Achieving Optimal Health Care for Gay Men

By Isaiah Webster III, Senior Manager, Health Equity/Prevention, NASTAD

Cross-posted from HRC.org

National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is September 27. It’s an opportunity to reflect on those we have lost, and focus attention on the fact that HIV still impacts the lives of gay men more than any other group in the United States.

Just like any other social disease, HIV/AIDS takes advantage of those who lack access to information, prevention tools and medical advances that are readily available. The epidemic began as a crisis for all gay men, but in the last 15 years, it has shifted to become a disproportionate burden for certain subgroups of gay men–especially Black and Latino gay men, less affluent gay men, and gay men who live in rural communities. Among young gay men of color, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is as severe as it’s ever been.
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Addressing the HIV Epidemic Among Gay Men of all Races and Ethnicities

By Meico Whitlock, Senior Manager, Communications, NASTAD

Engaging Gay Men/MSM

In May, during our 22nd Annual Meeting of state health department HIV and hepatitis program leaders in Washington, D.C., we hosted a discussion about the opportunities and challenges of addressing the prevention and care needs of gay men in the era of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), High Impact Prevention (HIP) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The following is an interview with Isaiah Webster, Senior Manager, Health Equity and Prevention at NASTAD, and James Markiewicz, Director, Maine HIV, STD, and Viral Hepatitis Program, who shared their reflections on the session. Continue reading

Improving Health Equity for Gay Men through the Affordable Care Act

By Amy Killelea, Senior Manager, Health Care Access, NASTAD

Health Equity for Gay Men/MSM

HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly gay men/MSM of color, in the form of higher infection rates, less likelihood of timely linkage to care, and less likelihood of viral suppression. To make headway against the epidemic and to meet the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), we need tools and strategies that are aimed at improving prevention, access to care, and retention in care for gay men/MSM.

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Addressing HIV and Viral Hepatitis Among Native Gay Men and Two Spirit People

By Lynne Greabell, Director of Member Services and Leadership Development, NASTAD

Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2012In conjunction with the seventh annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, NASTAD published an issue brief, Native Gay Men and Two Spirit People and HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Programs and Services. The issue brief, developed by NASTAD’s Native American Networking Group (NANG) and Gay Men’s Health Equity Work Group (GMHEWG), provides specific recommendations for health departments to address HIV and viral hepatitis in Native American communities, consistent with the NASTAD and National Coalition for STD Directors’ joint policy statement “Getting to Zero: Scaling-Up Health Department Strategies for Gay Men/MSM.”

Native gay men and Two Spirit people (i.e., men who have sex with men [MSM] or what we would call male-bodied Two-Spirit individuals) face unique and specific challenges and opportunities related to their health and well-being such as stigma and discrimination due to their sexual orientation and gender status. Yet tribal traditions and connections through Two Spirit and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) networking also can serve as protective factors (e.g., opportunities for cultural pride and education about prevention of disease acquisition) for Native gay men and Two Spirit people. Continue reading

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Spotlight on Responding to the Epidemic Among Black Gay Men/MSM

By Blake Rowley, Nicolas A. Rango Health Equity Fellow, NASTAD

Blake Rowley, Nicolas A. Rango Health Equity Fellow, NASTADThis February, we observe Black History Month, and today we recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). Today represents an opportunity to mobilize members of the Black community to learn their HIV status and make decisions to live healthy lives, regardless of their HIV status. More than thirty years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Blacks are disproportionately affected across all stages of the disease (from diagnosis to viral suppression). Continue reading