By Drew Daniels, Manager, Communications, NASTAD

NASTAD is excited to announce that we will be in attendance at the 2015 National African American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS and other Health Disparities. The conference is sponsored by National AIDS & Education Service for Minorities (NAESM), and focuses on how to address health equity and utilize social justice in order to meet the challenge of improving Black gay men’s health. The theme for this year’s conference is “Leading the Movement: Pursuing Health Equity through Social Justice.”

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Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook to receive updates and key takeaways from the conference. Stay tuned to our blog for select program highlights after the conference as well.

Sessions and Seminars
We’re excited to have representatives from NASTAD and members of our advisory panel from Center for Engaging Black MSM Across the Care Continuum (CEBACC) present during the conference. If you’re in attendance, please be sure to attend one of the sessions:

Making it Reel: A Guide to Creating an Effective and Remarkable Personal Narrative
Blake Rowley & Patrick Ingram
Thursday, January 15 at 8:30 – 11:30 PM
Room: Narita

Creating a Powerful Black Gay Lobby 
Justin Rush
Thursday, January 15 at 8:30 – 11:30 PM
Room: Davinci II Institute
What’s Going on Online with Black Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM): How Black MSM are Using Social Media
Meico Whitlock
Thursday, January 15 at 8:30 – 11:30 AM
Room: Templehoff

The Provocative Professor: Pornography as a tool for sex education and maintaining HIV-negative status among Young Black Men who have sex with men
Dr. Mitchell Wharton
Friday, January 16 at 10:15 – 11:45 AM
Room: Concourse A

Strengths and Deficits: Measuring HIV Knowledge and Young Black MSM
Dr. Mitchell Wharton
Saturday, January 17 at 10:15 – 11:45 AM
Room: Narita

Additional information about the conference and special events can be found here.

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

Improving the Sexual Health of Black Gay Men: A Health Department Approach

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

2014 ManDate Conference

2014 ManDate Conference

At the beginning of her term as Chair of the National Alliance of State and Territorial Directors (NASTAD), Maria Courogen, Director of the Office of Infectious Disease for the Washington State Department of Health, charged health department HIV and viral hepatitis program staff across the nation with an ambitious yet important task: meet people where they are; go into communities where HIV is most prevalent and truly engage in those settings in a meaningful and equitable way. The notion was a simple and impactful one, leaning on the idea that people are not just their HIV status. Instead, there is a myriad of experiences – some stigmatizing – that many groups, most notably Black gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), encounter and it takes understanding and working through those experiences to truly have an impact. Continue reading

NASTAD and NCSD Launch Stigma Toolkit for Black and Latino Gay Men

Stigma ToolkitJune 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).

Continue reading

How Black Gay Men Are Taking a Lead in the Fight against HIV

By Blake Rowley, Manager, Health Equity and Prevention, NASTAD

White House ONAP Director, Douglas M. Brooks, with Blake Rowley.

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