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
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
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
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.
By Daniel Olavarria, Associate, Health Equity
NASTAD 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.
By Daniel Olavarria, Associate, Health Equity
Deadline: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Individuals are strongly encouraged to submit their applications before the final deadline.
The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) is looking to identify young Latino gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) who are up-and-coming leaders doing innovative work on a volunteer basis in their communities/schools to improve the well-being of other gay men/MSM.
With an emphasis on creative utilization of social media as the cornerstone of this program, NASTAD is seeking to advance the work being done by youth leaders who have identified challenges in their communities and have formulated forward-thinking solutions. This program is intended to expand the way that NASTAD connects with young people, facilitate opportunities for these men to partner with health departments and to network with each another. Continue reading
By Isaiah Webster III, Senior Manager, Health Equity/Prevention, NASTAD
In 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.