Tyler Curry joins Dallas Voice as weekly contributor

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Tyler Curry

Do you hear something sizzling? Maybe some high-energy music building in the background? That’s just Dallas Voice revving up as we begin to flex and introduce new material that reflects the mind-blowing dynamism of Dallas’ LGBT community.

Watch for the Dec. 13 issue as we introduce Tyler Curry as a weekly contributor. Tyler is published in the national media and is the power behind The Needle Prick Project. He also was named one of the 30 most influential LGBT people in Dallas. It’s like pouring nitro into our editorial tank. You might want to stand back. That sizzling content is liable to get on ya.

—  Steve Ramos

Starvoice • 01.20.12

edBy Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Ellen DeGeneres turns 54 on Thursday. The comedian/talk show host has won 13 Emmys during her career while parylaying successful endeavors as a spokersperson for Cover Girl and voicing the role of Dory in Finding Nemo, set for a 3D release this fall. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also named her Special Envoy for Global AIDS Awareness in November 2011.

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THIS WEEK

Mars is turning retrograde and will backtrack through Virgo until April 13. In this period, recent pet peeves, critical arguments, bitchy outbursts and intestinal inflammations will come back to haunt you. Keep an eye on self-improvement without beating yourself up.

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CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
Old arguments highlight your need to reconsider ideals you’ve taken for granted. Be careful that shrewd insight doesn’t push you to disillusion friends. You can be realistic and respectful.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
Your debonair wit could easily backfire. The line between incisive epigrams and rude bitchiness is too easy to stumble over. If you need to be naughty, find an appropriate partner and a room.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
It’s very easy to talk your way into a hot little affair, but you may soon find it harder to get out of. Be sure of where the exits are before you step into anything.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
You’re cranky, even aggressive, especially with colleagues. Obsessing over details can distract you from bigger issues and dangers. But do heed details that concern your health.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Being nice comes off as manipulative. Use your overactive charms to deal with problems in a straightforward fashion. Resist the urge to gloss over them. Flirtations lead further than intended.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Disagreements at home get out of hand, especially when you just settled the problem. Be as patient and diplomatic as you can. Your attention soon turns to more interesting problems.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
A new passionate fling probably seems a lot more serious than it really is. Or less. Either way it’s sure to surprise you and probably a lot more people than you’d like to have know about it.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
It’s too easy to react to others. Your natural instinct is to be a control queen, but more productively, try to see why your nerves are so raw. Vigorous exercise will help your balance and insight.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
A cautious approach to a problem will open to more possibilities. Take that inspiration to work to find ideas pointing to new methods. With a solid grounding, advance bold new techniques.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Hitting a plateau is a natural stage. Don’t let it discourage you. Keep at whatever you’re doing, although if you can figure out why you’re stuck you may find better ways of doing it.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Frustration has more to do with your expectations. Brace yourself for problems to come back at you. Mouth off to friends who’ll help you develop a better perspective.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Talk with relatives about family health issues to get rude surprises to prepare your doctor than the other way around. Brush up on skills and get updated on technology that will help you at work.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 20, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Knowledge is power

Dr.-Sam-Ho-photo

Dr. Sam Ho

A generation of young people have never known a world without AIDS, but their complacency means new infections continue

People who weren’t yet born when AIDS first emerged are today most at risk for becoming HIV positive — an alarming development that underscores how essential awareness is, especially as we approach World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.

From 2006 to 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the HIV incidence rate for Americans between 13 and 29 years old increased by about 21 percent. In fact, most of the new HIV infections reported in this country involve people under 30.

Americans under 30 have never known a world without AIDS. At the same time, they’ve never really known a time when effective treatment for HIV and AIDS wasn’t available. This hasn’t always been the case. As this disease turns 30, we need to ensure that people — especially younger people — remain aware of AIDS and how to prevent it.

AIDS awareness is one of the biggest challenges we face when trying to prevent it. After 30 years of addressing what was once considered one of America’s most pressing health problems, AIDS is no longer front page news. But on this World AIDS Day, let’s not forget that about 56,000 Americans become infected with HIV each year, according to the CDC, and that more than 14,000 Americans with AIDS die each year.

Thanks to more effective and more available treatments, more Americans who have HIV and AIDS are able to live. The CDC estimates this number at more than 1 million nationwide. Regularly testing people most at risk for HIV — and then providing antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS patients — dramatically reduces the number of new infections.

Preventing HIV is not complicated. If you’re sexually active, get tested. Don’t use IV drugs or share needles. Abstain or practice safer sex.

With preventive care, patients and their health care providers can fight and manage this disease and slow its spread. But we can’t allow today’s more effective treatments to make us complacent or ambivalent, or to lessen our resolve to find a cure.

To learn more or to find a place near you to get tested, visit ActAgainstAIDS.org.

Dr. Sam Ho, M.D., is the chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 25, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Ellen DeGeneres named special envoy for global AIDS awareness

Ellen DeGeneres

While speaking today on HIV/AIDS issues at the National Institutes of Health, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that out, proud lesbian comedian, actress and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has been named a special envoy for global AIDS awareness.

In a statement in response to the announcement, DeGeneres said she is honored to have been chosen by Secretary Clinton for the position.

“The fight against AIDS is something that has always been close to my heart.  And I’m happy that I can use my platform to educate people and spread hope,” DeGeneres said. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go look up what ‘envoy’ means.”

In a letter to DeGeneres, Clinton said the talk show host’s “energy, compassion and star power” will make her an effective voice for AIDS awareness.

“Your words will encourage Americans in joining you to make their voices heard in our campaign to achieve an AIDS-free generation. The enormous platform of your television show and your social media channels will enable you to reach millions of people with the strong and hopeful message that we can win this fight,” Clinton wrote.

In addition to her studio and television audience for her talk show each day, DeGeneres reaches 8 million followers on Twitter and 5.8 million people through Facebook. She has been outspoken advocate on anti-bullying issues and an advocate on animal rescue and rehabilitation and breast cancer issues. DeGeneres previously worked with the advocacy organization ONE to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS issues.

Clinton’s speech today is expected to be the first in a series of speeches and messages from the Obama administration leading up to World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

—  admin

MTV and Goss-Michael Foundation raise more than $700K for HIV/AIDS awareness

For its first art exhibit, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation didn’t do too bad. The MTV RE:Define exhibit and auction held Saturday at the Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas was a sold out event and raised more than 770,000 for MTV’s organization. The group works to empower youth in fighting the stigma of HIV/AIDS. On a less arty scale, they are also the people behind this.

As deep pockets bid for some 30 original works by the likes of Harland Miller, Adam Ball and Ben Eine, artist Damien Hirst scored big with his butterfly painting with cubic zirconia (talk about multimedia), which went for $240,000 to an unnamed phone bidder. And if that’s not exciting enough, Indie rockers The Boxer Rebellion capped off the night with a live show.

“We are absolutely thrilled with Saturday’s auction results and delighted that we have been able to raise such a significant amount for the Staying Alive Foundation,” said Georgia Arnold, executive director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. “Thanks to the enormous generosity of each and every artist and gallery, and of course the bidders, sponsors and silent auction donors, the money raised will enable young people to continue their amazing work in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS in local communities around the world.”

Host Simon de Pury, chairman of art auctioneers Phillips de Pury & Company added, “On entering the Goss-Michael Foundation’s magnificent building I instantly felt a great vibe. The crowd was very handsome, the music pounding and the handpicked art looked fabulous on the walls. For an inaugural event, it was an outstanding result. I can only congratulate everyone involved in this project. It is my hope that this could become an annual event.”

We hope so too, and can we get on the guest list?

—  Rich Lopez

Applause: Let Love Out Has Texas Ties

LLO-RedCarl Priolo isn’t gay himself, but as a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, he was personally appalled by the hatred that kept gay men and lesbians from enjoying full social equality, including marriage rights. That’s when the jewelry designer and his son launched the Let Love Out campaign this past spring.

“I wanted to do something to honor the memory of my brother Chris, who died of AIDS in 1989,” Priolo says. “He was a gifted, passionate teacher and composer who never felt safe enough to come out to the world as a gay man.”

But the campaign has local relevance as well: Priolo’s son, Lucas — who joined in launching the campaign — is principal dancer with the Texas Ballet Theater.

The website, LetLoveOut.com, allows visitors to leave messages, but also to buy jewelry with an interlocking heart and infinity symbol,pictured,  rerpresents love, support and solidatiry.  Ten percent of profits will be donated to HIV/AIDS awareness.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Local briefs • 08.05.11

Continuing education credit available through Hope Cottage

Hope Cottage, Dallas’ oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian adoption agency, is now authorized to offer continuing education contact credits for social workers through its new Adoption 101 programming.

Director of Programs Brooks Quinlan, LMSW-AP, explained: “The goal of Infant Adoption 101 is to equip social service professionals with the skill sets needed to respond with confidence and sensitivity towards a client exploring or moving forward with an adoption plan.”

Upon completion of the program, participants are awarded one contact hour.

Thanks to donations, the program is offered free of charge. Organizations interested in receiving the training should contact Heather Hussong at by email at hhussong@hopecottage.org or by phone at 214-526-8721, ext. 241.
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Mountain View College offers youth empowerment conference

“Keepin’ It Real!” a free one-day youth empowerment conference, is being offered Saturday, Aug. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Avenue in Dallas.

The conference is intended to provide teens with “real life” solutions to problems they face and in the process help build their self-confidence as they prepare to return to school.

Teens grades 6-12 can attend. Keynote speakers are Felix A. Zamora, president of Mountain View College and a motivational speaker and author; and Cheryl Jackson with Minnie’s Food Pantry and The Giving Movement.

All teens will participate in six interactive workshops which include bullycide, engineering the world, HIV/AIDS awareness and college financial aid and scholarships among others.

Musical entertainment will be provided by local artists including Rumill, Dacia Kings, Elliott Skinner accompanied by pianist, Dylan Cantu, Rachel Webb and P2 Mimes of Greater Mt. Calvary COGIC, and more.

Teens will also have an opportunity during a moderated panel discussion to meet local leaders and ask questions.

Also, Backpacking for Education returns for the eighth year. BFE is a program that supplies the attending youth with backpacks filled with school supplies. Additionally, some students will win door prizes and all will receive giveaways.

Registration is free but pre-registration is required by Aug. 10. To register for this conference or for more information, go online to TeenGraffiti.com or call 972-496-9457.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 5, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

AOC workers honored by Tarrant County Health Department

World AIDS Day presentation honored two for their work to stop the spread of HIV

AOC-Bea-Lampka
AIDS Awareness | The Tarrant County Public Health Department honored Bea Lampka for her work with Latino and Hispanic communities.

Fort Worth — The Tarrant County Public Health Department has honored two AIDS Outreach Center outreach workers for their longterm service to those infected or affected by HIV and AIDS in the greater Tarrant County area, AOC officials announced this week.

Outreach Worker the Rev. John Reed was presented with a special World AIDS Day proclamation by Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks on behalf of the Commissioners Court, citing Reed’s commitment to stopping the spread of HIV within the African-American community.

Reed has been with AOC for the past six years as a volunteer and staff member. AOC officials said he was instrumental in bringing the annual Stop AIDS Leadership Project to Tarrant County the past two years and has worked in the local community to stop the spread of HIV.

Reed also serves on various charitable committees.

“I am committed to stopping the spread of HIV not just in Tarrant County, but in the greater DFW Metroplex area,” Reed said. “Everyone needs to get involved; it is not just about one person or one city it is about all of us.”

AOC Case Manager/Outreach Worker Bea Lampka received a special award from the North Central Texas HIV community partners for her efforts by reaching out to the Hispanic and Latino communities, including those who are undocumented.

Lampka has been with AOC for the past 16 years in various positions and is involved in a number of local area boards and committees. She worked in nursing for 45 years prior to joining AOC. Lampka currently facilitates AOC’s Futuros Unidos support group, which has up to 65 members.

Originally born and raised in Bolivia, Lampka has also lived in Togo, Peru, France, Germany, Italy and Haiti. She speaks six languages fluently and can read and/or translate several more.

AOC-John-Reed
Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks, right, presented the Rev. John Reed with a World AIDS Day proclamation citing his work in the African American community. (Courtesy AIDS Outreach Center)

“I have been very fortunate to have been able to live around the world,” Lampka said. “This has given me the unique opportunity of being immersed in a large number of cultures that helps me while working with my clients.”

In 2011, AIDS Outreach Center will commemorate 25 years as the leading organization in Tarrant and seven surrounding rural counties serving men, women and children with HIV/AIDS and their families, educating the public about HIV prevention and advocating for sound HIV public policy.

For more information, go online to AOC.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 10, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

WATCH: Do you get the message?

A group out of California called the One Life Initiative has created a new video intended to encourage HIV awareness. The video is titled “Take Action.”

A press release announcing the video says: “Even though the virus continues to propagate, it is practically invisible in the mass medias. We are thus presenting a video that aims to get people talking again. The video titled Take Action has been created to resonate to people at risk, raise awareness on HIV and encourage everybody to act. We believe it is essential to share the message with all those that deem themselves invincible to HIV.”

The press release also informs us that “The One Life initiative, whose website has become a worldwide resource on the fight for HIV prevention, is supported by many communitarian organisms.”

(I wasn’t familiar with the term “communitarian.” So I looked it up. It means “of or relating to social organization in small cooperative partially collectivist communities.”)

Anyway, I watched the video, and I have to say, it left me a little perplexed. Yes, it grabs your attention. But to me, the AIDS awareness message was, at best, very vague. I wouldn’t have had any idea the video was even about AIDS without the words on the screen at the end.

So, watch the video and tell us what you think? Is it effective?

Take Action Video from One Life / Une Vie on Vimeo.

—  admin