aids pandemic

anonymous asked:

why is feldman bad? (i didn't even know it was used)

Oh! I should’ve elaborated.

It’s one of the names that are present on a AIDs memorial quilt to commemorate those who lost their lives to AIDs & HIV. Marvin Feldman was a man commemorated on it.

I understand that Falsettos is about the AIDs pandemic but I absolutely don’t believe someone’s death should be thrown about as an excuse to give someone fictional a surname. That man suffered and died and it isn’t acceptable to just decide that his name is fitting for a character.

It’s an upsetting topic but if you want to know more, this interview is with the creator of the memorial quilt and Marvin Feldman’s closest friend. If you still don’t understand what’s wrong with using his surname I want you to see how tragically Cleve Jones discusses his friend, his loss. It’s unfair, wrong, and disrespectful if you still claim that it’s okay.

Just make up your own surname for him, guys…

‘’Thirty years ago, almost to the day, our then-president Ronald Reagan would not speak about AIDS publicly while the pandemic was wreaking havoc within the gay community; he wouldn’t even say the word…AIDS. Elizabeth Taylor was having none of that. She wasn’t going to let this crisis run wild as it directly impacted her friends & loved ones, those the administration considered discardable. Undaunted, she went to DC and spoke as loud as she could. From the Oval Office to testifying in front of Congress, Elizabeth would not be silenced. Her tireless efforts led to Ronald Reagan finally uttering the word AIDS publicly in 1987.Here we are decades later, living under a president who lost the popular vote and has proven himself to have the compassion and empathy of a dead flashlight battery.His budget proposes slashing healthcare funding for HIV/AIDS worldwide. So now, here I am hearing my Godmother’s voice, urging me to be heard and not allow all that’s been accomplished, in finding the cure, to fall by the wayside. But listen…I’ve got real news for him. None of us were discardable in 1987, and none of us are discardable now.”


“More than 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, yet they’re nearly invisible.”

Channeling Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, Bebe Neuwirth, Meredith Vieira, Michael Emerson, Tituss Burgess, and Jonathan Groff hope to change that. 

Learn more about a new campaign that hopes to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and eradicate the epidemic once and for all.

(Photos courtesy of GLAAD and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation) 


On this day in music history: March 14, 1987 - “Let’s Wait Awhile” by Janet Jackson hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 on March 21, 1987. Written by James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson, and Melanie Andrews, it is the fourth R&B chart topper for the youngest member of the Jackson family. “Let’s Wait Awhile” is one of the first songs completed for Janet’s third album “Control”. Jam & Lewis come up with the chord changes, while Janet comes up with the melody and most of the lyrics. Jackson’s close friend Melanie Andrews, who accompanies her to Minneapolis for the sessions also helps with the lyrics and sings background vocals on the track. The songs lyrics about a young girl feeling pressure from her boyfriend to have sex too soon, and her urging them not to rush into it, strikes a nerve in the public’s conscious. Its message of precaution and abstinence is particularly timely, as it is the height of the worldwide AIDS pandemic in the late 1980’s. Released on January 6, 1987 right on the heels of the title track, “Let’s Wait Awhile” becomes the fifth consecutive top five pop and R&B single from the “Control” album.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic, explained in 9 maps and charts

1) We’ve made major progress in stemming HIV/AIDS 

2) Thanks to new treatments, people can now live with HIV for years — with only a small risk of passing it on

3) People on HIV treatment have an almost-normal life expectancy

4) Still, only 40 percent of people who need treatment get it

5) Many HIV cases continue to go undiagnosed

6) Globally, sub-Saharan Africa is most affected by the disease

7) Stigma remains a big barrier to stopping HIV/AIDS

8) In the US, the disease has made a comeback among men who have sex with men 

9) HIV remains stubbornly persistent among African Americans

Read more facts and history about the disease.

you know, it strikes me

if Steven Universe is a queer coming of age story

(which isn’t the only thing it is, but I think it’s pretty inarguably a big part of what it is)

it’s a millennial queer coming of age story

and that means a post AIDS pandemic queer coming of age story

like, the parallels aren’t perfect - a war and a virulent disease aren’t the same thing - but they’re there

the slowly building understanding of how much the previous generation has lost, starting with the individuals who would have been closest to you, and moving out until you realize it was most of a culture that was lost. Looking for your people and finding vast memorials to the dead. Knowing you have so much greater safety and social stability now, but also being aware of how quickly that could be taken away

but also like

knowing it’s difficult and risky to reach out to people still caught behind the lines of the conservative establishment, and doing it anyway, because they deserve the support of community too. reexamining what that community is, and including people who might not fit the previous generation’s ideas of who their compatriots were

allowing yourself to mourn and honor the dead but still keep moving forward


On this day in music history: April 23, 1977 - “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 1 week on February 19, 1977. Written by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Cary Gilbert, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocalist from Leland, MS. Signed to Motown Records since 1971, singer Thelma Houston’s self-titled first album for the label is met with only minimal sales. Believing in her talent, the label sticks by her, featuring her on the soundtrack to the Motown produced film “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” in 1976. The same year, she records her third album “Any Way You Like It” with producer Hal Davis (The Jackson 5, Diana Ross). While at a party, Davis hears the song “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, featuring Teddy Pendergrass on lead vocals. With Pendergrass’ gospel inflected vocals on the song, and with Houston also having a rich, soulful voice, the producer decides it is a perfect fit for his artist. Playing the song for her, Houston agrees, and they go into the studio to record it. When “Any Way You Like It” is released in October of 1976, initially no single is released from it, as Motown has released the song “One Out Of Every Six”, a song from the comedy “Norman, Is That You?” in September. Meanwhile, club DJ’s serviced with Houston’s new album hear “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and immediately single it out for play. The song is an instant sensation is discos around the country, leading Motown to release it as a single in November of 1976. Entering the Hot 100 at #85 on December 18, 1976, it takes a long, slow climb up the chart, reaching the top eighteen weeks later. Thelma Houston wins a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1978. Long regarded as one of the greatest songs of the Disco Era, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” becomes an anthem and rallying cry in the gay community during the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1980’s and 90’s, becoming a pop cultural touchstone.  In 1986, British Hi-NRG dance duo The Communards cover the song, taking it to the top of the UK singles chart for four weeks, and peaking at #40 on the Hot 100. “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is also inducted into the Dance Music Hall Of Fame in 2004.

anonymous asked:

Sweden, which has criminalized prostitution, has one tenth of the number of trafficked women that Germany has. Demand for prostitutes comes from somewhere you know. If you want to support trafficked sex workers--criminalize prostitution, the pimps and johns involved. This is empirically proven.

So empirically proven that you had to come anonymously come to my blog without even one source?

You’re wrong.

You’re wrong.

You’re wrong.

You’re wrong, and the consequences are literally deadly for sex workers.

You’re wrong, and you’re actively encouraging an HIV/AIDS pandemic.


In the past year, we’ve seen numerous entertainment icons depart from this world, but most notably it has been the loss of musicians that have shaken many of us the most.  Prince, David Bowie, Maurice White, Natalie Cole, Glenn Frey, Lemmy, Leonard Cohen and Merle Haggard among them. Now with the news of the passing of George Michael, 2016 has delivered yet another devastating punch to the gut. Like other pop music giants who reached the zenith of their fame in the 80’s like Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna, George was one of those who reached that level, and were among those that shined the brightest. 

In the early days of Wham!, the pop music duo he formed with his childhood friend and school mate Andrew Ridgeley, many were quick to try and write them off as fluff and light weight, but as they continued to grow in popularity in England, then across Europe and the rest of the world, it became increasingly difficult, then impossible to deny George Michael’s prodigious talents as a singer, songwriter and producer. Blessed with a deeply expressive and sometimes angelic tenor voice, his vocal talents were obvious early on. A neighbor overhears seven year old George singing to himself while playing in the family’s garden, commenting to his mother Lesley, “your George does have a lovely singing voice”. Raised on 60’s and 70’s pop and R&B music, largely influenced by Motown, and pop icons like David Bowie and Elton John, George harbored dreams of being a pop star from his pre-teen years. Initially discouraged of pursuing that goal by his restaurateur father Jack, the course of George’s life is changed when he meets Andrew Ridgeley while attending the Bushey Meads School. Becoming fast friends, Ridgeley draws young Georgios Panayiotou out of his shell, and encourages his friend to follow his dream of being a pop star. The pair form Wham! in 1981 shortly before completing high school. Knowing that his given name isn’t exactly marquee ready, George creates the stage name “George Michael”, anglicizing his birth name Georgios, and taking the surname “Michael” both from his close friend David Austin’s father Michael and his father’s brother. 

Only nineteen years old when they released their first single “Wham Rap” in 1982, Wham! exploded into prominence after a last minute booking to appear on the long running UK music show Top Of The Pops, to perform their second single “Young Guns (Go For It)”. That one electrifying performance made them stars virtually overnight in their home country and set them on the course to pop super stardom. Looking to also break into the American record market, Wham! released “Young Guns” in the US, also making television appearances on American Bandstand and Solid Gold in March of 1983 to promote it. Other than making some ripples on American club dance floors, the record received almost no radio airplay and failed to make the charts. Fast forward to the early Summer, Wham! releases their next single “Bad Boys” and their debut album “Fantastic” shortly after. My first real exposure to Wham! begins here, first hearing the song on KITS in San Francisco during that Summer. Buying the 45 and then the album, I could hear right away, “these aren’t just two white guys trying to cop R&B grooves for credibility, or just trying to get over”. Listening to the “Fantastic” album, it was clear to me about George was here is someone with great pop music sensibilities, vocal talent and charisma. Of course it didn’t hurt that George and Andrew were both good looking guys and immediately appealed to young girls. But like other British pop bands like Duran Duran who had legions of girl fans, I knew even then that Wham! also had more to them musically than what had initially appeared to exist on the surface. More than a year would go by before hearing any new music from Wham!. 

Ambitious to make it in the music business, George and Andrew had signed a very bad record deal with CBS distributed Innervision Records. By mid 1984, they finally extricate themselves from their Innervision contract, and sign with Epic Records. Then before the end of that Summer, a brand new single hit the radio called “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, which I had been aware of since I followed the world record charts in Billboard Magazine. The song had been a massive hit in the UK, topping the chart there and throughout most of the world. Hearing the infectious and joyful bounce of “Go-Go” for the first time on the radio, I knew that would be record to break Wham! in the US. Within less than three months, the single had raced to number one and spent three weeks on top. In the interim period, George releases his first solo single, the ballad “Careless Whisper” which is also an instant smash around the world, and follows a similar trajectory when it’s issued in the US a month after Wham’s second album “Make It Big”. Credited in America as “Wham! Featuring George Michael”, “Whisper” becomes their second consecutive US chart topper by mid-February of 1985. Also releasing the holiday single “Last Christmas” in early December, they could not have been hotter at the time, with it also reaching the top five in the UK and in several other countries. Then right on the heels of “Careless Whisper”, “Everything She Wants” issued in the UK as a double A-side with “Last Christmas”, is released in the US as the follow up. It too is a huge hit, soaring to the top of the Hot 100 by Memorial Day weekend in 1985. Scoring three consecutive number one singles in only six months, there was a great demand for Wham! to tour the US. Having previously embarked on a short tour of theaters that Spring, the duo returned in August and September, playing only nine concerts in eight cities at baseball and football stadiums, selling them all out. 

My sisters and cousin accompanied by my mother and aunt saw Wham! at the 60,000+ seat Oakland Coliseum on September 1, 1985. Already huge fans, their excitement before and after the concert was palpable. Besides playing all of their familiar hits, George and Andrew also used the tour do debut the newly written song “The Edge Of Heaven”, a hit the following year. By the turn of the next year, it was quite obvious that even at only twenty two years old, George Michael was rapidly outgrowing the confines of the group he had formed with his childhood friend Andrew Ridgeley five years earlier. Following the release of his second solo single, the striking ballad “A Different Corner”, Wham! announce their break up and George’s plans to continue as a solo artist. Releasing the double compilation album “The Final” internationally and the amended “Music From The Edge Of Heaven” in the US, the duo concludes with a huge concert at Wembley Stadium in London to a crowd of over 72,000 fans in June of 1986.

Within eighteen months, George Michael’s career as big as he had been with Wham! would go to another level altogether. First dueting with R&B legend Aretha Franklin on the chart topping “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”, also netting a Grammy Award. Then it is followed by the single “I Want Your Sex”, first released as part of the soundtrack to “Beverly Hills Cop II” in the Summer of 1987, it is the subject of controversy from the get go. With the panic surrounding the AIDS pandemic then at an all time high, the song is misconstrued by many radio programmers as promoting promiscuity. The opposite proves to be true and is emphasized in the music video which features Michael with his then girlfriend Kathy Jeung. When George’s first solo album “Faith” was released at the end of October, I picked up a copy at the Camelot Music store at Serramonte Mall in Daly City. Having already bought the 45 and 12" for “I Want Your Sex” and hearing the just released title track, I had a feeling that it would be good. Getting the record home and putting it on the turntable, by the time it was over I thought to myself, “Wow, he’s really done it!! This is absolutely brilliant!!” I knew then that people who previously dismissed George, wouldn’t be able to any longer.  Its impact upon music and popular culture was widespread and immediate. He had produced a masterpiece that would go on to become one of the most successful albums in an era that produced so many gigantic and career defining works. Six top five singles, with four of them hitting number one, the album itself spending a total of three months at the top of the chart, winning the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year.

In the Fall of 1988, along with my two sisters, I finally got to see George Michael live at the first of three sold out shows at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mt. View, CA on September 27, 1988. The show more than exceeded my expectations, with the all of us and the crowd on their feet for nearly the entire time. After an extended silence, almost two years later George returned with his second solo album “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1”. Another brilliant piece of work, those who expected him to make another record like “Faith” were in a for a big surprise. Featuring tracks like the lush and moody “Cowboys & Angels”, “Waiting For That Day”, “Praying For Time”, “Freedom 90” and a poignant cover of Stevie Wonder’s “They Won’t Go When I Go”, it was deliberate counterpoint to the previous album. Though it was a huge hit throughout the rest of the world, the response in the US was decidedly more muted. Having had unprecedented success during the 80’s, the 90’s and beyond would see George experiencing many highs and lows in his career and personal life. The battle to break free from his record label Sony Music, the losses of his first partner, his mother and his very public coming out, would have been highly complicated things for anyone to deal with. But to be a very public figure and to have them reported on and scrutinized with the glare of the media spot light on you, would be more than most could bear. Being a very private man when not performing, I gained even more respect for George for his courage to talk about his personal struggles openly and facing them head on. 

With the sad and unexpected news of George’s passing yesterday, as a fan of his music, I can take some solace in seeing the response on social media that many people felt the same way, and their lives were affected in similar fashion. I’m certainly grateful to have grown up at a time when there was a prolific flow of incredible and memorable music like what George Michael created. His talent was pure and God given, and I’m glad I got to experience it first hand. Thank you sir, you were and will always be brilliant.  - Jeff Harris



Today we celebrate the life and vision of the late artist and activist Keith Haring. His bold, brilliant and provocative artwork helped bring about social consciousness in the ‘80s around the HIV/AIDS pandemic, gun control and drug prevention. Haring used his art to make a statement and make a difference about social change which had cultural impact on the world. The artist also collaborated with artist like Grace Jones, Madonna and Malcolm McLaren to create iconic imagery that has had a lasting impression on popular culture. 


Paralysis cure, Ebola, new vaginas…and other medical stories of 2014

By James GallagherHealth editor, BBC News website

With a revolutionary new therapy letting a man take his first steps after being paralysed and the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it has been a year of incredible highs and devastating lows.

It has seen hints that HIV is getting milder as well as new vaginas and old wombs being transplanted for the first time.

Here’s a round up of the year in medical science.

1. Walking again

Darek Fidyka is the feel good story of the year.

He was paralysed after being stabbed repeatedly in the back in an attack in 2010, but he can now walk again after a pioneering therapy.

The world-first treatment involved taking cells from his nasal cavity, which constantly regenerate, and placing them into his spinal cord.

Scientists believe the transplanted olfactory ensheathing cells enabled nerve fibres above and below the injury to reconnect.

It is early days and his steps are still tentative, but when reserved scientists describe his progress as “more impressive than man walking on the moon” you know something significant just happened.

2. Ebola

The current outbreak is the deadliest since Ebola was discovered in 1976

The Ebola outbreak started in December 2013, but nobody expected what followed.

Before this year, just 2,361 people had died from Ebola since the virus was first discovered in the 1970s and most outbreaks had been rapidly contained.

But in the current outbreak more than 19,000 cases and 7,000 deaths have been record.

This is not just the biggest Ebola outbreak in history, it is bigger than all the others combined.

In has seen an unprecedented response and a hunt for new treatments. Vaccine and drugs trials which would normally take place on a timescale of years and decades have been rushed through in weeks and months.

Yet, the outbreak is still not under control.

3. Milder HIV

An unexpected story from the University of Oxford suggested HIV was evolving to become less deadly and less infectious.

They showed HIV was being forced to make damaging mutations to itself in order to survive the counter-offensive by our immune systems.

Scientists said the gradual “watering down” of HIV meant the virus was replicating more slowly and taking longer to cause Aids in Botswana, the country where the study took place.

Meanwhile, an outstanding feat of viral archaeology traced the origin of the Aids pandemic to the city of Kinshasa in the 1920s, in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It all happened in the era of black and white film and the tail-end of the European empires when a “perfect storm” of population growth, sex and railways allowed HIV to spread.

read the rest of the medical/science year in review