By Dan O’Connell, Director, AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health
The AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health
In June of this year, New York’s Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, announced a plan to bring HIV below epidemic levels in New York State by 2020. In this plan, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is identified as one of three key strategies for reducing new HIV infections to sub-epidemic levels, and is a great example of how health departments can bring the domestic HIV epidemic to its end within a rapidly changing system of HIV prevention and care services and raising the bars of the HIV care continuum. Continue reading
By Christopher Cannon, Manager, Health Care Access, NASTAD
Prior to the approval of Truvada as PrEP, health departments feared there would be a rush of affluent gay men demanding access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)-the use of antiretroviral medication to prevent the infection of HIV-to abandon condom use altogether. In so doing, they would create greater health disparities among vulnerable populations like young gay and bisexual men, Black and Latino gay and bisexual men, and transgender women who are often disenfranchised. However interest in PrEP outside of clinical trials across the country has been very limited. Gilead, manufacturer of Truvada, reports only 2,319 prescriptions filled for Truvada as PrEP from January 1, 2012 (prior to FDA approval in July 2012) to September 30, 2013 in the United States, which currently has an estimated 50,000 HIV infections each year. Continue reading
June 16, 2014 – This month, as part of on-going efforts to explore and address community- and institution-level stigma impacting Black and Latino gay men and MSM within public health practice, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) are re-launching an updated survey assessment to continue efforts to monitor stigma in public health practice. Through support from the MAC AIDS Fund, NASTAD and NCSD conducted a three-year study of stigma and its impact on public health practice for Black and Latino gay men/MSM. This work included a national survey of more than 1,300 respondents; the convening of a Blue Ribbon Panel of stakeholders and medical providers; the publication of “Optimal Care Checklists” for providers and for Black and Latino gay male patients; and the convening of a National Stigma Summit on Black and Latino Gay Men’s Health. Continue reading
June 11, 2014 – The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) are launching “Addressing Stigma: A Blueprint for HIV/STD Prevention and Care Outcomes for Black and Latino Gay Men.” The blueprint contains 17 recommendations for reducing public health stigma that prevents Black and Latino gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) from receiving optimal health care. Health departments will receive four courtesy copies via mail to distribute across programs (i.e., HIV prevention and care, STD programs).
By Blake Rowley, Manager, Health Equity and Prevention, NASTAD
White House ONAP Director, Douglas M. Brooks, with Blake Rowley.
The health disparities faced by Black gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) have become one of the most salient issues of the day. A number of issue briefs, memoranda, and speeches addressing the State of the Black Gay Union have stated the importance of this issue; however, far less has been done to address the issues this community faces or empower key stakeholders. The Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative (YBGLI) is a national coalition of young Black gay, bisexual, same gender loving men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) from around the country addressing issues disproportionately affecting their peers, especially HIV prevention, care and treatment. Additionally, the YBGLI seeks to build and cultivate young leaders within the Black gay community, creating space for more young Black gay men to take the torch when the time comes and continue the fight against HIV. Further, YBGLI seeks to develop the capacity and knowledge of the larger young Black gay male community. Continue reading