By Dr. Shanell L. McGoy, Director of HIV/STD, Tennessee Department of Health
Dr. Shanell L. McGoy
Dr. Maya Angelou’s pen was silenced earlier this year; yet her bold, brilliant, and beautifully crafted words will live forever. Her words speak of love – self-love and love for others, resilience, and the richness of diversity. Dr. Maya Angelou wrote, “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value.” The 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States are as richly diverse as the tapestry Dr. Angelou describes in her poignant quote. HIV/AIDS knows no boundaries, no specific race or ethnicity, age, gender, sexual preference, education level, profession, income, or religion. Though we know that there are well documented HIV-related disparities that exist across a variety of demographics, we can be proud of our collective progress to reduce these disparities. Continue reading
By Erin McElderry, Associate, Prevention, NASTAD
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), released in 2010, is the nation’s guide towards taking measureable steps to end the HIV epidemic. It proposes a bold vision: “The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.” Within that overarching vision is a call to action to target resources towards communities disproportionately impacted by HIV—in particular gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The NHAS stressed, “the United States cannot reduce the number of HIV infections nationally without better addressing HIV among gay and bisexual men.” 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
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
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.
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