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HIV vaccine studies show promising results

World AIDS Day vaccine hunt

World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, features the slogan “Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS related deaths” for the years 2011 through 2015.

While it is unlikely the “zero” goal will be reached by 2015, three decades of HIV analysis has sparked a “renaissance” of medical research that is leading scientists in new directions in their search for an effective vaccine.

Dr. Wayne Koff, the chief scientific officer for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, started researching HIV shortly after the first cases began appearing some 30 years ago.

“We’ve seen in the last three or four years a plethora of data that we in the AIDS vaccine development field are calling a renaissance, and as someone who has been in the field since the beginning I don’t use that term lightly,” Koff said.

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Atlanta gay man’s alleged attackers could go on trial May 29

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Editor's note: It was reported that the four suspects in this case would go on trial May 29. Yvette Jones, spokesperson for the Fulton DA's office stated the men are on the trial calendar and clarified what will happen.

"The case is being called out alongside several others. The Judge will make a determination which case will move forward and begin the process of jury selection," she said.

Four men charged in a brutal attack on a gay man in February are set to go to possibly go on trial May 29, each charged with two counts of participation in criminal street gang activity, robbery by force and aggravated assault, according to a spokesperson with the Fulton County District Attorney's office.

The men charged in the anti-gay beating of Brandon White are Javaris Bradford, 24; Christopher Cain, 19; Dorian Moragne, 19; and Darael Demare Williams, a minor.

White, 20, was attacked by the four men after he was exiting a grocery store in the Pittsburgh community in southwest Atlanta. The men filmed the attack in which White was repeatedly called "faggot" and uploaded it to a hip hop website where it went viral.

The four suspects will appear before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jackson Bedford.

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Ga. Supreme Court upholds murder conviction of doctor who lured men with drugs for sex

Dr. Noel Chua

The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction and life sentence handed down to a doctor convicted of felony murder for prescribing pain medications to a gay lover who later died of an overdose.

Dr. Noel Chua, who was in his mid-40s, began treating James Bazley Carter III, 19, in Sept. 2005 for debilitating headaches. Chua prescribed Carter such medications as morphine, methadone and oxycodone.

A month later, in October, Carter moved in with Chua in his home in Camden County, nearly 6 hours south of Atlanta near Jacksonville, Fla., while he continued to attend community college.

On Dec. 15, 2005, Chua called 911 and Carter was found dead in the bathroom. Police found loose pills, prescription drug bottles and physician drug samples. Medical experts testified at Chua’s trial in Oct. 2007 that Carter died of a combination methadone, oxycodone and morphine in his system along with other drugs.

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Atlanta Eagle officers racked up large bar bills hours before raid

Atlanta police officers involved in the Atlanta Eagle raid spent a great deal of money on shots of liquor before the actual raid began, according to a news report.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that officer Bennie Bridges, the lead investigator of the raid and who was working undercover, spent $50 of APD funds on drinks on Sept. 10, 2009, the night of the raid. The AJC also states that Bridges spent another $60 on drinks on May 29, 2009, while working undercover into allegations of illicit sex and drug use taking place at the Midtown gay bar.

Another officer the night of the raid, Jared Watkins, also working undercover, spent $60 on drinks the night of the raid.

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Ga. Supreme Court to hear case of gay man convicted of murder

The case of Samuel Mitchell Abernathy goes before the Supreme CourtThe case of a gay man convicted of killing a man who allegedly called him and his boyfriend “faggots” will go before the state Supreme Court on Monday.

The state is appealing a White County judge’s ruling granting a new trial to Samuel Mitchell Abernathy. Abernathy was convicted of stabbing and killing Darrin Ramey after Ramey called Mitchell and his partner at the time, John Geren, “faggots.” The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Southside Bar in Helen, Ga., in January 2008.

Mitchell was convicted in November 2008 of malice murder and sentenced to life in prison.

According to a press release from the state Supreme Court, Abernathy said he was jumped by Ramey and acted in self-defense. Abernathy and Geren were both charged with murder but the state dropped its charges against Geren after he agreed to testify against Abernathy.

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Atlanta’s Stonewall?

The Eagle raid has been compared to the 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a New York City gay bar, that is credited with sparking the modern gay rights movement.
How do the two raids really stack up? We asked Scott Titshaw, professor at Mercer University School of Law, who teaches “Sexual Orientation and the Law.”


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Focus turns to federal lawsuit over Eagle raid

Atlanta Eagle employees were found 'not guilty'

It seemed like business as usual that Thursday night last September, as patrons of the Atlanta Eagle tossed back beers and enjoyed the dancers on the gay leather bar’s popular Underwear Night. But whether what happened next can remain “business as usual” for the Atlanta Police Department is part of a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by several of the men in the bar that night.