• Instinct Magazine: The Department of Labor and the Department of Treasury have released new guidance that mandates almost all insurance companies within the U.S. must make PrEP, the HIV prevention pill otherwise known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, free with no cost-sharing.
• The Advocate: A federal judge in West Virginia issued an injunction Wednesday against the state’s law barring transgender athletes from competing on school sports teams for their gender identity. “At this point, I have been provided with scant evidence that this law addresses any problem at all, let alone an important problem,” the judge wrote.
• YouTube: Texas real estate agent Kelci Cashman and her children were removed from a plane in Orlando heading to Dallas when she went on a homophobic rant and refused to wear her mask. The crowd cheered when she finally left the plane.
• Reuters: Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban stepped up a culture war with the European Union today by announcing a referendum on legislation that bans the use of materials seen as promoting homosexuality and gender change at schools.
• PBS: COVID-19 cases tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals, exhausting doctors and pushing clergy into the fray. The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 cases rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, up from less than 13,700 on July 6.
• NPR: A couple whose gender reveal ceremony sparked a Southern California wildfire that killed a firefighter last year were charged with involuntary manslaughter on Monday. The charges included one felony count of involuntary manslaughter, along with other felony and misdemeanor counts related to the fire.
A couple whose gender reveal party sparked a Southern California wildfire that killed a firefighter were charged with involuntary manslaughter. The blaze injured 13, forced hundreds of evacuations and blackened nearly 36 square miles of land.https://t.co/ZmFVg5R69n
• NBC News: The federal government has announced that almost all health insurers must cover the HIV prevention pill, known as PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, with no cost sharing — including for the drug itself and, crucially, for clinic visits and lab tests.
• Twitter: For the record, Dolly Parton is every kind of treasure we could want. Check out her little video about her birthday present for her husband.
• Atlanta Blackstar: A Black woman has filed a lawsuit against the Delaware Division of state police after she was blockaded, had her back window bashed in, and held at gunpoint by plainclothes officers last month until they realized she was not the suspect they were looking for.
• CNBC: White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul got in a heated exchange at a Senate hearing Tuesday. “Sen. Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I would like to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about.”
🔥🔥🔥🔥”Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about.” pic.twitter.com/ZDuapw2uM8
• Metro Weekly: Pharmaceutical company Merck has released data from the second phase of trials into its antiretroviral drug islatravir, a once-a-month pill to protect against HIV infection, which has proven to be “extremely potent.”
• Billboard: Of the eight Grammy nominees for best new artist, three — CHIKA, Kaytranada and Phoebe Bridgers — openly identify as LGBTQ.
• New York Daily News: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said on Monday that she’s “excited” to sign a bill banning transgender girls and women from participating in sports teams that correspond to their gender identity. South Dakota is the second U.S. state this year, after Mississippi, to pass legislation targeting transgender sports athletes.
• Amazon Prime: “Love The One You’re With” (2021) is a dramatic comedy from award winning comedian and filmmaker Sampson McCormick that follows a couple, Miles and Avery as they navigate the possible ending of a long term relationship. The story offers surprise twists, lots of laughter and a mind stirring story line.
• The Independent: The coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was able to combat a new variant that was rapidly circulating in Brazil, a new study has found.
• Des Moines Register: Four months after Iowans voted in record numbers, Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed legislation cutting the state’s early voting period and closing the polls an hour earlier on Election Day. Every Republican present for debate in the House and Senate voted for the legislation. Every Democrat voted against it. #AndSoItBegins
• Palm Beach Post: Despite his false claims about mail voting during the 2020 election cycle, Donald Trump requested a mail ballot on Friday for the third time in his Palm Beach County voter history.
• Law and Crime: In their bid to get him out of the Grady County Jail in Oklahoma, attorneys for an 18-year-old defendant in the U.S. Capitol siege said another inmate attacked him. They also said their client caught COVID-19 while behind bars. He allegedly assaulted a police officer and was armed with a baton.
Teen Who Allegedly Wanted to ‘FIGHT’ for Trump at Capitol Was Attacked in Jail, Also Caught COVID: Defensehttps://t.co/RAzvTaMEGe
He got smacked in the face for mouthing off to another “tenant” who was using the phone. Pretty standard jail stuff in the US. Not as bad as the movies show, but it is annoying, irritating and full of lessons like this one.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a long-acting once a month injection that can replace the daily pills now used to control HIV infection.
This is the first FDA-approved injectable, complete regimen for HIV-infected adults that is administered once a month.
Medical researchers expect the two-shot combo called Cabenuva will make it easier for HIV+ people to stay on schedule with their HIV medications.
Cabenuva consists of two drugs packaged together – rilpivirine and cabotegravir – but given as separate shots once a month. Cabenuva is administered as two intramuscular injections in the buttocks by a healthcare professional.
The FDA approved Cabenuva for use in adults who have had their disease well controlled by conventional HIV medicines and who have not exhibited signs of viral resistance to the two drugs in Cabenuva.
The FDA also approved Vocabria (a tablet form of cabotegravir), which should be taken in combination with oral rilpivirine for one month prior to starting treatment with Cabenuva to ensure the medications are well-tolerated before switching to the extended-release injectable formulation.
Dr. Steven Deeks, an HIV specialist at the University of California, told ABC News that a once-a-month treatment “will enhance quality of life” for those on HIV medications. “People don’t want those daily reminders that they’re HIV infected.”
Deeks also believes a monthly dose may be easier for some who have a difficult time staying on a daily schedule like those with mental illness or substance abuse issues.
In addition to treating those living with HIV, ViiV Healthcare (the maker of cabotegravir) hopes to make their drug available as PrEP for HIV prevention.
Two studies have shown an injection of cabotegravir every two months was more effective than taking Truvada on a daily basis.
• Pink News: The pharmacy chain Superdrug has launched the UK’s first-ever PrEP service and it will be fully remote (utilizing online doctors) in an effort to make it accessible to as many people as possible. Superdrug will, however, require that people accessing PrEP through its new service adhere to blood monitoring tests to ensure that they can safely take the HIV-preventing drug.
• Back2Stonewall: It has been confirmed that the new HBO Max reboot series of the Green Lantern will feature the first Green Lantern character, Alan Scott – and, like in the Earth-2 comics, the character will be openly gay.
• Instinct Magazine: Current and former pro football players (Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Rob Gronkowski above) took part in this terrific PSA for National Coming Out Day. “Today, on National Coming Out Day, we come together with one clear message,” say the athletes direct to camera. “To all current players who are thinking of coming out, when you are ready, so are we. It takes all of us and you deserve to be all of you.”
• Politico: South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison raised a staggering $57 million in the third quarter of this year, shattering the previous record for a Senate candidate as he seeks to unseat GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham, who has not released his third-quarter fundraising totals, raised $8.4 million in the second quarter and had $15 million in the bank as of June 30.
• AP News: Here’s a bit of a warning sign for Donald Trump who won the 65+ vote by 9 points in 2016. The Villages, the nation’s largest retirement community located in battleground state Florida, recently held a 300+ golf cart parade in support of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
• The Hill: Donald Trump’s son Eric told ABC News’s Jon Karl on Sunday his father’s treatment for COVID-19 a “vaccine” that he further claimed the president helped create from “day one.”
• Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Eager Georgia voters swarmed to polling places Monday morning for the start of three weeks of early voting before Election Day. Voters filled parking lots and waited in lines to lock in their choices in advance of November 3. As the tweet below notes, 410,000 absentee ballots have already been returned versus a total of just over 200K in 2016.
In 2016, just over 200,000 Georgians voted by mail in the general election, but this year, already 410,000 absentee ballots have been returned, and there are still 22 days until those ballots are due.https://t.co/zWsnuzING1
Those who took part in the study answered questions regarding levels of depression and/or anxiety, alcohol and drug use, and the levels (if any) they felt unable to control their sexual behavior.
While levels of alcohol use and depression remained statistically the same, PrEP users reported a significant decline (from 38 percent at baseline to 31 percent at last visit) in the use of two specific drugs: ecstasy (MDMA) and nitrates (poppers).
Sexual compulsivity also showed a notable decrease– from 23 percent to 10 percent at last visit.
The term refers to sexual fantasies or behaviors that cause folks to act out in ways that can be damaging to multiple aspects of life like work, friendships, and personal health.
The researchers remarked that “the simultaneous decrease in drug use disorder and sexual compulsivity was unexpected.”
Gus Cairns of AIDSMAP writes: “They hypothesise that PrEP relieved its users of the anxiety of catching HIV and that, in turn, this made them feel more in charge of their sexual behaviour (so less compulsive) and less in need of drugs to counteract the inhibiting effect of anxiety.”
The researchers take care not to say that PrEP was specifically the cause of improvements in addiction and mental health. Rather, they note that just being a part of the study, and therefore paying attention to these indicators, probably impacted the participants’ outlook.