The current ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood within 12 months of them last having sex is medically unjustified discrimination based on sexual orientation. It is premised on a generalisation about men who have sex with men.The government should cut the basic exclusion period to three months, dependent on the risk factors associated with each individual donor. These risk factors include not only HIV but also other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). Protecting the blood supply is the number one priority but ensuring blood safety does not require a rule that no gay or bisexual man can donate blood for a year since his last same-sex experience.
Up until the age of 40 (2002) I was a responsible gay man. I ensured that I used protection every time I had a casual sexual encounter. I was not in a committed relationship at that stage, so it was not even an option for me to bareback with someone. I found that exceptionally scary at the time, as I was aware of how easy it was to contract STDs, especially HIV.
Here is what Stop Porn Culture has to say to porn performers: Don't come to our conference to protest, come to organize with us against an industry that treats you as a commodity, when they can make a profit off of you, and then as a liability if you speak out about the harms done to you physically and emotionally.
I think all of us who have attended an International AIDS Conference in some capacity will agree that events of this kind are few and far between. I go to many conferences both as a delegate and speaker and nothing rivals the pure energy, colour and emotion that International AIDS conferences bring to the people that attend them, in the first instance and secondly, to the cities that host them...
On this day, 20 years ago, the film-maker, painter, sculptor, gardener, author and queer rights activist Derek Jarman died of HIV. One of Britain's leading post-1945 avant garde artists, he is best remembered for his dazzling array of ground-breaking films. But it was as a HIV and queer rights campaigner that I knew him best.