Keeping It Real: No, it’s not over yet

By : Nathan Bruemmer
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So, how many days until summer vacation? After spring break all across this nation, this is one “critical” question most middle and high school students would probably get right. While kids beam with pride when they recite the exact number of days, parents across this nation fall back into shock and awe that another school year is about to end.

Why aren’t we asking our youth a truly critical question—Do you know about HIV and AIDS? April 10th is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. This year we celebrate the fifth annual observance of a day created to educate about the impacts of HIV and AIDS on youth.  According to the CDC, 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses were in young people aged 13-24 years, but only 10 percent of high school students have ever been tested for HIV. That means there is a significant gap between those who have it and those who know they have it. Without knowledge, you cannot prevent transmission. But where do our youth get their education on HIV and AIDS?

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The other side of life: I, You, We: Living with AIDS

By : Jason Leclerc
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As American art museums go, New York’s Whitney (the old one, on the Upper East Side, before they moved it to the High Line) is the top of my list. In April 2013, I visited for a book launch event in Chelsea and then trekked northward to pass five hours wandering exhibits of contemporary art.

While there, I consumed an exquisite curation called I, You, We: Art & AIDS. I uncontrollably and openly sobbed as I walked through a room with photos by David Wojnarowicz and paintings by Hugh Steers. I stared into the hollow, sepia-tinged eyes of gay men gasping their last breaths under the oppression of a disease that disproportionately affected vibrant souls of gay men in the years when I was in elementary school.

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Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith recognized by The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

By : Jeremy Williams
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WASHINGTON | Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) was awarded the Legislative Leadership Award at The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation’s AIDSWatch in D.C., according to a press release issued March 27.

Smith was selected for his HIV advocacy and, more specifically, for his part in helping to convince Publix Supermarkets to cover the HIV preventative drug known as PrEP for their employees.

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3.22.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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The first person I ever came out to was a complete stranger. It was surprisingly easy. The journey to get to that moment was not easy, nor the mountains I would have to climb after; but coming out to a stranger wasn’t difficult. It was freeing and desperate.

It was the early 1990s and he was a mentor with the Delta Youth Alliance, now the Orlando Youth Alliance. At the time, it was the only resource for gay youth to meet and support each other and it remains a vital component of the community today. My involvement with the group gave me the courage to come out to my high school best friend. That was difficult because it was someone close to me. It was a bigger gamble as there was more riding on her reaction than that of the stranger.

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Impulse Group goes viral with HIV-prevention video featuring drag queens

By : Jeremy Williams
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Impulse Group is getting the word out about HIV prevention methods with a new video featuring the fictitious reality show Real Dragwives of Prevention and starring some of the biggest names in drag.

“With all the prevention options available today, the Real Dragwives of Prevention are here to help you make the choice that’s right for you,” the video’s message reads.

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UPDATE: Publix to begin covering HIV preventative drug PrEP for employees

By : Jeremy Williams
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UPDATE:

After meeting with state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, Publix announced they would begin allowing PrEP to be covered for their employees under their prescription benefits.

The company took to Twitter saying:

Publix appreciates the concerns shared by our associates and customers. We offer generous health coverage to our eligible full-time and part-time associates at an affordable premium and are committed to the health and well-being of our associates and their families.

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‘Call Me By Your Name’ director says sequel will tackle AIDS crisis

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Call Me By Your Name” director Luca Guadagino is already planning future sequels to follow the critically acclaimed film.

Guadagino told the Hollywood Reporter he hopes to turn Elio and Oliver’s love story into a “Before Sunrise” type series. The book version of the story set the scene in 1987 in the thick of the AIDS epidemic. Guadagino moved the film to 1983 and says he wants Elio and Oliver’s story to explore the crisis.

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Usage remains low for pill that can prevent HIV infection

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) — From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which — in their view — remains woefully underused.

Marketed in the United States as Truvada, and sometimes available abroad in generic versions, the pill has been shown to reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent if taken daily. Yet worldwide, only about a dozen countries have aggressive, government-backed programs to promote the pill. In the U.S., there are problems related to Truvada’s high cost, lingering skepticism among some doctors and low usage rates among black gays and bisexuals who have the highest rates of HIV infection.

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Hope & Help to take an evening stroll around Lake Eola for the annual Orlando AIDS Walk

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Hope & Help Center of Central Florida returns with their annual AIDS Walk on Feb. 3 at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando.

Hope & Help moved the event, typically held in the morning, to an evening time last year which proved a huge success, according to Joshua J. Myers, Hope & Help’s community developmental director.

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Federal AIDS official indicted for soliciting minor

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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An official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who has been praised by AIDS activists for his role in administering the Ryan White AIDS CARE program, was indicted on Jan. 4 on a charge of sexual solicitation of a minor by a Montgomery County, Md., grand jury.

The indictment came just under two months after Montgomery County Police arrested Silver Spring resident Michael Goldrosen, 56, on Nov. 8 at the Twinbrook Metro station, where an undercover police officer posing as a 15-year-old male had arranged to meet him, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

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Stories from gay and straight women in Central Florida, Tampa Bay and the nation during the AIDS epidemic

By : Greg Stemm
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It was the late 1980s. All across America, including right here in Central and West Central Florida, gay and straight women were suddenly finding that their gay male friends and relatives were dying from a tragic and perplexing new disease.

From our vantage point in 2017, AIDS has become a chronically manageable disease instead of a death sentence and PREP has dramatically reduced the likelihood of transmissions. It can be hard to remember just how dire a time it was.

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Local husbands lace up for the 14th annual Tampa Bay AIDS Walk & 5k

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg | Tampa Bay’s 14th annual AIDS Walk & 5k will be held Dec. 9 at the Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, and the city is lacing up for the event benefiting EPIC/Empath Health.

In its 14 years, the event has drawn thousands of walkers and runners, with even more donating crucial funds to raise over $1 million to combat HIV/AIDS.

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