Three Dollar Bill

Hate regular chlamydia? You’ll hate new, improved super-chlamydia even

The news that a friend may be infected with a ferocious strain of
chlamydia rarely seen outside Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and South America
opened my eyes this week to a dangerous infection that can increase the
chances of spreading HIV and getting AIDS.
It’s called LGV chlamydia, or lymphogranuloma venereum. LGV stunned
doctors when a 2004 outbreak in the Netherlands topped 100 cases. It’s
since spread in gay communities in several European cities and now has a
toehold in North America, where the Associated Press reports 27 cases were
racked up by February.

Just days after anecdotal evidence began pouring in last week that Montreal
queers are getting LGV, I got a package in the mail from La Direction de
santé publique de Montreal, which has launched a new campaign to fight
the chlamydia superstrain.

Meanwhile, the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) reports, “The bacteria
get into someone’s body through the warm moist skin of the mouth, cock
or inside of the ass. Fucking without condoms and fisting without gloves are
the easiest way this happens. Using things like dildos on more than one
man’s ass can spread LGV too.”

Simply put: always use a condom. If you’re not fisting and just putting
a finger or two up your lover’s asshole, you should still wear latex

The $64 000 question is what happens when you get LGV. Straight readers, you
can get this too, so keep reading.

“Three days to three weeks after getting infected there may be a small,
painless sore where the bacteria got into your mouth, cock, or inside your
ass,” ACT reports. Naturally, LGV is just as happy to live inside the

ACT again: “Many people don’t get a sore or don’t notice
it. You will be able to give LGV to others from this point. Then, 10 to 30
days later (or even longer) your glands may become painfully swollen. You may
feel ill and have a fever.”

Continuing along, if you get “LGV in the ass, you can get painful
inflammation in your ass (called ‘proctitis’) and blood or pus
coming from it. Shitting may be painful, you might get constipated or develop
painful abcesses/ulcers in your ass.”

ACT continues, ”If you get LGV in the cock, you might get a discharge,
[and] the glands in your groin can swell—so much that they might push
through your skin and leak fluid. [And if you get] LGV in the mouth or
throat, glands in your neck or armpit may swell.”

Three weeks of the antibiotic doxycycline effectively treats LGV, but if left
untreated, your penis and testicles can swell and your rectum can be
seriously damaged. Surgery may even be required.

So get tested every now and then. For LGV testing in Edmonton, ACT recommends
the STD Clinic at 11111 Jasper Avenue (413.5156).

The Muslim crusade The very day I called for a fatwa against all anti-gay
Muslim fundamentalists in last week’s column, Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali
al-Sistani, an Iranian national who is the most powerful Shiite cleric in
Iraq, reportedly called a death fatwa against all gays and Sunni

On his website, al-Sistani calls for the killing of homos in the
“worst, most severe way.”

“Grand Ayatollah Sistani is the spiritual leader of the main Islamic
fundamentalist movement in Iraq, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution
in Iraq,” or SCIRI, says exiled gay Iraqi Ali Hili, spokesperson for
the UK gay-rights group Outrage!. “The government in Iraq consults
regularly with Sistani on political, social and moral issues. He wields huge
influence over Iraqi government policy and over Iraqi Shia public

Hili adds, “The Badr Corps, which is the armed wing of SCIRI, has
instituted a witch-hunt of lesbian and gay Iraqis— including violent
beatings, kidnappings and assassinations. … Badr militants are entrapping
gay men via Internet chat rooms. They arrange a date, and then beat and kill
the victim.”

I said it once, and I’ll say it again: surely I am not suffering from
Islamaphobia when I say that mean-spirited fundamentalists, who are blighting
the very message of Allah, deserve not an olive branch but rather a

Freedom Riders There’s a busload of brave gay activists called the
Equality Riders who are pushing for gay civil rights by traveling to 19
faith-based colleges across the USA. Twenty activists were arrested on Mar 10
at Rev Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, six
more were arrested Mar 14 at the Rev Pat Robertson’s Regent University
in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and three days later in Cleveland, thugs
spray-painted “Fags Mobile” in foot-high pink letters on the side
of their bus. The Equality Ride winds down at the US West Point Military
Academy on Apr 26.

The 51-day Equality Ride is being backed by Soulforce, a group founded by Rev
Mel White, who was a former speechwriter for Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and
Billy Graham before White saw the light.

The Equality Ride is clearly modelled after the historic 1961 Freedom Riders
who were trained side-by-side in non-violent protest by Martin Luther King Jr
and the distinguished Methodist pastor James Lawson, who now teaches
non-violent protest to Soulforce activists.

“Gay and lesbian people are human beings birthed by God,” Lawson,
now 77, told me a few years ago. “Therefore they ought to be seen as
fully human. There should be no discrimination against them for any

Amen. V

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