Minding Your Health - Truvada Approved to Help Prevent HIV

An antiretroviral medication known as Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, or FTC-TDF) was approved in July as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to be used in combination with safer sex practices to help prevent sexually acquired HIV infection. The medication was released after an FDA scientific advisory committee recommended its use in May. The New England Journal of Medicine published three studies about the drug’s effectiveness in reducing the risk of HIV infection among men and women in Africa. Pre-exposure prophylaxis has great potential, especially when used in conjunction with risk-reduction counseling, safer sex practices such as condom use, expanded testing and linkage to treatment/care facilities, such as Good Samaritan Project in Kansas City.

More information is available from Fenway Health: www.fenwayhealth.org/site/DocServer/PolicyFocus_PrEP_v7_02.21.12.pdf?docID=9321

Other newsworthy items include:
► The LGBTQ Health Equity Summit on Aug. 14 in Kansas City was a great success. Participants of varying ages and identities from throughout the nation came together to collaborate about LGBT health disparities and address tobacco-control practices in their local communities. The LGBT Health Equity Network released “MPOWERED: Best and Promising Practices for LGBT Tobacco Prevention and Control.” Later that evening, Hamburger Mary’s hosted a promotion that modeled how LGBT tobacco prevention can be implemented in our community.
► The Missouri Foundation for Health released its August 2012 Health Equity Series: “Responding to LGBT Health Disparities.” The report focuses on LGBT health disparities in Missouri and nationally. It includes definitions of culturally competent health care and public health policies that affect LGBT health disparities. The report is rich in statistics on everything from physical fitness to hate crimes. It also lists recommended policies for states that would have a significant impact on LGBT health. The report will be available later in the year at: mffh.org.
► The Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling recently released its new “Competencies for Counseling LGBQQIA Individuals.” This document complements the group’s “Competencies for Counseling with Transgender Clients.” Both are available at: algbtic.org
► An article in the Huffington Post states that the government of India has spent $1.28 million to purchase letters written by the peace-promoting civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi that may otherwise have been auctioned publicly. Some say the purchase was made because officials feared that the letters may prove that Gandhi was gay. (www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/12/india-government-buys-gandhi-letters-to-stop-auction_n_1668466.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl43%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D178443)
► The Advocate magazine featured a powerful op-ed piece about the potential damage that could occur when therapists unethically provide sexual conversion therapy (also known as reparative or ex-gay therapy) to their clients. (www.advocate.com/commentary/2012/08/01/california-must-ban-harmful-conversion-therapy-attempts-turn-gay-people)

► The Missouri GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) Network is gearing up for the 2012-13 school year by working on an online map of GSAs in the state (batchgeo.com/map/0732141bd8b6ef06dd1cdb7559e11356). The map is a work in progress, but it does indicate that Kansas City needs more GSAs in our public school systems. For more information, go to gsanetwork.org or contact missourigsanetwork@gmail.com
► Perhaps you heard that a change in policy now allows military personnel to officially wear their uniforms at Gay Pride events. However, it is even more interesting to note that a recent independent study by military veteran and psychologist George Brown found that transgender identities are more likely to emerge from those within the military. His theory states that “current military policies, in association with the proposed hypermasculine phase of transsexual development, may actually result in a higher prevalence of transsexualism in the military than in the civilian population” and more recent data support this idea. (www.courthousenews.com/2012/07/24/48664.htm).
► Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, died recently at 61 from pancreatic cancer. It was revealed after her death that she had been in a 27-year relationship with another woman. (www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/sally-ride-first-american-woman-female-partner-_n_1696537.html?utm_hp_ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=072412&utm_medium=email&utm_content=NewsEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief)
► An article in the New York Times states that Serbia is becoming a hub for sex-change (sex-realignment) surgery. According to the Belgrade Center for Genital Reconstructive Surgery, nearly 100 people have undergone the procedure this year, and the numbers are growing. For Serbs, national health insurance helps defray the cost of this expensive procedure, which is also shunned by many other countries in the region. Transgender health-care tourism (going elsewhere for medical procedures) is becoming popular due to the complicated nature of procedures and social prejudice toward trans identities. (www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/world/europe/serbia-becomes-a-hub-for-sex-change-surgery.html?_r=1&hp)

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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