QUEER RETIREMENT HOME

A US queer organisation has set a standard for older gays and lesbians by announcing what it says will be the country’s first non-profit queer retirement village. Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing said last week its $US20 million Encore House complex in Los Angeles would provide gay and lesbian seniors with a safe and tolerant environment as they came to rely on outside care, Associated Press reported. What has had to happen for many older adults is that they’ve had to go back into the closet to get the care they need, Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing executive director Brian Neimark said. This would be an environment of tolerance and acceptance. Expected to open in 2006, Encore House will be the US’s first non-profit gay retirement complex, its developers say. Several profit-based homes for gay seniors have already opened, at a time when there are at least 1 million gays and lesbians aged 65 and above in the US, according to National Gay and Lesbian Task Force estimates. In Australia, gay company Satellite Group planned to establish queer retirement homes before collapsing in 2000. A NSW Anti-Discrimination Board LGBT ageing forum held earlier this year examined the lack of discussion about sexuality in aged care facilities in Australia and proposed diversity training for aged care staff.

THAIS GET LOW-COST HIV DRUGS

All Thais infected with HIV will receive virtually free antiretroviral drugs under a government plan announced last week. Thailand’s government says the decision to provide its estimated one million HIV-positive citizens with very low-cost medication is a world first, 365Gay.com reported. The $US68 million free antiretrovirals program is due to commence in October. Thailand already provides free HIV medicine to 50,000 low-income patients.

KIWI CONDOM CONVICTION

A New Zealand man who took off his condom while having sex with a prostitute became the first person to be convicted under a new unsafe-sex law last week. Daniel Morgan, 48, pleaded guilty to the offence and was fined $NZ350, Christchurch’s The Press reported. The prostitute whom Morgan had sex with welcomed the conviction, saying she would have to wait another six weeks to see if she was infected with HIV. Meantime, a 26-year-old gay man in Atlanta is facing up to 10 years in jail for not disclosing his HIV status to three sex partners. Associated Press reported Garry Wayne Carricker was arrested after an ex-boyfriend reported him to police. He was bailed but arrested again after allegedly having sex with two other men and not disclosing his status. He has been held in custody since. And a South Carolina man has been jailed for 18 months for not disclosing his HIV status to two sex partners he met on the internet.

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