NASTAD at NAESM 2015: Why the Lives of Black Men Who Have Sex With Men Still Matter for Many

By Drew Daniels, Manager, Communications, NASTAD

More than 400 public health professionals, researchers and community advocates from all across the United States attended the National African American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS and other Health Disparities sponsored by National AIDS & Education Service for Minorities (NAESM) in Atlanta, January 15-18, 2015.  With recent current events surrounding police brutality and racism, this year’s theme was “Leading the Movement: Pursuing Health Equity through Social Justice.” The conference focused on how to address health equity and utilize social justice in order to meet the challenge of improving the health of Black men who have sex with men (MSM). Continue reading

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

RECAP: Webinar on HRSA’s Center for Engaging Black MSM Across the Care Continuum (CEBACC)

By Terrance Moore, Director, Health Equity and Policy, NASTAD and Project Director, CEBACC

View the presentation slides | Watch the webinar recording

Over the past few months the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) has been moving forward diligently with our cooperative agreement with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to create a technical assistance (TA) center. The Center for Engaging Black MSM Across the Care Continuum (CEBACC) will identify, compile, and disseminate best practices and effective models for HIV clinical care and treatment across the HIV care continuum, in order to increase the capacity, quality, and effectiveness of healthcare providers to screen, diagnose, link, and retain Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) in HIV clinical care.

We recently conducted our first webinar to provide updates on our progress, and even offer more information about the work we have been doing. During this webinar we explored key themes from our focus group discussions between health care providers and Black gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). From August to November, we have conducted 19 focus groups with Black gay men/MSM as well as their providers. We shared an overview of our findings such as emerging themes, successful strategies and challenges both groups faced.

We are making great strides in compiling best care models and promising practices occurring in places around the country. The information from the focus groups will help influence the models and how we disseminate information about the project. As part of our next phase of focus groups, we will take some information from our models and current findings to ensure everything aligns with what resources patients and providers are requesting.

After speaking with providers, we found out they are craving more resources to better engage this key population. As part of our TA center, we are developing training modules that include continuing medical education (CME)/continuing nursing education (CNE)/continuing education units (CEU) for physicians, nurses, and other providers.

With the CEBACC project, we are partnering with HRSA and a range of national and community partners to build a bridge between Black gay men/MSM patients and health care providers. Not only are these outcomes dear to our staff, federal and national partners involved with CEBACC, this project also aligns with the national goals of accelerating improvements in HIV prevention and care, and reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities.

In the question and answer period that followed, the presenters were able to field a number of questions posed by webinar participants and direct them to various resources for more information. Stay tuned for a forthcoming post addressing the most frequently asked questions during the webinar.

To learn more, view the slides and webinar. If you have questions about the project, please contact Terrance Moore or leave a comment below.

Illinois Health Department Discusses Plans for PrEP Assistance

By Gretchen Rachel Blickensderfer, Windy City Media Group

Cross-posted from Windy City Media Group

Dr. Mildred Williamson

Dr. Mildred Williamson

With the 26th annual World AIDS Day commemorated Dec. 1 across the globe by communities, governments and organizations, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) HIV/AIDS Inter-Agency Taskforce unveiled strategies for the implementation of a program to dramatically improve access and affordability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication for at-risk individuals statewide. Continue reading

Six Lessons for Health Departments Using PrEP as an HIV Prevention Tool

By Dave Kern, ‎Manager, Infectious Disease Prevention Section at Washington State Department of Health

Dave Kern

Dave Kern

In Washington State, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the use of antiretroviral medication to prevent HIV infection, and what it means for our work. We’ve been inspired to acknowledge our fears, both known and hidden, and to seize the hope and promise that’s evolving before our eyes. We’ve given ourselves space to be curious, to make mistakes and to be OK with not creating the perfect plan. More importantly, we’ve made the decision to act, even as we continue to define our commitment. Continue reading