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!! OMG, Sir Elton John doesn’t think the gay community cares enough about HIV these days !!

Sir Elton John spoke at an HRC dinner in Washington, DC this past weekend with his partner David Furnish and he used the speech as a way to call out gays who aren’t looking after their health by getting tested or getting tested often enough.

“This is the critical moment in our fight, and so many of us don’t seem to care. Even in our own community. Especially in our own community. Only 30 percent of gay and bisexual men have had an HIV test in the past year.”

Elton says that not only do gay men not get tested, but that over 60% don’t even discuss HIV with their doctor, and made a point of arguing that just because HIV is not a death sentence anymore does not mean we should ignore it and that it still remains to be an epidemic.

“No one’s going to save us but ourselves. It’s on us to put an end to HIV.”

We agree with Elton. There definitely needs to be a resurgence in education about safe sex among younger folks, and a class review for people of any age. The conversation needs to continue to happen. We think it’s great that Elton is using his fame to address something that effects such a large part of the community, and not to mention his work with The Elton John AIDS Foundation. For more information on his work there check out ejaf.org!

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!! OMG, welcome to the naapuruus: Finnish Olympic swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen comes out (and raises awareness while he’s at it) !!

Finnish Olympic swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen has come out of the closet. Luikkonen says the timing was very important to him because he wants to raise awareness about Russia’s anti-gay laws ahead of the Sochi Games. Via YLE:

“I wanted to start a broader discussion in connection with Sochi, because it’s sad that the legislation in Russia restricts the human rights of young people and others,” Liukkonen told Yle.
Liukkonen added that the Finnish sporting world was also in need of a more open attitude to sexuality.
“In the future I would hope that elite athletes and other people will not find homosexuality to be any kind of news,” said Liukkonen…
“As the matter wasn’t discussed, I tried to forget about it, but during high school I began to accept that I am made this way,” said Liukkonen. “Acceptance hasn’t necessarily been easy, but it hasn’t been horribly difficult either. This has been a long, slow process for me, but now I’m there.”

Aside from the fact that the immature 5-year old in me cannot WAIT to hear a British newscasters pronounce “Ari-Pekka”, this is obviously a great really thing for Liukkonen to do while at the games — particularly while still active in his sport! Congratulations to Ari-Pekka! And thanks for repping right in Putin‘s face. Face palm, Putin!

“It’s a really great feeling that I can finally be myself.”

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