Japan Today, can you update the caption on that photo to something a little less weird? It's clear that they're a same sex couple. More importantly, they're just a couple. You wouldn't label a photo of an interracial couple as "Steve and Jane, a black and white mixed couple" or a straight couple as "Mark and Susan, a straight couple". They're just A COUPLE!
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Sounds like the issue was more that there was a lack of organization on the part of officials to handle the influx of people and resulting trash. You go to any organized event in Japan and there are multiple trash stations with volunteers manning the sorting. Japanese officials wouldn't dare provide this because it would be acknowledgment that a foreign-born celebration is taking hold in Japan and people are actually enjoying themselves as opposed to being the robots they are supposed to be. So the trash piles up and the bitter old men grumble under their breath about the foreigners who are of course to blame.
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I can't speak for the "gays" like some have but as for myself (gay) and every one of my gay friends...none of us could stand him. He was tasteless and offensive and like every other gay talento on J-TV, was a stereotype that didn't do a single thing to advance gay rights in Japan. It's 2013, marriage is legal in so many countries, progress can be seen everywhere, but it's no easier for any of my Japanese friends to come out to their family now than it was 15 years ago when I first came to Japan. Hard Gay did absolutely nothing to make people more at ease with gay men and women in Japan.
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And there you have it...the problem with Japanese politics and Japan in general. Japan, like most of the world, is highly connected and gets its information/communicates via the internet. Meanwhile politicians are still hanging out truck windows, waving frantically...and being ignored. The contrast of old and new you see all over Japan is sometimes a beautiful thing, but other times it seriously holds the country back from being great.
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"National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Shinjuku says that even with national health insurance, monthly out-of-pocket costs will easily come to 60,000 yen"...
It's stuff like this that scare people into never getting tested, thereby spreading the disease and not getting treatment until it's too late. Scaring people into getting tested never works.
I guess I'm one of those 16 foreign nationals that tested positive last year. Leading up to finally getting tested, I would have read every single article on here related to HIV so hoping that others in the same boat will read this.
Go and get tested. HIV is a manageable disease now and you can expect to live just about as long as you would without it. Japan has access to almost all of the same drugs as you would find elsewhere. If you are on national healthcare, you will only need to pay ¥20,000 a month for medication and that's assuming you need them. You may not need them for up to 10 years.
The healthcare system here isn't the greatest, but when it comes to HIV, you'll no longer be visiting dodgy clinics, but have access to some wonderful doctors and social workers (my experience is in Tokyo so I can't speak for elsewhere).
You don't need to tell anyone, you won't need to take time off work or lose your job (assuming you don't wait until you are sick to get tested) and nothing will change. At some point you may need to take a pill once a day. That's it.
Getting tested is the only way to find out and the peace of mind you'll have either way is much better than the stress of not knowing.
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