Study: Enzyme key to flushing out hidden HIV

By : Staff Reports from the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes discovered that an enzyme called SMYD2 could be a new therapeutic target for flushing out the HIV that hides in infected individuals. Overcoming this latent virus remains the most significant obstacle to a cure, amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, said in a press release.

While drug therapy allows people living with HIV to lead relatively normal lives, it also comes with adverse effects. In addition, patients must stay on the drugs for life to prevent the virus hiding in their body from reactivating. In the early stages of infection, HIV hides in viral reservoirs in a type of immune cells called T cells. This dormant, or latent, virus can then spontaneously reactivate and rekindle infection if drug therapy is stopped.

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French AIDS drama earns best reviews yet at Cannes Film fest

By : Wire Report
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(Image from YouTube.)

CANNES, France (AP) – 120 Beats Per Minute, a French AIDS drama with a full heart and a pounding rhythm, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival May 20 and quickly joined the shortlist of favorites for the festival’s coveted Palme d’Or prize.

Directed by Robin Campillo, the co-screenwriter of the Palme d’Or-winning film The Class, the movie centers on the activist group ACT UP in Paris in the 1990s during the AIDS crisis.

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AIDS Candlelight Memorial Service

By : Alex Storer
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An Invitation to Stand with the Concerned International Community and Honor a Local Community Member (save the date)
On May 21, The AIDS Partnership will sponsor the Tampa Bay participation in 34th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.
The Partnership has sponsored the Pinellas participation in the Memorial for thirteen years. This year there has been reaching across the Bay in partnership and support so joyously we present The Tampa Bay participation.
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is much more than just a memorial. It serves as a community mobilization campaign to raise social consciousness about HIV and AIDS. With 33 million people living with HIV today, The International Memorial serves as an important notice for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and giving hope to new generations. The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is committed to “ Zero: “globally: Zero AIDS related Deaths, Zero new HIV infections and Zero Stigma and discrimination, and the Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention. The Memorial itself not only celebrates the lives of those lost but also brings attention to the continuing problems of significant infections. While the panic is over and HIV infection has become viewed by a large number in this country as a chronic disease, many still mourn for loved ones here and new infections in the Tampa Bay Area rank among the highest in the country.
In this time of social fragmentation, fear and poor communication this year’s theme of “Ending AIDS Together” is a wonderful reminder we are more powerful together and our needs and desires are more similar than not. Please join us at King of Peace MC Church, 3150 5th Ave N., St Petersburg, Florida. The Church will open at 5pm for display of National Names Project, Regional AIDS Quilts and Fellowship Reception. The Service is at 6pm.
With the Quilts here this year, there is a need for volunteers to act as Guardians for the Quilts during their Service display.
The tolling of the AIDS Memorial Bells, as always, will conclude the event. Sadly, the need for tollers grows every year, please consider tolling this year.
As in years past The AIDS Partnership requests nominees for the to nominate a community member, to volunteer or take part in the Service please call (727) 254-7175. Mary Stephan “In the Midst of AIDS “Award.
If you wish to have someone specially remembered in The Continuous Reading or Power Point Display of Names, during The Service please call (727) 254-7175 and leave a message for The Partnership by May 17.

PrEP Launch

By : Alex Storer
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• Event Description: Are you HIV negative but worry you might become positive? If you are interested in learning more about PrEP (a pill that can help prevent HIV) treatment options to reduce the risk of HIV infection, come and join Community AIDS Network for our PrEP Open House. We will go over the different programs that are available to help you pay for the medication and will provide you with information on how to sign up. Take the extra step to protect yourself from HIV.

Gay men, straight women hit by ‘stealthing’

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A recently released study about a phenomenon in which men intentionally remove a condom during anal or vaginal sex without permission from their partner — which has become known as “stealthing” — has raised legal questions about whether the practice is a form of sexual assault.

HIV prevention experts affiliated with D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Health and the health clinic at the Los Angeles LGBT Center have also expressed alarm that nonconsensual condom removal poses a risk for the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections for gay men.

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LGBTQ rights leaders flunk Trump on first 100 days

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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With the 100-day mark of President Trump’s time in the White House fast approaching, LGBTQ rights supporters are giving him failing grades as the nation evaluates him at the benchmark.

Since he took the oath of office on Jan. 20, the White House has asserted Trump is “respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights,” but at the same time he has taken anti-LGBTQ actions — such as undoing guidance protecting transgender students — and filled his administration with opponents of LGBTQ rights.

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Rapper Mykki Blanco releases ‘Hideaway’ video on HIV stigma

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of The National Gay Media Association
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Queer rapper Mykki Blanco released her music video “Hideaway” in honor of National Youth HIV/AIDS Day on Monday.

Directed by Daisy Zhou, the video interprets the stigma faced by individuals with HIV. It shows Blanco as she takes her antiviral medication before getting ready for a show. A couple is also in the room where one partner is HIV-positive and faces abuse by the partner who is HIV-negative.

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Apple releases red iPhone, donates proceeds to HIV/AIDS programs

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is cutting prices on two iPad models and introducing red iPhones, but the company held back on updating its higher-end iPad Pro tablets.

A much-speculated 10.5-inch iPad Pro didn’t materialize, nor did new versions of existing sizes in the Pro lineup, which is aimed at businesses and creative professionals. The new devices are mostly refreshes of existing models. Apple unveiled them through press releases Tuesday rather than a staged event, as it typically does for bigger product releases.

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After 2 years, Florida court defines sexual intercourse

By : Wire Report
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) It took two years and three dictionaries, but the Florida Supreme Court finally determined Thursday that “sexual intercourse” isn’t just between a man and a woman.

The question arose during a case in which a man was charged with a third-degree felony for failing to reveal to his male partner that he was HIV-positive. His lawyer argued before the state’s high court in February 2015 that Florida laws were so narrowly defined that “sexual intercourse” didn’t apply to sexual activity between same-sex partners or any activity beyond traditional sex.

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21 LGBT groups urge Senate to rigorously question Gorsuch

By : Chris Johnson of the Washingston Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A total of 21 LGBT groups who oppose the confirmation of U.S. Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court are calling for rigorous questions for the nominee during his confirmation hearing.

In an eight-page letter sent to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) of the Senate Judiciary Committee, LGBT groups underscore the need to “demand complete answers” from Gorsuch because it’s the only way to “reveal the extent to which his nomination jeopardizes rights and liberties that many Americans believe are secure.”

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GOP health plan’s ‘devastating’ impact on those with HIV

By : Chris Johnson of the Washingston Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare with the American Health Care Act continues to worry advocates seeking to ensure access to health care for LGBT people and people with HIV — a concern that a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office has validated.

According to CBO, 14 million people would lose insurance coverage in 2018 if the American Health Care Act were to become law as a result of the elimination of the individual mandate under Obamacare. But that number would climb to 21 million in 2020, then to 24 million in 2026 following repeal of the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. In 2026, CBO estimates 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.

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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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