President Barack Obama on Monday pledged up to $5 billion in funding to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria internationally, and to redirect $100 million to the National Institutes of Health for research toward a cure for HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS.
Speaking at the White House to mark World AIDS Day, which was Sunday, Obama celebrated the progress that has been made toward "achieving an AIDS-free nation."
"[T]his is a moment to reflect on how far we've come since the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Those of you who lived through it remember all too well the fear and the stigma and how hard people with HIV had to fight to be seen or heard, or treated with basic compassion," Obama commented. more >>
Former National Basketball Association star Magic Johnson recently told Anderson Cooper that he is Christian but that he also supports his openly gay son.
In an interview on "Anderson Cooper 360" that aired Monday, Johnson talked about many issues including how being a Christian and having a gay son is "reality."
"I go to church, I'm a Christian, but the reality is, my son is gay. That is the reality. And I tell pastors that, I tell other pastors that," said Johnson. more >>
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a rise in unprotected sex by gay men, leading to fears of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among the population.
The report classifies men who have sex with men (MSM) as a small proportion of the U.S. population, but notes that they represent the majority of persons diagnosed with HIV in nearly every state. While statistics show that unprotected anal sex among MSM increased nearly 20 percent from 2005 to 2011, only 67 percent of MSM went for an HIV test in the past 12 months.
"Unprotected anal sex is a high-risk practice for HIV infection, with receptive anal sex having the highest risk," CDC's Editorial Note wrote. "Unprotected anal sex also places MSM at risk for other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Although condoms can reduce the risk for HIV transmission, they do not eliminate risk and often are not used consistently." more >>
"Love! Valour! Compassion!" a play about a group of gay men and their journey with AIDS has stirred up controversy in Grand Rapids, Mich., where some Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) Trustees are calling for the school to defund the theater that hosted the play.
"There have been several members of the board who feel that the Actor's Theater is inappropriate," Bert Bleke, GRCC Board of Trustees chairman, told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday. "Historically, the college provides a small amount of money to the theater," Bleke explained, and some members ask for even that to be removed. According to reports, GRCC gave the theater $19,000 last year.
Some residents believe that through the play – which includes a scene of male nudity – GRCC is endorsing nudity "as entertainment or education and is using our tax dollars to do this, resident Joan Ridderbos told MLive last week. Ridderbos, who did not see the play, learned about it from friends at her church. more >>
The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday issue a revised policy statement advocating the use of condoms by teenagers pointing to the "unacceptably high" rates of STIs/HIV that currently exists among adolescents.
In an abstract of the Academy's revised policy statement on condom use published in the organization's journal Pediatrics, pediatricians noted that while positive markers such as a decline in teen pregnancies and sexual activity were evident, STI/HIV infections are too high.
"Rates of sexual activity, pregnancies, and births among adolescents have continued to decline during the past decade to historic lows. Despite these positive trends, many adolescents remain at risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)," noted the pediatricians in the abstract. more >>
A man dressed up as Jesus Christ attended the AIDS Walk in Los Angeles, Calif. over the weekend, standing next to protesters of the walk while holding a bundle of red balloons. Photos of the man have since gone viral on the internet, including user sharing websites such as Reddit and Facebook.
The photo shows a man dressed like Jesus, wearing a long white robe and having long, brown hair past his shoulders. The "Jesus Christ" impersonator stood on the sidewalk next to protesters who held signs that read, in part: "homo sex is sin." The impersonator carried along with him over one dozen red balloons that were reportedly meant to block the protesters from the view of those participating in the event.
The protesters reportedly attend the event every year to show their opposition to the homosexual lifestyle. As Los Angeles-based journalist Brody Brown told The Huffington Post, the event's organizers usually try to find a way to position them off of the main walk so they don't distract participants. "It was kind of amazing seeing Jesus posing with a cluster of red balloons, early on in the L.A. AIDS Walk, just after the masses turned off Santa Monica down La Cienega," Brown told The Huffington Post. more >>