Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless LGBTQ Project 2009 a detailed look & more

In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ youth in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Friday, April 12, 2013

Navigating Treatment as Prevention

by Trenton Straube

POZ - Health, Life and HIV

Treatment as prevention (TasP) can refer to several bio-medical strategies. In both pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), HIV-negative people take daily regimens of antiretrovirals (ARVs) to reduce the risk of a possible infection. In prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), pregnant women with HIV take meds so the virus isn’t passed to their babies.

Last but not least, TasP also can refer to the idea that treating people with HIV not only improves their health but also prevents transmission of the virus. It’s this notion of TasP that most people seem to associate with the phrase—and it’s this aspect that remains the most misunderstood.

The concept has been floating around for years—after all, if ARVs dramatically reduce the virus in bodily fluids, then it follows that HIV is less likely to be spread during sex—but it gained backing five years ago with the so-called “Swiss Statement.” Authored by four of that country’s HIV experts, it claimed that an HIV-positive person on ARVs and with an undetectable viral load and no sexually transmitted infections cannot transmit HIV through sexual contact.

The statement, however, was based on “review of the medical literature and extensive discussion.” In 2011, the supporting data arrived from the HIV Prevention Trials Network when its HPTN 052 trial found that, for heterosexual couples, starting early treatment led to a 96 percent reduction in HIV transmission to the negative partner. The news made global headlines. The journal Science named it “the 2011 Breakthrough of the Year,” and Time magazine listed treatment as prevention as the year’s No. 3 medical breakthrough.

In December 2012, Chinese scientists claimed that TasP indeed prevented infections—but by 26 percent, not 96. So which is it? What’s more, given that anal sex is 10 to 20 times riskier than vaginal sex and that the studies were based on heterosexuals, how do the findings apply to gay men? The flood of recent data might seem overwhelming, but on closer inspection, a clearer picture emerges on the horizon.

HPTN 052 researchers, led by Myron Cohen, MD, the director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina, enrolled 1,763 serodiscordant couples—in which one person has HIV and the other doesn’t—in nine countries. The study, which began in 2005, is ongoing. The couples were divided into two groups: In one, the positive partners started treatment immediately; in the other, they waited till their CD4 counts dropped below 250 or they had an AIDS-related illness. Everyone received regular counseling and care—any sexually transmitted infections, for example, were treated—and they were provided with and encouraged to use condoms (although there were more than 200 pregnancies). All HIV-positive participants attained an undetectable viral load.

By February 2011, the study recorded 28 cases of HIV infection linked to the positive partner. An additional 11 negative participants contracted HIV, but the virus was not genetically linked to their positive partner, which illustrates that the couples were not necessarily monogamous. Only one of the 28 cases occurred in the early treatment group, and it took place shortly after the trial began, when the positive person was probably not yet undetectable.

HPTN 052 is a clinical trial following highly motivated and monitored participants. How will its results hold up in the real world? To find out, Chinese scientists looked at already existing data on nearly 39,000 serodiscordant couples from 2003 to 2011. Despite lacking crucial details, such as whether people with HIV were undetectable, the researchers found an overall prevention benefit of 26 percent. Cohen sees this as “a positive message—that at a population level, you still see a benefit.”

On an individual level, the news looks even brighter. In January 2013, the U.K. Health Department published position papers by two leading AIDS groups—the British HIV Association (BHIVA) and England’s Expert Advisory Group on AIDS (EAGA)—stating that when the positive person is on successful treatment and three criteria are met, the risk of transmitting the virus through vaginal transmission is “extremely low”—as in, it’s “as effective as consistent condom use.” Those three conditions, according to what’s already being called “the U.K. Statement,” include:

• There are no sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in either couple.
• The positive person has a viral load below 50 copies/mL (considered to be
undetectable) for more than six months and on the most recent test.
• Viral loads must be tested every three to four months.

Fulfilling these criteria may seem straightforward, but there are caveats. For example, it’s possible to have an STI and not be aware of it. STIs are problematic because they increase inflammation, spurring both the amount of HIV and the number of CD4 cells—the very cells that HIV latches onto.

Similarly, although viral loads are likely to remain undetectable as long as the meds are taken regularly, treatment regimens can fail. “I’ve had my virus break through the medications a number of times,” says Jim Pickett, director of prevention advocacy and gay men’s health at AIDS Foundation of Chicago, who’s been on meds since 1997 and considers himself very adherent. “And yet, when I became detectable I didn’t know until I was tested—you don’t just one day have a headache and then know you’re detectable. You don’t know.” Hence, testing for STIs and viral load are essential.

How does all of this apply to gay men—and to anal sex? (Remember, it’s the sexual act, not the sexual orientation, that poses the HIV risk.) In the United States, men who have sex with men (MSM) comprise 63 percent of new infections, and globally, anal sex among heterosexuals is an often-overlooked driver of the epidemic. Although no TasP studies have concerned gay men or anal sex, Pickett says, we’re accumulating real-world data and their implications. Indeed, a meta-analysis by London researchers found that treatment can reduce the risk of transmission during anal intercourse by up to 99.9 percent. The U.K. Statement reached a similar conclusion.

Treatment as prevention works really well as a strategy for individuals who meet all the requirements. (Think about it: If it weren’t for the single person in HPTN 052, who technically wasn’t on successful treatment yet, that trial would have reached 100 percent success.) As a population strategy, however, myriad challenges—including the cost of the meds—can sink the prevention potential.

Of the 1.1 million people with HIV in the United States, almost 20 percent are unaware of their status. What’s more, only between 60 and 68 percent are linked to care, between 30 and 41 percent remain in care, and a dismal 16 to 34 percent have suppressed viral loads. (This collection of diminishing numbers is often referred to as “the cascade data.”)

To fully realize TasP, HPTN’s Cohen says, “you have to go through the process of testing people, treating them—in my mind, treating them immediately—making sure they remain adherent and making sure that their viral load is suppressed. If you do all that, I suspect transmission will go down to an unbelievably low rate.”

And while TasP may be a pivotal step in reaching the goal of “an AIDS-free generation,” the opportunities for misuse also exist. Leading thinkers such as the Global Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS (GNP+) have raised concerns. For example, will those living with the virus be coerced into starting treatment? Will they always be informed of their options? Will testing remain voluntary and confidential?

“Providing treatment to people living with HIV infection to improve their health must always be the first priority,” notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a January 2013 background brief on TasP. But such statements are expected when it’s understood that placing people on treatment for a public health purpose is a violation of human rights.

“[I’m] very concerned that the priorities have been skewed, in part by pharmaceutical companies seeking larger markets and in part by a political and public health environment looking for an easy way out,” says POZ founder and Sero Project executive director Sean Strub. “It’s like they want to buy a can of pharmaceutical Raid and spray it on everybody to stop the transmission of HIV. But that still leaves all the other circumstances that facilitate HIV’s spread unaddressed, as well as creates a host of new problems.” We can ensure that people with HIV are making empowered decisions, Strub says, by measuring their treatment literacy once they start taking meds.

When to start treatment is another big question. HTPN 052 found a benefit to starting right away, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends treatment for everyone, regardless of CD4 count. But others go by different benchmarks. The data for starting therapy when CD4 counts fall below 350 is stronger than that for starting above 350, says Tim Horn, the HIV project director at Treatment Action Group, and it’s even stronger than data for starting above 500—or regardless of CD4s. Nonetheless, Horn concludes: “All of that said, I simply can’t imagine that we’ll find that [starting early] is actually harming people living with HIV on a large scale.”

In 2010—a year before the HPTN 052 results—San Francisco became the first U.S. city to adopt a policy of universal ARV access. In other words, of offering treatment to everyone regardless of CD4 count, which many people view as TasP. The decision, according to Brad Hare, MD, the medical director of the HIV/AIDS Clinic at the San Francisco General Hospital, was based on their own real-world data and on-the-ground experiences as well as the input of community groups such as Project Inform and the state agency that oversees the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).

The HIV clinic sees 3,000 patients; it’s a public health setting where none of the clients has private insurance and there are high rates of active substance abuse, homelessness and mental illness. “It’s a tough patient population,” Hare admits. So how’s the new policy panning out? “It’s working pretty well,” says Hare, explaining that 92 percent of clients are prescribed ARVs and of those, 82 percent have undetectable viral loads (this compares with the nationwide average of between 16 and 34 percent). Citywide, new infections are decreasing. In fact, looking at data from 2004 to 2011, researchers writing in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes recently concluded: “‘Treatment as Prevention’ may be occurring among [men who have sex with men] in San Francisco.”

However, Hare points out, the successes cannot be attrib-uted solely to the city’s universal ARV policy. San Francisco has also invested in its testing and treating programs, and it offers a health benefits program to people with HIV. Also, MSM comprise 90 percent of the city’s HIV epidemic, and the local activist community remains informed and involved. “San Francisco is a unique place,” Hare says, “and [our policy] may not apply to others. But there are a lot of generalities we can learn. First of all: This can work.”

Hare has observed that his clients decide to start treatment for a variety of reasons. Some hope that the meds will help them maintain cardiovascular health. Others want to stave off mental decline. He recalls one patient who initially declined ARVs because his blood work was good but then changed his mind after two incidences of condom failure resulted in his negative partner taking HIV meds as post-exposure prophylaxis.

When speaking with his patients, Hare stresses that the evidence points to personal health benefits for starting treatment as soon as they’re ready. Then, as if it’s almost a “by the way” aside, he mentions the prevention benefits for their partners and the community. In fact, he says, “I don’t see our policy as written as a treatment as prevention policy. It is clearly based on the benefits of the individual [with HIV].” In other words, it’s treatment as treatment.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Now that you have tested positive you will need to find at least three kinds of support:

1) A counsellor with some understanding of gay/bi issues and HIV who can help you with the consequences of this for you and your family. Whether you are out or not, or have a supportive environment or not, will all affect your interaction with HIV, and it is best to be prepared for both practical and emotional issues, and a counsellor can help with these.

2) A really up to date and knowledgeable HIV/AIDS specialist. This is harder to find than one might imagine despite the large organisational structure for HIV/AIDS. Most private doctors, quite frankly, know nothing about it and the ones with most experiences are in public hospitals. But these are not the easiest of places to visit and in any case their focus is, rightly, on mass treatment, and not quite geared towards someone who is middle class and able to bear some of the expenses of the treatment. In other words, the government/NGO system focuses, as it must, on large scale, free treatment and cannot be adjusted that much to each individual patient. But ideally with a disease like HIV, where each person's prognosis can be very different, this individualised treatment is needed and if you are in a position to get it, you must.

3) A physician who will treat your regular illnesses with some knowledge of your HIV status. While the physician should treat your illnesses for what they are, it is possible that it might be best if it is known that HIV is a background factor, so you need a doctor with some knowledge of this. This may not be that critical at the moment, since you are most likely quite healthy now and will be for a while, and this will not be an issue. At some point in time though it might, but hopefully by then you will be better networked with the HIV support scene. Getting in touch with a HIV support group is also a good option to consider at a later point.

OK, but for now, you need to relax. What's happened isn't wonderful, but its not the end of the world. The problem with HIV is that it comes with all the stigma and fear and in your case this will be multiplied by concerns about your family. But you need to remind yourself that:

a) It is just a disease, it is not a moral judgement on you.

b) It is not fiercely contagious. The saving thing about HIV is, in fact, that it is a virus that is quite hard to get. You need direct contact of certain kinds of bodily fluid - blood, semen, pre-cum (it is there in saliva but at such low levels you don't need to get worked up about it). The virus also dies quite fast outside the body. So you are not risking infecting people by just being around them. (I need hardly say that you have to be careful about sexual partners and if you have had unprotected sex with anyone recently then you might need to consider telling those partners).

c) You can have a quite normal lifespan. One way to look at it is that you have acquired a medical condition like diabetes. This can be serious and cause all kinds of complications if it is not treated, but it is quite possible to treat it and build that treatment into your life.

At some point you will probably need to start taking the drugs and yes, in the past the side effects were not great. But newer treatment regimens have reduced this to a large extent and if you find a good specialist you should be able to increase the chance that you will get a fairly problem free treatment regimen.

As to when you will have to start treatment that is harder to say and it is why a specialist is needed. Please don't listen when doctors says, as they often do, that you only need to start starting treatment when your CD4s cells drop below 200. This is the norm set by the government in connection to administration of free medicines, and it is no surprise that they have chosen a level that makes optimum sense for them (in terms of total cost) as well as the patient.

But you don't have to be bound by this and can decide what will be the optimum point for you. The tendency in the West now is to start treatment much earlier - specialists may recommend starting when CD4s fall below 350, or if they show a rapid decline. Please don't believe one myth that floats around which is that after starting treatment you only have that many years to live. Such claims are based on mass studies, with people who often don't have access to healthy food and living conditions, and this should not apply to you. I hope I don't need to say that you need to focus very strongly on maintaining your health in general. (Alternate healing practices like yoga can't cure HIV, but they can help here, in improving your general health and reducing stress).

What you will have to start doing now and this unfortunately does involve real costs, far more than that of the drugs themselves, is to start monitoring yourself more often. This involves going to a good path lab - I think its best to stick to the large national chains like Metropolis if that's there where you are - and doing a HIV package which will show two things: 1) virus levels and 2) CD4 levels (and other white blood cells). These will vary inversely, but its not easy analysing them - virus levels in particular can vary alarmingly without it meaning much. This is where the specialist is vital.

The cost of the testing package is around Rs4500 and this is an expense you HAVE to find money for, at least in this initial phase as your body gets used to the presence of the virus in it. I would suggest you do tests every 2-3 months for the first year and then, as you get a sense of how the virus is settling down in your body you can do them less, but once every six months is a minimum. The cost of these tests is the real financial blow with HIV and while there has been some work being done on bringing them down or providing free tests at government hospitals, this is all still a problem.

All this is a lot for you to process so please take your time to go through them. Please consider seeing a counsellor to help you deal with personal issues, as well as a good doctor. You will be surprised, once these are in places and you are taking good care of your health and being aware of, but not obsessing, about your condition, how routine it can come to seem. Never entirely routine, of course, but manageable and certainly no reason not lead a normal life. 

What about telling others about my status?

The most important point to remember is ... you don't need to tell everyone that you are HIV positive. You need to think about who needs to know and how to tell them. Blurting it out all at once is certainly one way of telling others that you're positive. But healthy disclosure is a process that may require many discussions and contemplations.

Think of disclosing your HIV as the beginning of a new dialogue with the ones you most love and trust. Not only will they learn about you through this process, but you'll learn a lot about yourself as well. The starting point may be saying "I have something to tell you-I have HIV." But chances are that isn't going to be the final word.

Setting the stage for disclosure can make a big difference. Think about where you want to tell someone that you're HIV positive-a place where you feel comfortable and safe. If possible, arrange some place safe for you to go after the initial disclosure, like a friend's house or a support group.

Consider bringing a few pamphlets about HIV or an HIV Infoline card for the person you're telling. Not only might they use these resources later, but having them helps that person know you're not alone, that there's support for you-and for them. Consider bringing someone who already knows you're living with HIV.

Remember that their first reaction is not going to be their last. Like you, those whom you love need time to adjust to this new information. Finally, be brave and proud of the decision you've made!

Telling others you're living with HIV can be scary, painful, and difficult. In the long run, it's usually not as hard as the heavy burden of secrecy. While there's no one best way, there are a few things to think about in advance that might help.

Common reasons why some people choose not to disclose is that others may find it hard to accept your HIV status; some may even discriminate against you because of it. Discrimination within one's family or friends can really hurt. Discrimination at work can hurt, too, but it is also illegal.

The pros may be that sharing your status can feel empowering and can foster a new sense of closeness among friends, family and loved ones. Not hiding your HIV status from doctors or other health care providers can help ensure that you get the most appropriate care, too. Disclosure can also reduce the risk of HIV transmission to others, and it can lead to better, healthier sexual relationships.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Walk for Tolerance was not a gay march .......... Out of the closet out of Jamaica

We need to be always careful how we use things or try to rewrite history to agitate for rights and freedoms, subtle dishonesties in the eyes of some no matter how slight we may think they are can obfuscate the struggle and reputations hence wiping out credibility and we have lost alot of that in recent times due to all kinds of skewed strategies and narratives on a shaky premise.

Gay rights campaigners from J-FLAG use the symbolic rainbow sheet in a 'walk of tolerance' on Howard Cooke Boulevard in Montego Bay on July 4, 2010. - File

Photo from the Walk for Tolerance in Montego Bay in 2010 not of JFLAG but of a US group carrying a rainbow flag.

See more scenes here: WFT Scenes & More

Ethics in advocacy is so important and we have been less than open and honest over the years on crisis issues and our own historical data, why I brought this up was that after re-reading an article from the Sunday Gleaner by Dadland Maye on being an asylee in the United States entitles Out of the Closet Out of Jamaica a photo was captioned (above) as prominent as ever to suggest that an older activity in 2010 by Jamaica Aids Support for Life known as a Walk for Tolerance was referred to as a gay march on April 15, 2010 there was a clear article with representatives from JASL as published in the Observer who went at pains to make sure to clear the air on the issue of the walk at the time that it was a pride march in disguise, even if it was it raises serious questions about strategy, programs and methods of engaging the public based on openness and honesty. 

Initial reports that the walk from Montego Bay's Howard Cooke Boulevard to the Dump Up Beach was successful turned ugly hours later with news that anti-homosexual elements were abusing and harassing the participants according to the Observer article.

"It is alleged that some houses between St Ann and St Mary where some of the persons came from, were stoned. But we are yet to get more details on that. There were persons from Mandeville and the St Ann area who were verbally abused. Some of our sex workers have been harrassed... they say people have accused them of marching in support for gays," said Devon Cammock, prevention, treatment and care co-ordinator and chapter manager for Jamaica Aids Support for Life, Montego Bay.

According to Cammock, the prevailing stigma that the JASL is a gay organisation, " is going to hurt persons especially those who need help".

"Our major focus is minority groups because they are the most vulnerable to HIV and Aids and based on the feedback we are getting from the number of persons coming in to us, it was evident we had to do something. Part of what we needed to do in our ongoing campaign about stigma and discrimination was atolerance walk". JASL works with members of the marginalised communities. We work with sex workers, we work with men who have sex with men, we work with hearing impaired, we work with we work with people in general," he said adding that the participants were 'marching for their own rights'.

Among the groups that participated in the walk were:

* The Jamaica Red Cross;

* The Sex Workers Association of Jamaica,

* The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians and Gays (JFLAG);

* Women for Women (WFW) and persons living with HIV.

Nancy Wilson, the openly gay leader of the Metropolitan Community Churches also participated.

The rest of the article by Mr Maye however was relatively OK save and except for the atheistic ambit which I have a huge issue with but for the issues that cause many Jamaicans to leave our shores.

here is an excerpt of the article:

Forgetfulness makes people lose their ability to identify with the life of others who pattern their history. They will still fight, but they might lose the activist passion of prior years. I promised myself I will always try to remember the bad. But I now appreciate that I can recall and love the beautiful memories that had taken second status to the sorrowful ones for so long. I had forgotten those things that made me love Jamaica.

Why do I look forward to Americans asking me, "Where are you from?" Why do I feel at home, even though away from my first home, when I hear our voices speaking in Brooklyn supermarkets, or see bodies wearing the black-green-gold colours of our flag in a Queen's train, or feel a hand touch my shoulder at a Manhattan event only to say, "Yuh dress like one a we. Lawd a mercy! Heh-heh-hey! Are you from Yard?"

Feeling situated in a safer physical space in America and living farther away from painful memories, I am able to reflect on Jamaica and Jamaicans. On the things that united and loved us. Our rich inquisitive culture. Our Patois semantics. Our loving and feisty body languages. Our comedic country life versus the dramatic city life. Our PNP and JLP politrics theatrics. Our privilege of knowing the name/s of every great-grandmama with herbal bushes beneath their pillows, and of the coming-to-no-good children down dat deh yard deh, and the good-brain ones who reap most community smiles.

Our care in showing up at hospitals with grater cake and cornmeal pudding, but not only for family. Our tendency to pack cemeteries to weep, to hold an experienced weeper from tumbling inside another grave, and to 'rockstone' the casket out of love, but not only for family.

Disseminating information of Jamaican pride alongside its horrors is what journalists and activists should deploy in their roles. Increasingly, it concerns me whenever I visit places to speak that audiences expect only doom-and-gloom stories about Jamaica.

"The violence there! How bad is it?

"Will I get killed there?"

"No disrespect, but I will never go to your country. Sorry!"

"They can keep their beaches and all-inclusive hotels to themselves!"

"Aren't you glad you escaped?"

After hearing these comments, I question what damage I, journalists, and other human rights activists have done in representing the Jamaican story. How might we represent it to ensure that it certainly brings attention to horrific human-rights abuses without cultivating a global impression that Jamaica is an island of savages? Activists and journalists should remain concerned about whether our roles to liberate Jamaica might be inadvertently liberating global stereotypes about Jamaicans.

also see this flashback on the controversial Walk in 2010: 
Related Posts with Thumbnails


Podcasts You may have missed or want to re-listen

A look at the fear of the feminine (Effemophobia) by Jamaican standards & how it drives the homo-negative perceptions/homophobia in Jamaican culture/national psyche.


After catching midway a radio discussion on the subject of Jamaica being labelled as homophobic I did a quick look at the long held belief in Jamaica by anti gay advocates, sections of media and homophobes that several murders of alleged gay victims are in fact 'crimes of passion' or have jealousy as their motives but it is not as simple or generalized as that.

Listen without prejudice to this and other podcasts on one of my Soundcloud channels

More uploads

Aphrodite’s PRIDE JA tackles gender identity, transgender misconceptions .....

Nationwide New Network, NNN devoted some forty five minutes of prime time yesterday evening to discuss the issue and help listeners to at least begin to process some of the information coming from the most public declaration exercise as done by Jenner. Guests on the show were Dr Karen Carpenter Board Certified Clinical Sexologist and Psychologist, ‘Satiba’ from Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica of which I am affiliated and Lecturer (Sociologist) and host of Every Woman on the station Georgette Crawford Williams (sister of PNP member of parliament Damian Crawford); one of the first questions thrown at Satiba by host Cliff Hughes was why has Jenna waited so long at 65 years old to make such a life changing decision?

Satiba responded that many transwomen have to hide their true identity in life .... given her life when she was younger she was a star athlete she would have been under tremendous precious to stay in from the expectations by the public and her team etc, also owing to the fact that she had a family as a man with children one may not want to upset the flow at that time until the kids are old enough. There is a lot of burden of guilt that some persons carry in weighing the decisions of coming out or transitioning so suppression of one’s true self is the modus operandi.

Dr Carpenter cautioned after a heated exchange:

“We really must remember as professionals we must stay in our lane I will never pronounce as a Sociologist cause I am not a Sociologist ............When we have an opportunity to speak publicly we must be careful of what we say unless it is extremely well informed......”

Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website

Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website on December 1 2015 on World AIDS Day where they hosted a docu-film and after discussions on the film Human Vol 1

audience members interacting during a break in the event

film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

See posts on APJ's work: HERE (newer entries will appear first so scroll to see older ones)

Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Homophobia - What are we afraid of?

Former host of Dr Sexy Live on Nationwide radio and Sexologist tackles in a simplistic but to the point style homophobia and asks the poignant question of the age, What really are we as a nation afraid of?

It seems like homosexuality is on everyone's tongue. From articles in the newspapers to countless news stories and commentaries, it seems like everyone is talking about the gays. Since Jamaica identifies as a Christian nation, the obvious thought about homosexuality is that it is wrong but only male homosexuality seems to influence the more passionate responses. It seems we are more open to accepting lesbianism but gay men are greeted with much disapproval.

Dancehall has certainly been very clear where it stands when it comes to this issue with various songs voicing clear condemnation of this lifestyle. Currently, quite a few artistes are facing continuous protests because of their anti-gay lyrics. Even the law makers are involved in the gayness as there have been several calls for the repeal of the buggery law. Recently Parliament announced plans to review the Sexual Offences Act which, I am sure, will no doubt address homosexuality.

Jamaica has been described as a homophobic nation. The question I want to ask is: What are we afraid of? There are usually many reasons why homosexuality is such a pain in the a@. Here are some of the more popular arguments MORE HERE

also see:
Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

Sexuality - What is yours?

Promised conscience vote was a fluke from the PNP ........

SO WE WERE DUPED EH? - the suggestion of a conscience vote on the buggery law as espoused by Prime Minister (then opposition leader) in the 2011 leadership debate preceding the last national elections was a dangling carrot for a dumb donkey to follow.

Many advocates and individuals interpreted Mrs Simpson Miller's pronouncements as a promise or a commitment to repeal or at least look at the archaic buggery law but I and a few others who spoke openly dismissed it all from day one as nothing more than hot air especially soon after in February member of parliament Damian Crawford poured cold water on the suggestion/promise and said it was not a priority as that time. and who seems to always open his mouth these days and revealing his thoughts that sometimes go against the administration's path.

I knew from then that as existed before even under the previous PM P. J. Patterson (often thought to be gay by the public) also danced around the issue as this could mean votes and loss of political power. Mrs Simpson Miller in the meantime was awarded a political consultants' democracy medal as their conference concludes in Antigua.

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

A war of words has ensued between gay lawyer (AIDSFREEWORLD) Maurice Tomlinson and anti gay activist Dr Wayne West (supposed in-laws of sorts) as both accuse each other of lying or being dishonest, when deception has been neatly employed every now and again by all concerned, here is the post from Dr West's blog

This is laughable to me in a sense as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.

Fast forward 2015 and the exchanges continue in a post from Dr Wayne West: Maurice Tomlinson misrepresents my position on his face book page and Blog 76Crimes

Tomlinson's post originally was:

Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II

Following a cowardly decision by the Minister(try) of Education to withdraw an all important Health Family Life, HFLE Manual on sex and sexuality

I examine the possible reasons why we have the homo-negative challenges on the backdrop of a missing multi-generational understanding of sexuality and the focus on sexual reproductive activity in the curriculum.

also see:


Calls for Tourism Boycotts are Nonsensical at This Time

(2014 protests New York)

Calling for boycotts by overseas based Jamaican advocates who for the most part are not in touch with our present realities in a real way and do not understand the implications of such calls can only seek to make matters worse than assisting in the struggle, we must learn from, the present economic climate of austerity & tense calm makes it even more sensible that persons be cautious, will these groups assist when there is fallout?, previous experiences from such calls made in 2008 and 2009 and the near diplomatic nightmare that missed us; especially owing to the fact that many of the victims used in the public advocacy of violence were not actual homophobic cases which just makes the ethics of advocacy far less credible than it ought to be.

See more explained HERE from a previous post following the Queen Ifrica matter and how it was mishandled

Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14

debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.

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Are you ready to fight for gay rights and freedoms?? (multiple answers are allowed)

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What do you think is the most important area of HIV treatment research today?

Do you think Lesbians could use their tolerance advantage to help push for gay rights in Jamaica??

Violence & venom force gay Jamaicans to hide

a 2009 Word focus report where the history of the major explosion of homeless MSM occurred and references to the party DVD that was leaked to the bootleg market which exposed many unsuspecting patrons to the public (3:59), also the caustic remarks made by former member of Parliament in the then JLP administration.

The agencies at the time were also highlighted and the homo negative and homophobic violence met by ordinary Jamaican same gender loving men.

The late founder of the CVC, former ED of JASL and JFLAG Dr. Robert Carr was also interviewed.

At 4:42 that MSM was still homeless to 2012 but has managed to eek out a living but being ever so cautious as his face is recognizable from the exposed party DVD, he has been slowly making his way to recovery despite the very slow pace.

Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

Thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: or

Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
  • Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implementing suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL
Thanks again for your support.

Tel: 1-876-841-2923


Information & Disclaimer

Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.

This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alleged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names withheld for the victims' protection.

This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.

This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.

Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.

This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practitioner

Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.

As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

Recent Homophobic Cases

CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact or call 1-876-841-2923

Peace to you and be safe out there.


What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)

First, be calm: Do not panic; it may be very difficult to maintain composure if attacked but this is important.

Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.

Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmaneuvering the attacker is impossible, do not try it.

Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.

This may have a psychological effect on the individual.

Emergency numbers

The police 119

Kingfish 811

Crime Stop 311

Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violated. When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions

j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it

What to do

a. Make a phone call: to a lawyer or relative or anyone

b. Ask to see a lawyer immediately: if you don’t have the money ask for a Duty Council

c. A Duty Council is a lawyer provided by the state

d. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police

e. Tell your lawyer if anyone hits you and identify who did so by name and number

f. Give no explanations excuses or stories: you can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decided

g. Ask the sub officer in charge of the station to grant bail once you are charged with an offence

h. Ask to be taken before a justice of The Peace immediately if the sub officer refuses you bail

i. Demand to be brought before a Resident Magistrate and have your lawyer ask the judge for bail

j. Ask that any property taken from you be listed and sealed in your presence

Cases of Assault:An assault is an apprehension that someone is about to hit you

The following may apply:

1) Call 119 or go to the station or the police arrives depending on the severity of the injuries

2) The report must be about the incident as it happened, once the report is admitted as evidence it becomes the basis for the trial

3) Critical evidence must be gathered as to the injuries received which may include a Doctor’s report of the injuries.

4) The description must be clearly stated; describing injuries directly and identifying them clearly, show the doctor the injuries clearly upon the visit it must be able to stand up under cross examination in court.

5) Misguided evidence threatens the credibility of the witness during a trial; avoid the questioning of the witnesses credibility, the tribunal of fact must be able to rely on the witness’s word in presenting evidence

6) The court is guided by credible evidence on which it will make it’s finding of facts

7) Bolster the credibility of a case by a report from an independent disinterested party.

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today


CVM TV carried a raid and subsequent temporary blockade exercise of the Shoemaker Gully in the New Kingston district as the authorities respond to the bad eggs in the group of homeless/displaced or idling MSM/Trans persons who loiter there for years.

Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.

Also see:
the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the eviction/raid taken by the police

also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE


see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

May 22, 2015 update, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston

THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts

THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts 

The Prime Minister (Golding) on Same Sex Marriages and the Charter of Rights Debate (2009)

Other sides to the msm homeless saga (2012)

Rowdy Gays Matter 21.08.11 more HERE

Ethical Professionlism & LGBT Advocates 01.02.12 more HERE

Portia Simpson Miller - SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11

2 SGL Women lost, corrective rape and virtual silence from the male dominated advocacy structure

Al Miller on UK Aid & The Abnormality of Homosexuality 19.11.11

Homosexuality is Not Illegal in Jamaica .... Buggery is despite the persons gender 12.11.11 MORE HERE 

MSM Homelessness 2011 two cents

Black Friday for Gays in Jamaica More HERE

Bi-phobia by default from supposed LGBT advocate structures?

Homeless MSMs Saga Timeline 28.08.11 (HOT!!!) see more HERE

A Response to Al Miller's Abnormality of Homosexuality statement 19.11.11

UK/commonwealth Aid Matter & The New Developments, no aid cuts but redirecting, ethical problems on our part - 22.11.11

Homophobic Killings versus Non Homophobic Killings 12.07.12

Big Lies, Crisis Archiving & More MSM Homlessness Issues 12.07.12

More MSM Challenges July 2012 more sounds HERE

GLBTQ Jamaica 2011 Summary 02.01.12 more HERE

Homosexuality Destroying the Family? .............. I Think Not!

Lesbian issues left out of the Jamaican advocacy thrust until now?

Club Heavens The Rebirth 12.02.12 and more HERE

Should gov't provide shelter for homeless msm?

National attitudes to gays survey shows 78% of J'cans say NO to buggery repeal

1st Anniversary of Homeless MSM civil disobedience (Aug 23/4) 2012 more HERE

JFLAG's rejection of rowdy homeless msms & the Sept 21st standoff .........

Atheism & Secularism may cloud the struggle for lgbt rights in Jamaica more HERE

Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II and more HERE

MSM Community Displacement Concerns October 2012

The UTECH abuse & related issues

Beenieman's hypocrisy & his fake apology in his own words and more HERE

Guarded about JFLAG's Homeless shelter

Homophobia & homelessness matters for November 2012 ................

Cabinet delays buggery review, says it's not a priority & more ...........................(November 2012) prior to the announcement of the review in parliament in June 2013 More sounds HERE

"Dutty Mind" used in Patois Bible to describe homosexuals

Homeless impatient with agencies over slow progress for promised shelter 2012 More HERE

George Davis Live - Dr Wayne West & Carole Narcisse on JCHS' illogical fear

Homeless MSM Issues in New Kgn Jan 2013 .......

Homeless MSM challenges in Jamaica February 2013 more HERE

JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness 2013

Poor leadership & dithering are reasons for JFLAG & Jamaica AIDS Support’s temporary homelessness May 2013 more HERE

Response To Flagging a Dead Horse Free Speech & Gay Rights 10.06.13