Oregon hospital removes gender identification from bracelets

By : wire report
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BEND, Ore. (AP) | A hospital in central Oregon has made a small change that represented a huge difference for its transgender patients: It removed the gender designation from patient identification bracelets.

The Bulletin newspaper in Bend reports the St. Charles Health System adopted the change last month. The ID bracelet is designed to provide caregivers an easy way to identify patients based on two distinct identifiers.

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Lesbians treated differently in health care

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. | According to a new study that used data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2015, lesbians were less likely to report receiving a birth control prescription or birth control counseling compared with straight women.

However, they were more likely to report having received sexually transmitted infection (STI) counseling, testing or treatment, after adjusting for sexual partners in the past 12 months. In a clinical setting, lesbians were less likely to report receiving birth control counseling at a pregnancy test and lesbian women without recent male sex partners were less likely to report receiving counseling about condom use at an STI-related visit compared with heterosexual women.

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Activists warn of hidden provision in insurance plans for HIV drugs

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Officials with organizations representing people with HIV and other chronic illnesses are urging patients who rely on drug manufacturers’ co-pay assistance contributions to help lower the cost of their prescription medication to be extra careful if they decide to select a new health insurance plan.

In a press conference on Wednesday, officials with the AIDS Institute, the Arthritis Foundation, and the National Organization for Rare Disorders warned that a growing number of insurers are refusing to allow co-payment assistance coupons provided by drug manufacturers from counting toward patients’ annual deductibles.

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Parenting desires unchanged by HIV status

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LONDON | Approximately 40 percent of HIV-positive adults starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the United States would like to have children in the future, a proportion that remained unchanged after two years of follow-up, investigators report in Open Forum Infectious Diseases. The findings were published in the journal AIDSmap.

There was no significant difference in the proportion of women, men who have sex with women (MSW) and men who have sex with men (MSM) who said they would like to have children. Younger people and black MSM were more likely to want to have children, AIDSmap reports.

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Doctors group recommends support for transgender children

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A doctors group took a stand in support of transgender children September 17, offering advice in what it called “a rapidly evolving” field.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended support for kids who change their names or hairstyles to affirm their chosen gender identity. The group said children are more likely to have better physical and mental health with such support.

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Surgery coverage for Wisconsin transgender workers restored

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) |  A Wisconsin board that oversees insurance for state employees has voted to restore coverage for sex reassignment procedures for transgender workers.

The Group Insurance Board voted 5-4 Wednesday to cover sex reassignment surgery and related treatments for transgender people seeking to match their sex to their gender identity, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Sex reassignment surgery will be covered for state workers starting Jan. 1.

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Denmark to revise blood donation laws in 2019

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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COPENHAGEN |  Sexually active gay men in Denmark will be able to donate blood in 2019, the Copenhagen Post reports, citing the country’s health minister.

The new rules mean gay men will be able to donate blood if they haven’t had sex with a man within a quarantine period of four months. The quarantine period is voided if the donor is in a relationship with one partner.

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Community organizations form Zero Pinellas initiative to combat HIV

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Seven community organizations have partnered to form Zero Pinellas, an initiative granted $2,207,694 over three years to reduce new HIV infections in Pinellas County by at least 50 percent.

The participating organizations—the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, The AIDS Institute, BayCare, Empath Health and EPIC, the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County and Metro Wellness and Community Centers—were granted the funds by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg. The private foundation uses its funds to support health equity countywide.

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Cocaine, heroin more popular among LGB teens

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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BOSTON | LGB teens are at least twice as likely as their straight peers to use illegal drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and methamphetamines, a U.S. study suggests, according to a Reuters article.

Previous research suggests that stressors related to being closeted or coming out and being rejected by family or friends could contribute to an increased risk of substance use among sexual minority teens, senior study author John Ayers of San Diego State University in California told Reuters Health. Those unsure of their sexual orientation were also included in the study.

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CrossFit to allow transgender athletes to compete in 2019 games

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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CrossFit is opening its CrossFit Games to transgender athletes starting in 2019.

Them.us reports that CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman announced the news at “Big Gay Happy Hour,” an event hosted by LGBTQ+ CrossFit group, OUTWOD.

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Study finds trans vets as healthy as cisgender vets

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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COLUMBIA, S.C. | Trans U.S. veterans have few health differences compared to their cisgender counterparts although their odds of having at least one disability are higher according to a new study, HealthDay News reports.

The findings were published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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Even with PrEP, HIV rates still a concern for gays

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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DUBLIN | Men with same-sex sexual partners are 28 times more likely to contract HIV than their heterosexual counterparts despite a radical reduction in new infections among gay men in Western countries, according to a U.N. report released this week, the Independent, an Irish newspaper, reports.

The overall annual number of new HIV infections dropped from a high of 3.4 million in 1996 to 1.8 million last year, according to UNAIDS, which coordinates the organization’s global response to HIV/AIDS.

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