Many countries around the world, including the US, ban blood donations from men who have sex with men. We’ve long argued the idiocy of this in the past — but thankfully, it looks like things are slowly changing. Requiring a year of celibacy like Canada, the UK and the United States is still utterly ridiculous, but at least it’s better than a flat-out ban.
- Over 600 participants attended the UN High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS during which countries pledged to end AIDS by 2030. The meeting was praised for creating specific, actionable goals, although some felt the Declaration needed more representation of gay men, other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, prisoners, and people who inject drugs. Throughout the 3-day meeting participants emphasized the importance of addressing the needs of key populations with specific goals and targets. In response, US-based PEPFAR announced a new $100 million fund to expand prevention and treatment for key populations.
Canadian journalist Mike Miksche explored what it means to be ‘high risk’ for HIV and reviewed recommendations for and resistance to PrEP.
Swedish adult toy company LELO announced it will release a new condom this summer with a unique hexagon design that improves flexibility and strength—the first major change in male condoms in 100 years.
In a sad development, a Belgium man applied for euthanasia under the argument that he suffers extreme psychological distress due to his homosexuality. His request was accepted for review and will be considered by a committee of lawyers and doctors.
In China a woman is suing the Ministry of Education over textbooks that call homosexuality a ‘disorder’—homosexuality was removed from the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders in 2001. And a Chinese man is suing an asylum in the Henan province for confining and forcing him into sexual correction therapy.
In Pakistan an inquiry into the death of a transgender person at Lady Reading Hospital found both the medical and hospital directors, as well as the surgery and orthopaedic wards, guilty of criminal negligence and has recommended “strict action” to prevent future cases.
- Several governments are reconsidering their bans on accepting blood donations from gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Canada and Northern Ireland both announced they will now allow donations from men who have been celibate for a year. The UK announced that experts are reviewing its 12 month celibacy ban. Meanwhile some US Congress members were surprised to learn the US also has a 12 month ban. Opponents to blood bans and waiting periods pointed to South Africa where all prohibitions were lifted in 2014.
- The Lancet published a new series of papers on transgender health in “an effort to understand, and provide a framework to improve, the health and lives of transgender people globally.”
Unicorn Booty brings attentions to global issues of significance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Our partnership with Equal Eyes, a news source produced in collaboration with UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, is part of that effort. To learn more, visit their site at Equal-Eyes.org.
This coverage promotes sexual and gender equality while highlighting issues of health, violence, culture, and legal and human rights. Equal Eyes provides advocates and allies a common frame of reference for the realities of global LGBTI communities. Through followup reporting and disseminating this coverage, our effort is to ensure we have a representation of the global stories that matter most or may have under-reporting.
(Featured image via Henry Chen/Flickr)