was the greatest offender in this category. “Despite having the greatest overall number of LGBT-inclusive programming hours, ABC featured the least racial diversity among those impressions: 85% of ABC’s 479 LGBT impressions were white characters.” Who knew that ABC was biased in favor of white homosexuals?

Even more amusing than this, however, is GLAAD’s detailed look at the APIs.

The Asian/Pacific Islander LGBT community was somewhat better represented this past season compared to last thanks largely to the identification of Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife as bisexual. Kalinda received a number of major storylines and gave CBS the highest percentage of API representation (30%) on the broadcast networks. On the other hand, despite being upgraded to regular character status, Dr. Huang remained a relatively minor character who didn’t appear in every episode of Law & Order: SVU, and Angela’s bisexuality was underplayed yet again this past season on Bones. API characters made up 11% of the
LGBT impressions on the broadcast networks.

Unsurprisingly, the networks are biased in favor of homosexual men. “As they have every year that the NRI has been conducted, gay males made up the bulk of the LGBT impressions on broadcast television. On average, three out of four (73%) LGBT inclusive hours contained gay male impressions.”

The upshot? Television’s homosexual world is as evil as its heterosexual counterpart, by liberal affirmative action standards. White men are on top!

Why Measure The ‘Gayness’ Of Television?

One might wonder why GLAAD pays someone to sit in housecoats and curlers (or pastel sweats) to watch nearly 1,400 hours of mind-numbing television. Because GLAAD knows that the more such characters show up, the more the public will be brainwashed into accepting them as “normal.”

GLAAD has seen time and again how images of multi-dimensional gay and transgender people on television have the power to change public perceptions. The Pulse of Equality Survey, commissioned by GLAAD and conducted by Harris Interactive, confirmed a growing trend toward greater acceptance among the American public. Of the 19% who reported that their feelings toward gay and lesbian people have become more favorable over the past 5 years, 34% cited “seeing gay or lesbian characters on television” as a contributing factor.

This depends, of course, on redefining “normal” to include sodomy and other revolting homosexual practices.

HIV Cases in U.S. Stable At 50,000

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Thirdage.com

Overall U.S. HIV incidence has been relatively stable but increases in new infections are being observed among young, black gay and bisexual men, officials say.

Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division of HIV/AIDS prevention, says overall HIV incidence in the U.S. has been relatively stable, with approximately 50,000 annual new infections a year. However, new HIV infections increased 48 percent – from 4,400 in 2006 to 6,500 in 2009 – among young, black men who have sex with men.

“We are deeply concerned by the alarming rise in new HIV infections in young, black gay and bisexual men and the continued impact of HIV among young gay and bisexual men of all races,” Mermin says in a statement. “We cannot allow the health of a new generation of gay men to be lost to a preventable disease. It’s time to renew the focus on HIV among gay men and confront the homophobia and stigma that all too often accompany this disease.”

The estimates, published in the online scientific journal PLoS ONE, says the incidence estimates are based on direct measurement of new HIV infections with a laboratory test that can distinguish recent from long-standing HIV infections, UPI.com reports.

“HIV infections can be prevented,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, says. “By getting tested, reducing risky behaviors, and getting treatment, people can protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Lucy on gay rights: ‘It’s perfectly all right with me.’

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Chicago Go Pride

Chicago, IL — Lucille Ball, who would have turned 100 Saturday, is remembered as one of the most celebrated comic actresses by fans across the nation.

photo

The Emmy Award-winning comedienne starred on both stage and screen, but is undoubtable remembered for her role in the 1950s classic TV sitcom “I Love Lucy.”

Many remember the red-headed icon as a trailblazer, even on the subject of gay rights.

In an interview with People magazine in 1980, Ball was asked, “How do you Feel about gay rights?”

“It’s perfectly all right with me,” she responded. ”Some of the most gifted people I’ve ever met or read about are homosexual. How can you knock it?”

Ball was also remembered across the Internet including on Google’s home page, which featured an interactive doodle modeled after the intro the her show.

The lovable Lucille Ball passed away on April 26, 1989 after she suffered from an aneurysm at the age of 77.

Last homosexual concentration camp survivor dies at 98

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

jpost

BERLIN – Rudolf Brazda, widely believed to be the last gay survivor of Nazi Germany’s extermination camp system, died on Wednesday in France, the Lesbian and Gay Federation of Germany confirmed on Thursday. He was 98.

Brazda was born in Germany and sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp in August 1942.

The United States army liberated Buchenwald, near the eastern German city of Weimar, in April 1945.

“I didn’t understand what was happening but what could I do? Under Hitler you were powerless,” Brazda said in a 2010 video interview with the French gay website Yagg.

Though Paragraph 175 of Germany’s criminal penal code outlawed homosexuality before Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933, the Nazi party under Hitler radically intensified the enforcement of the anti-gay law.

Historians estimate that 10,000 to 15,000 homosexuals across Europe – most of them German – were deported to concentration camps. Many of them were murdered in the camps or castrated by the Nazis as part of their sinister “National Sexual Budget” plan.

More than 50,000 men in Germany were arrested because of alleged violations of Paragraph 175 during the Nazi period (1933-1945).

Brazda was incarcerated in 1937 for six months because of Paragraph 175. A Nazi collaborator denounced him to the authorities as engaging in “unnatural lewdness.” Four years later, he was again jailed and convicted under the anti-gay law.

After serving a prison sentence in 1941, he was deported to Buchenwald, where an estimated 650 homosexual men were imprisoned.

West Germany suspended the Nazi-era Paragraph 175 in 1969 and the Federal Republic abolished the law in 1994.

While in Germany in 2009, Brazda’s first visit to his native country in 64 years, he examined his Buchenwald concentration camp documents. “Yet they were never able to destroy me. I am not ashamed,” he noted.

Commenting on the contemporary gay and lesbian generation, he said, “They should consider themselves lucky to live in a free democracy.”

Brazda said that a kapo – an inmate forced by the Nazis to oversee the work of other prisoners – helped save his life. Gay prisoners were frequently sent to work in the grim quarry, but Brazda was assigned to work as a roofer. The less taxing work as a roofer – his profession before imprisonment – coupled with extra meals allowed him to survive.

In Buchenwald, he was compelled to wear a pink triangle on his uniform, denoting the Nazi category for homosexuality.

Shortly before Buchenwald was liberated, he escaped the “death march” to the Flossenburg concentration camp. He said, “But I was lucky. To have gotten out of there, to be alive. It wasn’t easy.”

A second kapo hid Brazda in a tool shed with pigs before the death march started. He survived 14 days in the shed until the Americans liberated Buchenwald.

“After that, I was a free man,” he said.

After World War II, Brazda relocated to France, in Alsace, where he lived with his partner, Edi Mayer, for more than three decades. Mayer died in 2003.

Brazda was born in 1913 to Czech parents in Brossen, Thuringia state. The son of a coal miner who died when Brazda was a young boy, he had seven siblings.

Two recent books have documented Brazda’s life. Alexander Zinn, a former press spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Federation of Germany, published a biography in 2011, whose title loosely translates as Happiness Always Came to Me, the lifelong motto of Brazda.

A second biography – Itinerary of a Pink Triangle – was published by the French author Jean-Luc Schwab last year.

This past April, France appointed Brazda a Knight of the Legion of Honor. Germany chose not to award Brazda the Federal Cross of Merit. Brazda did not receive monetary compensation from the German government for his incarceration in Buchenwald.

Successive post-Holocaust German governments resisted paying financial compensation for gay victims of the Nazi period.

HIV is a virus, not a crime

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

The Gleaner

CALLS FOR laws to address the “reckless and conscious transmission” of HIV touch a nerve. The ensuing public dialogue and quick political feedback are fuelled by increased awareness of the Caribbean’s 18,000 new HIV infections every year, 2,100 of which are in Jamaica. Support for criminalisation reflects a desire to reduce the spread of the virus while exacting justice for those who were intentionally infected.

The situation points to something more: the difficulty over the last decade in reducing the number of new HIV cases, the failure to develop and maintain programmes targeted at populations at highest risk, and the fallout of limited access to treatment. Another reality of HIV in this time is that treatment has been proven to be 96 per cent effective in preventing transmission between couples. Expanding access to such treatment, supporting increased condom use and bolstering the uptake of testing and counselling services are effective ways of reducing the transmission of HIV and protecting the most vulnerable. Criminalisation isn’t.

There’s no need for HIV-specific criminal laws

There are persons who maliciously transmit HIV with intent to harm others, and they should face appropriate criminal prosecution. For these cases there is no need to create HIV-specific legislation. The alternative is to invoke existing laws relating to assault or criminal negligence. In determining whether an act of transmission should attract criminal penalties, the complexities of human sexual behaviour must be carefully and fairly discerned. What are the reasonable and enforceable lines between criminal and non-criminal behaviour when it comes to HIV transmission?

There are several circumstances in which an HIV-positive person either does not present a significant risk of transmission or does not have criminal intent. Does the individual know that he is HIV positive? Does she understand how HIV is transmitted? Did he tell his partner that he was HIV positive or believe that his partner knew his status? Did she practise safe sex and regularly take medications? Was there an understanding that intimacy involved a certain degree of risk? A criminal law specifically related to HIV would cast all persons living with the virus as potential criminals and intensify the hysteria surrounding the virus.

Criminalisation is counterproductive

The stigmatisation of people living with HIV has implications for society as a whole. There are serious repercussions for public health when constructive responses are undermined by ineffective laws. Our legacy of legislating human sexual behaviour – from prostitution to abortion, to sodomy – bears out that statutes are often irrelevant to individual decision making surrounding sex. Before or after conviction, in or out of prison, the law does nothing to stop an individual from engaging in risky activities.

But while these laws may not be effective deterrents they do have an impact: the behaviours they are meant to curb are driven underground and become more difficult to address. The most powerful tools for promoting disclosure and safer sex are interventions anchored by voluntary testing and counselling and outreach. Criminalisation could reduce people’s willingness to learn their status and access treatment and support.

Criminal laws are often unfairly and selectively enforced. Where they exist these laws are often applied to people who are the most socially or economically marginalised. Migrants, sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and transsexual people can become easy targets for arrest. Women are also more vulnerable to prosecution under such laws because they access health services more frequently than men and are therefore likely to find out about their HIV status sooner. The partner who is aware of his or her status is not always the one who first contracted HIV. Infidelity, rape, sexual coercion and unequal power relations are among the dynamics that increase women and girls’ vulnerability to both HIV infection and prosecution under such laws.

Criminal cases give the authorities the green light to investigate anyone they suspect of having passed on HIV. This can manifest as an invasion of privacy as well as a breach of confidentiality. It has the impact of creating distrust in relationships between HIV-positive people and their health-care providers. People may fear that information regarding their status may be used against them. The provision of quality treatment and care is anchored in trust, and there should be no wide-ranging basis for violating this principle.

Responsibility of HIV-positive person

Jamaica’s HIV prevalence rate is 1.7 per cent. Exposure to the virus is a risk that every sexually active individual has a personal responsibility to manage. But a law relating to HIV transmission squarely places responsibility for risk-reduction only on people living with HIV.

Additionally, criminalisation may create a false expectation that the law has eliminated any danger from engaging in unprotected sex. Not knowing a partner’s status or assuming that he or she does not have a disease are not sufficient reasons for neglecting to use protection, discuss each other’s status and get tested. Ultimately those are the behaviours that will lead to a decline in HIV.

The way forward

Jamaica must within the next two years reduce its number of new infections by 50 per cent. Criminalisation won’t accomplish this, but more effective prevention programmes can. We need better access to sound information, services and support for all individuals including young people, gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers and prisoners. We need more counselling and testing. We need better access to age-appropriate sexuality education. We need to make it easier for sexually active people to obtain condoms and personal lubricants. We need interventions that support HIV-positive people in disclosing and practising safer sex. We need to continue to combat stigma and discrimination so that people can make healthy, responsible and safe choices about their lives, including decisions relating to sex and reproduction.

Developing an isolated law to criminalise transmission intensifies the climate of denial, secrecy and fear, providing an ever more fertile ground for the spread of HIV. Comprehensive legal reforms to address discrimination and vulnerability along with policy directives to improve the reach and quality of prevention programmes are needed. The criminalisation of HIV transmission won’t help.

Low stock: HIV patients denied second-line drugs

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Timesofindia.com

About 750 HIV patients requiring advanced treatment in the state are forced to go without life-saving second-line anti-retroviral therapy (ART) drugs which are in short supply.

Hospitals, which are supposed to hand them out free, say they don’t have adequate stocks of these medicines. Officials of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), the country’s nodal agency for prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, said the sudden increase in the number of patients receiving second-line of treatment has caused the countrywide shortage of these drugs. Healthcare experts and NGOs fear this would increase the number of patients dropping out of the drug regimen, causing more cases of drug resistance.

ART is a combination of highly advanced drugs meant to fight HIV infection and increase life expectancy of HIV-AIDS patients. If the first-line of treatment is not adequate to bring down the viral load, patients are given the second-line of drugs. Both these regimens are provided free of cost by NACO.

Patients advised to take higher dosage of pediatric drugs

In Tamil Nadu, only two ART centres provide second line of drugs. They are located in Tambaram in Chennai and in Salem city. At least 150 patients from Salem, Krishnagiri, Erode, Namakkal, Karur, Ooty and Coimbatore visit the Salem centre to collect a month’s dosage.

For the past one month, patients have been asked to take higher dosage of pediatric drugs or purchase them from the retail market. Second-line ART regimen consists of tenofovir, lamivudin, atazanavir and ritonovir. But ART centre managers say that the NACO has not supplied them with ritonovir. Krishnagiri-based G Karunanidhi, member of Tamilnadu Networking People with HIV/AIDS, is among those prescribed the second line ART medicine. He visits the ART centre every month to collect his monthly quota of drugs.

On July 18, the centre gave him medicines for only four days though his usual dosage is for a month. “They asked me to come back to Salem after four days to collect the remaining drugs. I went back on July 25 and I was told they had not received the stock,” he said. P Nagaraj of Salem Network of PLWHA wasn’t as lucky. He was asked to take the pediatric ART drugs. “They told me that I could take double the child’s dose.

I avoided it as I feared side effects,” he said. Experts say the drugs may not produce the desired effect unless they are taken at the right time and dosage. Dr Sentha Krishnan, who is in charge of Salem ART centre, said there were no stocks of ritonovir tablets. “We have not received supply of the drugs from NACO since mid-July. We ask patients to take a combination of lopinavir-ritonovir tablets. It has no side effects.

NACO has told us the stocks will be replenished in a few days,” she said. NACO’s regional co-ordinator SThennarasu said the situation was the same all over the country. NACO’s national programme officer (ART) BB Rewari confirmed that the number of persons taking second line ART has increased. “We have added five more centres to give the second line of ART drugs. We are doing our best to give everyone the medicines. Instead of buying from international companies, we are now planning to go in for local pharmaceutical companies,” he said.

Cris Anonuevo accused of using AIDS as a weapon to extort money

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

News.com.au

A MAN attempted to extort money from family friends by threatening to inject their children with the AIDS virus, a Sydney court has been told.

Cris Anonuevo, 43, allegedly targeted 14 families in Sydney’s western suburbs over 12 months by sending anonymous threatening letters, The Daily Telegraph reported.

He demanded sums ranging from $6000 to $105,000.

He was successful on only one occasion, extorting $50,000 from a Rouse Hill family in April this year, police allege.

Police said Mr Anonuevo, a father of two, was arrested on July 27 in the driveway of his Quakers Hill home, after a failed attempt to collect money from a victim.Details of the police investigation were revealed in Penrith Local Court yesterday when Mr Anonuevo appeared, accompanied by his wife, who has not been charged.

It is alleged Mr Anonuevo made his first extortion attempt in July last year when he posted a letter to family friends at Rouse Hill demanding $60,000. If the family did not pay, he threatened to jab one of the children with a needle carrying the AIDS or hepatitis viruses. He also threatened to rape one of their young daughters.

Police said Mr Anonuevo targeted five families he knew through his sons, and a former colleague and his doctor, who he threatened with a letter left on his car at work.He did not know other victims but allegedly told police they had Filipino-sounding names and he believed they would be more willing to protect their families.

On occasions when he did not mail the letter, he would attach the letter to a brick and throw it through a window at the house, the court was told.

It is alleged Mr Anonuevo made follow-up calls to his victims and gave instructions on how to bundle the cash and its collection.

Four families agreed to his demands – but the money was intercepted by police or not collected on three occasions.

Police said the family who handed over $50,000 only came forward after reading media reports about Mr Anonuevo’s arrest earlier this week. He allegedly told police that he was in more than $150,000 debt. He has not entered a plea to the 20 charges and will return to court later this month.

AIDS diagnoses rising in New Mexico and U.S. as some forget epidemic

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Santafenewmexican.com

It’s not over. Not by a long stretch.

Thirty years have passed since AIDS reared its ugly head in New Mexico. Successful drug treatments have deferred automatic death sentences once associated with the disease, but there’s still no cure for the human immunodeficiency virus that causes it.

Although patients are living much longer, the number of new HIV infections is on the rise in the state. What’s worse, lots of the new cases have gone undetected for so long that people are very sick before they figure out the problem.

Even as health care workers and others in Santa Fe gathered this weekend to honor those who have worked to deal with the affliction over the last three decades, they’re painfully aware of persistent challenges.

The biggest problem? People are ignoring HIV.

“A lot of people don’t realize that there are still new cases of AIDS being diagnosed today, and part of that is because there is no longer the perceived sense of urgency that there was,” says local advocate Chuck Jones. “That’s due to the medications that we now have that can treat the disease. Of course, it doesn’t cure the disease, it only holds it in check. The fact of the matter is everybody is at risk, even today.”

Jones, who was finishing grad school in New York City in the late 1970s, remembers the way the disease emerged there. Men were dying in droves with little explanation from the medical community. Scientific understanding advanced, yet Jones spent 15 more years in hospitals and at funerals.

People who didn’t live through those scary times, he said, don’t grasp the severity of an unchecked HIV diagnosis.

Tests in New Mexico in 2009 found 168 new cases of HIV, 20 percent more new cases than in 2005. Many had already progressed to AIDS — a point defined by the presence of other serious infections or a high concentration of the virus in blood.

“One of the trends we’re seeing in New Mexico, and it is regrettable, is that half the new cases of HIV are being concurrently diagnosed with AIDS, which means people are not getting tested early enough,” explains Jeff Thomas, director of Southwest CARE Center, Santa Fe’s HIV service provider.

“They are coming to us from hospitals and from emergency rooms and from intensive-care units, where people have gotten gravely ill because either they weren’t accessing the health care system appropriately, or they weren’t getting tested routinely.”

A tiny red ribbon pin rested on Thomas’ lapel as he spoke. The once ubiquitous symbol of AIDS awareness is now lost in a sea of ribbons — pink ones for breast cancer, purple ones for domestic violence, and puzzle pieces for autism. AIDS is no longer the cause célèbre, he said, and private giving to service providers slipped out of popularity and into the realm of being passé.

New faces of HIV

To Antonio Araiza-Ramirez, the disease is anything but passé. The 22-year-old is among a segment of the population here who make up a disproportionate share of newly diagnosed HIV cases.

Although he learned about his HIV status three years ago and just moved to Santa Fe from Mexico this summer, other Hispanic gay and bisexual men were 46 percent of the new HIV diagnoses here in 2009, the last year for which the state Health Department provides complete data.

Asked why he thinks his peers are contracting the disease at higher rates, Araiza-Ramirez doesn’t mince words.

“Because we are horny,” the Spanish-speaker blurted in English.

And trusting. After a few years of being careful about using a condom every time he had sex, he, like other guys he knows, began to have unprotected sex with a partner he believed was being monogamous. Both men now have the virus.

Nestor Vanegas-Charry, a Southwest CARE Center caseworker, said another big factor in why AIDS continues to hit young Latinos is that discussions about sex aren’t frank, and homosexuality is still considered taboo by many. That’s one reason why the clinic and other state outreach efforts for HIV testing are targeting Spanish-speaking populations.

Araiza-Ramirez said that for his part, he’s talking to others about prevention.

“Think first. Love yourself and be responsible,” he said through an interpreter. “You have to take care of yourself first in order to take care of other people.”

He takes two pills each day that contain three antiretroviral medications, a treatment course that now keeps the virus from replicating in the body’s cells and also supplements production of T-cells. That means that even though he’s been HIV-positive since 2007, Araiza-Ramirez is not getting sicker. His viral load is so low that it’s undetectable, which means his chances of transmitting the virus to someone else are significantly reduced.

Still, the young man will face a lifetime of medicine. When his thick head of dark hair starts to go gray and his slender body takes the shape of an older man, he’s likely to experience a more rapid physical deterioration.

Doctors are just now starting to get a handle on how older men react to HIV drugs and to the disease’s symptoms.

Jeremy Landau, 61, has known about his HIV-positive status since the early 1980s, but he suspects he’s had the disease even longer.

“People like me are writing the book on this thing now,” said Landau, who lived in Santa Fe between 1989 and 2004 and now lives in Cedar Crest. “They don’t know. They don’t have projections about what the long-term effects of the meds in combination with aging are going to be, but every year that people like me live is another chapter in the textbook.”

Some are luckier than others. At the age of 70, Bill Thornton has been living in Santa Fe with an HIV-positive diagnosis for 24 years. He estimates about 70 percent of his friends died from the disease when he was in his 40s.

He clearly remembers the discussion with Dr. Trevor Hawkins when he realized the tide had turned.

“He finally looked at me during the appointment and said, ‘Bill, you are not going to die of AIDS. You are going to die of old age.’ ”

That was more than seven years ago. The same antiretroviral drugs that new patients are taking have been in his medicine cabinet for years.

As Thornton takes a backward glance through time, he’s proud of what Santa Fe did to embrace those suffering from HIV. He’s stepped back somewhat from being a “nonprofit junkie” on boards of directors for AIDS service groups, but he believes the city’s response to the epidemic was unique.

“I think that back in the ’90s, the whole community opened up their arms and their hearts to care for people with HIV,” he said. “I think that people needed something tangible to work for, to look forward to.”

Responding to tragedy

A file of newspaper clips about AIDS fundraisers in Santa Fe is several inches thick: People danced. They played. They sang. They dressed up. They made special food. They walked by the thousands through the Santa Fe Plaza. They organized a cadre of nurses to visit patients and social workers to help their families cope with disease and death. They decorated denim jackets and umbrellas and Christmas trees to auction off to raise money. They sold art. A barber donated proceeds from each haircut.

Even now, the annual Aid and Comfort Gala is a well-attended fundraiser to pay for direct medical care and ancillary services such as transportation.

Santa Fe’s services for people living with HIV and AIDS drew people from larger cities who had contracted the virus during the first decade of the epidemic.

Hawkins, a physician at the Southwest CARE Center, said it was common for people to move from New York or Los Angeles for a number of reasons, including that the culture here is known for tolerance and integration of gay and bisexual members of the community.

“It happened a lot more in the early days,” he said. “People wanted to get out of the big city, and they wanted to find a quiet place where they could get treatment. Santa Fe was the place. These days, people are living with this disease and they are not coming here to die.”

Jones recalls the mixed emotions of an awareness and service movement that got big in the 1990s, culminating with a consortium of nonprofits called Santa Fe Cares that included the People of Color AIDS Foundation, Visiting Nurses Services, Hand-in-Hand and other agencies.

“It was exciting,” he said. “Everybody was doing it, and we felt some sense of success having a unified response to this. At the same time, we were walking the streets during the AIDS Walk and thinking about all the people who had died. It was this very sort of odd juxtaposition of real energy and kind of passion and joy on the one hand, carrying with it a very deep emotional connection to the disease. The fact that it happened on so many different levels in such a little town is a fascinating story to me.”

Keeping at it

These days, Hawkins is still conducting clinical trials at the Southwest CARE Center and working on research that he hopes will lead to a cure. He’s happy to report that he no longer regularly sits at a patient’s deathbed.

In the meantime, he says regular reminders about AIDS must reach the community. A common misperception is that the epidemic has ended.

“We are realizing that there are significant downstream complications to long-term HIV infection. It remains a complex disease to manage, and people are still getting infected at the same rate or at a slightly increased rate,” he said. “So the number of people living with HIV is going up, and it’s never been higher.”

Juanita Thorne-Connerty, who worked as a nurse at the AIDS Wellness Center and has volunteered for the Aid and Comfort Gala for nearly 17 years, was among a crowd that gathered at the east-side home of Larry Bonaguidi on Saturday to celebrate Southwest CARE Center’s 15th anniversary and reunite with others who were health care workers, fundraisers and home visitors during the early days of the epidemic.

She’s worried about AIDS apathy in the modern era.

“I could not go into any health facility anywhere in the 1990s without seeing the bowl of condoms at the front desk. It is very rare that you see that now. It is very rare that you see the red ribbons,” she said. “I think it’s time for us to bring those back out. It’s time for us to pull out the bowls and get out the red ribbons and to remind people that we still have a fight on our hands and that it’s not over.”

VIH/sida : la circoncision est efficace même dans la vraie vie

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Le Quotidien du Médecin

Présentés aujourd’hui à la VIe Conférence de l’International Aids Society (IAS) organisée à Rome, les résultats de l’étude ANRS 12126 montrent qu’une intervention reposant sur la circoncision des hommes adultes réduit de façon importante la prévalence et l’incidence du VIH chez les hommes circoncis.

« Ce résultat démontre pour la première fois que la circoncision masculine appliquée à grande échelle est efficace pour lutter contre le VIH au niveau d’une communauté », souligne l’ANRS. Coordonnée par Bertran Auvert (INSERM U1018/Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines) et menée par Dirk Taljaard (Progressus, Afrique du Sud) et David Lewis (Institut national des Maladies Contagieuses, Afrique du Sud), l’étude conforte les résultats de trois essais randomisés menés au Kenya (2007), en Ouganda (2007) et en Afrique du Sud (2005) qui avaient conduit l’OMS et l’ONUSIDA à recommander dès 2007 la circoncision comme stratégie de prévention dans les communautés ayant une forte prévalence du VIH et une faible prévalence de la circoncision.

L’étude présentée à Rome fait suite à l’étude de 2005 en Afrique du Sud déjà conduite par le Pr Bertran Auvert. Les auteurs soulignaient alors : « La diminution importante du risque de contamination par la circoncision observée dans l’essai ANRS 1265 a été obtenue dans des conditions expérimentales soigneusement encadrées : information sur la prévention, fourniture de préservatifs, pratique médicale de la circoncision. » L’enjeu était de vérifier que cette stratégie pouvait être efficace à l’échelle d’une population régionale.

C’est ce que vient de réaliser l’étude de l’équipe du Pr Auvert conduite entre 2007 et 2010 auprès de la population adulte (110 000 personnes) du bidonville d’Orange Farm, à 45 km de Johannesbourg. Une circoncision gratuite et médicalisée était proposée à tous les hommes volontaires âgés d’au moins 15 ans. L’intervention s’est aussi appuyée sur un programme d’information sur la prévention, incluant le dépistage, la distribution de préservatifs, et la promotion de la santé sexuelle et reproductive.

Baisse de 76 %.

Plus de 20 000 circoncisions ont été effectuées au cours des trois années de l’étude, ce qui a permis de faire passer la proportion d’hommes circoncis de 16 à 50 % parmi les 15-49 ans (59 % chez les 15-24 ans). Les résultats au bout de trois ans montrent que les comportements sexuels, notamment l’usage des préservatifs, ne sont pas différents chez les hommes circoncis et non circoncis. En revanche, la prévalence du VIH est 55 % plus basse et l’incidence du VIH est 76 % plus faible chez les circoncis que chez les non circoncis, une réduction d’incidence peu différente de celle observée dans les trois essais princeps (60 %).

Le Dr Dirk Taljaard, l’un des deux investigateurs sud-africains de l’étude, espère que ce changement de normes sociales introduites dans cette communauté soit « pérenne ». « Nous devrions bientôt détecter une réduction de l’infection des femmes », a-t-il ajouté. Le Pr David Lewis, l’autre investigateur sud-africain, s’est réjoui de ce « résultat extraordinaire » pour « une intervention qui coûte 40 euros, prend 20 minutes et ne doit être faite qu’une seule fois dans la vie ».

Le Pr Auvert « Réduire le nombre de nouvelles infections va réduire les décès dus au sida mais aussi les besoins en traitements antirétroviraux. Cette étude montre enfin que la généralisation de la circoncision devrait être une priorité de santé publique en Afrique australe et de l’Est et qu’un engagement politique fort est nécessaire », a souligné le Pr Auvert.

Enfin, le professeur Jean-François Delfraissy, directeur de l’ANRS, déclare : « Cette étude marque une étape importante qui confirme les données des essais randomisés princeps, mais cette fois-ci à l’échelle d’une communauté, dans la “vraie vie”. » La généralisation de la circoncision se poursuit à Orange Farm.

Le virus VIH progresse de la Tunisie au Pakistan

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Le Point.fr

La propagation du virus de l’immunodéficience humaine (VIH), responsable du sida, prend des allures d’épidémie parmi les homosexuels et bisexuels d’Afrique du Nord et du Moyen-Orient, où le niveau élevé de pratiques sexuelles à risque favorise sa diffusion, selon une étude publiée mardi par des chercheurs du Weill Cornell Medical College au Qatar.

L’étude, publiée par le Public Library of Science (PLoS) Medicine Journal, est la première de ce type à se pencher sur la situation dans cette partie du monde où homosexualité et bisexualité sont des sujets tabous.

Elle conclut que dans certains pays, comme l’Egypte, le Soudan, le Pakistan et la Tunisie, les taux d’infection au VIH excèdent le seuil de 5% dans certains groupes de population.

Les chercheurs préconisent une meilleure surveillance sanitaire et un meilleur accès aux tests de dépistage, aux moyens de prévention et aux services de prises en charge des séropositifs.

D’après les données les plus récentes de l’Onu, on recensait en 2009 33,3 millions de séropositifs dans le monde, dont 22,5 millions en Afrique sub-saharienne. Les données publiques relatives au Moyen-Orient et à l’Afrique du Nord sont très peu nombreuses.

“C’est un peu comme un trou noir sur la carte mondiale du VIH, et cet état de fait a déclenché de nombreuses controverses et de nombreux débats sur le statut de l’épidémie”, souligne la chercheuse Ghina Mumtaz, qui a coordonné cette étude.

Mais l’équipe a eu accès à des données, qui ne sont généralement pas rendues publiques et ont été compilées par divers groupes. Elle en conclut à une “forme épidémique considérable et croissante du VIH et à des comportements à risque parmi les hommes ayant des relations sexuelles avec des hommes”.

“Les hommes ayant des rapports sexuels avec d’autres hommes forment toujours une population cachée dans cette région, et ce comportement est stigmatisé, mais certains pays ont su trouver des moyens créatifs pour faire face au problème tout en échappant aux sensibilités sociales, culturelles ou politiques”, indique Ghina Mumtaz.

Le Maroc, le Liban et le Pakistan, observe-t-elle par exemple, soutiennent des ONG intervenant auprès de ces populations – sans que les pouvoirs publics ne soient directement impliqués.

“Il faut étendre ces programmes et les lancer dans les autres pays concernés”, dit-elle.

Pour une meilleure insertion sociale des séropositifs

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Le Courrier du Vietnam

Aider les malades du sida à trouver un emploi stable et adapté à leur situation avec une bonne rémunération relève tout à la fois de l’altruisme et de la nécessité. Il s’agit d’une des mesures susceptibles de freiner la propagation de cette maladie dangereuse. Or, actuellement, trouver un emploi adapté aux séropositifs et sidéens n’est pas tâche aisée.

“L’emploi joue un rôle important pour les séropositifs et sidéens, cela leur permet d’oublier un peu leur situation et de mieux s’insérer socialement…, ce qui malheureusement est le plus difficile pour ces personnes”, déclare le Docteur en droit et avocate Trinh Thi Lê Trâm, directrice du Centre de conseil juridique, de politiques sanitaires et en matière de sida de l’Association des avocats du Vietnam. Elle explique que l’un des principes du Parti et de l’État en matière de lutte contre le VIH/sida est de ne négliger ni les séropositifs et sidéens ni leur famille. “L’État a pris des politiques d’incitation à l’embauche de sidéens, ce qui figure explicitement dans la loi sur la lutte contre le VIH/sida de 2006″, ajoute-elle.

Mme Trâm insiste sur le fait que depuis 2007, son centre a reçu environ 8.000 appels téléphoniques, la plupart de séropositifs et sidéens sollicitant conseils et assistance juridique. Et lors de ces trois dernières années, le centre a accordé avec succès une assistance juridique à près de 2.000 personnes.
Elle ne peut oublier le cas de l’enseignante Anh qui a récemment reçu des conseils de son centre. “Anh a été une enseignante compétente de l’École maternelle VH durant dix ans. Lorsque la direction a appris qu’elle était sidéenne à cause de son époux, elle a demandé à Anh d’assumer le poste d’assistante de la directrice. Une fonction sans responsabilité, toute de menues tâches tells que vente de ticket de restaurant scolaire… Ne sachant comment faire pour se défendre seule, après les conseils d’amis, elle a contacté le centre pour se faire conseiller”, explique Mme Trâm.

Pénurie de fonds

Cette dernière ajoute quii “après avoir écouté l’histoire de Mme Anh, nous avons été dans son école pour travailler avec la direction. Suite à nos explications, cette dernière a accepté qu’Anh reprenne son poste d’enseignant.”

Pham Thi Hiên, chef du groupe intitulé “Pour un futur éclatant” de la province de Bac Ninh, à une trentaine de kilomètres au Nord de Hanoi, indique que la santé des séropositifs et sidéens ne leur permet pas d’assumer des postes de travail pénible ou pendant longtemps. Ces malades sont seulement en mesure de travailler chez eux. “C’est pourquoi ceux-ci cherchent en général un soutien financier pour acheter une machine à coudre, ou créer un élevage”, explique Hiên.

Elle ajoute que plusieurs sidéens sont dans une précarité extrême, telle Hoa par exemple, qui “n’est plus logée par sa famille depuis que sa maladie a été connue, ne trouve pas d’emploi tout en ayant à charge un jeune enfant”, souligne Hiên.

Les membres de ce groupe se sont donc cotisés pour financer l’achat d’une machine à coudre – quatre millions de dôngs – pour Hoa. Il a en outre cherché des clients pour ses produits. Certains représentants du groupe ont persuadé ses parents de l’accepter à nouveau et, désormais, “elle vit à nouveau avec ses parents en ayant des revenus stables”, conclue Hiên.

Grâce à ces contributions de ce groupe, quatre sidéens possèdent une machine à coudre. “Nous voulons créer un groupe de confection permettant à ses membres de partager leurs expériences comme de partager la manière de soigner leurs enfants. Actuellement, nous attendons les réponses de plusieurs entreprises dont nous avons sollicité leur soutien”, affirme la responsable de ce groupe.

La réalité sociale est celle d’immenses difficultés à vaincre des sidéens dans leur recherche d’un emploi. Peu d’entre eux bénéficient d’une assistance financière d’organisations internationales. Afin de mieux aider les séropositifs et sidéens, surtout en terme de création d’emploi, les services concernés devraient élaborer des programmes concrets.

Une simple puce électronique pour dépister le Sida

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Sante Aujourd’hui.com

C’est une puce de la taille d’une carte bancaire, et en apposant une goutte de sang dessus, il est possible de dépister les maladies comme le Sida, la syphillis ou d’autres maladies infectieuses.

Vendredi 5 août 2011 à 9:16  |   Info Forme & Santé

Les essais viennent d’être menés au Rwanda sur des centaines de patients, et la fiabilité constatée est de près de 100%, soit pratiquement identique à celle des coûteux tests des laboratoires pharmaceutiques. Ces résultats ont été publiés dans la revue Nature Medicine.

Baptisée mChip, cette puce électronique réagit aux différentes protéines présentes dans le sang en cas d’infection à l’une des dizaines de maladies qu’il est possible de détecter.

Pour lire les résultats, il suffit juste d’insérer la puce dans une machine facile d’utilisation. Une telle invention peut s’avérer révolutionnaire dans beaucoup de pays pauvres.

“L’idée est de produire un grand éventail de tests accessible à n’importe quel type de patients dans le monde, plutôt que de les contraindre à se rendre dans une clinique pour un prélèvement de sang et à attendre les résultats des jours et des jours”, explique Samuel Sia, enseignant à l’Université américaine de Columbia et concepteur de cette biopuce.