Sunday March 24, 2019

iPhone app to address health issues of LGBT community

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www.imore.com

New York: A team of researchers is launching a new study with the help of an iPhone app to look into the health and wellness issues of LGBT people.

A new ‘ResearchKit’ app developed by the University of California at San Francisco will survey a wide range of LGBT folks about health issues like HIV/AIDS, smoking, cancer, obesity, mental issues and depression, macworld.com reported.

Launched last March during Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ event, the open-source ResearchKit framework has already been used to develop apps to conduct research on diabetes, breast cancer, asthma, cardiovascular disease and Parkinson’s disease using information collected by iPhone sensors and user surveys.

www.thetimesgazette.com
www.thetimesgazette.com

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called ResearchKit as “perhaps the most profound change and positive impact the iPhone will make on our health”.

The study called ‘PRIDE Study’, is meant to shed some light on the unique health needs of LGBT folks.

“The main question there is, what is the relationship between being LGBTQ — or more broadly a sexual or gender minority person — and mental and physical health?” , Mitchell Lunn, co-director of the PRIDE Study at UCSF, was quoted as saying.

Lunn is hoping that the study will be useful in addressing the health concerns of transgender and bisexual people, an understudied segment of the LGBT population.

LGBT health advocates are optimistic about the vast potential of tapping into the iPhone’s massive user base to gather this vital information.

Finding people to sign up for a medical study and getting them to come to a clinic is very difficult. Now they can simply submit information on their iPhones from their place.

The study will also ask people to suggest which health topics pertaining to the LGBT community they want the study to address and the UCSF researchers will compile that user feedback to create the final survey questions.

(IANS)

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Indonesian Government Forces Instagram to Close Pro-LGBT Account

Nearly 88 per cent of Indonesia's over 260 million people are Muslims and the majority of them are said to be moderates

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pride flag
The rainbow pride flag of the LGBT community. wikimedia

Popular social network Instagram on Wednesday suspended an account which published comics discussing the problems and acceptance issues faced by the Muslim LGBT community in Indonesia.

The move came after the government asked the social network to remove the gay-friendly account that allegedly published cartoons containing pornographic material and riling many in the country – home to the world’s largest Muslim population.

The Ministry of Information and Communication alleged in a statement that the account, run by a user known only as @Alpantuni, violated the Electronic Information and Transactions Law by distributing content that “breached decency”, according to Efe news.

The Ministry thanked users for their complaints which “accelerated the process” against the handle.

LGBT, Thailand
Thai LGBT community participates in Gay Freedom Day Parade in Bangkok, Thailand. VOA

The comic strips, which showed Muslim gay characters and criticized homophobia and religious fundamentalism in the country, were targeted by a large number of Instagram users, who tagged the Ministry in their comments.

Instagram took the decision after Communication Minister Rudiantara on Monday threatened to shut down the platform in the country unless the company took steps to fulfil the Ministry’s demand.

Homosexuality is legal across Indonesia – except for in Sharia law-ruled Aceh province – and though the LGBT community has yet to meet acceptance, it had been tolerated in the past.

But the Electronic Information and Transactions (EIT) law and the law against pornography have often been used in Indonesia to criminalize homosexuality and the LGBT community, according to non-profit Human Rights Watch.

Edith Windsor
Edie dearly loved the LGBTQ community which loved her right back and held her in reverence for her fight for freedom, equality, and justice. Wikemedia

In February 2018, the government blocked more than 200 mobile applications and websites with content related to homosexuality.

Months later in October, the police arrested two people on the Java Island for running a Facebook page for gays, accusing them of publishing pornography and pressing charges under the EIT law.

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To “safeguard” moral norms on the Internet, the Ministry of Communication has also threatened to shut down other social networks and messaging apps in recent years apart from blocking hundreds of webpages and apps carrying content that promotes homosexuality.

Nearly 88 per cent of Indonesia’s over 260 million people are Muslims and the majority of them are said to be moderates. (IANS)