Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dissent Breaks Out In The Ranks

"The approach to prevention and treatment of HIV in the U.S. has undergone a radical and dangerous shift over the past few months.

The new concept, called "Test and Treat" (TNT) or "Testing with Linkage to Care" (TLC) will dramatically increase HIV testing, identify more people with HIV and "link" them to care. Those are worthy objectives.

The danger is that some policy leaders driving these ideas are more interested in "treatment as prevention", meaning getting people with HIV on antiretroviral treatment, than they are in providing the best possible healthcare for them. Because antiretroviral treatment makes one less likely to transmit HIV, they believe treating all people with HIV is a good prevention strategy.

Neither the state of the science or government guidelines support antiretroviral treatment for every person with HIV, but advocates, public health officials and pharmaceutical companies are promoting the idea.

There are also plenty of TNT/TLC proponents, aware of the ethical issues, who rightly recognize that treatment should be recommended only within government-established guidelines supported by conclusive science.

But when important public health officials announce publicly that they seek to put everyone with HIV on treatment, it is cause for concern and ethically unacceptable without informed consent.
" -Sean Strub, Founder & Advisory Editor, POZ Magazine

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

End Of An Era

The obituary for St. Vincent’s, when it is finally written, will recall that the hospital’s greatest moment—and its darkest—came in the eighties, as it found itself quite awkwardly in the thick of the global AIDS plague. The flood of patients was extreme, spilling into every available bed, then throughout the surrounding corridors, where masking tape marked off virtual rooms.

For anyone familiar with those rooms and those days, news of St. Vincent’s demise has been hard to accept. There is no true standing memorial to HIV victims, even though there were more from New York by 1995 than U.S. deaths in the Vietnam War. So the bland sarcophagus along Seventh Avenue holds that place in the geography of our plague memory; it is a museum, almost, a place haunted by Whitman’s “carols of Death.” We see the ghosts as we pass there even now, we hear their voices, their last words, we remember their weight in our arms, the way they vanished from those rooms

read more

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Movie Review: Yummy!

I saw Kick-Ass over the weekend. I never read the comic it was based on, but being a comic book geek I was naturally thoroughly entertained. The acting was uniformly good, and they found a way to make Nick Cage's freaky delivery work, much the same way they did when he starred in Raising Arizona. The trick is to have him play a character that is so "out there" that his completely baffling line readings actually seem to make sense. I'm predicting that Hit Girl will be a hot costume this year for Halloween. Of course the main highlight was enjoying Aaron Johnson, playing the earnest and sensitive, and curiously wildly sexy everyman "superhero" Dave. In the movie Dave is a teenager, but actor Aaron is all of 20, so enjoy these ab-tastic pictures.

And go see Kick-Ass!

Monday, April 19, 2010

CDC Funds Increase In HIV Testing

The CDC on Thursday announced the expansion of an initiative through which more than 1.4 million Americans have been tested for HIV. During the next three years, funding for the effort will increase by approximately $31.5 million, and a total of $142.5 million will be awarded to state and local health departments in eligible jurisdictions to increase HIV testing in health care and non-health care settings.

The current initiative began in 2007 and will end in September 2010, concurrent with the launch of the new project. During the program's first two years, more than 10,000 persons were newly diagnosed with HIV, of whom 75 percent were linked to health care. Sixty-two percent of those tested in the initial phase were African Americans.

Read more here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Follow-Up To Arkansas Gay Parent Ban

I wrote a couple of posts in 2008-09 regarding Act 1, the Arkansas measure that was passed barring same-sex couples from adopting or fostering children. I said at the time that it was a shameful law based solely in hate, and that it was a horrible thing to do to children in need of good homes. Turns out, in a lawsuit filed and won by the ACLU, it was also found to be unconstitutional.

"The ACLU filed its complaint against the law, known as Act 1, in December 2008. Plaintiffs participating in the case included a lesbian couple who adopted an Arkansas foster child before Act 1 was passed and would like to open their home to a second special needs child, a grandmother who was barred by Act 1 from adopting her own grandchild and several married heterosexual couples who would have been prohibited by Act 1 from arranging for certain friends or relatives to adopt their children if they die or become incapacitated."

It's just a shame that hatred and ignorance run so deep in Arkansas that they managed to get this law passed and enacted. Surprising, considering how many moms are their own cousin's sister-wife around there.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm Published, Therefore I Am

I've been working for a few months on a project in my capacity as a member of the Community Advisory Board at the LGTB health center. We are putting out a patient newsletter that will publish quarterly.

I was provided copies of the previous effort and while I was appreciative of the sentiment and the work behind it, I thought it was a woefully amateurish effort, and I was determined we could do better. So much so that I agreed to co-edit the project, which ended up to be a full editor position after my original co-editor dropped out. I submitted the finished issue in early March and it was finally printed, published and distributed this week.

While it's not perfect, and I was hoping for a little more content to it, we had to sacrifice content in order to get the first issue completed and published. IMHO it is a pretty respectable, relatively professional first effort, and I couldn't be happier. I also had absolutely no real experience designing a newsletter, and had to self-teach me Microsoft Publisher to get the job done. I also wrote two small articles and published one of my own photos. Editorial privilege already?

If you want to see the results, you can have a look at the finished product here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What's Wrong Here?

Managers & Bartenders (Union Square)

Date: 2010-04-12, 10:33PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Established american casual restaurant with 150 seats & Bar in the heart of union square is looking for:

-responsible person who is able to work in a fast paced restaurant, hands on, trustworthy and able to have fun.
-you need to be knowledgeble in cocktails ,wine & spirits, stafftraining and be able to run the floor by yourself.
for immediate hire.

-we need someone who is outgoing, always in good spirits, who can handle stress with a smile.
-classic cocktail experience needed
for immediate hire

come in for an interview on tuesday from 3pm to 5pm or wednesday from 4pm to 6pm.
If you can't make it to the interview please email us.
Please bring your resume.We look forward to talk to you.

Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

(If you noticed that there is no address for the interview to take place .... kind of an important detail to overlook)

Monday, April 12, 2010


Just wrote a check for the tax man for $933. I guess I will focus on how fortunate I am to be able to write that check and not what I would rather be doing with it.

Sorry the video I posted over the weekend about NYC bike messengers got pulled. It was full of scruffy, scrappy, cute young men that spend their days defying gravity and dangerous NYC traffic.

My diet went a little off the rails, as I've been juggling three part time jobs and not getting nearly enough sleep. I'm determined to start getting to bed by 2 am at the latest and getting back on a regular exercise schedule. I still want to lose 10 more pounds.

I've also been neglecting getting in more than one AA meeting a week. I can totally feel a lot of misplaced aggression and more than a few obsessive behaviors creeping in. I'm not worried about drinking, but it's not enough to be not drinking. I need to maintain sober thoughts and a mentally healthy life. That's what the meetings give me, and that's what I feel slipping away.

Time to get right-sized.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Meanwhile ...

As I strolled around Union Square before the pillow fight event, there were already hundreds of people making great use of a sunny spring Saturday.

I wandered up to this group of men putting on a demonstration of the Afro-Brazilian dance Capoeira. Hot men in a circle will always get my attention. Just for the possibilities.

And one more of this man because ... well ... jesus.

And finally, in what may be my favorite picture of the day:

Gorgeous bod, great hair, sexy without really trying and smart to boot! (you can tell by the glasses)What's not to love?

Monday, April 05, 2010


Saturday I had planned on taking a trip across town to spend the afternoon photographing from the High Line. As I was getting my camera and supplies ready the night before I came upon a link to a happening in Union Square which seemed a much better bet. They were advertising the World's Largest Pillow Fight. Over 150 cities participated this year, and the New York crowd was estimated at 5000+. If you count the observers in and around the park, 5000 was on the low side.

The site published a Facebook page, and there were rules. Among them:

+ Soft, feather-free pillows only!
+ Swing lightly, many people will be swinging at once.
+ Do not swing at people without pillows or with cameras.

Well, the feather pillow ban was good in theory, but thank goodness that it was ignored by some, as the crowd roared whenever a feather pillow burst open and disgorged feathers to the wind.

People did in fact swing lightly, especially at first as there were many young kids in the crowd, Nobody was beating down children and in fact, some people made it a point to engage them and have little mini-fights with the kiddies.

But after about an hour and a half, as the event started to thin out a little, things got a little rougher. It started innocently enough, as people began to target certain participants. One young guy near me climbed on a friend's shoulders and called out to "Increase the peace! Put down your pillows!" He was attacked in a fusillade of foam until he fell.

Pretty soon it became less of a pillow fight and more of a pillow fatwa. As people were targeted for wearing costumes, having helmets, climbing light poles or any other infraction. Quite funny.

But as these things are, eventually it was taken over by a more aggressive pillow fighter, mostly boys with anger issues and free testosterone. And while I made good use of the opportunity to try and capture some of them sweaty and beating each other with pillows ( I know!), it soon became apparent that anyone was fair game and liable to be hit or knocked over as collateral damage. My cue to exit.

As a social experiment, and a way to have a fun Saturday in an urban setting on a sunny day, I would declare it a resounding success.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Feast Or Famine

My 2nd job, where I made some pretty good money over a week and a half, has tuned out not to be the answer to my prayers. The space is not booked for all of April. Why they found it necessary to hire me for what was in effect three shifts is kind of a mystery. And it's not to say they won't be booked quite a bit in May, June and beyond. Assuming I am available and haven't found full-time work by then I will certainly take it. But I was ready to put in some full time hours now and get some of my old credit card debt paid off and put away for good.

To make matters even more nail-biting, this week there were no bookings for my other part-time catering service either. By the end of the week I had partially convinced myself that they were mad I had taken a 2nd position and weren't calling me on purpose. But I think I've over-estimated my importance in anyone's mind but my own. This morning they called and booked me up for all of next week. And just to solidify my availability and desire to be a team player, I agreed to work some lame breakfast on Easter Sunday morning early. 8 am early. Which means I leave for work at 7. Which means I'm up at THE LATEST by 5:30.

Oy, the things I do for money.

Oh, and my new boss at my new job told me at the end of my last shift that I needed to get new reading glasses, which I use to see the cash register keys, as they are speed-labeled. He told me the ones I have make me look old. OLD! -FML (I hate people)