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
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 Meico Whitlock, Senior Manager, Communications, NASTAD
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
By Amy Killelea, Senior Manager, Health Care Access, NASTAD
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.