News & Announcements
How to Engage Black Men in the HIV/AIDS Fight (posted 7/7)
Posted: July 07, 2010
This essay by CEO and Founder of the Black AIDS Institute is the third in a series of editorials about the critical role that Black men play in ending the AIDS epidemic in Black America. Part 1 described three reasons that Black men matter in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Next we explored why Black men - particularly heterosexuals, but in recent years HIV-negative gay men as well - have largely been absent from the effort to end the epidemic. Here Phil Wilson examines what needs to change to engage Black men, whether straight, gay, bisexual or questioning. To read the essay click here.
SAMHSA Hosts First Ever Pride Month Event (posted 7/5)
Posted: July 05, 2010
SAMHSA recently held its first ever LGBT Pride Month event, which was attended by over 100 individuals from various federal agencies including SAMHSA, community members, and national organizations. SAMHSA leadership and invited guests discussed key behavioral health issues for LGBT populations: the impact of the Network for LGBT Tobacco Control; substance abuse and LGBT populations; provider perspectives on addressing the need of LGBTQ youth; and assets-based approaches to LGBT populations and behavioral health. This was followed by reflections from audience members and discussants from the National Coalition for LGBT Health; the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors; the American Psychological Association, Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues (Div. 44}; and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.
Photograph Credit: Lombard for News
CDC Launches Routine Primary Care HIV Screening Program (posted 6/28)
Posted: June 28, 2010
On Thursday, June 17, 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention launched a new phase of its Act Against AIDS campaign, "HIV Screening. Standard Care." (HSSC) to assist physicians in making HIV testing a standard part of medical care. HSSC is designed to increase implementation of CDC’s 2006 HIV screening recommendations. These recommendations advise that all patients between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV as a routine part of medical care at least once – regardless of perceived risk for the disease – and that individuals at high risk (e.g., those with multiple or HIV-infected partners) be tested at least annually. The HSSC website provides both physicians and consumers with information and resources about HIV screening.
Statistics on Risky Youth Behavior (posted 6/28)
Posted: June 28, 2010
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a report summarizing results from the 2008-2009 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) and trends in risk behaviors during 1991-2009. In the 30 days before taking the survey, 17.5% of high school students had carried a weapon, 41.8% had drunk alcohol, and 20.8% had used marijuana. The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six categories of priority health-risk behaviors among youth and young adults: 1) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; 2) tobacco use; 3) alcohol and other drug use; 4) sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; 5) unhealthy dietary behaviors; and 6) physical inactivity. The report found that since 1991, the prevalence of many health-risk behaviors among high school students nationwide has decreased. However, many high school students continue to engage in behaviors that place them at risk for the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. The prevalence of most risk behaviors does not vary substantially among cities and states. To read the full report click here.
New Report on LGBT Health Data and Disparities (posted 6/28)
Posted: June 28, 2010
This report entitled "New Mexico's Progress in Collecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Health Data and it's Implications for Addressing Health Disparities" came out of the New Mexico Department of Health in April 2010. Using 2005 and 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, the authors examine numerous health indicators by sexual orientation. Compared to straight adults, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults have significantly increased rates of tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, suicidal attempts and ideation, depression, intimate partner violence, obesity, asthma, and life dissatisfaction. In contrast to these health risks, however, LGB adults were more likely than straight adults to report engaging in sufficient physical activity and having had an HIV test. These data provide new insight into health inequities between LGB and straight adults and are essential in prioritizing and allocating resources to address the health of LGB communities, reports the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network. Although numerous studies and reports from other states (i.e., Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island) have documented health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) and questioning youth compared to straight youth, New Mexico - along with many other states - still does not collect any youth sexual orientation data. The report therefore makes recommendations for the state of New Mexico that have relevance for all states who do not yet collect LGB health data. In addition, the report addresses the implications of the lack of youth sexual orientation data for the LGB population in New Mexico and provides a discussion of the role of social determinants of health on the impact of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) people in New Mexico. To download the report click here (3.2MB).