Tag Archives: Health

Fenway Health AMP study

gay healthFenway 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.

Planning a vacation? Learn about Fenway’s Vacation PrEP study

gay health, Truvada, sexual health, HIV, AIDSLast 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 vacation@fenwayhealth.org.

Fenway Health: The Vacation PrEP Study

Fenway Health, gay health, PrEP, Truvada, sexual health studyAre 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 vacation@fenwayhealth.org.

Study finds meditation changes the brain and body

personal healthLast 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.

Walking with sandwiches: Ben’s New Year’s resolution

Many people make New Year’s resolutions each year and it is usually right about now that a lot of us give up on them. I stumbled upon this really inspiring YouTube video of someone who has an interesting story that I wanted to share.

Why you need to come out to your doctor

Temptation Tuesday, handsome, hunk, shirtless, absBack 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 Patientexplaining 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.

Grindr survey on PrEP

TruvadaLast 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 information@fenwayhealth.org or call them during business hours at (857) 313-6590.

Click here to find the nearest testing center in your area (US Only)

Do you know your HIV status

Safe SexEven 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.

Fenway Health
Planned Parenthood 
The Borum (Sidney Borum Health Center)

Uber helps you give back on World AIDS Day, 12/1/15

HIV, Fenway Health Study, Stronger TogetherAbout 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. AIDSOn 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.


Great American Smokeout is today

Great American SmokeoutThe third Thursday of November is the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. The intent is to encourage smokers to finally give up smoking.

42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. However the bad news about smoking doesn’t stop there.

Did you know that a man who smokes could see his penis shrink by as much as a centimeter? In addition, smoking impacts a man’s ability to be aroused (a.k.a. erectile dysfunction).  It turns out that the penis may be even more susceptible to smoking-induced damage than the heart, making such health issues possible early warnings of heart disease.

New South End gym: Swet Studio

south end fitness, lgbt fitnessSwet 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.Realm Health and Fitness Tips from Kyle, exerciseLater 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

Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that

ParisLet’s not try to rationalize the irrational. This is an attack on everyone who values personal freedoms and individual liberties; unfortunately it happened to take place in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  Despite that obscenity the spirit of Paris and the French will rise above this tragedy.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Watts Safeword: PrEP Myths

PrEPOne 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

Men give themselves a testicular self-exam (Safe For Work)

Earlier this week I shared a post about Movember (or to be more precise (HO)MOvember, which is an annual month-long fundraiser dedicated to raising awareness and money for men’s health issues.  I saw this video posted on Accidental Bear and thought it would also be good to share.

Testicular cancer is most common in men between the ages of 15-30 years. This video of seven men performing a routine self-exam shows how easy it can be. When detected early, testicular cancer is extremely curable.  I hope that this funny – and very safe for work – video will remind people to perform a self-exam.


simon dunn, movember, mens health

Australian Olympian Simon Dunn models his ‘stache for (HO)MOvember

You may start to notice more men with some upper lip hair over the course of the next few weeks as Movember kicks off for its 9th year here in the US.  Australian Olympic bobsledder, Simon Dunn, put a twist on this annual month-long fundraiser that is used to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues, with his (HO)MOvember video which you can watch here.

Through a cruel twist of fate, I have no ability to grow more than a few wisps of facial hair so I thought the way I would participate this year was by helping to remind everyone about the event and if you live in Boston to encourage you to join the Movember Team Boston.