Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

November 30, 2019

Half of Women Diagnosed with HIV in Europe Will Advance to AIDS

 Immune cells being attacked by HIV virus cells

More than half (54%) of European women with HIV are only diagnosed when the infection is progressing towards AIDS, research suggests.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) damages cells in the immune system, preventing them from fighting off everyday infections, like colds. 
HIV is treatable if caught early, with 97% of those on therapy in the UK being “virally suppressed”, National AIDS Trust (NAT) statistics show. This means they cannot pass the virus even if they have unprotected sex.
Left untreated, however, HIV can develop into acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
This occurs when the immune system is so severely damaged by HIV, the patient is at risk of life-threatening infections and diseases.
Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization for Europe found women made up one-third of the 141,000 HIV diagnoses in the continent last year.
While most women are told they have the infection late, patients in their forties were up to four times more likely to have a delay in their diagnosis than their younger counterparts.
The late diagnosis was defined as a specific immune cell count of fewer than 350 cells/mm³. Healthy levels are generally considered between 500 and 1,200 cells/mm³.
Overall, countries in central Europe had six times fewer diagnoses among women than men last year, while those in the EU and European Economic Area - like Iceland and Norway - had three times less. 
“We do not know why but it seems systems and testing efforts in Europe are failing women”, Dr Andrea Ammon, ECDC director, said.
TV medic Dr Ranj Singh previously claimed women are now more “sexually liberated”, while high divorce rates mean many have new partners in later life.
Having gone through the menopause, some also mistakenly believe they do not need to use condoms, he added.
In the UK alone, 103,800 people are thought to be living with HIV, NAT statistics show. Of these, one in 14 is unaware they carry the infection.
While AIDS’ exact prevalence is unclear, there were 428 “AIDS-related deaths” in England alone last year, according to the charity Avert.

How does HIV spread?

HIV spreads via certain bodily fluids, including those in the vagina, semen, blood and breast milk, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. It cannot be transmitted via tears, sweat, feces or urine.
Unprotected vaginal or anal sex is the most common route of infection.
Anal sex may be particularly problematic due to the lining of the anus being more delicate than that of the vagina, according to Avert. This means it is more easily damaged, allowing the virus into the body.
Blood-borne infections can come about by sharing needles, transfusions or even splashing blood in your eyes, the US Department of Veterans Affairs reports.
The virus can also pass from pregnant women to their babies, both in the womb and during labor. Once the infant is born, breast milk can also cause transmission.
HIV cannot be spread via insect bites, like mosquitoes.

What are the symptoms?

Around 80% of people infected with HIV develop flu-like symptoms two-to-six weeks later, according to the NHS.
These include fever, sore throat, and a rash. Some also experience fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle and joint pain.
Once this has passed, the infection may cause no further illness for years. During this time, the virus is still damaging the immune system.
It can take 10 years before the immune system is severely damaged enough to be diagnosed as AIDS.
This can trigger weight loss, chronic diarrhea, night sweats, recurrent infections, and life-threatening illnesses.

How to get tested for HIV

The NHS provides free HIV tests for everyone, however, eligibility for different tests varies.
They can be carried out at sexual health clinics and some GP surgeries. Concerned people can also request an at-home test.
Home sampling kits involve collecting a saliva or blood sample, which then gets sent off for testing. You will be contacted within a few days with your results.

June 1, 2019

Pew Research Publishes Where Europe Stands on Gay Marriage and Civil Unions

Same-sex marriage in EuropeMore than 18 years after the Netherlands became the world’s first country to allow same-sex marriage, Austria became the latest European nation to legalize the practice. The change in Austria’s marriage laws on Jan. 1, 2019, was prompted by its highest court, which in 2017 ruled that the country was discriminating against gay and lesbian couples by not allowing them full marriage rights.
Austria is the 16th European jurisdiction to legalize gay marriage. This number counts England and Wales together and Scotland as a separate entity, since those parts of the United Kingdom passed two separate pieces of legislation on same-sex marriage. Northern Ireland, the other UK constituent state, has not legalized such marriages.
A more prominent exception in Western Europe is Italy, which has historical ties to the Roman Catholic Church. In spite of these ties, Italy began recognizing same-sex civil unions in 2016. Switzerland also offers same-sex couples the option of civil unions.
Majorities of adults in all 15 countries in Western Europe surveyed by Pew Research Center in 2017 support same-sex marriage, including roughly six-in-ten Italians and three-quarters of Swiss adults. Support is even higher in Sweden (88%), Denmark (86%) and the Netherlands (86%).
By contrast, people in Central and Eastern Europe are broadly opposed to the practice. Just 5% of Russians and 9% of Ukrainians, for example, say they favor allowing same-sex marriage. Figures in Poland (32%) and Hungary (27%) are higher, though Poles and Hungarians who support same-sex marriage remain in the minority. The Czech Republic is the only country out of 19 surveyed in Central and Eastern Europe where a majority of adults (65%) support gay marriage.
Likewise, no country in Central or Eastern Europe – not even the Czech Republic – allows same-sex couples to legally marry. However, the Czech Republic, along with Croatia, Estonia, Hungary and several other countries in the region, does allow civil unions. Greece joined this list in late 2015 when it agreed to begin recognizing same-sex civil partnershipsdespite opposition from the Greek Orthodox Church. Slovenia also allows civil unions, but its voters rejected a 2015 referendum that would have legalized full same-sex marriage. (Ireland, on the other hand, became the world’s first country to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote in 2015.)
More than half of the entities around the world that allow same-sex marriage are in Europe, though Taiwan recently become the first Asian jurisdiction to join the list.
Note: This is an update of a post originally published June 9, 2015.

August 25, 2018

Lindsay kemp, Bowie Mentor Dead at 80


Lindsay Kemp, the ground-breaking dancer and choreographer who inspired David Bowie, has died at the age of 80.
Kemp was known to pop fans for helping Bowie create his Ziggy Stardust persona and teaching Kate Bush to dance.
Director Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky, who was making a documentary about Kemp, told BBC News that he was "a force of nature" and still working until his death in Livorno, Italy.
His spectacular productions combined mime, dance, theatre and cabaret.

'Born dancing'

Kemp was also known for his film cameos, appearing as a pub landlord in The Wicker Man in 1973 and as a pantomime dame in the film Velvet Goldmine in 1998.
Born in 1938 near Liverpool, Kemp grew up in South Shields and quickly discovered a vocation in dance.
"I realised that I wanted to dance when I first realised anything at all. I was born dancing," he said.
"For me dancing has always been a shortcut to happiness."
He first saw Ballet Rambert perform at the age of 17 and soon after hitchhiked to London to audition.
Lindsay Kemp performing Kemp Dreams Kabuki Courtesan in Florence, Italy, in June 2017Image copyrightMAURIZIO DEGL'INNOCENTI/EPA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Image captionLindsay Kemp performing Kemp Dreams Kabuki Courtesan in Florence, Italy, in June 2017
Lindsay KempImage copyrightALAMY
Image captionKemp was described as "so charismatic, so full of life"
He won a scholarship, but needed to complete his military service first.
Kemp told BBC Newsnight in 2016: "I had a fairly tough time in the Air Force, because I didn't march… I danced."
He studied under expressionist dancer Hilde Holger and French mime Marcel Marceau before forming his own dance company in the 1960s.


In 1966, Kemp met David Bowie after a performance in Covent Garden when the singer was 19.
"He came to my dressing room and he was like the archangel Gabriel standing there, I was like Mary," he said.
"It was love at first sight."
Bowie became his student and his lover, performing in Kemp's show, Pierrot in Turquoise and gaining the theatrical inspiration for Ziggy Stardust.
"He was certainly multi-faceted, a chameleon, splendid, inspiring, a genius of a creature. But I did show him how to do it," Kemp said.
Lindsay Kemp performing as Salome in 1978Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionLindsay Kemp performing as Salome in Toronto in 1978
Lindsay Kemp outside the Toronto Workshop Productions in 1978Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionIn off-duty mode, Kemp poses outside the theatre in the same year
Lindsay Kemp, right, with David Haughton in July 1975Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionKemp appearing in the play Flowers with long-term collaborator David Haughton in 1975
He also taught Kate Bush to dance, describing her as a shy performer who nevertheless was "dynamic" when she began to move.
The singer later dedicated the song Moving to him, pushing a copy under the door of his London flat.
Kemp said: "It was a very moving experience, because I didn't know she was a singer."
He made his mark on the world of modern dance with shows such as Cruel Garden, a collaboration with Christopher Bruce at Ballet Rambert.

An original

Celebrities paid their respects on Twitter, with comedian Julian Clary writing: "Rest in Peace Lindsay."
Doctor Who actor Barnaby Edwards described Kemp as an "absolute delight". 
"The world will be less fun and less naughty without him," he added.
The actor and Bowie expert Nicholas Pegg shared a photo of himself on stage with the singer Marc Almond and Kemp, whom he called "one of life's originals".
Ms Pinto-Duschinsky said Kemp had been rehearsing with students, preparing for a tour and writing his memoirs before his death on Saturday morning.
"We always forgot that Lindsay was 80 - it doesn't seem like that when someone is so charismatic, so full of life and such a force of nature really," she said.

June 6, 2018

European Court Rules For Freedom Of Movement for Same Sex Married Couples

EU ECJ spouse definition gay marriage same sex marriage

The European Court of Justice ruled today that as far as the laws of free movement within the European Union are concerned, the term “spouse” includes married people of the same sex (pdf).
It is a victory for a US-Romanian couple who asked the EU’s top court to rule that gay married couples have the same rights to live in whatever country they want in the bloc as straight people, even if gay marriage is illegal in the EU member state they live in.
Romanian citizen Adrian Coman and American Clai Hamilton met in America in 2002 and married in Brussels in 2010. When Coman’s job at the European Parliament ended in 2012, he tried to register their marriage certificate with the Romanian consulate in Brussels, to claim residence rights for his husband and was denied.
The pair sued Romania, accusing it of violating EU laws that allow couples to live and work anywhere in the bloc. The case reached the ECJ in 2016.
The ECJ has the ultimate say and its rulings must be adopted by all member states. Currently, 22 out of 28 EU member states allow gay marriage and civil partnerships but the freedom of movement rights differed in countries where same-sex partnerships were not recognized.
The ruling will likely fan the flames of hatred towards Brussels not just in Romania, but among eurosceptic, right-wing governments in countries like Poland, Hungary and Latvia too, who argue that it’s up to national governments, not Brussels to decide how to define marriage.


May 17, 2018

LGBT Rights Under Threat in Un-unified Europe

Malta is the best place in Europe to be gay, according to its laws. Azerbaijan is the worst, but Latvia and Poland, which are EU members, do not rank much higher, while overall progress is "stagnating". 
Those were the findings of the annual Rainbow Europe survey published on Tuesday (15 May) by Ilga-Europe, an NGO in Brussels.
  • ILGA-Europe's 2018 map: from green (gay-friendly), to red (hostile) (Photo:
Malta scored 91 percent in the ranking, which looks at countries' pro-LGBTI rights laws and policies after it passed legislation on marriage equality and gender-neutral passports. 
It was followed by Belgium (79 percent), Norway (78 percent), Finland (73 percent), France (73 percent), and the UK (73 percent). 
Denmark, Portugal, and Spain also scored well, completing an arc of gay-friendly states, shown in green on ILGA-Europe's map, in northern and western Europe. 
Marriage equality also became reality for same-sex couples in the EU heartland last year, but faint-green Germany (59 percent) still lacked laws to protect LGBTI people from hate speech. 
The situation became grimmer as one headed south to Italy (27 percent) and east to Poland (18 percent), where the map turned yellow and amber. 
"LGBTI people in Poland continued to encounter discrimination," and the Polish government was putting pressure on rights NGOs, Ilga-Europe said. "Physical attacks reported by individual LGBTI people [in Poland] are not just statistics. They are personal cases," it said. The map turned red the further east and south one traveled to Russia (11 percent), Turkey (9 percent), Armenia (7 percent), and Azerbaijan (5 percent). 
News emerged of anti-gay pogroms in Russia's Chechnya province in developments that showed the link between protection of LGBTI minorities and broader civil liberties and rule of law standards, Ilga-Europe said. 
"The efforts of investigative journalists to expose what was happening in Chechnya remind us of the importance of the fundamental freedom of expression," it said.
Turkey put LGBTI defenders in prison as part of its post-2016 coup crackdown on civil society and police fired rubber bullets at a makeshift Pride march in Istanbul. 
Azerbaijan police snatched gay men in Baku, beat them, and subjected them to forced medical exams.
The horrors on the edge of Europe aside, the rise of far-right and illiberal politicians posed a threat of regression in EU states, Ilga-Europe warned.
It spoke of a "worrying … the political climate of rising levels of populism, nationalism, and civil society scapegoating". 
"Trends like populism and nationalism aren't just political buzzwords - they can have a lasting impact on the lives of LGBTI people in Europe. There are too many signs around us that many of the recent wins are fragile," the NGO's Evelyne Paradis said. 
Even in Europe's green belt, some countries which were once frontrunners on gay rights began "stagnating" last year, Ilga-Europe warned, noting that the Netherlands (60 percent), for instance, had dropped outside the top 10. 
LGBTI people in Malta, the top-ranked, still suffered from "hate speech" and "intolerance", the NGO noted. 
In Belgium, Europe's second most gay-friendly country, an equality body called Unia "highlighted rising numbers of discrimination cases based on sexual orientation being referred to it," the NGO said.
Its survey of 49 states described Europe overall as "a region where advances are not being made at the rate they once were". 
"This lack of sustained progress on LGBTI equality issues should set off alarm bells," Ilga-Europe said.

November 28, 2017

Gay Marriage in A Romanian Court Room Would Make Europe Take a Big! Notice

 Adrian Coman outside the Constitutional Court of Romania in Bucharest in 2016. He is pressing for the right to legal residency for his American husband. CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images 

The European Union’s highest court began examining a case on Tuesday over a Romanian man’s attempts to get legal residency for his American husband, a closely watched hearing that will have major implications for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships across Europe.
The case, legal experts say, could determine whether same-sex partners are afforded some of the same benefits and rights available to heterosexual spouses across the 28-member bloc, irrespective of the countries’ stance on same-sex marriage. Specifically, it would affect whether they would be allowed to live and work freely across the European Union, one of the region’s fundamental principles.
“This is the first time the European Court of Justice has been asked to decide whether ‘spouse’ includes a same-sex spouse,” said Robert Wintemute, a professor of human rights law at King’s College London.
The case before the court involves Adrian Coman, a Romanian rights activist, and his American partner, Claibourn Robert Hamilton. The couple was married in Belgium in 2010, seven years after the country legalized same-sex marriage. Belgium is one of 13 countries in the European Union to allow same-sex marriage, while a further nine member states have civil unions or something similar, according to Mr. Wintemute.
European Union laws give the citizens of the bloc’s member states and their family members the right to move and freely reside across the region, subject to certain conditions. But as the couple looked to move to Romania, the authorities in Bucharest refused to recognize their relationship for the purposes of residency. Romania prohibits marriage between people of the same sex and does not recognize same-sex marriages carried out abroad. It is one of six European Union countries with no legal recognition for same-sex relationships.
In 2013, Mr. Coman and Mr. Hamilton challenged the country’s refusal to recognize Mr. Hamilton’s right to a residence permit as a spouse. The case bounced around domestic courts before the country’s Constitutional Court referred it to the European Court of Justice in November 2016.
The couple now live in the United States, but if the court rules in their favor, the impact could be considerable, and not just for them. It would effectively force Romania and five other countries — as well as any country that joins the European Union in the future — to grant same-sex couples who have been married elsewhere residency and working rights, as long as one of them is an E.U. citizen.
“I grew up here, and I still refer to Romania as my home country,” Mr. Coman said in an interview late last year, as the case was progressing through Romania’s legal system. “Sooner or later, I’ll be back.” 
Reached by phone on Tuesday, shortly after the hearing had finished, he expressed optimism about the eventual verdict, which won’t be known for several months, but added that the process had taken far too long.
“Starting this litigation, we realized that we had to take it to the end, whatever the end was,” Mr. Coman said.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Romania in 2001. But same-sex marriage remains a contentious issue in the country, with its majority Orthodox Christian population.
In early 2016, three million Romanians out of a population of roughly 20 million signed a petition calling for the constitutional definition of marriage to be altered, from a union between two spouses to one specifically between a man and a woman. In July 2016, the country’s Constitutional Court accepted the validity of the proposal, paving the way for a referendum on the topic, which could be held next year.
The case at the European Court of Justice, then, comes at an important moment for Romania’s gay community.
“People see it as a beacon of hope after 16 years in which no progress has been made in Romania concerning equal rights, in terms of legislation,” said Vlad Viski, the president of MozaiQ, a Romanian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group.
“A positive decision in the Coman case would also send a symbolic signal to society that L.G.B.T. people must be treated as citizens, that ought to be respected by the state, by institutions, by fellow citizens.”
       By s
     New York Time

August 14, 2017

Fashion Celebrity? Calls for Mass Execution of "Non" Heterosexuals

                    Gallery • ArtRon Griswold: Modern Handshows With Classic Touches!

I was going to post a picture of this hater, I felt I would rather put the picture of a duck for my own reasons but then I decided to post something universal to us all and it should make a man or woman, gay or straight say, ahh! comme c'est beau (French not Turk)

A Kyrgyz fashion-world celebrity has drawn criticism after apparently calling for the mass execution of "nontraditional" sexual minorities and prostitutes in the Central Asian republic.

In a Facebook post on August 10, Amina Yusurova 🦆 a fashion model and national director of the Kyrgyzstan World Beauty Congress wrote: "Round up all the people of non-traditional orientation and blow them all up on one island." 

She added that "women of low social responsibility" should be included "on that island."

It is unclear what prompted the digital outburst, but in it, the 29-year-old Yusurova suggests that such people damage the reputation of the country and its capital, Bishkek.

The term "nontraditional sexual orientation" is frequently used by detractors in ex-Soviet states to refer to gay, lesbian, and other sexual minorities.

'Intolerant, Bloodthirsty'

Yusurova🦆🦆 has provoked outrage in the past with comments targeting ethnic Russians in Kyrgyzstan, a country of around 6 million people that declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

A number of Yusurova's Facebook followers criticized her remarks, variously calling them "intolerant," "aggressive," and "bloodthirsty," and a Kyrgyz news website urged police to take action.

"You're setting everyone against yourself," Dzhamilya Turdakunova said via the social network.

"What's wrong with you?" asked Sumsarbek Obbo Mamyraly, a Facebook user from Bishkek.

Another suggested Yusurova "use her beauty to spread a different type of message."

One Facebook user wrote that he is "against" sexual minorities but that doesn't give him the right "to blow them up or take some other action against them."

Yusurova🦆 countered by saying that "these are my thoughts," while adding that she had the right to express her opinions.

Inciting Hatred?

The model, who has more than 6,100 Facebook followers, has previously urged Kyrgyz people to kick out ethnic Russians on the social network, according to local media reports. She has since removed that post.

Kyrgyz news website called on Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry and security services to "react" to Yusurova's comments, suggesting she has a history of offensive remarks.

Another popular news website,, suggested that Yusurova's "comments in the public space -- directly or indirectly -- fall under the article on inciting ethnic hatred" in the country's Criminal Code. 

Sexual minorities often face discrimination and harassment in Kyrgyzstan, where statistics point to a recent rise in attacks on gay, lesbian, and transgender people.

In 2016, Kyrgyzstan effectively banned same-sex marriages in an amendment to the Constitution stipulating that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

A bill criminalizing so-called gay "propaganda" is currently set for a final reading in the Kyrgyz parliament before becoming law.

Written by RFE/RL correspondent Farangis Najibullah

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