Back in 2011 I wrote a post Many LGBT patients feel alienated by their health providers. It was based on a Boston Globe article that reported many LGBT patients did not feel like they could have honest conversations with their doctors. For many who are Out and live in cities like Boston this may seem strange. We benefit from living in a progressive city and have access to places like Fenway Health, but for many who are not Out or do not have access to a LGBT clinic, this is a real problem.
US News & World Report wrote an interesting article, How to Come Out to Your Doctor as an LGBT Patient, explaining why it is important: the type of preventative care you should receive – esp if you are sexually active; questions you may want to ask your doctor; and most importantly for those who are not out to their health care providers – how to start the conversation.
Last fall Grindr released the video below to share their survey findings after partnering with the CDC, SFAF and Gilead. The nationwide survey looked at current attitudes, usage and questions regarding PrEP.
What is PrEP? PrEP (also sometimes referred to as Truvada) is a daily pill that has been approved by the FDA and been shown to be safe and effective in preventing HIV’s ability to copy itself in your body after you’ve been exposed.
According to the survey findings many gay men who are sexually active are afraid to ask their doctors about PrEP and 1 in 10 had trouble getting their doctors to prescribe them the medication (that statistic was double for black respondents).
If you would like to learn more about PrEP but don’t know where to turn you can email Fenway Health at email@example.com or call them during business hours at (857) 313-6590.
Click here to find the nearest testing center in your area (US Only)
Even though half of the people living with HIV are over the age of 50 infections continue to happen and there remains no cure for AIDS.
According to statistics from AIDS.gov, there are approximately 50,000 new HIV infections each year in the US. In 2010 50% of youth under the age of 24 with HIV didn’t know that they were positive. Aside from concerns that these people are not receiving the necessary medical care and attention they need it is likely they are unintentionally infecting others who do not engage in safe sex — so make it a point to know your status.
Local resources – including testing and counseling are available in the following locations listed below. Feel free to share other sites you know about in the comments section. Maybe in honor of World AIDS Day you’d like to make a donation to help these organizations continue their important work.
AIDS ACTION COMMITTEE of MA / The Male Center
The Borum (Sidney Borum Health Center)
About 15 years ago when I worked at the AIDS Action Committee of MA (AAC) I was responsible for soliciting corporate donations. During my tenure at AAC I never recall any of the local taxi companies donating a single penny. Uber’s support for causes that mean something to me increases my loyalty to them. Their support may be just savvy marketing but they are helping raise awareness and money for charities that are near and dear to me; and that matters to me.
Earlier this year Uber joined the EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) SAVES LIVES campaign to fit AIDS with (RED). On World AIDS Day, Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Uber is partnering with (RED) and enabling riders to help drive towards an AIDS Free generation. On Tuesday, Dec. 1, Uber riders in more than 150 cities nationwide (including Boston) can join the fight by choosing to ride (RED) and donate $5 on top of their normal fare.* Around the world, cars in the app will turn red to drive awareness around the cause. Moreover, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has generously pledged to match all donations made to (RED) in-app on December 1. With this match, every $5 donation helps provide a month’s worth of lifesaving medicine, which costs as little as 30 cents a day, to a mother living with HIV/AIDS.
Want to donate? It’s easy.
- On 12/1, choose the (RED) option in the app
- Your uberX ride will be the same as usual
- Uber will contact you by SMS at the end of your trip — reply YES to donate $5 to the Global Fund*
If you’re not riding on December 1, join the conversation and support the drive to an AIDS-free generation.
$0.25 OF EACH $5 DONATION WILL BE USED TO COVER PROCESSING FEES.
*ALL DONATIONS MADE THROUGH THE (RED) OPTION IN THE APP GO DIRECTLY TO THE GLOBAL FUND, A 21ST-CENTURY ORGANIZATION DESIGNED TO ACCELERATE THE END OF AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA AS EPIDEMICS.
The third Thursday of November is the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. The intent is to encourage smokers to finally give up smoking.
Swet Studio opened in the South End last month and what caught my attention was, while all are welcome, it caters to the LGBT community. I’m not sure there is any place like it in Boston. One look at their classes and schedule and you will realize they have quite a range of unique fitness and dance classes, including same sex ballroom classes, indoor rowing and anti-gravity, aerial yoga just to name a few.Later this month on Saturday, November 28th (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) Swet Studio is hosting their first ever Men’s class – Full Body Workout for just $25. Get an amazing full body workout with like-minded guys, followed by a post workout jazz brunch at The Beehive. All net proceeds from registrations purchased will be donated to Mass Equality Education Fund.
Swet Studio has a first time offer; $20 for your first class. In addition there are some great coupons available on GroupOn; Swet Studio on GroupOn. A couple of classes at Swet could be the perfect holiday gift to give to yourself to offset the celebratory drinks and meals you know you’ll end up consuming.
480 Tremont Street – South End
One of my favorite blogs, Accidental Bear, has a blog post that I wanted to share. The links below the video are courtesy of that blog which you can check out in my blogroll.
The term “safe sex” is sometimes relative, especially considering the many options the LGBTQ community has today. One such relatively new option is PrEP, the HIV prevention pill, but a lot of misconceptions about the drug remain. Do yourself a favor and talk to your doctor to determine if PrEP is right for you.
Check out Amp and Bolt from Watts the Safeword on YouTube video about PrEP. Last week they sat down to briefly explain how it works and why it may be right for you.
PrEP can be expensive, learn how to can get assisted: http://ow.ly/Ulktp
Wondering how to talk to your doctor?: http://ow.ly/Ulk5s
For more on PrEP: http://ow.ly/UlkGP