With New Year’s Eve just around the corner many people may be contemplating how they can make healthier decisions in 2017. According to a new, comprehensive national health analysis, many Massachusetts residents are already living a pretty healthy lifestyle and much healthier than many of their fellow Americans from other states.
According to the annual America’s Health Rankings report, now in its 27th year, New England is a pretty great place to be. Massachusetts was ranked the second healthiest state in the country, followed by Connecticut at number three and Vermont at number five. Hawaii took first for the fifth year running, and Minnesota rounded out the top five.
- Low prevalence of obesity
- Low percentage of population without insurance
- Higher number of primary care physicians
- High prevalence of excessive drinking
- High incidence of Salmonella
- Large disparity in health status by educational attainment
You can read more about the overall health of Massachusetts residents based on the study by linking here. If you live in another state or are curious to see how other states ranked link here.
Despite amazing advances there remains no cure and new infections continue to be reported. In honor of World AIDS Day, make a commitment to know your status if you’ve not been tested recently and encourage your friends to do the same. AIDS Service Organizations (ASO) around the country and the world, still need your support. Here in Boston, our largest ASO is The AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. Visit their website, make a donation or volunteer.
AIDS Action Committee of MA
PrEP is a topic of conversation sexually active gay men should have with their doctor. While it may not make sense for everyone, understanding the impact the drug may have on you and our community is important. Recently researchers from Gilead Sciences, Truvada’s manufacturer, presented findings from their analysis of several studies at the ASM Microbe 2016 conference in Boston. This was what they learned:
An analysis of 32 studies of Truvada a.k.a. PrEP found that almost all of those who contracted HIV had undetectable or very low levels of the drug in their bodies at the time.
The takeaway message is if you choose to use PrEP and are engaging in sexually risky behavior you MUST make sure you take your medication as prescribed. You can read the full findings online here.
Recent blog posts about PrEP:
Gilead C0Pay Coupon Card will save you $: Read this post if you are taking PrEP
Join this local study: The Vacation PrEP Study at Fenway Health
Fenway Health is looking for interested participants to join the AMP Study (Antibody Mediated Prevention). This is a national study that will enroll 2,700 men and transgender individuals who have sex with men. The concept behind the study is to give people antibodies to see if they will protect them from getting infected with HIV. This is the first study of its kind, testing whether antibodies can prevent HIV infections.
Qualified participants will be compensated up to $1800 for their time. Learn more about the AMP study by watching the video below or visiting the Fenway Health AMP Study page.
Last month I first wrote about this important new study at Fenway Health. I wanted to share this once again because I think it is important for the LGBT community to participate in studies specific to our health and I hope by sharing this you may consider participating or will share this with friends who might.
You may be eligible if: HIV-uninfected, gay/bi male, 18+, planning to take a vacation in the next few months, and have had unprotected anal sex in the last year. Interested? Participants are compensated $100 over the course of the study and receive PrEP for the duration of their vacation. For more information and to see if you are eligible please call 617.927.6384 or email email@example.com.
Are you planning a vacation for later this summer? If so, you may be a candidate for an important new study at Fenway Health.
As we all know, many gay/bi men engage in risky sexual behavior when away and on vacation. By joining The Fenway’s Vacation Study, you may receive PrEP for the duration of your upcoming vacation plus an additional two weeks. Your participation will help test the feasibility and acceptability of shorter-term PrEP.
I think it is important for the LGBT community to participate in studies specific to our health, and I hope by sharing this you may consider participating or will share this with friends who might. For more information and to see if you are eligible please call 617.927.6384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last month The NYT had an interesting article, How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body, I thought I’d share. It references a study published in February in Biological Psychiatry that brings some reputable science suggesting meditation can change our brains and potentially improve our health.
Brain scans of those who participated in the study which you can read about in the links provided above showed that those who meditated had more brain activity or communication among the portions of their brain that process stress-related reactions and other areas related to focus and calm.
I don’t meditate but the article made me think that maybe I should try to set aside 10-15 minutes and make time for meditation. Do you meditate regularly? If so, I’d love to hear from you and to get your thoughts on the study’s findings.