World AIDS Day

How Can We Help Gay Men of Color At Risk of HIV On This World AIDS Day?

Today is World AIDS Day. In order to honor the day and the fallen, we should remember those who are still at major risk of contracting the disease.

In addition to that, maybe we can even learn how we can help.

Despite the increase in availability to preventive measures such as PrEP, there are still subsections of gay men who are highly at risk of contracting the disease.

First, the CDC says that 1 in 2 black men who have sex with other men will be diagnosed with HIV in his lifetime.

That’s a horrifying statistic.

Adding onto that. Within Black people as whole (gay or otherwise), Black men who have sex with other men (MSM) make up 58% of diagnoses, but are 60% less likely to get treatment.

These numbers aren’t because black men are taking more risks in sex, but because of the lack of access to health care.

Where To Help:

If you want to help bring health care to black gay men in need, then consider donating to charities such as the Black AIDS Institute, the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA), the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), or the Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR).


But, Black Men aren’t the only gay men at risk, and incapable of getting medical treatment. Asian Pacific people living with HIV (PLHIV) are also having accessing finding health care.

In fact, UNAIDS says that less than 50% of Asian Pacific PLHIV are able to access life-saving treatment.

This includes countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania like Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Islands.

Dr. Bridget Haire, President of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations (AFAO) commented on the efforts of trying to help PLHIV.

“We still have a long way to go in ending HIV in our region. Both the Australian Government and other wealthy nations must maintain their political and financial commitment to preventing and treating HIV wherever it emerges.”

In order to help, you can support organizations like the AFAO through money donations or even blood donations.


Lastly, HIV diagnosis rates are still increasing for Latino Men. In fact, the rate among Latino MSM being diagnosed with HIV has increased by 14%. Plus, Latino men have been slow to adopt PrEP.

NewNowNext hypothesizes that the reason for this is because of several cultural differences found between the Latinx community and the rest of Western society.

For instance, “[Some organizations] don’t have Spanish-speaking people to take their phone calls, or make sure they’re directed to where they need to go,” says Moises Agosto, treatment director at the National Minority AIDS Council. “For Latinos who are monolingual… it will be so problematic that they give up.”

In addition, there is an aversion to seeking health care unless being very sick due to the fear of government involvement. Plus, due to many Latin cultures having an emphasis on hypermasculinity, the fear of being connected to homosexuality could be a deterrent.

Adding all that to the lack of a good support system and access to medical care could be the reason that Latino men seem to be at a growing risk.

How To Help:

Consider donating to Oasis, which has provided information, referrals, and tests to Latinx people (gay or otherwise) in New York since April 2016.

Oasis has hosted several workshops and talkbacks that have helped to understand Latino MSM’s thoughts on sexuality and HIV prevention. That’s just the start of what the organization has been able to do for the community in the year and a half that its been open.


Ultimately, on this World AIDS Day, we should remember that there’s still a lot of room left for improvement concerning HIV prevention and treatment.

That said, if we all keep that knowledge in our minds and find ways to support charities and organizations making the world better for PLHIV and those at risk, we can help to truly fight the disease.

h/t: NewNowNext & GayStarNews

Laverne Cox & Mariah Carey Will Be Part of World AIDS Day Concert

World Aids Day is December 1st – a day when the entire world comes together to fight against HIV, show support for those who are living with HIV, and remember those who have gone too soon from AIDS-related illnesses. Founded in 1988, World Aids Day was the first global health day ever.

According to World AIDS Day:

Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

It is an important day of awareness so that we do not forget that HIV/AIDS still affects our world and, primarily, our LGBTQ community. Through education, World AIDS Day aims to breakdown the stigmas related to HIV/AIDS and to hopefully end discrimination and injustice of people who live with the condition.

In honor of World AIDS Day, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation are putting together a free concert that will be one of the many observances for World AIDS Day. On November 30th the  concert will be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Hollywood, CA and will be hosted by Laverne Cox and Mario Lopez and feature Mariah Carey and DJ Khaled.

The concert is free, but RSVP is required HERE

 

 

This year, AHF celebrates its 30th anniversary and having 820,000 lives in its care. AHF is the world’s largest AIDS organization.

AHF President, Michael Weinstein said in a press release:

This year’s World AIDS Day is particularly meaningful for AHF because it marks several historic milestones for us, including AHF having over 833,000 patients in our care around the world as we celebrate our 30th anniversary this year. When AHF began as the AIDS Hospice Foundation in 1987, we were facing dire circumstances and a lot of uncertainty at the beginning of the epidemic.  Each day we were fighting just to keep AIDS patients from having to die in the streets or overcrowded hospitals.  Today, even though millions of people with HIV worldwide are thankfully living longer, healthier lives due to access to better medical treatments, the urgency of winning the war against AIDS here in the U.S. and around the globe has diminished. Our hope is that our big concert events will help keep the spotlight on the need for nations to keep their promise to do all they can to stop HIV/AIDS from claiming additional lives.  We couldn’t be more excited to have Mariah Carey take the stage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles to show her support for our cause.  As one of the most celebrated voices of all time, we know this concert event will be one for the history books.

 

 

In addition to the concert in Los Angeles, AHF will host free concerts in Haiti, Mexico City, around other parts of the United States—including a concert with Sheila E, Becky G, and Reggaeton artist Yandel at the Bayfront Park Amphiteatre in Miami, FL on December 1st. Free awareness and testing events will also take place throughout the U.S., Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Asia.

Check out Worlds AIDS Day for more information on how you can be a part of this important day of awareness