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Ireland gets award as first nation to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote

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The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) board of directors has announced 2015 Medal of Honour Legacy Award to “The People of the Republic of Ireland” to commemorate the first nation to approve Marriage Equality by National Referendum. The public vote took place 23 May 2015 and over 60 percent voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. Legacy Awards honor outstanding individuals and institutions whose work contributes to the mission and values of the FGG. Along with the Medal of Honour Legacy Award, the FGG will announce other esteemed annual Legacy Awards as part of the FGG’s Annual General Assembly (AGA) 16-18 October 2015 in Limerick, Ireland.FGG

The FGG presents Legacy Awards to recognize the extraordinary contributions of those who ensure the success of the Gay Games, who promote shared values, and who contribute to the community. Complete list of Legacy Award winners is available at http://gaygames.org

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Stereotypes Spur the Spread of HIV

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Despite South Africa being a country where one in 10 people are living with HIV*, stereotypes around the disease still exist. As a result, HIV is being spread due to this being a deterrent to testing. According to Glenn de Swardt of the Anova Health Institute, “Most HIV infections occur from someone who doesn’t know that they’re HIV positive. Our irrational stereotypes about people with HIV can prevent us from undergoing an HIV test ourselves.”hero
An online survey has revealed that 30.5% of South African men who have sex with men (MSM) had not been tested for HIV within the past year. Of those 7.3% had never been tested.** With MSM being the country’s most at risk population for HIV acquisition and transmission, these figures are cause for alarm.
To encourage MSM to know their HIV status, the ‘WeTheBrave’ sexual health campaign, spearheaded by the Anova Health Institute and funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, has recently been launched. The campaign calls on MSM to be brave enough to practice safe sex and get tested in order prevent new HIV infections as well as to use antiretroviral treatment when and if they need it.

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Mr. Gay World™ mourns Charl van den Berg, Mr. Gay World™ 2010

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It is with deep sorrow that we learned of the passing of one of the prominent members of the Mr. Gay World™ family, Charl van den Berg, Mr. Gay World™ 2010 from South Africa who lost his mercifully short battle with lymphatic cancer on Thursday.

It is with fond memories that we remember when Charl stepped off the bus in Oslo, Norway for the first time and one of the Directors remarked: 'That is one to watch'. And indeed he was, continuing to make an impression on his fellow delegates, the judges and the audience, winning Mr. Gay World 2010 against stiff competition from Australia and Hong Kong in style.Charl

Throughout his reign, Charl continued to uphold the ethos and message of Mr. Gay World wherever he travelled, making friends around the world. He attended Prides in Europe, representing the organisation and was sent to the Philippines to lay the foundations of the next competition in Manila, meeting with press and organisers. He was prominently featured in the media, and did many interviews for radio and television, living up to his role as ambassador for LGBT and human rights and being a role model for LGBT youth.

He was loved not only in the Philippines, taking part in the Red Ribbon HIV-awareness campaign in that country, but all around the world and especially in his home country of South Africa, where his win was the first positive LGBT news other than legal challenges to discriminatory laws to be featured on the front pages of mainstream press and lamp posts around that country.

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Why I’m Over The Rainbow

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The rainbow profile pictures have almost completely disappeared from my social media timelines, and if I’m honest, I am not sad about it. I got a message from a friend asking why I didn’t transform mine as soon as Facebook made the functionality available and I had to think about it…

On 26 June the US Supreme Court ruled that all states had to make same-sex marriage legal, effectively ending the fight for marriage equality, which has eluded many states in the land of the free. There was jubilation and celebration throughout the world, and Facebook quickly jumped on the bandwagon, allowing users to easily add a rainbow flag filter to their profile pictures to show their support for this landmark move.EuroPride

I am not against gay marriage. I must admit that when I was a bit younger, I would often get slapped on the wrist by some of my friends for not being a fervent activist, but I didn’t want to do it at the time – so it wasn’t high on my priority list. I fundamentally believe that everyone should have the freedom to do whatever they want to do, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, so that wasn’t it.

I am not a conspiracy theorist either. Someone mentioned to me that Facebook was using it to see how susceptible some of their users are to suggestion, based on how quickly they changed their pictures. This data would then be used to market ads better and make them truckloads of money. Possibly true? It doesn’t matter too much to me.

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When cum gets in your eye

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Many gay guys appreciate a good load of cum. Some of us prefer our partners to ejaculate in our mouth, on our chest or on our face. If you’ve ever had a splash of cum in your eye you’ll know that it burns like hell, akin to getting shampoo in your eye. But is there a risk of getting HIV, or another sexually transmitted infection (STI) through receiving someone else’s cum in your eye? And what are the risks if you get a guy’s urine in your eye, if you’re into water sports?swallow

Information on sexual health, including HIV and other STIs generally focuses on the risks of condomless anal sex. We all know that bareback action is a high-risk activity for HIV transmission, especially for the bottom, and for the transmission of STIs such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and warts. We very seldom talk about the risks of HIV or STI transmission through our eyes.

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