Florida Health to offer PrEP for free at all county health departments by end of 2018

By : Jeremy Williams
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Tallahassee, Fla. | As part of their strategic efforts to eliminate the spread of HIV in the state, the Florida Department of Health announced Dec. 1 that they are currently working to make Truvada, the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis medication commonly known as PrEP, available at no cost at all of the 67 county health departments by the end of 2018.

PrEP is a once-daily pill that can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV in HIV-negative individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taking PrEP daily reduces the risk of getting HIV by more than 90 percent.

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Arkansas to issue birth certificates for same-sex parents

By : Wire Report
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The Arkansas Health Department says it will begin issuing birth certificates listing both spouses in married same-sex couples as the parents after the state lost a case before the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

The department said June 28 it’ll begin issuing birth certificates for same-sex couples who used artificial insemination and were married at the time of the birth of their child. The department said amended birth certificates will only be issued in cases where the birth mother is listed on the certificate and no one is listed as the father.

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Health Department refutes claims over revised HIV case data

By : Jamie Hyman
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The Florida Department of Health is at odds with the media regarding numbers of new HIV cases in the state.

On March 26, the Tampa Bay Times published a story noting that the Health Department quietly lowered the numbers of new HIV cases logged in 2014, from 6,147 to 4,613. The original numbers put Florida at the top of the U.S. when it comes to new HIV cases and as a result, the state surgeon general was sharply criticized for cutting staff and spending as HIV cases skyrocketed.

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Arkansas updates birth certificates for some same-sex couples

By : Wire
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Little Rock (AP) – The Arkansas Health Department has decided to issue amended birth certificates for children of same-sex couples who can prove they were married before the child was born, an agency spokeswoman confirmed Dec. 7.

The department reviewed an order from Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox and decided to amend those specific birth certificates starting last Friday, department spokeswoman Meg Mirivel said. As of Monday morning, Mirivel said “a few” couples had applied for the amended certificates.

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New Alabama marriage licenses accommodate same-sex marriages

By : Wire Report
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Montgomery, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s health department has distributed new marriage license forms to accommodate same-sex weddings that are expected to begin Feb. 9.

The Alabama Department of Public Health sent the new form Feb. 5 to probate judges across the state. The form has two spaces that read spouse, instead of separate listings for bride and groom. The form also has boxes to list the gender of each spouse.

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Grassroots to Daylights

By : Abby Dees
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Last weekend I was the MC at my local Pride festivities. It had been a while since I’d done anything Pride-y, so I didn’t know what to expect. Historically, Suburban Pride has been more about strollers and soy frappuccinos than leather chaps and fifteen-dollar beer, like its metropolitan version.

But I didn’t anticipate a moribund party whose biggest draw was a mobile free clinic courtesy of the health department.  As I stood on stage looking out, about to announce a demonstration by an LGBT square dancing club, I wanted to call out, “Is anyone here not a volunteer or vendor?” But that would have been bitchy.

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