• Welcome To The New Age Of Virtual Flirting!
    Nowadays, there are a lot of apps that you can use in the dating game, the challenge is to find the one that suits you best. There are even new apps designed for users who don't want to mask their sexual desires under the excuse of ‘dating'- they cut right down to the chase. We compiled a list of the most popular applications to find free love but remember: if you have a date, always carry and use protection. Welcome to the new era of virtual flirting!

    Tinder. Just import a photo from your Facebook profile and wait for someone to 'like' you. If you're interested, hit 'like' too and start chatting. If you like each other, make an appointment.

    Grindr. The gay -and predecessor- version of the Tinder application. You can find out other people's locations, share photos and chat with people who are interested in you.

    OkCupid. It's a simple app that lets you browse through different profiles, chat with other users to see if you feel connected with the other person and to make appointments.

    POF (Plenty Of Fish): First of all you have to complete a registration form which takes time, it's a personality test with questions about your age, your personal interests... The application connects people with similar interests and has more than 50 million people users.

    Social Flirt. After filling in a compatibility test, this app allows you to find people that you may like and that are living relatively close to you. Registration requests much data, it will take some time but the more you offer, the more chances of success you will get.

    Meetic. You can meet singles, people with similar interests and browse in invisible mode to view other people's profiles without letting people know. It offers options such as geo-location, chat and find people near your location, plus you get to know in real time if anyone is interested in you.

    Badoo. With this app you can see the people that go to the same stores as you do, as well as pubs, restaurants, etc. You can find people that have similar interests as you to get a successful date.

    MiuMeet. The system is easy. You only have to import photos from Facebook and the app has a filter to refine the interests between you and the other person, for a date without a failure -in theory at least.

    StreetMatching. If you see someone in the street that you like and this person has the application, this app allows you to geographically locate this person. With one click, the application detects the location and time that the meeting has happened, so that the user only needs to accept data and your love at first sight will be registered to facilitate a next meeting.

    eHarmony. This is considered one of the most discrete apps. After filling in a questionnaire registration, this app joins people based on their interests, preferences and even their beliefs.

    Qrushr. An app exclusively for women who want to meet other ladies. This app has chat, a news section and you can see the profiles of girls that are around your area.

    Brenda (the lesbian version) and Bender (the gay version) are only for people over 18 years. These apps offer the opportunity to meet members near to your area, you can see the public profiles organized according to the distance, send messages and share pictures and location.

    Ashley Madison. This app is created to facilitate the possibility to commit an infidelity for married people or people in a relationship. It is designed for mobile phones to avoid being caught by your partner.

    Love Park. One of the simplest. You don't have to register by email, only download the app and start the virtual 'flirting'.

    Breakupnotifier. This Facebook application analyzes the state of profiles of those people who you like and when it detects a change in their relationship status, it warns by email if the girl or guy you like has become single or divorced again.

    Meet Me. This app connects you with people who are around your area. On the street, in a park, in a bar ... It has a chat where people are commenting on what they are doing at that moment. It also includes a section to find out who of them are interested in you and a section of questions and answers to break the ice easily.

    Twine. This app connects to your Facebook account to know your interests and find people around your area and with similar interests to yours. You will not see the face of the other person until he or she decides they like you too and want to learn more.

    If you don't want to have tedious and endless conversations and you are looking for something more direct, then you need Mixxxer, an app that indicates if there's someone near you looking to have a good time, send and share explicit photos -but don't worry: there's an option to pixelate your private parts. Mixxxer is intended for heterosexuals, bisexuals and couples, but if you are looking for a threesome, there is another app that is dedicated exclusively to that: 3nder. This app shows potential bedfellows by physical proximity and allows singles or couples to search to their heart's content.

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  • Just how 'gay' is anal play, really? The kind of sex that gay men are having isn’t exclusive to the LGBT community. It’s just that few straight people admit having it


    Efforts to desexualise gay men disappear when we talk about our sexual differences – or lack thereof. Photograph: Ralph Daily / flickr via Creative Commons
    I was talking with a newly single girlfriend of mine the other day, about the dates she’s been going on these last few weeks. She told me about one guy who shook nervously the entire time they had lunch. She told me about another guy who wined and dined her with an expensive dinner neither one of us could afford and dancing afterward. And then my friend told me about this one guy she met at a bar, then slept with – and how he wouldn’t stop texting her the next morning, or the next night, or the next few days after that.
    I asked, rather obviously, why Texting Guy wouldn’t give up the chase. This guy must really like her, I thought, to be messaging at all hours after a one-night stand. My friend laughed and just handed over the iPhone:
    Would you be into playing with my ass later ;)?
    And I looked at her, and asked, rather shocked: “Wait – do straight men ask women to do this?”
    In 2012, one-year before what is called a “watershed moment” for LGBTQ folks in America by many due a burst in progress, Esquire magazine asked 500 men another question: “During foreplay, what’s the one thing that you want more of from your current partner?” Blowjobs,apparently on the wane, were mentioned by 46% of the men surveyed; “a little rough play” sat at 6%. And rim jobs – or, to the unfamiliar, the act of having your anus stimulated orally – came in at 14%, which is quite surprising because straight men and their own behinds are rarely talked about in the same breath ... unless they’re used in the same breath as a homophobic slur.
    As Charlie Glickman, a sex educator and the author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration of Men and their Partners, explained in an interview last year with Playboy: “We carry a lot of shame around our anuses. ... It’s a shame that starts when we’re in diapers.” According to Glickman,who identifies as bisexual, even as adults, “We look for a reason to justify the taboo. We say it’s disgusting. We say it’s dirty. We say it’s gross.”
    “Butt stuff is such a thing,” we say, as New York magazine’s Maureen O’Connor did earlier this year, before immediately getting grossed out at a phrase more lurid than that.
    Most commonly, we say that anal play is gay. A lot of people feel uncomfortable with anal sex. But how gay is it, really?
    Well, a 2011 study with a sample size of 25,000 gay men living in America found that gay men do like their analingus – just not as much as you might expect. About 26.1% of those men had received and 25.4% had given in their most recent sexual encounter. For straight men, while we do not have data to show if they had performed or received analingus during their last sexual encounter, we do know that according to a study published in 2010 by the Journal of Sex Research, over 51% of men have engaged in “in oral-anal sex, manual-anal sex, or anal sex toy use”.
    So it turns out that exploring the most private of private parts with your tongue, or getting pleasure from it, isn’t necessarily a gay thing. It’s a human thing – if we let it be.
    Around the world, gay men, bisexual men, and men who have sex with one another but don’t identify with either category, face down so many stigma for so many reasons. But the one that has stood the test of time the longest is the discriminatory focus on the act of sodomy. And in many places, that focus has become the justification for violence perpetrated upon gay men even till this day, with 12 states in America still banning sodomy 10 years after it was ruled unconstitutional.
    As many groups across the globe have worked to stop the violence, both systemically and socially, we have seen the urge to desexualise gay menin the mainstream representations of them and make them into fathers, your neighbor, your best friend or your mailman.
    This push to make gay people “just like you!” is commonly referred to as heteronormativity – or the act of making subjects fit into the gendered nuclear family and ideals associated with it. And through this process, sex becomes a distant memory. It’s put on the back-burner, and for a group whose identity is founded in sexual differences, maybe it shouldn’t be.
    Maybe we should be talking about the sex gay people are having because, when we do, we figure out that they are actually not all that different – without having all of us move to the suburbs.
    From the data we know that men, straight and gay and everything in between, can derive pleasure from butts – their own and other people’s. We know that women can, too, with over 43% of women having participated in analingus according to that same 2010 academic study. And according to the most recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, straight people don’t just like analingus – they like going all the way: 44% of men, and 36% of women, reported having had penetrative anal sex.
    This week was another milestone for same-sex couples across the US, especially those living in some conservative states where it looks like they, too, will gain access to same sex marriage. But as the LGBTQ rights movement continues to progress around the world, hitting many more milestones, maybe ass should start to become a bigger part of the gay rights conversation. Not just marriageNot just children. Just butts – precisely because we’ve been avoiding it as the thing that supposedly sets gay men apart when, in truth, it’s apparently one thing upon which we can all agree.
    And by destigmatising the pleasure that all of us can gain from it – especially men, who seem to face the most difficulty accepting their own – maybe then we can begin to dream of a world that is truly equal.
    Credit: Anal play

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  • Warga Tolak Salatkan Jenazah Waria PSK yang Dibunuh di Australia

    BANDAR LAMPUNG, TRIBUN-TIMUR.COM - Jenazah Febri Andriansyah atau Mayang Prasetyo, waria PSK warga negara Indonesia yang menjadi korban pembunuhan di Brisbane, Australia, beberapa waktu lalu, akan tiba di kampung halamannya di Bandar Lampung dalam beberapa hari mendatang.
    Namun, ibunda Mayang, Nining Sukarni, mengaku bingung karena warga setempat menolak mensalatkan jasad Mayang. Kebingungan Nining ditumpahkan saat dia menyampaikan keterangan pers di Kantor Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Bandar Lampung, Rabu (15/10/2014).
    "Beberapa hari lalu, RT setempat datang ke rumah. Mereka katakan kepada saya, masjid sekitar rumah enggan menyolatkan anak saya. Saya sendiri tidak tahu alasannya," ujar Nining.
    Wahrul Fauzi Silalahi dari LBH Bandar Lampung menegaskan, negara harus adil memperlakukan hak dan kewajiban semua warganya. "Kami mengecam aparat pemerintah dan membatasi peribadatan seseorang, apalagi Mayang adalah korban pembunuhan," ujar Fauzi Silalahi, yang selama ini mendampingi keluarga Mayang.
    Wahrul mengatakan, pilihan hidup Mayang bukan berorientasi pada kejahatan, melainkan lebih ke orientasi seksual. Mayang, menurut teman-teman komunitasnya, tidak memiliki catatan kriminal.
    Sebelumnya diberitakan, WNI asal Lampung ini tewas mengenaskan di sebuah apartemen di Brisbane, Australia. Jasad Mayang ditemukan dalam keadaan terpotong-potong, dibuang di kotak sampah, dan sebagian dimasak di atas kompor.
    Pelaku pembunuhan tak lain adalah suami Mayang, Marcus Volker, yang disebut-sebut sebagai pekerja seks laki-laki, dan juga mengaku-ngaku bekerja sebagai chef di sebuah kapal pesiar.(*)

    Source: Mayang Prasetyo

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  • Catholic synod: Vatican family review signals shift on homosexuality

    Senior clerics taking part in a review of Catholic teachings on the family have called on the Church to adopt a more positive stance on homosexuality.
    A preliminary report written by bishops during a Vatican synod said homosexuals had "gifts and qualities to offer".
    The report does not challenge the Church's long-held opposition to same-sex marriage, but some gay rights groups hailed it as a breakthrough.
    Conservative groups rejected the report, one labelling it a "betrayal".
    More than 200 bishops have been taking part in the synod since 5 October. It was convened by Pope Francis to debate controversial issues such as abortion, contraception, homosexuality and divorce.
    Monday's report, issued half-way through the two-week meeting, said: "Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.
    "Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?"
    line
    Analysis: David Willey, BBC News, Rome
    Pope Francis' emphasis on concentrating upon positive rather than negative aspects of human sexuality seems to have won over many bishops attending the synod.
    His predecessor Pope Benedict referred to homosexual relationships as "intrinsically disordered" in a Vatican document written in 1986 - when Benedict was chief theological adviser to Pope John Paul II.
    Pope Francis on the other hand told journalists returning from a Catholic Youth Festival in Rio de Janeiro last year: "If a person seeks God and has goodwill, then who am I to judge?"
    Pope Francis is the first pontiff ever to have used the word "gay" in public rather than refer to "homosexuals".
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    Breakthrough or betrayal?
    The document adds: "Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions, it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners."
    Human Rights Campaign, a leading US gay rights organisation, said the document set a "dramatic new tone".
    The London-based Catholic gay rights groups Quest called parts of it a "breakthrough".
    However Voice Of The Family, a conservative Roman Catholic organisation, rejected the interim report as a "betrayal".
    The group's co-founder John Smeaton called it "one of the worst official documents drafted in Church history".
    Last year, a survey launched by Pope Francis suggested that the majority of Catholics rejected Church teaching on issues such as sex and contraception.
    Source: Vatican

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  • Hermaphrodite snail named after marriage equality

    A new species of hermaphrodite land snail found in Taiwan has been named in support of marriage equality.
    Biologists christened the species Aegista diversifamilia, referring to a diversity of family types, because it "represents the diversity of sex orientation in the animal kingdom".
    The snail is widespread throughout eastern Taiwan, but was previously mistaken for a closely related species.
    Its discovery is reported in the journal ZooKeys.
    "When we were preparing the manuscript, it was a period when Taiwan and many other countries and states were struggling for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights," said Dr Yen-Chang Lee, who first suggested the snail might entail its own species.
    "It reminded us that Pulmonata land snails are hermaphrodite animals, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs in a single individual.
    "We decided that maybe this is a good occasion to name the snail to remember the struggle for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights."
    Dr Lee, from Academia Sinica in Taipei, noticed in 2003 that land snails of the established species Aegista subchinensis seemed to be markedly different on the eastern side of Taiwan's Central Mountain Range.
    Together with researchers from the National Taiwan Normal University, Dr Lee then conducted a detailed study of the shape of the animals as well as molecular markers.
    The new diversifamilia species, from the east of the mountains, has a larger, flatter shell and is in fact more closely related to a land snail from Ishigaki Island in Japan.
    Source: Snail

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  • Save this 10-year-old girl from an “honour” killing
    At just ten years old, Brishna is the survivor of a brutal rape.
    Although a local mullah has been charged and awaits trial, powerful groups in the community want to kill Brishna for "bringing shame" on her family.
    We need to act fast: death threats are pouring in – even from relatives and religious leaders.
    Demand Afghan authorities protect Brishna against the threat of an "honour" killing.
    After she was released from hospital, Brishna was taken to a shelter run by Women for Afghan Women for protection.
    Despite male relatives threatening to "kill her and dump her in the river" local police removed Brishna from the shelter and returned her to her family.
    Call on police to protect Brishna and staff at the shelter, and investigate the threats against them.
    Honour killings are an ongoing problem in Afghanistan. Shockingly, Afghanistan’s Penal Code recommends reduced sentences in murder cases when honour is the motivation. When a murderer is convicted for an honour killing, they receive no more than two years jail.

    Ask the new Afghan President to stand up for the rights of women and girls and condemn honour killings.


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  • Seismic Shift in Rome: New Catholic Church Document Praises Committed Gay and Lesbian “Partnerships”
    HRC today commended Catholic leaders meeting in Rome for using new, inclusive language in referring to the LGBT community.
    The preliminary but potentially ground-breaking document released today by the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops asserted that LGBT people have “gifts and talents to offer the Christian community,” and, for the first time, referred to LGBT couples as “partners” instead of sinners.
    Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:
    "For the LGBT Catholics in the United States and around the world, this new document is a light in the darkness—a dramatic new tone from a Church hierarchy that has long denied the very existence of committed and loving gay and lesbian partnerships.”
    The new language comes at a time when many in the U.S. Catholic hierarchy continue to use heartless and derogatory language in referring to the LGBT faithful, while Pope Francis encourages a more compassionate approach.
    The document, read today to the gathering, says that the Church does not view gay unions as on the “same footing as matrimony between a man and a woman.” But it goes on to assert the following: "Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners."
    Griffin said he hopes that the message coming out of the synod resonates well beyond Rome.
    “It is clear that Pope Francis' message of mercy and inclusion is alive and well,” Griffin said, “and I hope the American Catholic bishops who have recently spent millions of parishioner dollars in political campaigns targeting their LGBT brothers and sisters are listening closely."
    Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, HRC Foundation's Director of Latino/a and Catholic Initiatives, who is currently on a cross-country prayer journey designed to bring attention to the Rome synod, said that the new document shows that despite resistance from U.S. bishops, “the Vatican has heard the voices of Catholics around the world who see their faith as something that can include LGBT people, and honor their lives and relationships."
    "While this isn't by any means a full acceptance of LGBT equality within the church, it's a huge step toward making LGBT Catholics feel welcomed in their communities of faith, rather than approaching them with judgement,” she said.
    Since 2008, there have been more than 40 reported cases of LGBT employees fired or let go by Catholic institutions because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
    Source: Catholic

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  • Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon wants same-sex marriage in Korea as first in Asia
    A gay pride parade in Seoul, South Korea, last summer was blocked by hundreds of Christian protesters laying in the street. Nearly one-third of South Korea's population belongs to a Christian church that says it's a sin to be gay.
    Yet more than 10,000 people showed up for the "Love Conquers Hate"-themed parade, sponsored in part by Google Korea.

    It was a flashpoint for two conflicting forces in the city of 10 million -- traditionalists versus new tech and the societal change it represents. Both sides pressured city officials as the parade's permit was approved, rescinded and then reissued.

    The parade also tested the political resilience of Seoul's liberal mayor, Park Won-soon. It was election season and Park faced a conservative challenger who used homophobic rhetoric to criticize Park for allowing an anti-homophobia campaign to appear on city buses and billboards.

    Park won re-election and is now considered a top contender for president in 2017. His staff invited me to interview him when he recently visited San Francisco to meet with tech leaders and seek venture capital investments for Seoul startups.

    Park, who started his career as a human-rights lawyer, immediately asked about my background at the American Civil Liberties Union. I told him I worked on social-justice issues ranging from LGBT rights to immigration.

    His interest in the ACLU made me curious how far he was willing to lead on human rights for LGBT South Koreans as the possible next president of the country.

    "I personally agree with the rights of homosexuals," Park said. "But the Protestant churches are very powerful in Korea. It isn't easy for politicians. It's in the hands of activists to expand the universal concept of human rights to include homosexuals. Once they persuade the people, the politicians will follow. It's in process now."

    I asked him if Taiwan might be the first Asian country to allow same-sex marriage since the Taiwanese legislature is considering a bill to legalize it.

    "I hope Korea will be the first," Park said. "Many homosexual couples in Korea are already together. They are not legally accepted yet, but I believe the Korean Constitution allows it. We are guaranteed the right to the pursuit of happiness. Of course, there may be different interpretations to what that pursuit means."

    I told Park his remarks reminded me of an ACLU conundrum: How to protect the constitutional rights of people who have opposing beliefs. Letting a same-sex couple marry while allowing a religion to call it sinful is the hallmark of a truly free society. But what about the rights of a group that nearly everyone considers unpopular?

    South Korea still prosecutes and jails Jehovah's Witnesses who refuse compulsory military service, which goes against international consensus on the rights of conscientious objectors. Park wants to change that.

    "Alternative civilian service for Jehovah's Witnesses would be acceptable," he said.
    I was impressed at how far and consistently Park was willing to defend human rights in a part of the world not known for it. At 58, he remains connected to his experience as a freshman at Seoul National University when he was expelled after being arrested at a pro-democracy rally.

    Park also looks to solve new urban challenges in housing, transportation and sustainability. He said he came to San Francisco to get tech industry support for his "creative economy" and "sharing city" initiatives in a city, like his, that simultaneously embraces and protests change.

    "Seoul has many conflicts, struggles and demonstrations. Innovation brings resistance from interest groups who think they are damaged and losing benefits," Park said. "Sometimes even my old friends are against me. But it's important to face your opposition and hear them out. It's in that process of discussion where you can find solutions and help people understand why the change is good."

    Source: Seoul

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  • Pioneering Gay Journalist Joseph Nicholson Dead at 71 Joseph Nicholson, often cited as the first openly gay reporter at a big-city daily, covered high-profile court cases, international affairs, and gay and AIDS issues.


    Former New York Post reporter Joseph Nicholson, often cited as the first openly gay reporter at a big-city daily, died Wednesday at age 71.
    Nicholson, who worked for thePost from 1971 to 1993, began coming out to colleagues in the late 1970s and by 1980 was out to all his major editors, noted a 1990 American Society of Newspaper Editors report on gay people in journalism. He recognized the importance of coming out because of the increasingly antigay editorial stance at the Post after its purchase by Rupert Murdoch in 1976.
    In 1980, after a gunman fired shots into a New York gay bar, killing two people and wounding several others, Nicholson offered his Post editors a story about his “reaction as a gay person,” according to theColumbia Journalism Review. The Post did not publish the piece, but the New York Native, a now-defunct gay weekly, ran an expanded version of it, according to Nicholson’s family. Another version later ran in CJR.
    Nonetheless, his career thrived at the Post. “Rupert Murdoch’s Aussie and Brit editors arrived accepting stereotypes they had heard about homosexuals, and so I thought they should get to know an actual gay man who had been a standout player in high school football, a college rugby player, and a Navy officer, things I don’t think any of them had been,” Nicholson once wrote. “I have to say they responded magnificently and gave me some of their best assignments, and I had a lot of fun.”
    Nicholson covered several high-profile trials — of Jean Harris for the murder of “Scarsdale Diet” doctor Herman Tarnower; of Claus von Bulow for the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny; of William Kennedy Smith for rape; and a civil proceeding involving Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. He also interviewed world leaders such as Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Israel’s Ariel Sharon, and for several years was medicine and science editor.
    He covered gay issues as well. “In 1993, during the height of debate on gays in the military, he wrote a first-person account on his experiences as closeted Navy officer when he served in the mid-1960s,” thePost notes in his obituary. Long before that, in 1971, one of the first stories he proposed and wrote for the Post was on antigay job discrimination and efforts to get the City Council to pass an antidiscrimination ordinance — which it finally did in 1986. His reporting on gay and AIDS issues brought the Post a GLAAD award in 1992. The advocacy organization had been founded partly in response to the paper’s earlier derogatory coverage of gay people and their concerns.
    Nicholson also worked for the Associated Press, the New York Daily News, and Editor & Publisher,and freelanced for numerous publications. He wrote two books, Inside Cuba and A Woman Obsessed: The Murder Trial of Jean Harris.
    Survivors include his husband, Sherwin T. Nicholson, and a sister, Katherine Nicholson Pendergast. The funeral will be held today at 9:30 a.m. at New York’s Church of the Holy Apostles, where he and his husband were married last year.

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  • Study Puts 'Beginning of HIV/AIDS' in 1920s Africa, Dispels Myths A landmark new study finds that HIV actually emerged in Congo in the 1920s. Check out three debunked HIV-origin theories of the past.


    Researchers at Oxford University and Belgium's University of Leuven say they have unraveled the mystery of precisely when, where, and to some extent, how the HIV virus emerged as the definitive pandemic of the last half of the 20th century, according to a report by Reuters.

    Professor Oliver Pybus of Oxford's Zoology Department co-led the study, which took a comprehensive look at existing data from mulitple studies. The new analysis arrives at 1920s central Africa in what was then the Belgian Congo and is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. In fact, Pybus told Reuters that use of "the latest phylogeographic techniques" means researchers have "a high degree of certainty" that HIV/AIDS first emerged in the DRC capital of Kinsasha.
    It has long been understood by scientists that the two major forms of HIV (HIV-1 and HIV-2) made interspecies jumps from primates at least five times to create the eight major strains of the virus that plague humanity today. According the UNAIDS, more than 75 million people have been infected with HIV, while 1.5 million died of AIDS last year alone.
    But it was a major colonial-era expansion of railways executed by the Belgians in the 1920s in central Africa along with simultaneous changes in the behaviors of sex workers that converted occurrences of HIV from isolated incidents to an epidemic and ultimately to a global pandemic, according to researchers involved in the international study.   
    Nuno Faria, another Oxford University researcher, told Reuters that colonial archives show that by the end of 1940s, more than 1 million people traveled each year through Kinshasa on the railways.
    The arrival in the 1940s and '50s of public health efforts further increased the potential for the spread of HIV outward from central Africa. Those efforts introduced greater numbers of hypodermic needles, syringes and other bloodstream-penetrating medical tools and practices into the region, according to the study's findings, which were published late last week in the journal, Science.

    According to researchers, the departure of colonial administration from Congolese society created conditions that were ripe for the spread of HIV.

    "We think it is likely that the social changes around the independence in 1960 saw the virus break out from small groups of infected people to infect the wider population and eventually the world," said Faria.

    PBS's Frontline series aired a landmark episode titled "The Age of AIDS" in 2006 that explored the origins of HIV and AIDS. A detailed evolutionary tree affiliated with the 2006 production meticulously outlines the jumps of various strings of simian immunodeficiency virus to the human immunodeficiency viruses researchers have discovered through the years.

    The LGBT community is better acquainted than the general population with the here-and-now details of the AIDS pandemic as well as the historical impact that the HIV virus has had on society during the past 40  years. Yet the gay community has had no more insight than anyone else into the questions of exactly how, where and when HIV began its relentless march.

    Over the years, wacky theories about where HIV came from have been discredited one by one. Here are three of the most absurd theories about the origins of HIV/AIDS:

    AIDS is God's Punishment for Tolerance of Homosexuality

    HIV/AIDS Was Accidentally Unleashed by Clumsy Lab Workers

    The CIA Did It
    Source: Beginning

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  • Lab-Grown Penises May Be Here Soon

    Scientists are only five years away from engineering a lab-grown penis that will give hope to men with genital abnormalities, injuries and even erectile dysfunction.
    Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., has successfully grown penises for rabbit subjects and grafted them onto the animals. During 12 trials, all rabbits tried to mate with a female; eight ejaculated, and four produced offspring, according to a Guardian report.
    The rabbit experiments show promise for men who have lost their penis through:
    • Congenital abnormalities like ambiguous genitalia
    • Traumatic injury on battlefields
    • Surgery
    • Cancer.
    Currently, replacement penises for humans are either transplanted from a donor or are constructed from skin and muscle from forearms and thighs that surrounds rigid or inflatable rods.
    The lab-grown human penises will be bioengineered from a donor penis, scrubbed of cells, then reseeded with cells from the patient.
    Dr. Anthony Atala is leading the penis replacement research at Wake Forest. He says he’s already engineered six human penises that are ready for transplanting if approval is granted, the Guardian says.
    In the past, Atala’s team has successfully bioengineered and transplanted vaginas into women with none, or with defective vaginas.
    Source: Penises

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  • Science Denial and Religious LGBT Phobia
    Evangelical Christianity has gained a reputation for challenging science in numerous ways, particularly with creationism and climate change denial. Because I once contributed to this reputation, I consider it my responsibility to try and counteract the misinformation and misunderstanding of science denial wherever I can.
    Even so, it's tempting to see these issues as purely academic. Does it really matter if some people think the world around us is only a few thousand years old? People are still able to make new advances in medicine and technology despite such beliefs. What difference does it make?
    There are numerous reasons why science denial is dangerous. Both climate crisis denial and the anti-vaccination movement follow the same trend of dismissing science, and both are serious problems for our communities and world. But the phenomenon of religious and political science denial extends far beyond the obvious examples. It can get much worse, and much uglier. An alarming example of this phenomenon emerged last week from evangelical, neocalvinist blogger Matt Walsh, in a post titled, "You are born a man or a woman. You don't get to choose.":
    I want to begin by telling you about a grown adult male who, last week, beat a woman to a bloody pulp in front of a cheering crowd. As he gloated about his physical dominance over this outmatched female, media outlets and advocacy groups hailed him as a pioneer. Beating up women is literally this dude's job. The man who stomps women and brags about it on Twitter, is, according to our progressive cultural ringleaders, a hero. A superhero. His noble endeavors put him in the lofty company of men like Ray Rice and Chris Brown. What gives? Well, our hero [alias "Fallon Fox"], went overseas and had his penis chopped off, then came back and became a "transgender female" MMA fighter. It's OK for him to break a woman's face because he likes to pretend he is one. It's that simple. Want to give a girl a concussion? It's cool to pound your fists into a woman's cranium as long as you feel like a woman while you're doing it.
    I'm not a physician, or a psychologist, or any kind of expert on gender identity or gender dysphoria. I've never faced the incredible challenge of identifying outside of society's cisgender expectations. I'm sure many people are more qualified than me to challenge these types of dangerous, violently transphobic views. But I do have experience with science denial, particularly in the context of religious fundamentalism. And that's exactly what I see here.
    Walsh's comments exemplify what has become the standard conservative and fundamentalist response to LGBT issues. Progress in medicine and psychology are dismissed, and an entirely new brand of science is substituted based on the hallowed pillars of "common sense." It is only convenient that this "common sense" just happens to exactly reflect the traditional values of the conservative and fundamentalist culture. In this worldview, trans people simply do not exist. Nonbinary gender is imaginary. Any sort of gender identification outside the traditional conservative "common sense" viewpoint is either imagined or fabricated outright, allowing people like Walsh to mock, demean, and label anyone who fails to conform. Within this mindset, Fallon Fox must have some ulterior motives in identifying as a woman, and it is perfectly legitimate to compare her to violent abusers like Ray Rice or Chris Brown.
    It's important to realize that this pattern -- the one consistently followed by religious science deniers -- doesn't start with religion or religious texts. There are plenty of Christians who have no desire to invent their own sectarian branches of science. There are plenty of Christians who depend on the Bible as their means of understanding and experiencing God but have never expected it to include exact answers to every social controversy.
    Religious science denial starts not in text or doctrine, but in the community. All communities have social standards and norms which are enforced to varying degrees. But in communities which view the outside world as dangerous or threatening, these traditional values -- values like medieval male authority and archaic gender roles -- are enforced more rigidly. As a result, such communities automatically exclude people who do not fall inside those roles and structures. LGBT persons are treated as dangerous anomalies, threats to the established social structure.
    Religious communities then look to their texts -- in the case of Christianity, the Bible -- to find passages which can be used to justify those traditional norms. This elevates the community's traditional norms to the level of divine mandate, painting anyone who fails to conform as broken and sinful and justifying every kind of discrimination.
    So when advances in science or medicine call those traditional norms into question, fundamentalists are forced to challenge the advances in order to defend the validity of their religious beliefs. No consensus, regardless of how strong it is, will be enough: they treat science as yet another facet of the "liberal," "secular" agenda created to challenge what they are certain is foundational religious truth. It is impossible for them to realize they are merely defending a system of roles and structures which have nothing to do with the Bible.
    It is tempting to react to science denial with careful explanation, attempting to educate people about these realities. In responding to the worldview Walsh represents, we can point out that gender dysphoria is a real condition, that intersex andintergender people do exist, that being trans is not a choice, and that transphobia and trans denial often result in chilling violence. We can show why Mr. Walsh's characterization of a trans female athlete is not only wrong, but dangerous. We should always be prepared to educate. But that won't always be enough.
    Science denial -- whether in the form of trans denial or creationism or anything else -- is able to persist due to a lack of education and awareness. But education alone cannot solve the problem. People need to be able to identify when their deeply-held religious convictions are really just traditions, borrowed from their communities and given false authority from a few poorly-understood scripture passages. They need to recognize that the community itself all too often dictates what will be seen as "normal" and that these norms invariably worm their way into doctrines and interpretations. Otherwise, they will all too commonly remain closed off to the possibility of considering other views and unable to respect the needs of people different from them.
    It's my hope that more Christians will begin to see where traditions have been treated as doctrines. I hope Christians will work to reverse the harm that has been done in the name of religion. The people Jesus spent the most time with were the people his society rejected, the people who didn't fit inside the culture's traditions and systems. When Christians meet people who don't fit their preconceptions and expectations, I want us to welcome them, not pretend they don't exist.
    Unfortunately, for people who think like Walsh, that might be too much of a challenge.
    Credit: LGBT phobia

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  • Hope abounds for new RI leaders to take firm stance on HIV/AIDS

    Under a scholarship from the International AIDS Society (IAS) and with support from the United Nations Joint Program on AIDS (UNAIDS), The Jakarta Post’s Rita A. Widiadana attended the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, to learn more about global progress in HIV/AIDS responses, including in Indonesia. The following are reports from the five-day conference.
    The recent International AIDS conference, organized by the Geneva-based International AIDS Society and its partners including UNAIDS and the WHO, attracted 13,000 delegate members from around the world and ended with a global chorus of international figures, including former US president Bill Clinton and humanitarian activist and musician Bob Geldof, scientists and civil society groups hoping to end the AIDS epidemic by the year 2030.

    Such a task will not be easy, however, especially for developing nations like Indonesia, which is facing tremendous public health and social problems.

    During the five-day conference, Indonesia was in the global spotlight for all the wrong reasons, being named one of the few countries where HIV infection has significantly increased in recent years.

    HIV/AIDS constitutes a major challenge for Indonesia’s new leaders, as it is more than a health issue. For Indonesia, the scale of the societal and economic impact of HIV/AIDS could be disastrous, as the disease can reverse a country’s annual economic growth by 1 or 2 percent if it is not properly managed.

    Economic wealth in the form of gross national product (GNP) could drop in some areas by as much as 40 percent by 2020. Translated to a country like Malaysia, Thailand or Indonesia, this is a sum worth billions of dollars, according to a report from an Australian donor agency.

    “While new infections continue to decrease globally, we unfortunately are seeing a very different pattern in several countries in our region, with increasing number of infections in Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines in 2013,” explained Sharon Lewin, co-chair of the conference and one of the International AIDS Society’s (IAS) team of global researchers.

    UNAIDS data show there were 35 million people living with HIV worldwide in 2013. Geographically, the majority of people living with HIV have been found in 20 countries, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa but also in larger middle-income countries such as China, Brazil, India, Russia, Thailand and Indonesia.

    In the Asia and Pacific region, there were 4.8 million people living with HIV, including 350,000 new HIV infections in the region in 2013.

    In Indonesia, where the first HIV/AIDS case was discovered in Bali in l987, the number of people living with HIV was estimated at 640,000 by UNAIDS data in 2013.

    Demographically, in every region in the world, HIV/AIDS shows high prevalence among certain groups, including men having sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID), sex workers and their clients, transgender people, prisoners, migrants, pregnant women and their babies.

    Similarly, in Indonesia, a high incidence of HIV infection among men having sex with men is found in Jakarta (15 to 17 percent) and other big cities. The incidence among intravenous drug users (IDU) is 36.4 percent.

    In Jayawijaya, Papua, HIV rates among female sex workers are as high as 25 percent, and 18 percent for male sex workers. Around 30.8 percent of waria (transgenders) people in Jakarta are HIV positive.

    Steve Kraus, UNAIDS Asia and Pacific regional director, told The Jakarta Post: “The newly elected leaders of Indonesia must be briefed on the real situation of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia, its current program and the mounting challenges Indonesia is now facing.”

    Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS executive director, told the Post that Indonesia had been implementing beneficial and innovative programs in scaling up testing and treatment for people living with HIV in the last two years.

    “The country has optimized all resources — in the fields of policy making, funding, investment and human resources — to give opportunities for people living with HIV to get health access, which has resulted in the identification of new HIV infections,” Sidibé added.

    “Indonesia is taking dramatic steps to slow the rate of new infections. More recent initiatives aimed at increasing access to testing and treatment are leading the way,” added Kraus.

    Under Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi, Indonesia has been taking progressive and bold action by greatly expanding HIV testing, counseling and treatment services.

    Early initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART) can now be offered to people living with HIV including pregnant women in 10 districts across the country’s 33 provinces. By the end of 2014, the program will be expanded to 72 districts.

    Indonesia also plans to become one of several countries in the region to offer universal care by 2014, with HIV treatment included in health coverage.

    “Expanding HIV treatment is part of the Indonesian government’s drive to meet the Millennium Development Goals and stamp out AIDS,” Mboi said.

    Given Indonesia’s size and diffusion, a central challenge now will be ensuring that the ministry’s directives are implemented at local level.

    HIV/AIDS activists are also hopeful that the new government will listen to them and work alongside them.

    Vinolia Wakijo, a prominent defender of transgender people and sex workers in Yogyakarta, said that implementing the AIDS response without involving affected groups would be almost impossible.

    “Bu Naf [Nafsiah Mboi] is a minister who has an open mind and heart as she has invited [transgender people and sex workers], as well as MSM and people injecting drugs, to be part of the solution,” Vinolia said.

    Tono Permana, coordinator of a national network for men who have sex with men and transgender people, applauded the program.

    Dede Oetomo, founder of Gaya Nusantara, a leading gay rights advocacy group, said he was hoping that president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo would have an open mind and an innovative program.

    “HIV is more than just a public health threat. It encompasses deep social, cultural and religious stigma and discrimination against the affected people. Jokowi seems willing to listen to people’s needs,” Dede said.
    Source: HIV/AIDS

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  • Neither job nor gender identity killed Mayang Prasetyo. She died because of a man who felt entitled to murder her Questions should be asked of a media entitled to publish photos of a Brisbane murder victim posing in a bikini and referring to her as a ‘she-male’



    A man murdered his partner and then committed suicide. These are the simplest facts we can offer about a tragedy that is both all too frequent and easily forgotten.
    But the recent murder suicide in Brisbane is more notable than others for the drama it offers a jaded public, inured and indifferent to the violence women face. Various media outlets were impressively quick to report on the tragedy, and set a land speed record in the race to the bottom category in the process.
    The reporting, already breathless at the unconfirmed suggestion of cannibalism, took a horrific turn when journalists turned their attention to the victim, Mayang Prasetyo, describing her as a “transgendered prostitute” and underlining her Indonesian heritage before tearing through her social media to find pictures of her. What does it say about our culture that Prasetyo was most prominently defined as a prostitute, a word considered by many sex workers to be a slur?
    Perhaps these factors would be relevant were Prasetyo victim of a specific hate crime relating to her occupation, or her background. But she wasn’t. Mayang died because of a different hate crime: she was a woman in a relationship with a man who felt entitled to murder her.
    Questions should also be asked of a media entitled to publish photos of her posing in a bikini. It’s not enough that journalists pick through your online photos like carrion fossicking for a strip of a meal, it’s that they have to find the sexiest one. There were other photographs, just as well-lit and in which Prasetyo was fully clothed, that showed her as the happy woman described by her neighbours. But of course, they’re not as luridly scandalous.
    This is where the media must consider its use of language – the language that variously describes a murder victim as a “shemale”, “prostitute” or “hooker wife”. Every time we single out people by underlining what makes a person “different” in the eyes of many, we effectively remove them from our community and reduce her humanity further.
    It’s this use of “othering” language that forms a connection in the mind of readers. Tell people often enough a murder victim was a sex worker or transgender, and readers will begin to associate both as factors for someone’s murder. When we present someone as something “other” than our conservative view, we begin to assume their failure to be like the majority perhaps contributed to their death. This then follows into the fallacy that it’s the job that kills, or the gender identity that kills. But neither job not gender identity killed Prasetyo. She did not make a choice to be killed – a man made that choice.
    Likewise, the way the media handles the portrayal of the accused perpetrator when murder-suicides occur can be incredibly disturbing. News reports have called accused killer Marcus Volke an “outspoken opponent of violence against women”. It is simplistic to present his social media activity as a character reference, and deeply insulting if it’s presented as ironic. He is a man who allegedly made the choice to kill a woman and then killed himself when cornered by the police. No more, no less.
    Yet, this reporting echoes previous coverage of gendered murder-suicides where murderers are described as facing great stress – an isolated rural life, tending to ill partners, bad finances – and then offers a hotline to help men (a reference to suicide hotlines is a requirement when publishing a story about suicides in Australia), but not one for the women who suffer under them (a reference to a helpline for domestic violence victims is not required by the Australian Press Council, but one wonders why editors do no make the effort to include one).
    This omission particularly scorches: here’s a hotline for suicide prevention but no domestic violence hotline, despite the fact articles on the issue might actually impact the thousands of women around Australia who face violence in their homes.
    At the end of the day, another woman was killed by a man. It’s another statistic showing the real terror women face: that the home is statistically one of the most dangerous place for a woman to be. And yet our media continues to salaciously victimise women, even in death.

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Agenda

7th Sexuality Institute, 2-8 December 2014, Tunisia

International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia 20-25 July, 2014 Melbourne, Australia

6th Ewha Global Empowerment Program, 29 june - 13 july 2014 Seoul, Korea

Crea: Sexuality, Gender, and Right Institute, 21 - 29 June 2014 Istanbul, Turkey

World Conference on Youth 2014 6-10 May, 2014 Colombo, Sri Lanka

5th WLEC - Women's Leadership and Empowerment Conference 2014 1-3 March 2014, Bangkok, Thailand


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