m4mHealthySex.org is a joint effort between the HIV Prevention and Care Project and the Pitt Men’s Study at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh. Our goal is to provide up-to-date sexual health information for men who have sex with men. You can use the site to find free STD testing in your area (including free HIV testing). You can also locate PrEP providers based on a zip code search. Other site features include an up-to-date blog of news and information related to sexual health and listings of regional health services (including HIV treatment specialists).
Resources for finding LGBT-friendly care, support and useful information:
• The Human Rights Campaign releases an annual report, “Healthcare Equality Index,” with information on the policies and practices that health care facilities in the United States offer to LGBT patients and their families.
• SAGE is a national social service agency dedicated to LGBT seniors, with a free and confidential LGBT Elder Hotline: 888-234-7243.
• The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging offers a wide range of health, policy and legal info on its site, where you can search for local resources by state.
- The LGBT National Help Center is an online and call-in resource center for information, support and referrals. It includes an online peer-support chat group and a hotline you can call to speak with a volunteer peer counselor: 888-843-4564.
• The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association allows you to search for health care providers in your area.
• CenterLink, the Community of LGBT Centers, has a locator where you can find the gay community center nearest to you or your loved one’s home.
• The Metropolitan Community Churches, an international Christian denomination, is particularly welcoming of LGBT people. A staff person at the nearest MCC might be able to recommend appropriate resources in your area.
- Family Caregiver Alliance offers LGBT caregiving FAQs, as well as a section on “Legal Issues for LGBT Caregivers” and other useful legal resources.
• The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has information about its policies and military benefits for LGBT service members and veterans.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a range of info on LGBT health issues.
• The American Psychological Association includes some general information on transgender people and gender identity.
• The World Professional Association for Transgender Health has established standards of care for the treatment of gender identity disorders, and offers information on a spectrum of transgender issues, plus a provider search engine.
• The Transgender Law Center fights discrimination, helps transgender people find legal assistance and has updates on related legal news (with some focus on California).
Editor’s note: If you live in Allegheny County, you can find local health resources on our Website in a downloadable pdf file.
The first state-specific analysis of syphilis among men who have sex with men (MSM) shows they have dramatically higher incidence than men whose only sexual partners are female, the CDC is reporting.
Data from 2015, analyzed with a new methodology, show that the incidence of primary and secondary syphilis among MSM was 309.0 cases per 100,000 people, compared with 2.9 per 100,000 among men who reported sex with women only, according to Alex de Voux, PhD, of the CDC’s epidemic intelligence service, and colleagues at the CDC and Emory University in Atlanta.
The disparity was even more marked when the rate among MSM was compared with the 1.8 cases per 100,000 population seen among women, the researchers reported in the April 7 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
There’s a lot of research now regarding PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) and how taking this daily anti-viral medication can keep you from becoming infected with HIV. The problem is that most gay men don’t want to ask their doctor about it and don’t know how else they can get it.
But now you can use a free online tool called PrEP Locator to find PrEP providers near you. The locator is a national directory of providers that you can search by entering your zip code. It’s also accessible on your smart phone as well as your computer.
Note too that in some cases, providers can also help with the cost of PrEP.
PrEP Locator is presented by Emory University, in partnership with M•A•C AIDS Fund.
If you live in the Pittsburgh area, you can also find local resources here.
For more information about PrEP and how it can help protect you from becoming infected with HIV, go to our Website: https://m4mhealthysex.org/what-is-prep/.
Professor of sociology Matt G. Mutchler’s research over the past 20 years into HIV prevention and treatment issues, especially within the African American community, has garnered him more than 15 external research awards and respect as an expert in the field. In addition to serving as a faculty member at California State University, Dominguez Hills, he is currently a visiting professor with the Center for AIDS Prevention and Study at University of California, San Francisco, and director of community-based research with AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Mutchler’s more recent work addresses sexual communication among African-American gay and bisexual males and their close friends, and other sexual health issues related to gay men. He also investigates HIV treatment adherence programs.
Mutchler brings his expertise in community-based research to the CSUDH’s Urban Community Research Center (UCRC), where he serves as director. The multi-disciplinary, sociology-based applied research center focuses on the needs, problems and solutions that arise in urban areas. The center also offers CSUDH students hand-on research experience as they collaborate with CSUDH faculty, and a number of governmental, community-based, and university/research institutions, such as AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), Charles R. Drew University, Spectrum, REACH LA, and the RAND Corporation.
Mutchler recently shared insights about his studies and findings, the challenges and rewards of conducting his research within the African American community, and his latest work.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, observed every year on February 7, is a good time to remind the general public of the racial disparities in HIV infection that persist in the United States. Year after year, African-Americans continue to shoulder the heaviest burden of HIV.
According to Millett, to effectively address the racial disparities in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S., we need to continue raising awareness about how HIV
disproportionately affects the black community, urge our policymakers to prioritize HIV prevention and treatment resources to the hardest hit communities, such as black gay men, and improve care for HIV-positive black women and injecting drug users.“If you don’t have access to healthcare and you’re HIV-positive, you’re less likely to be on medication or virally suppressed, and therefore more likely to transmit HIV,” said amfAR vice president and director of public policy Greg Millett. “We also have to do a better job of reducing HIV stigma because it keeps people from being tested for HIV, and it keeps people who are HIV-positive from seeking care because they’re afraid they’ll be discriminated against. And that is what continues to fuel the epidemic.”
Discrimination, stigma, poverty, and lack of access to healthcare contribute to the disproportionate burden of HIV among black Americans. This is most notably the case in regions with large black populations like the American South where approximately half of the nation’s new HIV infections occur, with black Americans accounting for nearly 80 percent of them. In general, African-Americans are less likely than whites to have private health insurance.
“We can find a way to end HIV. We got heart, and maybe that’s enough to fight the racism, stigma, homophobia, gender inequity …. We got to stick together. We got to stay strong.”
Todrick Hall sang these words, kicking off “Convergence: Forging the Path to End HIV,” a panel discussion plenary at the five-day Creating Change Conference, hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force in Center City Philadelphia. Hall, an openly gay and popular YouTube entertainer, received great applause from the audience.
The aim of the discussion was to address the stigma surrounding HIV in hopes of eliminating the virus.
When compared to other countries, the United States has a realtively low suppression rate, which is the number of people living with HIV but undergoing treatment, thereby decreasing the likelihood of spreading the virus.
Panelist Dr. Richard Elion of George Washington University explained that, “[In] Uganda, the rate of suppression runs at about 55 percent, compared to 30 percent in the United States. So clearly, our country is not doing something that we need to be looking at.”
Elion said there is more to decreasing the spread of HIV than affordable diagnosis and treatment options, and that combating the stigma of HIV is vital.