How Health Departments Are Responding to HIV and Hepatitis Among Gay Men

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

CONCEPTS: A Health Department Response to the HIV, STD, and Viral Hepatitis Epidemics Among Gay Men/MSM in the United StatesIn 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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NASTAD Applauds Supreme Court Rulings on Same-Sex Marriage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2013
Contact: Meico Whitlock, 202-434-8094, www.NASTAD.orgNASTAD Gay's Men's Health Equity

Supreme Court Decisions on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Represent Tremendous Progress for Gay Men’s Health Equity; Still Much Work to Do to Achieve Full Equality for People of All Races, Ethnicities and Sexual Orientations

Washington, DC – Today’s Supreme Court rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) align with NASTAD’s ongoing efforts to address health equity among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) of all races and ethnicities. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and NASTAD’s policy statement on gay men/MSM both stress the importance of reducing stigma related to HIV/AIDS, and routinizing HIV care as a part of overall health care. NASTAD’s work in reducing the stigma faced by gay men/MSM, and addressing structural barriers that lead to poor health outcomes among gay men/MSM are significantly advanced by a social recognition that same-sex unions are valuable and worth codifying. Continue reading

What the REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act Means to Public Health

By Oscar Mairena, Manager, Policy & Legislative Affairs and Viral Hepatitis

Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

This month, Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation, HR1843, the Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage or Allow Legal (REPEAL) HIV Discrimination Act. The REPEAL Act calls for laws and policies that demonstrate a public-health oriented, evidence-based, medically-accurate and contemporary understanding of HIV transmission, risks of transmission based on means of exposure, current health implications of living with HIV and the benefits of treatment and comprehensive support services. Continue reading

The Public Health Approach to Ending HIV Criminalization

by Oscar Mairena, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs and Viral Hepatitis

Oscar Mairena, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs and Viral Hepatitis

Oscar Mairena, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs and Viral Hepatitis

On December 4, NASTAD joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP), in collaboration with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, for the United States National Dialogue on the Criminalization of HIV Transmission, Exposure & Non-disclosure: The Role of States & the Federal Government. NASTAD presented on the public health approach to ending HIV criminalization and NASTAD Chair Randy Mayer, Chief of the Iowa Bureau of HIV, STD and Hepatitis joined Iowa State Senator Matt McCoy in discussing the importance of the partnership between the state legislature and public health to modernize HIV criminal policies in Iowa.
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The Impact of Stigma on Public Health Practice

By Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

The vision for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) is that the U.S. will reduce HIV infections and ensure that high-quality, life-extending care will be available to everyone “free of stigma and discrimination.” Given the importance of stigma in addressing the HIV epidemic, we recently hosted a seminar on stigma and public health practice at the 2012 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA). We shared findings from a MAC AIDS Fund (MAF)-supported survey we conducted with the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) to assess the effects of stigma on Black and Latino gay men in the U.S. We also discussed stigma as a barrier to HIV prevention, its role as an obstacle to tackling the treatment cascade – leaving only 25 percent of those infected with undetectable viral loads – and presented two examples of stigma as a structural barrier to achieving the goals of public health. Continue reading