AIDS: Today is World AIDS day, when people around the world help raise awareness of the HIV epidemic and over 33.4 million people living with HIV worldwide. Amplify has a lot of great ideas on how you can get involved. You can share your story in the blogathon, sign a petition to President Obama urging him to create an AIDS relief plan, or learn more about the AIDS crisis.
LADIES LISTEN UP! Leigh Blake, President of Keep A Child Alive, in The Huffington Post:
“Tragically, the face of AIDS is still resolutely female. Women’s rights are of course central to making a fairer world but still, countries where disease and sexual violence against women are rife are the most unstable. It is all fixable. In the same way that we bailed out the financial institutions as an matter of emergency, we can eradicate extreme poverty — for a fraction of the price. And thereby make terrorism and hatred toward us a thing of the past.”
Other WORLD AIDS DAY News:
– Sweden has taken the ban off gay men donating blood, but only if you’ve not had sex for an entire year. (@queerty)
– South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma announced new policies to tackle the country’s AIDS epidemic. Zuma spoke of “the dawn of a new era” in a speech where he took a markedly different approach from his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, who had questioned the link between HIV and AIDS. (@cnn)
– A Good Year in the Fight Against AIDS:”While the war against HIV/AIDS is still far from over, 2009 could prove to be a watershed year in terms of advances in prevention and treatment, experts say.” (@us news)
– Also check out feministing’s post Today is World AIDS Day, which includes a call to this administration to not continue the severe funding cutbacks enacted by George W.’s administration.
FYI: According to avert.org, lesbian or bisexual women are not at high risk of becoming infected with HIV through woman to woman sex. However many lesbians do have unsafe sex with men, inject drugs, choose semen donors for pregnancy and participate in risky sexual practices (safe sex is defined as sex that doesn’t allow any infected fluids to enter your body) Avert also has a bunch of gay & lesbian resources in general, so check that out!
According to the Center for Disease Control Fact Sheet on HIV/AIDS among Women Who Have Sex With Women: As of June 2006, there are no confirmed cases of female-to-female sexual transmission of HIV in the United States database. Through December 2004, of 246, 461 women were reported as HIV-infected and of these, 7,381 were reported to have sex with women, and 534 to have sex only with women. Of the 534, 91% also had another risk factor such as injection drug use or receipt of blood.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out against worldwide homophobia and discrimination in a press conference yesterday regarding World AIDS Day. Although she did not mention the word Uganda, which sucks, many have taken comments as a response to the Uganda bill we told you about yesterday that would outlaw homosexuality. “We have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and criminalize and penalize members of the LGBT community worldwide,” she said. (@advocate)
DOWN WITH DIVORCE: Remember when Maine happened and the interwebs exploded with satirical backlashes telling you to boycott lobster or whathaveyou? Well one California man is taking the idea a bit further and is trying to outlaw divorce in the state.
“Since California has decided to protect traditional marriage, I think it would be hypocritical of us not to sacrifice some of our own rights to protect traditional marriage even more,” the 38-year-old married father of two said.
He’s trying to spread the campaign online, but as the AP points out, the odds are stacked against a campaign funded primarily by the sale of $12 T-shirts featuring bride and groom stick figures chained at the wrists. Hey, I’d buy one. (@ap)
MORMONS: The Mormons have offered Queerty a hefty chunk of change to run their advertising campaign, and Queerty wants to know if you think they should take it.
ARGENTINA: The first gay marriage in Argentina was supposed to take place today, but a judge has blocked the ceremony until the Supreme Court can review the case. The couple was given the green light to get married by a Buenos Aires judge two weeks ago. They still plan to try and hold the ceremony, with the support of the local gay community. (@ap)
CHINA: The Chinese government will open a gay bar today in an effort to “destigmatize gay men and to teach safe sex practices.” And probs we imagine the great firewall of China doesn’t let Manhunt in.
Founder Zhang Jianbo hopes that the bar will be a public gathering place for gay men, especially from rural villages, who used to gather in a patch of woods near the historic town. The bar offers sex education and free condoms, in addition to companionship, Zhang said.