CDC chief on anti-trans memo: Stigma ‘not in the interest of public health’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump’s own director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention pushed back Oct. 23 on the reported memo within the administration seeking to eliminate federal protections for transgender people, according to the Boston-based STAT news life science website.

Although Robert Redfield reportedly declined to criticize the proposal restricting the definition of “sex” under federal law to biological gender, the CDC director suggested the plan would heighten stigma for transgender people.

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LGBT Latinx support offered in Boston

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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BOSTON |  Fenway Health is offering a new Spanish support group for Latinx LGBT people, The Rainbow Times reports.

“Many LGBT people in the Latinx community struggle to reconcile their sexual orientation or gender identity with entrenched anti-LGBT cultural and religious stigma,” said Gerardo Moreno-Serrano, a bilingual psychotherapist at Fenway Health, who facilitates the group, according to The Rainbow Times. “Additionally, they must contend with racism and homophobia within our broader society, higher rates of HIV, immigration and asylum issues, and other issues of health and safety. Our group aims to give LGBT Latinx people the tools and support they need to live healthy, authentic, fulfilling lives.”

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Walgreens to offer free rapid HIV test for National HIV Testing Day

By : Kathy Ruiz
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ORLANDO | First observed in 1995, National HIV Testing Day is held every June 27 to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as well as to encourage people to get tested, know their status and get linked to treatment and care.

Walgreens is partnering with the Orange County Department of Health to offer free rapid HIV testing and information about prevention options including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP — the HIV prevention pill.

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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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LGB teens more suicidal: study

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NEW YORK — LGB teens are more likely to plan or commit suicide according to research published this week in the journal JAMA, CNN and other outlets report.

Looking at answers in the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey in the U.S., researchers found that 40 percent of high school students who are considered sexual minorities were seriously considering suicide, CNN reports.

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PrEP usage low in young gays CDC finds

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Less than 4 percent of young adult men who have sex with men in the U.S. are on PrEP according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The data was taken from an anonymous online survey of 2,347 black, white and Hispanic men ages 18-24 who’d had anal sex but were not HIV-positive, Reuters reports.

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A CDC ban on ‘fetus’ and ‘transgender?’ Experts alarmed

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) — Health leaders say they are alarmed about a report that officials at the nation’s top public health agency are being told not to use certain words or phrases in official budget documents, including “fetus,” “transgender” and “science-based.”

The health community was reacting to a story in The Washington Post published late Friday citing an anonymous source who said the prohibition was made at a recent meeting of senior budget officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The seven words and phrases — “diversity,” “entitlement,” “fetus,” transgender,” “vulnerable,” “evidence-based” and “science-based” — were not to be used in documents that are to be circulated within the federal government and Congress in preparation of the next presidential budget proposal, the paper reported.

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HIV/AIDS cuts in Trump budget called ‘shocking,’ ‘cruel’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Proponents of funding to combat HIV/AIDS continue to express alarm over cuts to federal programs, which in some cases are massive, in the budget proposal that President Trump unveiled last week amid questions of whether Congress will agree to the reductions.

Carl Schmid, deputy director of the AIDS Institute, said the decrease in funding for HIV/AIDS proposed in the Trump administration’s $4.1 trillion budget request was “pretty shocking” after years of bipartisan agreement to confront the disease.

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Revised US tally: HIV infections fell 18 percent in 6 years

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP)- New calculations to better track HIV infections confirm that the U.S. is seeing a strong and steady decline.

The number of new cases has been falling for years. But health officials wanted a clearer picture of how the epidemic was behaving. They count people when they were diagnosed with the AIDS virus, not when they actually contracted it, which can be months or years earlier.

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A toast and a stumble through 2016, the year we will never forget

By : Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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We could go on and on about our gripes with the letter “P” this year, generally circulating around two terms: “Pulse” and “Politics.” So, indeed, that’s what we’ll do. Though we may have seen some wonderful developments in the year that God forgot, for the most part, many of us are grabbing at straws, trying to make sense of how it is that we descended so deeply, that we became the eye of the target of absolute terror.

Some may say that 2016 was the backlash for all of the gifts we were given by 2015, most notably marriage equality in both state and nation. Others might opine that there is something else going on here with the media, with conspiracies, with a new Cold War. We can’t be certain, but we certainly have each other’s backs, as has been proven by the many acts of kindness that rose up to meet the beast of an election year gone awry and a local community cut to its core. We are not a weak people; we have seen trouble before. But this year owns a special place in our hearts, one we hope that heals over without forgetting those who suffered and those who commandeered offenses that none of us could have been prepared for.

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New CDC report shows disproportionate risk of syphilis among gay men in Florida

By : Billy Manes
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Though its symptoms may be considered minor in relation to other sexually transmitted diseases, syphilis has raised concern among scientists at the Centers for Disease Control. Among the general population, syphilis infections jumped 15 percent between 2013 and 2014. The growing scourge led the CDC to present its first study of syphilis transmission among gay men, Rates of Primary and Secondary Syphilis by State Among Men Who Have Sex With Men, at its 2016 STD Prevention Conference. The disease is treatable, though often ignored.

“CDC has tracked syphilis through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System since 1944,” CDC epidemiologist and author of the study Alex de Voux Ph.D., says in an email. “Once nearly eliminated in the U.S., syphilis continues to increase among gay and bisexual men. Based on this data, we believe the number of reported cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis among men who have sex wih men (MSM) has been increasing since at least 2001. Among states that reported sex of sex partner data for at least 70 percent of all cases from 2007 to 2014, cases among MSM increased nearly nine percent from 2013 to 2014, and 48 percent from 2010 to 2014.

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CDC: Gay high school students raped, attacked far more often

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Gay, lesbian and bisexual high school students are far more likely than their classmates to be raped or assaulted in a dating situation, according to the first national survey of its kind.

The research also found gay teens were far more likely to have attempted suicide, taken illegal drugs and engaged in other risky behaviors.

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