Study to examine HIV infection among gay black men

A new, national study on HIV infection will look at San Francisco’s gay black male community’s level of participation in HIV intervention measures – including testing, counseling and other health and social services.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health HIV Research Section AIDS Office will be conducting the San Francisco part of the UNITY study.

Among men who have sex with men in this country, black men have the highest rate of HIV infection. Jennifer Sarche, community educator for the Department of Public Health AIDS Office, said that one theory for this is that gay black men as a population have a smaller sexual network than gay white males.

Marriage proponents called successors to ’60s Stonewall activists

This weekend’s Pride celebration will elevate the status of marriage-equality activists to a position of parity in the gay-rights movement with advocates from four decades ago when the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee joins local veterans of the 1969 Stonewall protests to form a new parade contingent called “Stonewall 2.0.”

June 12 digital switch threatens TV ‘lifeline’ for thousands

Tens of thousands of Bay Area residents could wake up to a blank television screen on June 12, when all broadcast television programs officially go digital and abandon their analog signals. Those most at risk of losing their TV signal are seniors, residential hotel tenants and non-English speakers.

Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of the Oakland-based Media Alliance, estimated that roughly one million people nationwide will lose their signals. In the Bay Area, that number could top 65,000, and many people are calling Media Alliance for help.

“Here it is three days before the changeover and we are inundated with phone calls,” Rosenberg said.

Who reads the newspaper: You’d be surprised

Recent layoffs at the San Francisco Chronicle inched it one step closer to saving itself, some would say. However, critics say the financial move is only prolonging the inevitable.

The Chronicle’s woes come on the heels of papers in several major U.S. cities making the move to online only publication, declaring bankruptcy or being sold.

The ever-changing newspaper industry has many local residents, young and old, talking about the future and the “good ole’ days” while debating whether or not the Chronicle should further take advantage of its online component – SF Gate – versus a daily, hard copy edition.

Swine flu: No cause for alarm, officials say

As swine flu claimed its first U.S. victim and a total of six Bay Area cases were confirmed, a San Francisco public health official told reporters during a press conference this week that people should not be overly alarmed about the disease.

“The disease is very similar to seasonal influenza,” said Director of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Susan Fernyak to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Tuesday at a hearing on the role supervisors would play during a city emergency.

While there are still no confirmed cases of swine flu in San Francisco, there is indication that the public is very aware about the outbreak.

Forum: New models needed to save daily newspapers

Journalists, publishers and media innovators who gathered Tuesday evening for a public forum were adamant about finding new journalism models in the wake of the San Francisco Chronicle’s cutbacks and possible closure.

“Journalism is no longer a passive activity,” said David Cohn, founder of Spot.Us, an open-source project that develops “community-funded reporting.” “Journalism is participatory. What we need are thousands of online startups. … One or two will survive.”

Public forum on Chronicle to focus on impact of possible closure

The possible closure of the San Francisco Chronicle and the unavoidable cutbacks it is facing will be the topics of a free public forum Tuesday evening at the Public Library’s main branch.

“A Conversation About The Chronicle,” sponsored by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, will give citizens the opportunity to discuss their concerns with a panel of civic leaders, business experts, journalists, publishers, non-profit foundations, media innovators and labor representatives. The forum will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium, on the lower level of the library, 100 Larkin St.

Hearst Corp. threatens to close Chronicle

The Hearst Corp. announced Tuesday that it would be forced to sell or close the San Francisco Chronicle if it could not make needed “critical” cost-cutting measures, including job cuts, in coming weeks.

The company said the paper lost $50 million in 2008. A memo to employees from the publisher, Frank Vega, said the paper could no longer bear the “staggering losses,” which he said were worsening in the current recession.

“Survival is the outcome we all want to achieve,” said a statement from Hearst quoting two top executives, Frank A. Bennack, Jr., vice chairman and chief executive officer, Hearst Corporation, and Steven R. Swartz, president of Hearst Newspapers.