Silence Isn’t Safety: Bringing True Awareness to National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Justin T. Rush, Nicholas A. Rango Fellow, NASTAD

As the Nicholas A. Rango Fellow at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), I have the fortunate and unique opportunity to provide technical assistance to 12 health department jurisdictions on what each can be doing to respond to the high HIV incidence among Black gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) within their localities. This means that, as it pertains to addressing the needs of Black gay men/MSM, I play a pivotal role at NASTAD in assisting state health departments with meeting those needs. Admittedly, being seen as the “go to” for Black gay men’s issues can be a bit daunting. So when I was tasked with kicking off this blog series focused on highlighting National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I had to take a step back and reflect. I had to ask myself: With an awareness day for seemingly every day of every year, what could we do to truly have an impact on HIV within the Black community? Continue reading

The Unspoken Legacy of Governor Mario M. Cuomo

By Julie M. Scofield, Executive Director, NASTAD

Former Governor Mario CuomoWhile some may choose to remember former Governor Mario M. Cuomo for the two chartered airplanes on the tarmac in December 1991 and a legacy lacking a signature initiative, I choose to remember the late Governor for setting the stage for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s “Plan to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York State.” What has yet to be said in the news of Governor Cuomo’s passing is that in addition to a recession and divided legislature, Governor Mario M. Cuomo led New York State at the height of the AIDS epidemic when there was very little to offer those who were sick and dying rapidly. In 1983 when Governor Cuomo took office very little was known about AIDS – the case definition had just come out in September of 1982. By the end of Governor Cuomo’s first year in office, New York State had 1,373 cumulative cases of AIDS, 44.8% of the national total reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by that time. Continue reading

Partnering with Legislators, Policymakers and Advocates to Improve Health Outcomes for Black Gay Men

By Justin T. Rush, Nicholas A. Rango Fellow, NASTAD

Georgia Sexual Health Policy SymposiumIn order to educate policymakers and community members on a number of sexual health topics, NASTAD partnered with the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) and the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus (GLBC) to host the Georgia Sexual Health Policy Symposium on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2014. Convened with the purpose of advancing sexual health outcomes in Georgia, the symposium was an opportunity for legislators, policymakers and advocates to reverse the tide of rapidly increasing rates of STDs, including HIV amongst marginalized populations, specifically among Black gay men/MSM. Continue reading

Year in Review: Top Blog Series

By Michelle Allen, Senior Associate, Communications, NASTAD

As we prepare to close out the year, we at NASTAD are looking back at some of the stories and content that generated the most interest on website and blog in 2014. We encourage you to revisit these stories and share the information as you prepare your jurisdiction or organization for the New Year. Continue reading

Year in Review: Top 10 Health Department HIV Program Resources for 2014

By Michelle Allen, Senior Associate, Communications, NASTAD

NASTAD LogoAs we prepare to close out the year, we at NASTAD are looking back at some of the stories and content that generated the most interest on our website and blog in 2014. We encourage you to revisit these stories and share the information as you prepare your jurisdiction or organization for the New Year. Continue reading