Tanzania stops 40 health centers from offering AIDS services

By : Wire Report
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DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) – Tanzania’s government has stopped 40 privately run health centers from providing AIDS-related services, accusing them of catering to homosexuals in a country where gay sex is criminalized.

It is the latest move by this East African country to crack down on the activities of homosexuals.

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Fire alarm, protests disrupt ex-pharma exec Shkreli’s talk

By : Wire Report
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP)- A fire alarm rang out moments before indicted former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli was to speak at Harvard University, briefly delaying an appearance that also was disrupted by student protests.

The former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who was widely criticized for hiking up the price of a drug used by AIDS and cancer patients to fight parasitic infections, was invited by the Harvard Financial Analysts Club to discuss investing at the Wednesday night event. But a few minutes before it began, someone pulled a fire alarm and police evacuated the building.

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Revised US tally: HIV infections fell 18 percent in 6 years

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP)- New calculations to better track HIV infections confirm that the U.S. is seeing a strong and steady decline.

The number of new cases has been falling for years. But health officials wanted a clearer picture of how the epidemic was behaving. They count people when they were diagnosed with the AIDS virus, not when they actually contracted it, which can be months or years earlier.

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California considers update to antiquated HIV laws

By : Wire Report
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SAN FRANCISCO — Legislation slated to be introduced this week would update California’s laws criminalizing HIV, which were adopted during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, so that a person could not be prosecuted for intentionally transmitting the virus if their sex partner tested negative for HIV, the Bay Area Reporter reports.

Under current law, HIV-positive persons may be prosecuted for engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse with the specific intent to transmit HIV even if no actual transmission of the virus occurs. If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison.

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Report: PrEP fails gay Canadian who contracts HIV

By : Staff Reports from the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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NEW YORK — Doctors report that a gay Canadian man contracted HIV even though he had been taking daily medication to ward off infection, HealthDay News reports.

Based on a genetic analysis of the virus, it was determined that the 43-year-old Toronto resident was infected with a strain of HIV that had become resistant to the anti-HIV drug Truvada, said report author Dr. David Knox. He is a doctor with the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic in Toronto, HealthDay reports in an article that ran in U.S. News & World Report.

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Activist seeks to become first LGBT member of Honduran congress

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — A prominent Honduran activist would become the first openly LGBT person elected to the country’s Congress if he wins his campaign this year.

Erick Martínez, who is the coordinator of the Diversity Movement in Resistance’s Human Rights Committee, is one of 23 candidates from the Liberty and Refoundation and Anti-Corruption Parties, a left-leaning coalition that opposes President Juan Orlando Hernández’s ruling National Party, who are on the ballot in the Francisco Morazán Department in which Tegucigalpa is located. The five candidates who win the most votes in the March 12 primaries will advance to the general election that will take place in November.

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Tanzania orders arrest of 3 men for promoting homosexuality

By : Wire Report
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DODOMA, Tanzania (AP)- A Tanzanian official has ordered the arrest of three men accused of promoting homosexuality in this East African country.

Hamisi Kigwangalla, the deputy minister of health, said in a statement Tuesday he wanted the men prosecuted for advocating sodomy through social networks.

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Lawmakers pushing for expanded medical marijuana

By : Wire Report
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ATLANTA (AP)- Georgia lawmakers, citizens, and advocates are continuing to push for expanded access to medical marijuana.

The Medical Cannabis Working Group met at the state capitol Wednesday to discuss the bill and hear public testimony.

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No word from Jammeh as midnight deadline arrives in Gambia

By : Wire Report
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DAKAR, Senegal (AP)- After more than two decades in power, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh faced the prospect of a military intervention by regional forces, as the man who once pledged to rule the West African nation for a billion years clung to power.

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Florida dispensaries aim to ‘normalize’ medical marijuana

By : Wire Report
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Vials of cannabis-laced sprays, lotions and tinctures line display shelves a few steps from handbags specially designed to tote marijuana products.

A stylish kitchenette and table is on the opposite side of this Surterra Wellness Center medical marijuana showroom, space used to host educational sessions on the merits of the drug — something legal only under very strict circumstances in Florida until Amendment 2 took effect last week.

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An EPIC Taking: Joy Winheim now manages the largest HIV/AIDS service provider in the Tampa Bay area as EPIC’s executive director

By : Jeremy Williams
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Sometimes being remarkable can be bittersweet. Francis House announced this year that they would be merging with AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP) under the umbrella of Empath Health. This new organization, Empath Partners in Care (EPIC), would be headed by Francis House’s previous executive director Joy Winheim.

“When we were first approached [by ASAP], we thought there is no way we’re doing this, we don’t need to do it,” Winheim says. “We had plenty of grant money. We’re doing well you know, we have 800 clients. We’re not having any issues so why would we think about this.”

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A toast and a stumble through 2016, the year we will never forget

By : Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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We could go on and on about our gripes with the letter “P” this year, generally circulating around two terms: “Pulse” and “Politics.” So, indeed, that’s what we’ll do. Though we may have seen some wonderful developments in the year that God forgot, for the most part, many of us are grabbing at straws, trying to make sense of how it is that we descended so deeply, that we became the eye of the target of absolute terror.

Some may say that 2016 was the backlash for all of the gifts we were given by 2015, most notably marriage equality in both state and nation. Others might opine that there is something else going on here with the media, with conspiracies, with a new Cold War. We can’t be certain, but we certainly have each other’s backs, as has been proven by the many acts of kindness that rose up to meet the beast of an election year gone awry and a local community cut to its core. We are not a weak people; we have seen trouble before. But this year owns a special place in our hearts, one we hope that heals over without forgetting those who suffered and those who commandeered offenses that none of us could have been prepared for.

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