National LGBT Health Awareness Week

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March 25-29, 2019 is the 17th annual National LGBT Health Awareness Week! The National Coalition for LGBT Health created this event in 2003 to bring awareness to timely LGBT health issues. This year’s theme is “Reject Rhetoric. Reflect Reality. Our Health Won’t Be Denied!” The goal of this year’s theme is to acknowledge ongoing rhetoric surrounding LGBT health issues, including health insurance, data collection, health inequities, and access to culturally competent care. Despite existing protections, many in the LGBT community still face disturbing rates of health care discrimination. These can range from harassment and humiliation by providers to being turned away by hospitals and doctors. A 2017 survey from the Center for American Progress (CAP) found that 29% of transgender people who had visited a doctor in the past year…
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National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day takes place on March 20, 2019. In 2007, three collaborating agencies known as the National Native Capacity Building Assistance Network (CBA) founded National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD). It is considered a national mobilization effort designed to encourage Natives (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians) across the United States to get educated, tested, and involved in prevention and treatment for HIV and AIDS. Each year, NNHAAD is observed on the first day of Spring. The day was chosen through a national survey of the Native community. The four seasons are highly respected in Native cultures, representing the cycle of life. Spring represents balance (as day and night are at equal lengths) and a profound change, including new beginnings and birth. It is considered a…
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The Lasting Impact of Ryan White

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On January 16, 2019, it will have been 30 years since the airing of "The Ryan White Story" on television. Ryan White grew up in Kokomo, Indiana. At a young age he was diagnosed with severe hemophilia A, a hereditary blood coagulation disorder which made even small injuries result in severe bleeding.[1] At the time, common treatment for hemophiliacs was weekly infusions of factor VIII, a blood product created from pooled plasma of non-hemophiliacs.[2] In December of 1984, Ryan was treated for pneumonia and subsequently diagnosed with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) at age 13. He was one of the first children with hemophilia to be diagnosed with AIDS as a result of a tainted factor VIII infusion.[3] Ryan was told he had six months to live. At the time, the…
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How Technology Can Help with HIV Treatments

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Technology is fast moving, and the world is still trying to adapt. There are apps for everything: getting your groceries delivered, finding the best deal online, seeing what public restrooms nearby are regularly cleaned. If you’ve ever struggled with it, there’s probably an app trying to make it easier. But how can apps help with HIV medications and treatments? Starting with the basics, there are the functions available on most cell phones: alarms. Many individuals use alarms and calendar reminders in case they forget or get side tracked when it comes to taking their medications at the correct intervals. Many people with smartphones also utilize medication reminder applications. The most popular medication app for iPhones is currently Medisafe – Pill & Med Reminder[1]. This app not only reminds patients when…
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World AIDS Day 2018

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December 1, 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day is an international day of awareness, dedicated to educating the populace about the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. The day also mourns those we have lost due to the disease. World AIDS Day began with two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS) at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter proposed the idea to the program director, Dr. Jonathan Munn who approved and supported its observance on December 1[1]. This date was chosen because Bunn, a former television broadcast journalist, believed it would maximize the coverage of the event by western media as it was long enough after US…
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