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Surge In Home Testing Sales Followed Charlie Sheen’s HIV Disclosure

Actor Charlie Sheen’s disclosure that he is HIV positive appears to have had a striking effect on sales of home HIV testing kits, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that, after Sheen announced he had HIV on Nov. 17, 2015, sales of home HIV testing kits doubled in the United States — from about 3,500 kits per week before the announcement, to 7,000 kits the week of the announcement. And this boost in sales continued for several more weeks.

“It’s hard to appreciate the magnitude of Sheen’s disclosure,” study co-author Benjamin Althouse, a research scientist with the Institute of Disease Modeling in Bellevue, Washington, said in a statement. “When we compared Sheen’s disclosure to other traditional awareness campaigns, the ‘Charlie Sheen effect’ is astonishing,” Althouse said. [10 Celebrities with Chronic Illnesses]

In fact, the researchers estimated that sales of home HIV testing kits were nearly eight times greater around the time of Sheen’s announcement, compared with sales around the time of World AIDS Day (December 1), one of the most high-profile HIV awareness campaigns.

Previously, the same researchers found that, after Sheen’s HIV disclosure, there was a large uptick in internet searches for information on HIV testing and prevention.

In the new study, the researchers wanted to know whether this increase in internet searches corresponded to an increase in people actually getting tested for HIV.

So the researchers collected data on weekly sales of OraQuick, an in-home HIV testing kit. OraQuick is one of only two home HIV testing kits currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and OraQuick is the only kit that allows users to get their results at home within minutes of taking the test, rather than sending their sample to a lab to be tested.

The researchers estimated that there were 8,225 more kits sold over the weeks following Sheen’s disclosure than would have been expected based on prior sales of the product.

The findings “reinforce how celebrity can impact health decision-making…and make an even stronger case that Sheen’s disclosure promoted HIV prevention,” the researchers wrote in their findings, published today (May 18) in the journal Prevention Science.

Celebrities have been known to influence rates of health screenings. In 2013, there was a rise in rates of genetic testing for breast cancer genes after actress Angelina Jolie disclosed that she was a carrier of the BRCA gene, and had undergone a double mastectomy to lower her risk of developing the disease.

The new findings also suggest that internet search data can be a good predictor of people’s actual health behaviors, given that people’s internet searches for HIV testing information corresponded with an increase in HIV testing kit sales, the researchers said.

Original article on Live Science.

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This Little Boy Had A ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’-Themed Birthday Party And It Was Awesome

We’ve seen a Costco birthday party, personal injury lawyer-themed birthday party, “Golden Girls” party and even a poop-themed birthday party. But we must admit we have a special affection for this little boy’s “Mrs. Doubtfire” party.

Evan Kowalski of Wyandotte, Michigan celebrated his 4th birthday with a fun-filled tribute to the iconic Robin Williams film. “My son saw the movie about six months ago and just loved it!” his mom, Laura, told HuffPost. “He thought it was very funny and who doesn’t love Robin Williams?”

The little boy’s “Mrs. Doubtfire”-themed party took place on May 13 at Downriver Gymnastics in Southgate. The event featured drawings of Euphegenia Doubtfire, a custom cake, and a “run-by fruiting” sign with fruit kabob snacks.

The goodie bags were personalized with “Thank you for coming, _____ dear” messages for each guest.

Laura credits many helpers with bringing the party together somewhat last-minute. Her mom, Pamela, and cousin, John, helped with the decorations.

“All of this was done SO fast, just to make a 4-year-old boy happy!” Laura said. “It’s really incredible.”

The mom said she’s been fortunate to have support from friends and family, as her husband’s job often requires him to be away. “My motto with parenting is it takes a village!” she said, adding that she turned to an even wider village of people to figure out the birthday cake.

“I was thrown for such a loop when Evan said he wanted a ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ party, so I quickly posted on a local Facebook page, Downriver and Friends looking for a baker. That’s how I found Angie Claxon (Cakes by Sweetypants), who made the amazing cake.”

Evan loved every minute of the party, but his favorite part was definitely the cake, which featured several elements from the movie ― including the infamous face cream scene. “It met ALL of his expectations,” the mom said. Evan’s 7-year-old sister, Allison, and 12-year-old brother, Ethan were also big fans.

Laura told HuffPost she’s been overwhelmed by the positive response to Evan’s party. After the mom shared photos from the event on social media, a local news station reached out to do a segment about it.

“I never in a million years expected it to get attention outside friends and family,” she said. “It’s been so fun, though! Definitely something for the baby book.”

H/T BabyCenter

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Justin Trudeau Photobombs A Prom Picture, Which Makes Him King

Prom nights often include awkward moments with your date and partying.

But a chance meeting with a head of state while he’s exercising?

Nope, that’s a new one.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to jog mostly unnoticed by a group of prom revelers in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday night.

His photographer, Adam Scotti, captured the moment and wrote in a Sunday Instagram post that he’s chronicling the PM’s runs in a small side project and loves watching the reactions of people “as they realise who just ran past.”

It seems the group, at the Stanley Park Seawall, did finally recognize the photobomb-inclined Trudeau. He stopped for a photo with them.

Sure beats a corsage as a souvenir.

#VCProm2017

A post shared by Cam Corrado (@crrdo) on May 20, 2017 at 12:33pm PDT

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Tom Hanks Calls Out Driver With Many Parking Tickets On Twitter

Tom Hanks has embraced his new real-life role of parking-ticket narc.

The “Forrest Gump” actor on Saturday ratted out an apparent scofflaw in New York City by tweeting a picture of a car with several tickets crammed onto the windshield. Hollywood script writers should take note of his to-the-point message.

Sir? Move. Your. Car! Hanx pic.twitter.com/LJ86qW54Z4

— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) May 20, 2017

Now Manhattan is not an uninhabited island like Hanks washed ashore on in “Cast Away,” so word traveled fast. NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald responded.

@tomhanks Can you tell us where the car is parked? Thanks for the flag @tomhanks

— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) May 20, 2017

Cops located the car on the Upper East Side’s East 79th Street and Park Avenue, and discovered that the tickets had been paid.

Detective Turner & K9 Hooch investigated the vehicle, found all tickets were paid, & car has been moved. Thanks Mr. @tomhanks https://t.co/Rj5kGpQoat

— NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) May 20, 2017

We checked the license plate and there are no outstanding summonses,” a police source told the New York Daily News. “He probably pays them online but leaves them on his windshield.”

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Cher Makes Us ‘Believe’ At The Billboard Music Awards

The spirit of the late ‘90s was alive and well at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night.

Shortly after Celine Dion sang her 1997 hit “My Heart Will Go On,” Cher killed it onstage with her 1998 No. 1 song “Believe.” She then turned back time to 1989, performing “If I Could Turn Back Time,” in a similar outfit to the one she wore in her legendary music video filmed aboard the USS Missouri.

Jesus Christ you can watch Twin Peaks later @cher is on Billboard and singing If I Could Turn Back Time in the ORIGINAL OUTFIT. She’s 71

— billy eichner (@billyeichner) May 22, 2017

Everyone was taken with Cher’s performance, even Dion:

Check it out #CelineDion sings along with @cher backstage at the #BBMAs!!! pic.twitter.com/sU6bdINgAa

— KiSS 92.5 (@KiSS925) May 22, 2017

After her two powerhouse performances, Cher was presented with the Icon Award by Gwen Stefani.

“So, I’ve wanted to do what I do since I was 4 years old, and I’ve been doing it for 53 years,” Cher said as the crowd broke out in applause. “That’s not an applause thing. I’m 71 yesterday. And I can do a 5-minute plank. OK? Just saying.”

She continued, “I want to thank my mom. When I was really young my mom said, ‘You’re not going to be the smartest, you’re not going to be the prettiest. You’re not going to be the most talented. But you’re going to be special. And then when I met Sonny [Bono], he said the same thing. And there was really nothing about me that lead anyone [else] to believe that I was going to be special.”

Cher wrapped up her speech by crediting a lot of her success to plain old luck.

“I work with people you might not know, but they are like the greatest people in our industry,” she told the crowd. “And I just have to say I think luck has so much to do with my success. I think it was mostly luck and a little bit of something thrown in.”

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Billy Bush Plans Return To TV After Soul-Searching And Walking On Fire

Former ‘Access Hollywood’ superstar and ‘Today’ show host Billy Bush is ready to get back to work, seven and a half months after being fired for his role in a 2005 recording in which Donald Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women.

In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Sunday, Bush described the months following a Washington Post report about a now-infamous hot-mic recording as a “roller coaster” that “hurt a lot.”

Bush was suspended then fired by NBC 10 days after the contents of the recording were reported; he received a multimillion-dollar severance package and Trump went on to become president.

“That early part was just chaos. But then things progressed, and when you have a big, traumatic event, you go through stages, and it led to acceptance and understanding. And then I found myself in a place of soul searching. And I developed a commitment to become a better, fuller man.”

Bush went on to say once the tape was released he initially expected to “work through it.”

“I put together an apology right away, the one you saw; I told people that I was ashamed and embarrassed. And I was,” he told the Reporter, later describing his participation in the clip as “awful.”

“It was my first year as co-host of ‘Access Hollywood,’ and I was an insecure person, a bit of a pleaser, wanting celebrities to like me and fit in.”

Bush noted he was frequently around Trump during the time the recording was made, when Trump’s show “The Apprentice” was a primetime behemoth in its second season. He said he hadn’t heard such a profane level of commentary (”I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”) about women from the then-reality star before.

“I don’t recall anything to that degree,” Bush said. “But he’s a provocateur. Shocking statements flow like wine from him. And he likes to captivate an audience.”

“I felt that, in that moment, he was being typically Donald, which is performing and shocking. Almost like Andrew Dice Clay, the stand-up comedian: Does he really do the things that he’s saying or is that his act? And in Donald’s case, I equated it that way. When he said what he said, I’d like to think if I had thought for a minute that there was a grown man detailing his sexual assault strategy to me, I’d have called the FBI.”

Bush went on to say he spent time at a weeklong retreat as part of a soul searching initiative, and spent time with self-help guru Tony Robbins that included walking on fire.

“And I’ve done a lot of reading. I’m reading a book now called ‘The Power of Now,’ by Eckhart Tolle. I’ve gotten into a lot of meditation and yoga. Mindfulness meditation is a powerful thing.”

He said he has no desire to interview Trump after the scandal and has not heard from the President since. But he plans to return to television in the future.

“I have changed in a way that I think will make me better at my job,” he said.

Read the full interview at The Hollywood Reporter.

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‘Backpack Kid’ Upstaged Katy Perry On ‘SNL’ And Mesmerized The Internet

It takes a lot to upstage Katy Perry, but Backpack Kid managed to do it.

Perry, who channeled Beetlejuice in a black and white striped coat, performed “Swish Swish” ― which is thought to be a Taylor Swift diss track ― on the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.

The pop star was flanked by drag queens on both sides of a runway, before she moved aside to let them do their thing. Then a star was born:

Backpack Kid, as the people of Twitter dubbed him, stepped onto the runway and mesmerized the world with his backpack and the way he moved. (For the record, Backpack Kid’s real name is Russell Horning, he’s 15, and he’s on Instagram.)

People were delighted. They were in awe. They were confused. They had questions. They knew he had stolen the show.

that backpack kid is gonna be famous #SNLFinale

— SNL Fans (@snltrivia) May 21, 2017

But why was the kid wearing a backpack??? What was inside of it?????? #SNL

— Melissa Rosenberg (@melroseee) May 21, 2017

I honestly don’t understand what’s up with the kid in the backpack swinging his arms. Let’s just say I’m old. #SNL

— Tom Brazelton (@tombrazelton) May 21, 2017

I’m going as the backpack swish arms kid for Halloween. #snl #SNLFinale #KatyPerry

— Josh Perilo (@joshperilo) May 21, 2017

Backpack kid 2020 #SNL #KatyPerry

— Dont Thinkso (@DontThinkso555) May 21, 2017

Ok how do I get a temp role as the backpack kid dancing with Katy Perry? #snl

— Sam Gutentag (@samgutentag) May 21, 2017

@nbcsnl what did I just watch? Why was there a pre-teen with a backpack? #somanyquestions @katyperry

— Delaney Larkin (@delaneylarkin2) May 21, 2017

The kid with the backpack just made the the happiest person on earth #KatyPerry #SNLFinale #SNL #SwishSwish

— Betty Rohan (@bettyrohan) May 21, 2017

Will we see more of Backpack Kid? Time will tell.

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The Rock Announced His 2020 Presidential Bid On ‘SNL’ (Kind Of)

One of the most likable men in Hollywood may have just announced his presidential bid for 2020.

After weeks of teasing a run for presidency, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson told America “I’m in” during the season finale of “Saturday Night Live.” The pro wrestler-turned-actor said he was officially running for president starting that night, right after Alec Baldwin awarded him his Five-Timers club velvet jacket, which marks Johnson’s fifth time hosting the show.

“In the past, I never would have considered running for president. I mean, I didn’t think I was qualified at all,” Johnson joked. “But now I’m actually worried that I’m too qualified.”

Johnson also took the time to announce his running mate: the equally-likable celebrity Tom Hanks.

It’s really happening. #JohnsonHanks2020 https://t.co/OywA29lUoT #SNLFinale pic.twitter.com/QqYO58YzLu

— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) May 21, 2017

The charming duo made their case for why they are the perfect picks to lead the United States of America ― and they were fairly convincing.

“The truth is, America needs us,” Hanks said. “No one can seem to agree on anything anymore except for two things: pizza and us.”

Hanks joked that the duo would get 100 percent of the vote because Hanks ― who’s “fought in World War II in like 10 different movies” ― would win the senior vote.

“And I, of course, would get the minority vote,” Johnson added. “Because everyone just assumes that I’m, well, whatever they are.”

Johnson delighted fans this month when he discussed his political ambitions in a GQ profile and called a presidential campaign “a real possibility.” His bid became even more of a possibility when a national poll revealed that Johnson could potentially win over President Donald Trump if he ran as a Democrat in the 2020 presidential election.

The actor later said in the monologue that he and Hanks were only joking, but then he offered a few words of patriotic encouragement.

“When it comes to politics, we need more poise and less noise,” Johnson said thoughtfully. “Americans deserve strong capable leaders ― leaders who care about this country and care about its people.”

To which Hanks replied, “Uh, Dwayne, that kind of sounds like you and me.”

Then, with their hands held high, the two national treasures dropped their campaign banner and yelled, “We’re doing it!”

So is Johnson-Hanks 2020 really happening? Only time will tell.

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Lena Dunham In ‘Greatest Amount of Physical Pain’ She’s Ever Experienced

Healing takes time, so Lena Dunham is taking some time off.

On Friday, the “Girls” creator announced that she is canceling the upcoming “Lenny Letter: America IRL” tour due to her battle with endometriosis by way of a candid letter to her readers on the newsletter’s website.

“To be perfectly honest, Im in the greatest amount of physical pain that I have ever experienced. After being told I was endometriosis-free after my last procedure, more disease was found in deeper spots that required immediate surgery and now physical therapy,” she wrote. “This disease is wily and unrelenting, and Im really blessed to have a community, both online and IRL, who let me express how hard that is. Inspired by you, Im gonna say ‘Eff you’ to embarrassment and walk the walk of a woman who really takes care of herself. My goals have to be simplified for this moment: to write and to heal.”

Met ready

A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on May 1, 2017 at 12:04pm PDT

In recent weeks, Dunham has been sidelined because of the chronic and painful disorder after she was rushed to the emergency room following a red carpet appearance at the Met Gala. The actress experienced complications from a recent surgery, which she hoped at the time would alleviate her discomfort. After a four-day hospital stay, Dunham returned home and has been resting ever since.

The “Lenny Letter: America IRL” was set to bring Dunham and her fellow newsletter contributors, like Sasheer Zamata of “Saturday Night Live,” to audiences across the country with a six-city tour starting on May 31. In light of the cancellation, Dunham promised that tickets will be refunded and the tour will happen one day once her “uterus has taken a chill pill.”

“In the meantime, I encourage you all to gather your girls for evenings of dissent and laughter and wine and analysis and bingeing of ‘Fleabag’ and ‘Chewing Gum,’” Dunham added. “Holding each other close and giving of ourselves is the most radical thing we can do right now.”

To read the Dunham’s full letter, head over to Lenny Letter.

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Ruby Rose Drags ‘Bully’ Katy Perry For New ‘Sloppy Mess’ Singles

If you need Katy Perry, she’ll be right with you after Ruby Rose is done dragging her for basically being the mayor of flop city.

The “Orange Is the New Black” star, who counts herself as a member of Taylor Swift‘s squad, went in and then some on Perry Friday with a series of tweets attacking the singer’s recent singles and era of purposeful pop.

Ahead of her new album “Witness,” Perry has rebranded herself as political pop star of sorts with her lead single “Chained to the Rhythm” about being comfortable living in a bubble (bubble). She then released the poorly received “Bon Appétit,” which underwhelmed after debuting at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

After Perry unleashed her newest single, “Swish Swish,” featuring Nicki Minaj onto the world at midnight Friday, which some have interpreted as a Swift diss track, Rose apparently had enough and slammed the singer for her “sloppy mess” writing.

“’Purposeful poop’ to ‘bomb a petit’ to a sloppy mess of writing over the top of Funkagenda..stop trying to make ‘Wit..I mean ‘fetch’ happen,” she wrote, presumably cutting herself off before writing “Witness.”

“Purposeful poop” to “bomb a petit” to a sloppy mess of writing over the top of Funkagenda..stop trying to make ‘Wit..I mean “fetch” happen.

— Ruby Rose (@RubyRose) May 19, 2017

However, Rose did have the foresight not to drag Nicki Minaj into this (see: Miley, what’s good?) and made sure to clarify that her distaste for the new single had everything to do with Perry and not the rapper.

“Not gonna lie, Nicki is great on it and basically the only part that doesn’t sound a mess,” Rose wrote. “I toured with Nicki. She was very nice. Very funny and very talented.”

@ROMANZOLANZSKI Not gonna lie Nicki is great on it and basically the only part that doesn’t sound a mess

— Ruby Rose (@RubyRose) May 19, 2017

@Rikkasouledge @ROMANZOLANZSKI I toured with Nicki. She was very nice. Very funny and very talented.

— Ruby Rose (@RubyRose) May 19, 2017

But the down-with-Katy-Perry train was just leaving the station, as the Australian actress continued to bash the pop star, questioning her political activism credibility and then some.

“I just think with everything going on in the world to go from rebranding as political activist only to ditch it and go low.. is.. a bummer,” Rose tweeted.

I just think with everything going on in the world to go from rebranding as political activist only to ditch it and go low.. is.. a bummer.

— Ruby Rose (@RubyRose) May 19, 2017

“I’ve always stood up for the people I love and against things I think are cheap or mean spirited. That’s not new. You have to follow your [heart],” she continued.

I’ve always stood up for the people I love and against things I think are cheap or mean spirited. That’s not new. You have to follow your ❤️

— Ruby Rose (@RubyRose) May 19, 2017

Perry fans quickly descended on Rose’s account, filling her mentions with digs at her level of fame and accusing her of being a hypocrite for backing friend Taylor Swift’s faux-feminist anthem “Bad Blood,” which was rumored to have been written about Perry.

When one fan pointed out the double standard, Rose defended herself by labelling Perry as a bully, writing, “Wasn’t around sweetheart but my bully experiences came from one of the people involved in that song and it’s obviously not T.”

@jamescochranee Wasn’t around sweetheart but my bully experiences came from one of the people involved in that song and it’s obviously not T.

— Ruby Rose (@RubyRose) May 19, 2017

But Rose wasn’t done just yet. For her last act, she sent a clear message to all Perry stans that took issue with her tweetstorm. Instead of waisting their time plotting her destruction, she encouraged them to go buy her new singles.

“You are her fans you should buy all her songs so the songs will finally chart,” Rose wrote. “If as many as tweeted me bought her last 3 .. they’d be hits.”

You are her fans you should buy all her songs so the songs will finally chart. If as many as tweeted me bought her last 3 .. the’d be hits https://t.co/lrnBNP3S1E

— Ruby Rose (@RubyRose) May 19, 2017

We don’t say this lightly, but … baby, now we’ve definitely got bad blood.

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