Elizabeth McCarthy admits lying about operating on Pulse survivors

By : wire report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) | A former candidate for the Florida Legislature acknowledged to state investigators that she lied when she said she was a medical doctor who had removed 77 bullets from 32 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016.

The Florida Department of Health last week issued a cease and desist order against Catherine “Elizabeth” McCarthy, ordering her to stop holding herself out to be a medical doctor.

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Hamburger Mary’s Tampa alleges homophobia led to closure, mulls reopening

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Kurt King, owner of multiple Hamburger Mary’s locations throughout Tampa Bay, is alleging that homophobia contributed to the abrupt closure of the LGBTQ chain’s Tampa location in Ybor Nov. 6.

It was that same day that King announced Hamburger Mary’s Tampa and Mary’s Pub House Tampa would close. “We, along with our management team and dedicated staff, have done our best to keep Mary’s doors open for nine years, but the latest challenge over the last couple of weeks has proven to be too much to overcome,” he shared. “It was our pleasure to serve the entire community.”

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UPDATED: Department of Health in Central Florida to offer free hepatitis A vaccinations

By : Jeremy Williams
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UPDATE: This story has been updated to include Osceola, Lake and Brevard Counties.

ORLANDO | The Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Brevard Counties announced they will offer free hepatitis A vaccinations to high-risk individuals, according to a Dec. 12 press release.

Men who have sexual encounters with other men are among the list of high-risk groups, according to the DOH. Other groups include users of recreational drugs, those who are homeless, anyone with chronic or long-term liver disease and people with clotting-factor disorders. The DOH also recommends that all children at age one year, people who have direct contact with those who have hepatitis A, travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common should be vaccinated as well.

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Watermark’s Top headlines of 2017

By : Watermark Staff
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2017 was a roller coaster of a year. Our highs were marked with great achievements and big celebrations, and our lows were filled with the passing of great LGBTQ leaders and fear-filled headlines we thought we would never read.

Below we look back on the top 5 LGBTQ headlines out of Central Florida, Tampa Bay, from the state of Florida and across the nation, and the world.

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2016 World AIDS Day events round-up

By : Watermark Staff
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The 28th Annual World AIDS Day is Dec. 1. From the early morning hours of that day at the YMCA in Ocala to the not-as-early morning hours of Saturday’s AIDS Walk in St. Pete, the community will be honoring the memories and celebrating the lives of those impacted by HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day is held on the first of December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.

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Florida advocate fights HIV through social media

By : Wire Report
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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – As she’s done hundreds of times, Maria Mejia stepped up to the podium, scanned the audience, took a deep breath and shared her story.

At 18, she learned she was HIV positive. By 28, she had AIDS. Those diagnoses eventually launched her on a mission to raise awareness about HIV prevention and the sometimes harsh realities of living with the virus.

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Real survival stories behind the Faces of HIV exhibit coming to Orlando

By : Madelaine3711
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Orlando – Joee Pineda came out to his Honduran parents as a 16-year-old at Colonial High School. The parent/child struggle over his sexuality caused him to leave town after graduation for New York City.

A year later, Pineda came down with a “cold” he couldn’t shake. He moved back with his parents in Orlando. At 19, he was diagnosed with HIV and given 5 years to live. That was 1990.

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