Trump’s HHS secretary recognizes gays in HIV/AIDS speech

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar recognized on Dec. 11 the impact the HIV/AIDS epidemic has had on gay people and racial minorities in a speech in which he also named new co-chairs to fill longtime vacancies on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

In remarks at the Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment in Oxon Hill, Md., Azar made the reference to the impact of HIV/AIDS on the gay community when he urged his audience to combat the disease “not just as a biomedical issue, but as a social challenge, too.”

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A look back at The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida as told from some of its executive directors

By : Watermark Staff
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The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida has seen a number of name changes in its several decades as the beacon of Orlando’s LGBTQ community. Throughout its years, The Center has also changed locations, starting with its first brick-and-mortar building on Mills Ave. in 1987. After bouncing to a few different locations on Colonial Dr., it settled in at its current location at 946 N. Mills Ave. in 2000.

Since finding its permanent home, The Center has had some renovations and expansions; adding more safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community to have gatherings, meetings and parties, or just a comfy chair to sit and have a little quiet time. The Center is many things to many people.

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George H.W. Bush ‘unsupportive’ on gay rights, HIV/AIDS

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Following the death of former President George H.W. Bush at age 94, the nation remembers him for his civil tone in contrast to President Trump and for helping bring the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union to a peaceful conclusion — but his legacy on LGBT rights and failure to confront the raging HIV/AIDS epidemic at the time remain a stain on his overall record.

Gay former Rep. Barney Frank, whose 32-year tenure in Congress included the George H.W. Bush administration from 1989 to 1992, told the Washington Blade in an interview Saturday the late former president “was bad” on LGBT rights and “wouldn’t do anything” to advance them.

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Metro Wellness observes 30th World AIDS Day with extensive testing, educational campaign

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA BAY | Metro Wellness and Community Centers will observe the 30th annual World AIDS Day Nov. 29-Dec. 7 with “Let’s Talk,” a campaign featuring educational and testing opportunities across Tampa Bay.

Metro has provided free HIV testing and treatment, along with prevention and education, for over 25 years. World AIDS Day, the first ever global health day, has been held annually on Dec. 1 since 1988. It provides a worldwide opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

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Greg Berlanti tapped to direct Rock Hudson biopic

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Greg Berlanti has signed on to direct a film biopic about actor Rock Hudson.

Deadline reports the story will be based on the memoir “All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson” by Mark Griffin. It tells the story of Hudson’s struggles as a closeted actor and Hollywood heartthrob of romantic comedies for Universal during the ’50s and ’60s. He died from AIDS-related complications in 1985 at the age of 59.

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Parenting desires unchanged by HIV status

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LONDON | Approximately 40 percent of HIV-positive adults starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the United States would like to have children in the future, a proportion that remained unchanged after two years of follow-up, investigators report in Open Forum Infectious Diseases. The findings were published in the journal AIDSmap.

There was no significant difference in the proportion of women, men who have sex with women (MSW) and men who have sex with men (MSM) who said they would like to have children. Younger people and black MSM were more likely to want to have children, AIDSmap reports.

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U.S. Conference on AIDS draws activists, celebrities

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The annual 2018 United States Conference on AIDS, one of the nation’s largest gatherings of experts involved in HIV prevention and treatment efforts, is expected to draw more than 3,000 participants on Sept. 6-9 to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

The D.C.-based national HIV/AIDS advocacy organization NMAC, which organizes the annual conference, says the 2018 conference will cover a wide range of HIV-related topics, including a session on activism.

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Project uncovering South’s hidden LGBTQ history

By : wire report
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) | A new project is documenting the history of LGBTQ people in the Deep South, a region that once all but forced gays, lesbians and others to live in hiding.

Bob Burns, who is gay, both lived through some of the toughest times for LGBTQ Southerners and documented them through years of activism. Now 66, he compiled a trove of information from years that included the AIDS epidemic and the systemic oppression of gay people in the Deep South.

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In Haiti, slight progress for LGBT rights is seen as victory

By : wire report
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) | Yaisah Val recently came out publicly as a transgender woman on YouTube, a potentially risky move in a country like Haiti where LGBT residents face pervasive hostility in most spheres of public life.

Two proposed anti-LGBT laws are pending in Parliament. The major churches are firm in their condemnation of homosexuality. Gay Haitians are frequent targets of attacks and harassment, and police are often unsympathetic to victims of anti-gay violence.

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Balance Tampa Bay’s Avant Garde masquerade to benefit EPIC

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Balance Tampa Bay will hold its fourth annual masquerade ball Aug. 4 in Tampa Heights to benefit Empath Partners in Care (EPIC).

Balance Tampa Bay is an LGBTA volunteer organization that focuses on promoting fellowship, fun and philanthropy throughout the LGBTQ community. The organization’s annual masquerade ball has benefited EPIC since the event’s inception, with 2017’s gathering raising $32,000 for the nonprofit dedicated to providing services to those impacted by HIV/AIDS throughout the region.

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New ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ trailer touches on Freddie Mercury’s sexuality

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Bohemian Rhapsody” has released a new trailer that features more of Freddie Mercury’s sexuality and AIDS diagnosis.

The clips show Mercury (Rami Malek) first meeting his girlfriend Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) who tells him “I love the way you move onstage, the whole room belongs to you. Don’t you see what you could be?”

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Research warns Indonesia gay bashing is fueling HIV epidemic

By : Wire Report
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Disowned by his father and ill-equipped to deal with the stigma of HIV/AIDS, a young man who died in the central Indonesian city of Yogyakarta early this year had “effectively committed suicide” by stopping anti-viral medication, according to a doctor familiar with the case.

The 20-year-old man’s shocking death is a sign of an out-of-control but little acknowledged epidemic of HIV among gay men in Indonesia that researchers say is now being fueled by a gay hate climate whipped up by the country’s conservative political and religious leaders.

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