HIV is getting weaker
According to scientists at Oxford University, HIV is becoming less virulent. A study of 2,000 women in Africa shows that mutations in the virus have helped it adapt to a protective genetic trait in humans, but those same mutations have made it replicate more slowly, delaying the onset of AIDS. The scientists also found that treating HIV helps to mutate it into its weaker form.
EU asylum seekers don’t have to prove they are gay
The European Union’s high court has ruled that asylum seekers who say they are gay do not have to prove it to host countries. While countries may ask about sexual orientation, the court said, they may not ask about sexual practices, much less administer tests to prove homosexuality. In 2011, the United Nations criticized Czech authorities for giving “phallometric” tests of gay arousal to asylum seekers.
Russian TV airs fake video of gay indoctrination
In a 90-minute program on sexual depravity in the West, Russian state TV aired a fake clip of an American boy reacting excitedly after his father wallpapers his room with gay porn. Although the program presents the clip as real, it is actually a parody from the website 4chan, with gay porn edited in to replace a monster truck in the original. The documentary then goes on to describe how, in America, children are “forced to learn everything there is to know about sexual intercourse and are told to pick which gender they would like to be.”
Pope: homosexuality debate “isn’t over”
In an in-flight press conference on Sunday, Pope Francis told reporters that although a council of bishops did not add new inclusive language about gay people, the process “isn’t over.” The recent synod of bishops on the family voted in October to reject language welcoming gay people into the church and recognizing the “gifts” they have to offer. Francis stressed that the vote should not be seen as a final opinion on the issue: “The synod is not a parliament . . . But it’s a path. For this reason, you can’t take the opinion of one person or draft.”
Chinese dating app draws 15 million users
A few years ago, a high-ranking municipal police officer in China started a gay online forum in his spare time. Now, danlan.org has spun off into a dating app, Blued, with 15 million users and $30 million in venture capital funding. Founder Ma Baoli has even pacified officials by offering HIV-prevention information through his website.
AIDS survivors debate PrEP
At The Huffington Post, Lila Shapiro records a debate between two old friends and AIDS survivors on the merits of pre-exposure prophylaxis, the HIV-blocking drugs that remain controversial in the United States and unapproved in Canada. Friends for 30 years, Sean Strub and Peter Stanley fall on opposite sides of the PrEP debate.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, C Goldsmith