Collaborating with Health Departments to Address the Needs of Native American Transgender Communities

By Lynne Greabell, Director of Member Service and Leadership Development, NASTAD

 Resources for Health Departments Working with Native American Communities

It is important for health departments that have a significant population of Native Americans to address the risk of HIV, STDs and viral hepatitis among Native transgender people. The risk for HIV infection among Native transgender people is evidenced by the fact that higher percentages of Native American GLBTQ youth report high-risk behavior among all youth, that the impacts of co-occurring factors that contribute to HIV risk such as suicides, substance use/abuse and other STDs are higher among Native Transgender people, and that 75% of HIV infections among Native American men were among men who have sex with men (MSM) in 2011.

How One Health Department is Working with the Transgender Community: A Case Study in Montana

By Laurie Kops, STD/HIV Section Supervisor, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Laurie Kops, STD/HIV Section Supervisor, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Laurie Kops, STD/HIV Section Supervisor, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

It would be fair to say that many in Montana, including those in public and private health agencies, would be quite stunned to realize the significant number of transgender, gender-nonconforming, and gender-variant individuals living in this vast state, even though we are not able to accurately quantify this demographic. As populations that are under-recognized, underserved, stigmatized and at risk for HIV and STD infection, it is imperative that support, services and understanding be generously and vigorously offered.

The Montana HIV Planning Group (HPG) has been a champion in many areas. The group has been a progressive, integrated (HIV prevention, HIV treatment, STD prevention and Hepatitis prevention) HPG for years, and has provided thoughtful consideration during the myriad of changes in HIV prevention interventions and services. In addition, HPG members have been a voice in local communities against stigma and discrimination, and, most recently, agreed that it is vital to examine the health needs of the transgender, gender-nonconforming, and gender-variant populations. Continue reading

When You Are Not Counted, You Don’t Count

By JoAnne Keatley, MSW, Director and Co-Principal Investigator, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at the University of California San Francisco

JoAnne Keatley, MSW, Director and Co-Principal Investigator, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at the University of California San Francisco

JoAnne Keatley, MSW, Director and Co-Principal Investigator, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at the University of California San Francisco

November has been designated as the National Transgender Awareness Month in order to raise awareness of issues that affect the transgender (trans) community. November 20th is the National Transgender Remembrance Day, an opportunity for the trans community and its allies to stand up against the lack of legal and workplace protection from discrimination and the transphobic violence that threatens daily life. For example, trans youth are harassed and bullied in schools or worse. In Oakland, my own backyard, a 16 year old was set on fire on a municipal bus traveling home from school merely for being their authentic self, because they were assigned a male sex at birth and had dared to wear a skirt and use gender neutral pronouns. This is terrible, heart breaking, and tragic.

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The Health Department Response to HIV in Latino Communities

By Daniel Olavarria, Associate, Health Equity

National Latino AIDS Awareness DayNASTAD is proud to observe National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). Established in 2003, NLAAD is dedicated to drawing attention to the impact of HIV/AIDS on the growing Latino communities across the United States, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The 2013 theme is “Commit to Speak”/“Comprométete a Hablar”. Every October 15th, partners across the United States raise their collective voice to promote HIV/AIDS education, prevention, testing, treatment, and overall awareness for Latino communities.

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How Health Departments Are Responding to HIV and Hepatitis Among Gay Men

By Isaiah Webster III, Senior Manager, Health Equity/Prevention, NASTAD

CONCEPTS: A Health Department Response to the HIV, STD, and Viral Hepatitis Epidemics Among Gay Men/MSM in the United StatesIn observance of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NGMHAAD) (September 27th), NASTAD is proud to release CONCEPTS: A Health Department Response to the HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis Epidemics Among Gay Men/MSM in the United States.”

“CONCEPTS” is a collection of activities that state health departments are currently implementing to meet the public health challenges facing gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The document was spearheaded by NASTAD’s Gay Men’s Health Equity Work Group, and follows the 2012 release of NASTAD’s policy statement on gay men, “Getting to Zero: Scaling-Up Health Department Strategies for Gay Men/MSM.” Health departments across the United States continue to face many challenges in addressing the epidemic among gay men/MSM, and “CONCEPTS” offers activities that could be adapted to meet the needs of these men in any region of the country.
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