LGBTQ Health Feed

April 25, 2011

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Highlights from the National Transgender Health Summit

By Jennie Anderson, Communications Director, and Mindy Nichamin, New Media Coordinator, AIDS.gov

CAPTION

JoAnne Keatley, Director of the CoE for Transgender Health

What do empowerment, discrimination, data, and health have in common? They are several of the many themes we heard throughout the National Transgender Health Summit Exit Disclaimer that took place in San Francisco earlier this month. The Center of Excellence for Transgender Health (CoE) Exit Disclaimer organized this groundbreaking two-day Summit that brought together healthcare providers, health profession students, researchers, and other health leaders. In past posts we've discussed the disproportionate impact of the HIV epidemic on the transgender community, and so this Summit was an important opportunity for us to learn from and engage with experts on this topic. As the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy [PDF] states, "Some studies have found that as many as 30 percent of transgender individuals are HIV-positive. Yet, historically, efforts targeting this specific population have been minimal." 

Continue reading "Highlights from the National Transgender Health Summit" »

April 07, 2011

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Studying and Promoting LGBT Health

By Miguel Gomez, AIDS.gov Director

LGBT Report

Last week, the Institute of Medicine Exit Disclaimer (IOM) released an important new report about the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The 276-page report, The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding, is the result of an 18-month study by a panel of experts commissioned by the IOM at the request of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH asked the panel to evaluate current knowledge of the health status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations; to identify research gaps and opportunities; and to outline a research agenda to help NIH focus its research in this area. The report provides a thorough compilation of what is known about the health of each of these groups at different stages of life and outlines an agenda for the research and data collection necessary to form a fuller understanding. The report addresses the continuing disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS in this population.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, thanked the IOM for the report, observing, “This report is an important step in identifying research gaps and opportunities, as part of an overall effort to understand and address the health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. We look forward to continuing our work to address these needs and reduce LGBT health disparities.”

View the report, read a brief about it, or listen to audio from the report release online Exit Disclaimer.

For more information on LGBT health issues, consult these resources:

March 25, 2011

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Working with the Community to Reduce New HIV Infections Among Gay and Bisexual Men and Transgender Women

By Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

LGBT NHAS Meeting

“The United States cannot reduce the number of HIV infections nationally without better addressing HIV among gay and bisexual men.”

So declares the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), boldly and accurately. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gay men make up approximately 2 percent of the U.S. population, but account for 53 percent of all new HIV infections. That translates into nearly 29,000 persons newly infected with HIV every year in the U.S. In fact, men who have sex with men1 (including both gay identified and non-gay identified men) are the only risk group in the U.S. in which new HIV infections are increasing. Gay men from all racial and ethnic backgrounds continue to be the risk group most severely affected by HIV in the U.S. White MSM represent the largest number of new HIV infections, but Black and Latino gay men are at disproportionate risk for infection. That is why the NHAS makes a clear statement on the need to improve HIV prevention services for gay and bisexual men and transgender individuals.

The Strategy also observes that “[t]he burden of addressing the HIV epidemic among gay and bisexual men and transgender individuals does not rest with the government alone.” As Jeffrey Crowley, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy at the White House, has often noted, the Strategy is a national, and not a Federal, strategy. That means everyone has a role to play in achieving the goals of the NHAS, including community leaders, service providers, professional organizations, faith-based organizations, business leaders, and concerned citizens from all walks of life.

Continue reading "Working with the Community to Reduce New HIV Infections Among Gay and Bisexual Men and Transgender Women" »

March 14, 2011

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HIV Prevention for Men Who Have Sex With Men in the United States

By Miguel Gomez, AIDS.gov Director

Earlier this month, Gregorio Millett, with the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, gave two presentations on the critical HIV prevention needs of men who have sex with men (MSM) at the 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections Exit Disclaimer (CROI) in Boston. The first was titled Responding to Risk Among U.S. MSM Exit Disclaimer. The second was Predictors of Being HIV+ Unaware among Black and Latino MSM Exit Disclaimer. We encourage you to view and/or listen to these presentations.

On Wednesday, March 2, I spoke with Mr. Millett about his work on HIV prevention for MSM. You can view our conversation in this video:

You can watch other presentations from CROI at their conference Webcast Sessions page Exit Disclaimer.

January 27, 2011

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Reaction to the Death of Ugandan LGBT Activist David Kato

By Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (Cross-posted from the State Department Blog)

David Kato

The United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) mourns the tragic loss of David Kato. As noted in the powerful statements issued by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, David was at the forefront of the fight for human rights for all Ugandans, including members of Uganda's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

Stigma and discrimination against any population at risk for HIV undermine the fight against the disease. Courageous leaders help societies move forward with an effective public health response by promoting respect for the human rights of all people. David was such a leader for Uganda, and losing him is a tragedy. PEPFAR will honor David's life by continuing to provide essential HIV prevention, care and treatment to the people of Uganda -- especially to vulnerable, marginalized, and most at-risk populations. Through intensive work with both the government and civil society organizations, PEPFAR is working to ensure that all people in Uganda, including the LGBT community, benefit from a public health- and human rights-based response to HIV.

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