Tag Archives: transmission

Florida high court to define ‘sexual intercourse’ in HIV case

The Florida Supreme Court is considering the definition of sexual intercourse in a case involving a gay man charged with not letting a partner know he was HIV-positive.

Arguments were held on Feb. 4 in the case involving Gary Debaun, who is trying to have a charge dismissed under a 1986 law designed to prevent the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus.

Lawyers for Debaun argue that the law says it’s illegal not to disclose an HIV infection before “sexual intercourse,” but that the definition in Florida applies only to traditional sex between a man and a woman — not two men.

A lower-court judge dismissed the charge against Debaun, but an appeals court reinstated it, saying the law was clearly intended to include other sexual activity with a risk of transmitting the virus.

2 male porn performers test positive for HIV after film shoot

The California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch says that it documented the on-set transmission of an HIV infection from one adult film performer thought to be working out of state — in Nevada — to another performer.

The case involves a male performer who was filmed performing with other male performers.

The newly infected individual initially tested HIV-negative in California after on-set exposure out of state — shooting films without condoms or protective barriers.

However, two weeks later, the individual in question then tested HIV-positive.

“In this case, the actor and production company thought he was HIV-negative during filming,” the statement from the state health department said. “Shortly after his negative test, HIV levels in his body rose rapidly to where he could infect other actors through unprotected sex.”

In mid-October, the Free Speech Coalition, the adult industry trade group, instituted a moratorium on adult industry filming due to reports of an industry-related infection — most likely this latest HIV case. The filming ban was lifted by the FSC the following week.

California health officials confirmed the on-set transmission after sending blood samples to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which genetically sequenced the virus found and matched it to an adult film actor.

“This is not AHF or supporters of condoms claiming that an HIV transmission occurred on the set of an adult film. This is California’s Department of Public Health and OSHA Occupational Health officials who vetted the performers’ blood samples with the CDC and concluded after genetic sequencing that this HIV infection occurred on set,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “For years adult film producers have claimed that performers who have tested HIV-positive while working in the industry did not contract HIV in the industry, but became infected through exposure in their personal lives outside and away from adult film sets. This new case puts truth to the lie that the industry has promoted year-after-year, years that sadly saw several additional performers infected while working in the porn industry.”

The AHF pushed for a law requiring the use of condoms during adult film work in Los Angeles County.

The adult film industry concedes that it did have three confirmed on–set transmissions in 2004.

Since 2004 there have been numerous other cases of performers testing HIV-positive while working in California’s porn industry, including cases in 2010 and 2013.

“There is no proof that any of these HIV infections over the past decade have not occurred on set other that the porn industry’s word, with the general public and health officials relying on the industry’s own self-reporting,” said Weinstein. “This is a tragic repeat of last year, and of 2010 as well as previous years. Won’t we ever learn?”

Court: Namibia forcibly sterilized women with HIV

Namibia’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling that health workers sterilized HIV-positive women without their consent, a human rights group said this week.

The 2012 judgment that was upheld had found that health workers had coerced three HIV-positive mothers to sign sterilization consent forms they did not fully understand, and while in labor, the Southern Africa Litigation Center said. 

The center said the ruling sends a message to the government to stop the practice in the southwestern African nation, and elsewhere.

“This decision has far-reaching consequences not only for HIV-positive women in Namibia but for the dozens of HIV-positive women throughout Africa who have been forcibly sterilized,” Priti Patel, the center’s deputy director said in a statement.

Sterilization is a drastic tactic to treat HIV-positive women, as mother-to-child transmission of HIV and AIDS can be prevented with medication.

Namibia’s high court will assess how much money the three women should be awarded, according to the center. The women had all sought care at government hospitals in Namibia while in labor, with one woman signing a form that used only acronyms to describe the procedure, while another signed after being told she didn’t have a choice, the center said.

Since the case was first filed in 2009, dozens more women have told stories of similar experiences at public hospitals to the Namibian Women’s Health Network. The organization first began documenting allegations of forced sterilization of HIV-positive women in 2007.

“These three women are only the tip of the iceberg,” the network’s director Jennifer Gatsi-Mallet said in a statement. “The government needs to take active steps to ensure all women subjected to this unlawful practice get redress.”

The rights organizations said they hoped the Namibian government would initiate investigations into the other alleged cases.

Diverse and Resilient expands Acceptance Journeys campaign

City Of Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker and Diverse & Resilient executive director Gary Hollander recently announced the expansion of a groundbreaking print and radio campaign designed to foster acceptance of LGBT people from their families and peers.

The goal of Acceptance Journeys is to reduce health disparities for LGBT people in Milwaukee, which are caused in part by the damaging effects of discrimination. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Infection and other research groups have found discrimination has contributed to the sharp rise in HIV transmission among gay and bisexual men in Milwaukee. Between 20 and 40 percent of African-American gay and bisexual men in Milwaukee are infected with HIV.

In addition to higher rates of HIV, the LGBT community has higher rates of tobacco use, earlier use of alcohol, greater community and partner violence and a greater incidence of suicide.

Acceptance Journeys’ messages are posted on billboards, buses and other public venues, including Milwaukee General Mitchell airport and the Milwaukee Intermodal Station. The project features pictures and stories by family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors who tell how they came to accept the LGBT people in their lives.

Acceptance Journeys includes 47 stories at this time, with an additional 15 in production. The effort is funded in part through an award from the M·A·C AIDS Fund and from the Centers for Disease Control and Infection, as well as the Charles E. Kubly Foundation.

For additional information, visit journey2accept.org.

Tennessee pol ousted from restaurant over AIDS comment

A Tennessee Republican lawmaker was ousted from a Knoxville restaurant over comments he made on a satellite radio show about the origins of AIDS and how it’s transmitted.

Tennessee Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville was interviewed late last week by Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large of Huffington Gay Voices, on Signorile’s radio show on SiriusXM’s LGBT channel, OutQ, according to The Knoxville News Sentinel.

Campfield told the newspaper that some of his comments were taken “out of context” in the story.

He added: “I’m not a historian on AIDS … but I’ve read and seen what other people have read and seen and those facts are out there.”

The subject of the radio interview was a proposal by Campfield, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would ban public schools from teaching about gay issues.

During the discussion, Campfield said HIV and AIDS originated from a man having sex with a monkey and that “it is virtually … impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.”

In a Huffington Post story on the interview, Signorile describes Campfield as “comparing homosexuality to bestiality and making what public health officials would characterize as recklessly false assertions about AIDS.”

This afternoon HP reported that the owner of The Bistro at the Bijou in Knoxville asked Campfield to leave the restaurant over the weekend. “I hope that Stacy (sic) Campfield now knows what it feels like to be unfairly discriminated against,” restaurant owner Martha Boggs wrote on her Facebook page.

Later she said, “I didn’t want his hate in my restaurant.”

The Senate version of Campfield’s legislation passed last year. The companion has been delayed in a House subcommittee.

The measure limits all sexually related instruction to “natural human reproduction science” in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Campfield said it’s needed in part because homosexuality is more dangerous than heterosexuality and “there are people who want to glorify risky behavior in schools.”

Opponents of the legislation fear it would prevent teachers and others from speaking out against the bullying of gay teens.