As the U.S. Supreme Court considers the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8, this Fenway Institute study seems particularly relevant.
In the 12 months following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, gay and bisexual men had a significant decrease in medical care visits, mental health care visits, and mental health care costs.
According to Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, PhD, lead author of the study, “These findings suggest that marriage equality may produce broad public health benefits by reducing the occurrence of stress-related health conditions in gay and bisexual men.”
MA does not require STD & HIV/AIDS education, although the MA Board of Education “urges local school districts to create programs which make instruction about AIDS/HIV available to every MA student at every grade level”
Local school boards decide whether or not to teach sexual education, which subjects this education must cover and the grade level in which topics are introduced
There is a statewide anti-harassment / nondiscrimination law that includes sexual orientation but NOT gender identity; furthermore, there are no statewide anti-bullying laws to protect students based on orientation / identity
Click this link to see more information about sexual health in every state!
Harvey Makadon, MD and Sean Cahill, PhD of The Fenway Institute co-authored this piece with staff from the Center for American Progress and Center of Excellence for Transgender Health.
If we want to better understand LGBT health disparities and reduce them, we must know who LGBT patients are and how to best meet their health needs. Let’s end the invisibility of LGBT people in the health system now.
New HIV infections held steady at about 50,000 in 2010, the CDC reported last month, but new infections among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are up 12% from 2008 to 2010. MSM represented 64% of new infections in 2010 compared with 61% in 2009, even though MSM comprise only 2% of the adult population. New infections were up 22% from 2008 to 2010 among MSM age 13 to 24.
Despite the disproportionate burden of HIV among MSM, especially Black MSM, targeted HIV prevention is largely targeted toward heterosexuals and other risk groups, according to an analysis conducted by The Fenway Institute last year at the request of Funders Concerned About AIDS and amFAR.
That analysis found that:
In a 2009 Wisconsin case study, among Blacks, male on male sex accounted for 58% of HIV diagnoses that year. Yet Black gay men only received 19% of targeted tests, and made up only 11% of HIV prevention clients.
Only 27% of HIV education and risk reduction funding was targeted toward MSM, according to a 2011 Centers for Disease Control analysis; 38% was targeted toward high-risk heterosexuals, while 20% was not targeted or was targeted toward other risk groups.
Only 16% of National Institutes of Health funding for HIV that was targeted to a specific risk group was allotted to MSM, according to a 2011 report by the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
“The HIV epidemic is increasingly impacting gay and bisexual men, especially Black men and young men, despite new advances in treatment and prevention,” said Kenneth Mayer, MD, Medical Research Director and Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute. “We must redouble our efforts to prevent HIV among gay men by shifting prevention funding to more closely match the incidence data.”
Many working in AIDS policy on the federal level are aware that prevention with MSM is underfunded and are working to change this. Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention for the past seven years, recently acknowledged that funding for prevention and research with gay men was “about half of what it should be.”
“Our own stigma, our own homophobia,” Fenton said, “cascades down in our funding and allocations, intentionally or unintentionally resulting in underfunding of gay men’s work across the country.” (Source, The Georgia Voice, March 30, 2012.)
The CDC recently launched new behavioral intervention programs aimed at Black gay men and transgender women. The CDC’s pro-HIV testing ads feature positive images of gay men of color. However, these don’t challenge the anti-gay prejudice that increases young gay men’s vulnerability to HIV and still discourages HIV testing in many communities. HIV is just one of many health disparities affecting gay youth. Many correlate with experiences of being bullied or socially isolated. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth are at greater risk than their heterosexual peers of violence and victimization, self-harm, substance abuse, sexually risky behavior and school absences because they feel unsafe. There are a number of resiliency factors linked to lower rates of risk behavior among LGBT youth.
Click the header link above to read the full article.
The group will be facilitated by a licensed transgender-identified clinician, aimed at trans* identified people ages 18-28 who are exploring the intersection occurring between their gender identity/expression and their sexuality/sexual identity.
This may include:
The complexities of navigating sexuality
Potential shifts in sexual attraction
Cultural shifts/shock (losing one community and gaining another) as a member of the trans community
HIV clinicians widely believe in the antiretroviral (ARV) treatment as prevention model, but they don’t necessarily apply the concept to individual patients, with only one in seven clinicians immediately starting treatment in patients, a new study has found. Published in the recent issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, the paper examined the AVR-prescribing patterns and attitudes about treatment initiation among 38 health care providers in the Bronx, New York, and Washington, DC—a sample that the researchers felt might be comparable with other urban clinicians across the country.(Click the above link to continue reading)
Until next Tuesday (12/11) at 3pm, every time you buy a ticket for the TWC bar crawl or ski trip, we will donate 10% of the proceeds to Fenway Health. And if we sell more than 20 tickets on any one day (this is where it gets “Gone Wild”), we’ll make it 15%.
The number of new HIV infections the United States remains relatively stable, standing at about 50,000 people annually.
But HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is on the rise among younger Americans under the age of 25.
In fact, too many youth in the United States continue to become infected with HIV. And few are tested.
Those are two key take away points from a new report out by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose release was timed for World AIDS Day.
Specifically, young people between the ages of 13 and 24 in the U.S. account for more than a quarter of new HIV infections each year (26 percent) while 60 percent of these youth living with HIV are unaware they are infected, according to the CDC’s Vital Signs report, released on Tuesday, November 27. (More)
5 Ways You Can Make a Difference on World AIDS Day
Lead by example: get tested! Check out our calendar for walk-in testing hours at Fenway, or visit AIDS.gov to find an HIV testing site near you.
Donate a tweet or status update to the cause. Share the importance of World AIDS Day with your social networks and encourage people to get tested. Tag World AIDS Day tweets with#wad2012. You can also share our infographics on Facebook and Tumblr to help educate your friends, family, and followers.
Join a research study. You can be a part of future advances in HIV prevention, vaccine development, and treatment.
Support HIV/AIDS research, advocacy, and care organizations. Support from the community—whether in donations or volunteer hours—can help prevent new infections, and improve the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS. At Fenway, a donation of just $25 helps us make and distribute 60 safer sex kits. $50 helps make 9 home deliveries of medication.
Anti-LGBT murders increased 11% from 2010 to 2011—from 27 to 30 murders. 40% of those murdered were transgender women. Individuals who are transgender people of color were 28% likelier to experience violence than those who aren’t.
Anyone who wants to contribute to the work done by Fenway can make a donation online here. In addition to the big, red “Give Now” button, this page also has information on our fundraisers, being a corporate sponsor, and other ways to support our work like volunteering and in-kind donations.
Here are some services donations help Fenway Health provide:
$10 helps pay for two bleach kits that can help prevent HIV transmission during drug use.
$25 helps our outreach teams distribute 60 safer sex kits.
$50 helps us make nine home deliveries of life-saving medication to elderly or homebound patients.
$100 helps us perform 4 rapid HIV tests for high-risk individuals.