FDA panel won’t support eliminating ban on gay men giving blood

Dec 10, 2014 by

by Dustin Siggins, LifeSite: A FDA panel has declined to support lifting the lifetime ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood. The ban, which has been in place for over 30 years, has grown increasingly controversial in light of groups such as the American Red Cross and the American Medical Association joining homosexual activists in saying the ban is based upon unscientific discrimination. However, supporters of the policy say keeping it in place is based on sound science and risk assessment, given that a majority of HIV/AIDS carriers are MSM, and the number of MSM who use condoms to prevent the transfer of HIV/AIDS has dropped significantly. An FDA spokesperson told The Hill that the FDA panel was not asked to vote on the issue. A Health & Human Services Department panel voted to ease the decades-old ban earlier this year, increasing pressure on the FDA. But observers expect the FDA will uphold it again as they did in 2010. According to Corey Dubin, founder of the HIV/AIDS advocacy group Committee of Ten Thousand, lifting the ban is “a leap of faith” since “too many questions in science aren’t answerable.” Read here...

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World AIDS Day: Christian teaching still needs to be heard

Nov 30, 2014 by

1st December is “World AIDS Day”, when this terrible disease and its continuing devastating effects, especially in sub Saharan Africa, can be highlighted again. There have been tremendous advances in the development of anti Retroviral medication over the past few years, which has wonderfully lengthened the lives of many of the estimated 35 million HIV positive people, so for example women previously with very short life expectancy can now look after their children who in the past would have been orphaned. However, serious issues still remain: HIV continues to spread, and many get sick and die without access to the medicines, especially in the poorest countries. The church can help as it always has done in contexts of poverty, with prayer, loving presence and practical assistance. But it needs to continue in its role of teaching Christian sexual morality, especially today when financial assistance from Western countries is increasingly tied to a condition: the recipients must embrace our “enlightened” values such as LGBT rights. As this site has regularly reported, such secular humanist views now have their apologists within the Church. Here is a letter published in the Church Times, October 24 urging the church to “get with the programme”: Sir – After Mr Gavin Turner’s letter (10 October), I would like to draw attention to another matter that seems to be missing from the Pilling debate. This is that the official guidance is similarly “almost certainly a serious obstacle” to reducing the number of deaths from AIDS in parts of the Communion. Lord Fowler, in ‘AIDS: Don’t die of prejudice (2014), reminds us that 1.5 million people die every year from AIDS, although “we have the means to at least contain the virus”. The reason, in a word, is “prejudice”. “The penalty for disclosure in many parts of the world is to be thrown out of the family house and out of work”. Sufferers in some communities in Britain experience similar impediments to seeking help. In some countries, legislation is cruel, and government PR against homosexuality is appalling. Here “the churches have generally played a discreditable part” including two successive Anglican Archbishops in Uganda. “Meanwhile the Church of England fumbles for a position on gay people”, and “even in Britain you find Bishops deciding that the civil right of equal marriage should not be available for their own clergy. They should beware, “lest their reputation for intolerance spread”. The final chapter is headed “the shame of the world”, and it is clear that the Anglican Communion does not escape responsibility here. In view of the number of deaths and of orphans, perhaps this issue should also be incorporated into the Pilling debate. April Alexander, General Synod member, (address supplied). My response, published the following week, was as follows: Sir, Mrs April Alexander (“The Pilling Report and AIDS prevention”, 24 October) advocates a much more positive attitude towards homosexual practice from Anglicans in order to reduce the number of deaths from AIDS in Africa. Quoting a report from Lord Fowler,...

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World AIDS Day: Christian teaching still needs to be heard

Nov 30, 2014 by

1st December is “World AIDS Day”, when this terrible disease and its continuing devastating effects, especially in sub Saharan Africa, can be highlighted again. There have been tremendous advances in the development of anti Retroviral medication over the past few years, which has wonderfully lengthened the lives of many of the estimated 35 million HIV positive people, so for example women previously with very short life expectancy can now look after their children who in the past would have been orphaned. However, serious issues still remain: HIV continues to spread, and many get sick and die without access to the medicines, especially in the poorest countries. The church can help as it always has done in contexts of poverty, with prayer, loving presence and practical assistance. But it needs to continue in its role of teaching Christian sexual morality, especially today when financial assistance from Western countries is increasingly tied to a condition: the recipients must embrace our “enlightened” values such as LGBT rights. As this site has regularly reported, such secular humanist views now have their apologists within the Church. Here is a letter published in the Church Times, October 24 urging the church to “get with the programme”: Sir – After Mr Gavin Turner’s letter (10 October), I would like to draw attention to another matter that seems to be missing from the Pilling debate. This is that the official guidance is similarly “almost certainly a serious obstacle” to reducing the number of deaths from AIDS in parts of the Communion. Lord Fowler, in ‘AIDS: Don’t die of prejudice (2014), reminds us that 1.5 million people die every year from AIDS, although “we have the means to at least contain the virus”. The reason, in a word, is “prejudice”. “The penalty for disclosure in many parts of the world is to be thrown out of the family house and out of work”. Sufferers in some communities in Britain experience similar impediments to seeking help. In some countries, legislation is cruel, and government PR against homosexuality is appalling. Here “the churches have generally played a discreditable part” including two successive Anglican Archbishops in Uganda. “Meanwhile the Church of England fumbles for a position on gay people”, and “even in Britain you find Bishops deciding that the civil right of equal marriage should not be available for their own clergy. They should beware, “lest their reputation for intolerance spread”. The final chapter is headed “the shame of the world”, and it is clear that the Anglican Communion does not escape responsibility here. In view of the number of deaths and of orphans, perhaps this issue should also be incorporated into the Pilling debate. April Alexander, General Synod member, (address supplied). My response, published the following week, was as follows: Sir, Mrs April Alexander (“The Pilling Report and AIDS prevention”, 24 October) advocates a much more positive attitude towards homosexual practice from Anglicans in order to reduce the number of deaths from AIDS in Africa. Quoting a report from Lord...

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HIV diagnoses among gay men hit record high, despite overall decline

Oct 7, 2014 by

From Pink News: The number of HIV diagnoses is still increasing for gay men – despite an overall drop across the UK. Figures published today by Public Health England shows that 3,250 men who have sex with men were diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2013 – the highest ever figure. The number is slightly from the previous high, 3,230 diagnoses in 2012. It also contrasts with the overall number of new diagnoses across the UK – which has fallen from 6,245 to 6,000. Read...

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CDC: Gay men make up only 2% of US, but 63% of all new AIDS cases

Oct 2, 2014 by

By Kirsten Andersen, LifeSite: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a new report that highlights the potentially lethal dangers of anal sex. In their most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the health agency said that while men with same-sex attraction make up only 2 percent of the total population, they accounted for 63 percent of all newly-diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases in 2010.  More than half of all AIDS-sufferers in the U.S. are homosexual, and most of them contracted it by engaging in anal sex. “Most gay and bisexual men acquire HIV through anal sex, which is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV,” the CDC wrote in the September 26 report, which was released to coincide with “National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day” on September 27. Based on recent studies, the CDC estimates that about 18 percent of all homosexual men are infected with HIV.  Chillingly, more than a third of those infected don’t realize they have the lethal virus, making them much more likely to pass it on to others by failing to take safety precautions.  The rampant promiscuity in the gay community only makes matters worse, according to the CDC. “Having more sex partners compared to other men means gay and bisexual men have more opportunities to have sex with someone who can transmit HIV or another STD,” the CDC says.  “Similarly, among gay men, those who have more partners are more likely to acquire HIV.” Read...

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AIDS expert who defended pope on condoms renews push for behaviour modification

Sep 6, 2014 by

By Steve Weatherbe, LifeSite: In 2009, when he was still head of Harvard’s AIDS Prevention Research project, Edward C. Green shocked the world’s AIDS establishment by supporting Pope Benedict XVI’s now-famous warning that condoms could not solve Africa’s AIDS crisis. After that, both “frustrated” and “burnt out,”–so he told LifeSiteNews—by his decade-long fight against the condom fallacy, Green took himself out of the international spotlight. Until last month, that is. That’s when he told National Review readers that the world AIDS-fighting strategies involving drug treatments, testing, and condoms are ineffective to the point of being counter-productive, that is—they may be making things worse. Ostensibly his piece is a rebuttal of an August 25 New York Times article by Donald McNeil titled “AIDS Progress in South Africa is in Peril.” But Green’s essay, written with Allison Ruark and titled “AIDS in South Africa,” is actually a broad indictment of world anti-AIDS strategies. McNeil’s thesis is that the withdrawal of U.S. government funds for antiretroviral drugs (ARV) will reverse recent success in fighting AIDS in South Africa. That thesis is incorrect on both counts, argue Green and Ruark. The loss of funds won’t halt “progress,” because there hasn’t been any progress, and, anyway, drugs haven’t reduced infection rates as hoped. Based on South African government numbers released in 2013, they write, “There has been virtually no change in HIV incidence among adults,” and certainly nothing like the one third decrease claimed by McNeil, in years when ARV became readily available.” Read here...

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