A US congresswoman from California is re-introducing a proposed ban on reparative or conversion therapy for gay youth.
LGBTQ Nation reports:
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) on Wednesday reintroduced a resolution asking the U.S. House of Representatives to encourage states to take steps to prevent minors from being harmed by controversial and discredited gay-to-straight conversion therapy. When first introduced last year, the Stop Harming Our Kids (SHOK) resolution was the first federal action taken to end the discredited sexual orientation change therapy — often referred to as “reparative therapy.” The practice is now banned in California and New Jersey.
A number of other states are also considering such bans. It also looks like an initiative to repeal California’s transgender kids rights bill may fail to make the ballot. Are we making progress on more than just the marriage equality front?
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Why Do Gay Couples Have to Struggle with How to Handle Tradition - Tips from the "Queen of Gay Wediquette"
It’s stressful enough planning a wedding if you’re straight, but gay couples face all sorts of unusual dilemmas about how to handle what’s considered normal or traditional at most weddings. Today’s blog on Pridezillas.com offers some tips to gay and lesbian couples planning their weddings on how to navigate those roadblocks without too much drama! Check it out here to see what the self-appointed “Queen of Gay Wediquette” advises you to do!
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!
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Any day now, the New Mexico Supreme Court may grant same-sex couples the right to get married.
At this point, such a ruling may not seem like such a big deal. Prior to last year’s elections, gays and lesbians had a civil right to marry in only six states. Now, they have it in 16.
“This year represented the true tipping point,” says Eric Marcus, author of Making Gay History. “We’ve reached a moment in history where it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to go back.”
This has been “the gayest year in gay history,” in the words of Fred Sainz, vice president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, and not only because individual states and the U.S. Supreme Court have extended greater protections to gay couples.
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An important message from the ladies of Xotica for World AIDS Day.
With the still growing epidemic of HIV amongst the MSM community it was important to us to share a message this World AIDS Day.
This is your life...
Take control of it.
Negative or Positive.
Know your STATUS
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A number of experts in law and state politics have written to emphasize the enormous slog that lies ahead for proponents of marriage equality. As a lawyer who knows a bit about politics I share their concerns. But employing my economics “hat” I wish to offer this encouragement – we have passed the tipping point in economics that ensures eventual success in securing marriage equality throughout the United States.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have reached the decision to allow full marriage equality for same-sex couples. As the chart I prepared shows, those jurisdictions represent nearly 38% of the total U.S. population and over 43% of total GDP. Marriage equality is now a normal aspect of life for an enormous share of our total U.S. population.
The demographic trends that favor the future expansion of marriage equality are well-known, but I write to emphasize the role that economics will play in brining marriage equality even to the states that most vociferously oppose equality. Economics and demographics both play a major role in shaping destiny, and they will combine to push in the direction of marriage equality. For all the talk about small businesses, the high-paying jobs that even Texas covets are disproportionately in big business and the elite professions. The elite professionals already locate overwhelmingly in states that provide marriage equality.
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The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage is seeing a huge wave of red ink this year.
NOM has published its 2012 tax form and as you can see above, they finished 2012 over $2.7M in the red. Brian Brown took to their blog last night to blast complaints. “NOM fully complies with federal law regarding the public availability of our Form 990 tax return. Our 2012 Form 990 was mailed to the IRS on November 15th as required by law. It is available for public inspection on the NOM website. This frivolous complaint by the HRC is extremely ironic given the fact that HRC published on its website the private information from NOM’s 2008 Form 990, which is a felony under federal law and which is the subject of current Congressional investigations. NOM has also filed a federal lawsuit against the IRS to find out who in the IRS illegally released to the HRC our confidential donor information.”
Could it be that NOM’s rich friends are unhappy with the organizations lack of recent success?
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It’s okay to be gay. No really, in the 21st century, as we move forward, it’s more okay to be gay every day… and more and more men and women are coming out of the closet, announcing their sexual orientation, and now getting LEGALLY married to members of the same sex. Even the US military is finally starting to do the right thing (yeah, it’s still messed up – but it’s improving every day compared to what soldiers of even five years ago had to put up with on a daily basis). I firmly believe that we will see marriage equality in my lifetime and I’m 40. That’s saying something.
So now, as a professional wedding planner, I have to ask a very difficult and controversial question – and I really want to know the answer – why are so many gay men continuing to marry straight women in big white weddings with the promise of a lifetime together when half the guests at the wedding know that the groom would rather be marrying his best man?
Let me back up a little to put things in context – I had a rainbow collection as a child before rainbows meant anything other than leprechauns and pots of gold. I grew up in Washington, DC, in the 1980s and 1990s, when it was first becoming okay to be gay in public. I took the Metro home from my prep school through Dupont Circle most days, and I assure you gay was EVERYWHERE back then (though more men than women seemed to be representing). Homosexuality has always been there – this is nothing new. Throughout history, there have been famous leaders worldwide whose sexuality is extensively questioned in our history books even though almost all of them were married to women and had families (who knew what the gossip was about them when they were alive). But only in the past 30 years (and really more in the last 10) have gay men and women been able to be open about their orientation and still hold their rank in business and society without being ostracized completely. For the military, things are still in the process of changing. But they are changing. Big time.
With a whole world of opportunity opening up for people of all sexual orientations, with so many states legalizing gay marriage and benefits FINALLY being extended to those partners the way they should have been all along, why are so many gay men continuing the ruse and marrying straight women? Maybe some of them are bisexual and their wives are okay with it – and if that’s the case, more power to that couple – but I’m here to tell you that I have planned quite a few weddings over the past few years that seriously made me wonder what the heck was going on. I am absolutely positively certain that not all of these beautiful girls with hopeful smiles, tripping down the aisle in bridal white, clearly understand that they aren’t really their groom’s first choice for a life partner. They might be his favorite girl, but she isn’t who he wishes he was marrying forever. And most of those marriage don’t last. It’s a fact. Add a comment Add a comment
In 1990, 75 percent of Americans believed homosexual sex was immoral, and gay marriage was illegal in literally every jurisdiction in the world. Not quite 25 years later, a majority of Americans support gay marriage, and among young people support is as high as 70 percent. That is a breathtaking transformation; if you’d told LGBT organizations and advocates a quarter century ago that they were on the verge of a public relations coup of this magnitude, almost none of them would have believed it. Even now, it’s hard to credit. How on earth did it happen?
Leigh Moscowitz’s new book, The Battle Over Marriage: Gay Rights Activism Through the Media doesn’t set out to answer that question, but it does hint at one possibility: that the public relations revolution was achieved, in part, through the tremendous savviness and hard work of gay rights activists.
In the 1990s and early 2000s antipathy to LGBT people in the media was intense, and appeared in ways both overt and subtle. Even when the topic was gay marriage or gays in the military, gay life was exoticized: Images accompanying LGBT news items often showed “seedy gay bars or seminaked parade revelers,” in the words of an Advocate article Moscowitz quotes. News networks often framed debates in terms of God vs. gays, with gay activists on one side and anti-homosexual religious leaders, with all the respectability that religion lends, on the other.
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A Democratic Representative from Minnesota has introduced a bill in the house to protect benefits for LGBT veterans.
House Representative Tim Walz has introduced the Protecting the Freedoms and Benefits for All Veterans Act, which could revolutionize the way LGBT veterans and their families are treated as well as the benefits they receive during and post-service. Currently, LGBT veterans are at risk of being denied survivor and spousal benefits, as well as flag burial honors. The new legislation would guarantee that all veterans and their spouses, regardless of state residence or sexual orientation, would be given equal treatment for equal service. “When someone puts their life on the line to protect our freedom at home, they deserve to enjoy the same freedom and earned benefits as anyone else who has done so, no matter who they love or where they reside,” Walz said.
Of course, a bill introduced by a democrat that has to do with LGBT issues likely doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell in the current House of Representatives. But we’re thrilled he’s trying…Add a comment Add a comment
With marriage equality now coming to Illinois and Hawaii, nearly 40% of the country lives in a marriage equality state. But just how federal and state governments will navigate the still-unsettled reality (and consequences) of marriage equality remains an open question.
Although Windsor invalidated Section 3 of DOMA, it left Section 2 in place, which allows states to refuse to recognize same gender marriages performed in other states. Marriages are not judgments or orders, and are therefore not entitled to equality under constitutional principles of full faith and credit among the states. This has the potential to impact benefits, parental rights, divorce, and other issues for same-sex couples depending on where they marry and where they live.
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Join Trans-E-Motion at this years Transgender Day of Remembrance, Wednesday November 20th at 6pm. The Holistic Center, 4879 E Kings Canyon, Fresno.
Gay Fresno is proud to sponsor this event and hope to see you there.
Five years ago last week, on Election Day 2008, California’s electorate passed Prop 8, marking perhaps the most notable low point in the marriage equality movement as a minority was stripped of a previously recognized constitutional right. As of this week five years ago, only two states – Massachusetts and Connecticut – fully recognized the marriages of same-sex couples.
How far we’ve come since then. And how fast.
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HBO will premiere its much-anticipated gay-themed series Looking on January 19 at 10:30 PM.
On Sunday, the network released a teaser clip from the upcoming series.
In Looking, a trio of friends – Murray Bartlett (Guiding Light), Jonathan Groff (Glee, Boss) and newcomer Frankie J. Alvarez (Smash) – grapple with gay life in San Francisco, America's most gay-friendly city.
LGBTQ Nation reports:
A coalition of conservative groups called Privacy for all Students submitted 620,000 signatures to get the initiative on the November 2014 ballot, said Frank Schubert, the political strategist handling the signature gathering effort. To qualify, at least 505,000 valid signatures must be submitted. To verify the signatures, each of California’s 58 counties will first check that the overall count is correct, then conduct a random sampling to make sure they are legitimate. After that, it is likely the state would order a full review.
It’s absolutely sickening to see these people going after transgender kids, some of the most vulnerable in our society. Of course, there may not be enough valid signatures to get on the ballot. But if there are, we need to do everything we can to protect these kids.
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Now that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has passed the US Senate, we have a few follow-ups for you.
First off, Mormons helped pass ENDA in the Senate.
The New York Times reports:
Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who at 79 is one of the Senate’s longest-serving members, became the first Republican to signal he would reverse his opposition as the bill faced a crucial vote in committee. He voted against a similar bill the last time it came up in the Senate — 17 years ago — but changed his mind earlier this year after Gordon H. Smith, a fellow Mormon and former Republican senator, convinced him there was nothing in it that violated church doctrine. “The church does want to be helpful where we can be, without violating our own conscience,” Mr. Smith, a former bishop, said in an interview. And as the bill approached a vital vote earlier this week, Senator Dean Heller, the Nevada Republican who has taught Sunday school at his Mormon church, provided the crucial 60th vote to break a filibuster. In the end, all but two of the Senate’s seven Mormons voted yes.
This newfound support for LGBT rights pointedly does NOT extend to marriage equality.
Openly gay House representative Jared Polis believes the bill would pass the House, if Boehner would bring it to a vote.
The Washington Blade reports:
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who’s gay and co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, predicted during an interview with the Washington Blade Friday that ENDA would pass the House and said the next step for the bill is to pressure Republican leaders to bring it to the floor. He added that a number of undeclared Republicans have privately told him they’d vote “yes.” “The next step is, of course, to continue to apply pressure to the speaker and the majority leader to bring it to the floor, where I’m confident it has enough support to pass,” Polis said. “The best way to do that is to demonstrate it has that support and continuing to add co-sponsors, particularly more Republican co-sponsors to ENDA so that we can have a stronger case to make that we need to bring it before the House to the floor for a vote.”
President Obama is thinking along similar lines.
On Top Magazine reports:
“Today’s victory is a tribute to all those who fought for this progress ever since a similar bill was introduced after the Stonewall riots more than three decades ago.”
“Now it’s up to the House of Representatives,” the president added. “This bill has the overwhelming support of the American people, including a majority of Republican voters, as well as many corporations, small businesses and faith communities. They recognize that our country will be more just and more prosperous when we harness the God-given talents of every individual.”
What do you guys think about the current version of ENDA? On the one hand, it is transgender inclusive, and would offer protections not available before to LGBT workers. OTOH, its religious exemptions are overly broad, and could lead to problems down the road. Where do you stand?Add a comment Add a comment
Dear Dr. Fred:
My partner and I have been socializing a lot lately with another gay couple we met while on vacation last year. I'll refer to them here as “Tom and Larry. " These guys are what some of us like to call members of the "A-Gay List," a real class act, if you know what I mean — handsome, highly educated, intelligent, great conversationalists, well-read and well-travelled. I could go on, but you get my drift. We meet them for dinner or brunch at a local restaurant or exchange dinner parties at our houses several times a month. We’ve also made plans to vacation with them next year and have already booked some pretty pricey airfare and a cruise.
Here’s our problem. Recently over cocktails at our house, Tom said they’d wanted to share something deeply personal and private about themselves with us for a long time. They went on to confide that they were in a group that practiced witchcraft, or “Wicca," to be exact. They described Wiccan beliefs and philosophies in great detail and even what went on at the group’s gatherings. They seemed relieved to be able to talk openly about all of this and admitted how unusual and nice it was for them to be able to share this with us, because none of their other friends seemed open enough to handle it. I reassured them that we’d heard about such things, and that we have a very’ “live and let live"philosophy, so we would never judge them negatively.
After a while the conversation turned to other matters, and eventually the evening came to an amicable close, although on leaving, they did express that they felt uneasy about having possibly freaked us out" with their disclosure. But again, we reassured them to the contrary, and all ended well, or so we thought.
The problem is that ever since that night, this couple has been avoiding us. Whenever we call or text them about getting together, they always have other plans. When we ran into them at a coffee house the other night, they looked like they couldn't wait to get away from us. They made some lame excuse about having theatre tickets, though it was way too late in the evening for plays to be going on.
So here's our dilemma. We really like this couple, and want to continue being friends with them. But it appears that their disclosure has somehow changed the friendship — in their eyes, anyway. As for us, after the initial surprise, we thought we’d shown our acceptance of them very well. But could we have somehow made them feel uncomfortable despite what we said? And if so, how do we push the reset button and get things back to a better place with them? Finally, what are we going to do about these expensive plane and cruise tickets if we can't patch things up?
Sid and Andy
Dear Sid and Andy:
As a former professor who taught communication, one of the first things I always covered was the importance of non-verbal communication. Most communications experts agree that up to 83 percent of what we convey when talking with others is through "meta-communication," i.e. the message within a message.
Meta-communication is transmitted by our body language, posture, facial expression, eye contact, voice inflection, breathing, pacing and spatial relationships (how near or far we are from the person with whom we’re interacting). So, yes, it’s entirely possible that despite your best efforts to appear accepting, your meta-communication may have conveyed some discomfort with your friends' disclosure.
I’m reminded of an interaction I had with a client many years ago. I was interviewing the man in a first session, when he volunteered that he had AIDS. I turned to my desk to pick up a legal pad to start taking notes. However, his perception was that when I turned away from him I was “rejecting him because he had AIDS." Fortunately, we were able to work this wrinkle out. But it was a priceless lesson for me about the power of meta-messages.
Similarly, your friends are sensitive about this aspect of their lives and yearning to share it with others who can affirm it. Whatever your intentions, it appeal's they perceived some judgment in your response, just as my client did.
So, how to salvage things now? To remove the potential for further non-verbal miscommunications, try sending them a friendship card. In it, enclose a heartfelt message about how much you value this relationship and how much you’re looking forward to vacationing together. Invite the couple over for dinner and share something you two have done that might be considered a bit of a “walk on the wild side.” (I don’t know many gay men who haven’t got a story or two in that department.).
If none of the above works, I'd still go on the cruise together. Who knows what opportunities for sorting things out might come up when you're all stuck together on a boat somewhere on the ocean?
Author's Post-script: While many people do see Wicca as “white witchcraft,” more liberal theologians recognize it as a legitimate religion, and it is practiced widely across the world, with many gay followers.
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My Grandpa Dave always called it “the epizootic.” Others used the term “Le Grippe” for it. And the old joke this time of year when someone felt less-than-great used to be "we opened the door and in flu enza!” The bad part is while regardless of the name (and that in flu enza joke always got a smile from the 1918 epidemic to more recent times) influenza, or the flu as we call it, is no joke.
To make matters worse, as though we needed any bad news, this year there are fears of a worse flu season than normal due to the early start of cool weather and the fact that more and more and more folks are traveling. Yes, travelling. Before jets and everyone flying here or there, flus were often contained in one city, country or area. Now in under 24 hours you can go around the world... and when you return you can (and will) bring along all manner of organisms on your shoes, clothes, in your body and on your luggage.
This means a small area’s flu germs can and will be transported worldwide in not weeks or months as used to be the case, but in hours.
How many folks even get so sick that they die during each Winters annual epidemic is really unknown according to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC). Many cite 36,000 which was the result in a survey done a few years back, but the CDC says this can’t really be relied on any more than some estimates which range as high as 60,000.
Why not? Because so many contributing factors and other causes land on death certificates that they admit it's really tough to say how many have died as a result of the flu any specific year or who expired as a result of complications or aftereffects. Many death certificates show pneumonia, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, making it even tougher to say with surety.
But regardless of the cause and the fact that hundreds of thousands get the flu but do not die, this is the time to think hard about the upcoming flu season and to protect yourself with a shot for this year's expected outbreaks. Add a comment Add a comment
“Jim Crow states passed statutes severely regulating social interactions between the races,” states a Web page for the Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. “Jim Crow signs were placed above water fountains, door entrances and exits, and in front of public facilities. There were separate hospitals for blacks and whites, separate prisons, separate public and private schools, separate churches, separate cemeteries, separate public restrooms and separate public accommodations.”
“Some places had three restrooms; one labeled ‘white ladies,’ another ‘colored women’ and the third for ‘white men,’” is what the 2000 documentary film Out Of Obscurity, stated about restrooms in Jim Crow America.
Somehow African American men were considered sexual predators of white women, and that about a quarter to a third of lynchings were for alleged rapes of white women. “If it takes lynchings to protect [white] woman’s dearest possession from drunken, ravening beasts, then I say lynch a thousand a week,” said the first woman appointed to the U. S. Senate in 1897, Rebecca Latimer Felton. She was expressing her feelings about the alleged rapes of white women by African Americans.
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Win Tickets to Million Dollar Quartet!
Just "like" us on Facebook and look for our contest later today. We'll have one more chance to win a set of two tickets.
Want to be sure to go? A set is available on eBay to help raise funds for Gay Fresno. These are currently only at $1!
You may also purchase tickets online and at the Saroyan theatre box office.
I'm thrilled to tell you that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has just passed in the U.S. Senate for the first time ever.
We've been working to get this important piece of legislation passed for nearly two decades – and today we made history thanks to incredible supporters like you.
But before we turn to the next chapter of this fight, we need to let our senators know what we think of their votes.
U.S. senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, voted YES on ENDA.
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Recently, I had the privilege of being able to walk in the 2nd Annual Fresno AIDS Walk. Having known people who have died from AIDS related complications, events like this one always hit close to home. As a gay man, HIV/AIDS has always been “something to think about.” I guess though that I take it for granted that I’ve educated myself on the dangers of unprotected sex, the reality of HIV, and how it can affect my life and the lives of others. It never ceases to amaze me that there are still people with some terribly inaccurate views of HIV/AIDS. Even more amazing is the number of people with hostility toward those individuals living positive and all the misconceptions and misinformation that is propagated through nothing more than fear. Even some of my own family members and friends expressed concern for me when they found out I was walking. Some people thought I was positive. Some people were worried that I would contract it from walking with people who are positive. Some were upset that I was “exposing my son” to HIV by allowing him to walk in the event. I had close to 20 emails from different folks, all with different ideas and comments. So, I decided that I would take those comments and thoughts, break them down, and use them as an opportunity to educate a few people.
Before we get into the good, the bad, and the ugly, I’d like to take a moment to present some history on HIV/AIDS and dispel a few common misunderstandings. The first thing I want to address is: There is a difference between being HIV+ and having AIDS. Being HIV+ (positive) very simply means that a person has tested positive for the Human-immunodeficiency virus. Having AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) means that a person is HIV+ and that the progressive damage done to the immune system over time (in most cases, many years) has weakened it to the point that it can no longer fight off a defined range of opportunistic infections or the number of specific types of cells drop below a certain level. AIDS is the inevitable consequence to having untreated HIV, but in this day and age, with timely and appropriate treatment, HIV almost never develops into AIDS. The next thing I’d like to address is the origin of AIDS. I have heard so many stories and “facts” about it, that I’ve lost tract. I’d like to share a few of the more laughable lines I’ve been fed.
Myth: AIDS was created by god to punish gays (gay men).
Fact: Straight men having sex with female prostitutes actually carries the highest exchange rate among those infected at a whopping 43% likelihood of infection. Of those affected, the demographic with the highest number of infections is: African-American females. My point- HIV doesn’t care if you are gay, straight, black, white, male or female.
Myth: AIDS was a government experiment by the (CIA,NSA, Air Force, etc.) as a biological weapon.
Fact: If you actually believe this conspiracy theory, nothing I say will change your mind. However, I will say…we know where it comes from, and it wasn’t the United States Government.
Myth: We cured smallpox and that let AIDS thrive.
Fact: No, no, no, no. Again, conspiracy nuts go crazy, but the government didn’t spike your smallpox vaccine with HIV. In fact, the smallpox vaccine is contraindicated to HIV patients, their partners, and immediate household members. Furthermore, the only link between smallpox vaccines and HIV came from the reuse of unsterilized needles during mass vaccinations in African countries.
Myth: AIDS is a “gay cancer.”
Fact: AIDS is not cancer. Cancer is neither homosexual nor happy, and therefore not gay. This myth came about in the early 80s, when even the CDC referred to HIV/AIDS as “gay cancer.” This misconception was perpetrated by the presence of Kaposi’s Sarcoma in AIDS patients, which is actually caused by human herpes virus 8. While it is more commonly found in people with compromised immune systems (and 300 times more common in AIDS patients), it is not exclusively AIDS-related.
Now that we have those pesky myths out of the way, let’s move on to the rest of the story. The best and most probable theory on HIV infections in humans is a cross-over infection from the simian immunodeficiency virus. There is some discrepancy on how this happened, but in general it is believed that a mutation occurred to allow the virus to infect non-human primates. Exposure to body fluids from primates allowed the virus to transfer to humans after the mutation, most likely during the hunting or butchering of an infected animal. There have been all kinds of speculation about how it made its way to the United States, but the truth is, no one can say for sure. While many of the first patients in the U.S. were gay men, they only made up about half of those infected in this country. World-wide, gay men didn’t even make up 50%. Regardless of how it came to the U.S., Robert Rayford, a 16 year old African American male, was the first person to die from the AIDS-related complication – Kaposi’s Sarcoma. Since then, the CDC and Dr. William Darrow have made multiple attempts to identify “Patient Zero,” but no such patient has ever been “officially” named. Several books and a movie insinuated that a Canadian-born flight attendant, Gaetan Dugas, was patient zero due to the number of infected individuals connected to him sexually, but that theory has since been dismissed. The only thing that the average person needs to know about the origins of HIV/AIDS is this: It’s out there, and no one is immune to it.
On to the part we’ve all been waiting for…the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. This is the part where I take all those questions I get asked and try to sum them up for people. We’ll call this HIV Education 101.
$1. Can I get HIV/AIDS from casual contact (kissing, handshakes, food sharing, etc.)?
The Good: NO!
The Bad: It would be easier to catch a cold or the flu from casual contact than to contract HIV from casual contact…period.
The Ugly: There are worse things you can get from casual contact like MRSA and necrotizing fasciitis that are still more likely than contracting HIV from casual contact.
$2. Can I get HIV from insect bites (mosquitos, fleas, ticks, etc.)?
The Good: NO! Not at all!!!!
The Bad: You can get lyme disease, malaria, typhus, or rocky mountain spotted fever from those.
The Ugly: Ticks are not insects. They are Arachnids. Your question is invalid.
$3. Can I still have sex if I am HIV positive?
The Good: With the right precautions (condoms, taking meds properly, etc.) you can still have a relatively normal sex life.
The Bad: Having unprotected sex is irresponsible, even if you are with someone else who is also HIV positive.
The Ugly: Having unprotected sex with someone else who is HIV positive is not OK. You can contract different strains of the same condition, which can cause issues with medications and other forms of treatment.
$4. Will I die from HIV/AIDS?
The Good: It’s less likely now than it was 20 years ago. Many HIV+ people are living longer, productive lives than ever before thanks to advancements in treatment.
The Bad: With any chronic illness, there are always risks. If you don’t take care of yourself and follow a treatment plan, you will reduce your life expectancy.
The Ugly: You’ll probably live to be 120 if you handle your business and get fat, old, and ugly just like the rest of us.
$5. Do I have to tell everyone I am HIV+?
The Good: Well, the good news on this one is…it’s a free country. You don’t have to tell anyone. You should tell anyone that you intend on having a sexual relationship with, and it might be a good idea to tell someone close to you for medical purposes. Again…you don’t HAVE to tell, but…
The Bad: If you don’t tell someone you are HIV+ and you knowingly have unprotected sex with that person, you can be criminally charged in some states. You have a responsibility to others by not putting them in harm’s way AND allowing them to make choices about their bodies.
The Ugly: Be prepared to run into jerks. Some people can’t handle it and they will treat you unfairly. Also be prepared to run into “Bug Chasers.” These are people who want to be infected with HIV. Don’t ask me why.
$6. Don’t HIV medications make you sick?
The Good: We’ve come a long way in HIV treatment, and the newer medications have fewer side effects that some of the older medications.
The Bad: Some side effects are common to most all HIV meds, most notably nausea and over time, these side effects typically lessen. If they don’t, your doctor can suggest alternatives.
The Ugly: All medications can have side effects, some more than others. Some can be very serious. If you experience side effects from your meds, you should consult your doctor immediately.
$7. What about the flu shot – isn’t it bad for me?
The Good: NOOOOOO!!!! Get the damn shot! It is safe and will be beneficial to you.
The Bad: Flu shots typically hurt like a bitch, but being HIV+ is not a good excuse for avoiding the pain.
The Ugly: Fear of needles is also a lame excuse. Get the damn shot.
$8. Can I be fired from my job for being HIV+?
The Good: Not on a whim, but…
The Bad: Yes, under certain limits and restrictions. The ADA permits employers to exclude individuals who pose a direct threat to the health or safety of themselves or of others, if that risk cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation. But employers can't simply assume that a threat exists-they must establish it through objective, medically supportable methods.
The Ugly (For the employer) Transmission of HIV is very rarely a legitimate "direct threat" issue. There is little possibility that HIV could ever be transmitted in the workplace. The fact that your employer may be ignorant of these facts is no excuse for them to discriminate against you.
$9. If I have HIV, am I covered by the American’s with Disabilities Act?
The Good: Yes, absolutely. You may not feel that you are "disabled" by HIV in any way. However, you are considered to have a "disability" if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. People with HIV, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, are protected by the law. You are also protected by the law if you are regarded as being HIV-positive. For example, a person fired on the basis of a rumor that he has AIDS-even if he does not-is protected by the law.
Moreover, the ADA protects people who are discriminated against because they associate with someone who is HIV-positive. For example, the ADA protects an HIV-negative woman who is denied a job because her boyfriend is HIV-positive.
The Bad: Not all businesses are covered under ADA. Small business with less than 15 employees are exempt.
The Ugly: The reasonable accommodations clause is tricky. An employer is not required to make an accommodation if it would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business. Determination as to whether a particular accommodation poses an undue hardship is made on a case-by-case basis. However, Customer or co-worker attitudes don't matter. The potential loss of customers or co-workers because an employee has HIV does not constitute an undue hardship.
$10. Will you still think I’m sexy if I have HIV, Jase?
The Good: Someone’s “positive status” is not a factor in what I consider sexy. So maybe…
The Bad: I’m very picky…
The Ugly: I’m married, so it doesn’t really matter. JAdd a comment Add a comment