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Bay Area Reporter
News Briefs: HIV Testing Day observed in SF
<p>compiled by Cynthia Laird</p>
June 27, 2013

Thursday (June 27) is National HIV Testing Day and knowing your current status just got easier in San Francisco as the San Francisco AIDS Foundation is launching #testmesf on Twitter so that people can follow the location of its mobile testing van.

"This is a fantastic new way that we are helping more people in our community connect with the HIV testing and sexual health services they need," SFAF CEO Neil Giuliano said in a statement. "Many people in San Francisco rely on Twitter for news and information. We want to make sure that we're providing them with information to improve their sexual health and let them know when our free, rapid HIV testing van is at a location near them."

The Twitter feed tells followers where the van is headed and reminds them that testing is available in different parts of the city. The van provides services four days and evenings per week in the Castro, South of Market, Mission, Bayview, and Tenderloin neighborhoods. Test results are available in about 20 minutes.

In addition to free testing and counseling, the van offers condoms and lube, sterile syringes, and referrals for sexually transmitted disease screenings.

To follow the Twitter handle, type in "testmesf" in Twitter's search window.

In related news, the UCSF Alliance Health Project will unveil its first mobile testing van Thursday at 10 a.m. at its offices at 1930 Market Street.

Spahr to come home to MCC-SF Sunday

If you're looking for a spiritual message after the craziness of Sunday's Pride parade and festival, the Reverend Jane Spar will be preaching at Metropolitan Community Church-San Francisco, 150 Eureka Street, at the 7 p.m. service June 30.

Spahr, 71, a retired Presbyterian minister, is famous for being tried for misconduct multiple times in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for performing same-sex marriages. Most recently, in May 2012, the Northern California Presbytery, which represents 52 Presbyterian churches, stood up for Spahr in a 74-18 vote against the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission's rebuke of her in 2010. The decision came after years of church court decisions that mostly went against her.

Spahr, who founded Spectrum Center, Marin County's LGBT community center, began her ministry at MCC-SF in the 1980s.

All are welcome to this celebration of living on the right side of history, said the Reverend Victor Floyd, pastor of MCC-SF.

For more information, visit

Reminder for pink triangle volunteers Saturday

Patrick Carney of Friends of the Pink Triangle wants to remind folks that volunteers are still needed for Saturday's installation atop Twin Peaks.

The pink triangle, once used by the Nazis in concentration camps to identify and shame homosexuals, has since been reclaimed by the gay community and is now a symbol of pride.

Carney noted that gay San Francisco Symphony artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas will tell the history of the pink triangle at the start of the ceremony, slated for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 29.

Before that, however, help is needed installing the large pink canvasses. The installation will take place from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Volunteers are asked to bring a hammer and gloves and wear closed-toe shoes. People should bring sunscreen. Carney said "fashionable pink triangle T-shirts will be provided to all who help."

To sign up, visit or call Carney at (415) 726-4914. The website has detailed driving directions. Additionally, volunteers are needed the evening of Sunday, June 30 to help take down the installation, for one hour or more from 5 to 8 p.m.

Real Bad Pride party

The popular Real Bad party that occurs at Folsom Street Fair time will have a special Reach Pride T-Dance party Sunday, June 30 from 5 to 11 p.m. at City Lights, 715 Harrison Street. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door.

Jonathan Foulk, who's with Real Bad and its affiliate, Grass Roots Gay Rights West, said that this year, the Real Bad party will turn 25 and to celebrate, GRGR West is hoping to raise a total of $300,000 from three parties this year. Reach is the first, he said.

An official event of San Francisco Pride, Reach will feature DJs Wayne G and Andy Almighty for a night of dancing that can't be beat, with high-energy lasers and lighting, energetic beats, and uplifting vocal anthems. Foulk noted that 100 percent of the net proceeds from Reach will benefit 10 special beneficiaries, including the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the National AIDS Memorial Grove, San Francisco Suicide Prevention, and Openhouse.

For ticket information, visit