Thursday, November 15, 2018
PrEP, PrEP and more PrEP. PrEP has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 2012 and prevents the transmission of HIV from one person to another up to ninety-two percent, with others saying ninety-nine percent.
Men who have sex with men whose sexual activities were categorized as high risk, a demographic that is most vulnerable to HIV infection, was one of the populations for which PrEP was first indicated. However, not everyone who is gay or bi, or same-gender-loving, has heard of PrEP.
While in Chicago for an event that catered to MSM, I noticed a young gay man who seemed very curious to know others in my group. So, I befriended him because I was curious to know where he was in his life and where his head was at. He was an early twenty-something and I asked his profession and he said he was a server at a restaurant and had dropped out of college. I then asked, “Have you heard of PrEP?” He replied, “No, what is PrEP?” I was shocked and surprised. I wondered why this young man had not heard of PrEP.
When I started my doctoral study and thought about a possible public health dissertation topic, I wanted to focus on something other than HIV. There were several options such as childhood obesity, drug abuse, smoking, etc., but my mind would not stop thinking about that young gay man who had no idea what PrEP was. I couldn’t get him out of my head.
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Happy Halloween, everyone. This month I’ll be addressing stigma and sex workers. Sex workers can be of all genders, sexual orientations, races, and any sex. They face so many challenges created by people’s negative opinions of their professions, HIV stigma, police brutality, etc. We need to address these issues in our community as a whole to decrease discrimination, stigma, and HIV acquisitions.
According to the CDC (2016), sex workers are “people who exchange sex for money or nonmonetary items” and are at increased risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV and other STIs because they are more likely to engage in risky sexual practices and substance use
So, what are some factors that keep sex workers at risk for acquiring HIV/STIs?
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Thursday, November 1, 2018
Israel is beautiful. I had a blast. I visited a lot of places while staying in Tel Aviv. Jerusalem was one of my favorites, I was able to see all four corners (Jewish, Christian, Armenian, and Muslim). We went to Jaffa and that was beautiful as well. You could see Tel Aviv off in the distance and it was beautiful. Zippori National Park was amazing with ruins and mosaics. My absolute favorite was the Dead Sea. The mud covering with my friends was fun but also it made me closer to Israel in a way, closer than I ever thought possible. Walking into the Dead Sea and floating out on my back was as peaceful as I have ever been. Praying to the Wailing Wall made me weep because it was so powerful. I don’t want to go on and on about my experience. So here is a brief description of places I went to.
Mona Lisa of Zippori
Zippori is a village and an archeological site located in the central Galilee region of Israel. It lies 286 m above sea level and overlooks the Beit Netofa Valley. The site holds a rich and diverse historical and architectural legacy that includes Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, Arabic and Ottoman influences.
The Western Wall in Jerusalem, Wailing Wall, or Kotel, known in Islam as the Buraq Wall, is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a relatively small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, known also in its entirety as the "Western Wall"
Ein Gedi, just aside the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert, not too far from Jerusalem, is one of Israel’s premier hiking spots, featuring spectacular beauty, varied landscapes, and botanical gardens.
Masada is an ancient fortress in southern Israel’s Judean Desert. It's on a massive plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. A cable car and a long, winding path climb up to the fortifications, built around 30 B.C. Among the ruins are King Herod's Palace, which sprawls over 3 rock terraces, and a Roman-style bathhouse with mosaic floors. The Masada Museum has archaeological exhibits and recreations of historical scenes.
The Sea of Galilee, Kinneret or Kinnereth, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias, is a freshwater lake in Israel. It is approximately 53 km in circumference, about 21 km long, and 13 km wide. Its area is 166.7 km² at its fullest, and its maximum depth is approximately 43 m.
Jaffa, in Hebrew Yafo, or in Arabic Yaffa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, is an ancient port city in Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and Saint Peter as well as the mythological story of Andromeda and Perseus, and later for its oranges.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Hey, everyone, I hope all is well. Fall is here and the first holiday that comes to mind is Labor Day. Does anyone know what this holiday is about? And, no, it isn’t about pregnant women going into labor. Labor Day is more about the labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. This month, I’d like to shine a spotlight on those who work with us to keep us healthy. I know there are a lot of us that absolutely hate having to deal with doctors or any public health professional, but maybe knowing more about what public health professionals do and why they can be an important part of our HIV journey might take the sting out.
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Monday, September 17, 2018
What do you do when feeling rejected by family members when you come out of the HIV closet?
I thought about the month of August and how it is a big month for my family.
My father’s and mother’s birthdays are both in August, and, to celebrate those two dates, I always send them a little something in the mail. My father will tell me and my brother to only call or send him a card. I will usually send my mother her favorite flowers. Also, my brother’s wedding anniversary was in August as well. He had an awesome wedding in Jamaica and married a beautiful woman that I am proud to call sister. August is also when I said “I do” to the most wonderful man in the world. So, when I think of August, I think of my family, but not all of us are lucky enough to have a supportive family.
Coming out of the HIV closet is even harder without the support of one’s family. Here are six points to remember as you consider having and/or navigating this discussion
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Monday, September 3, 2018
Richard Flores from Richard Plus Films has made a documentary called, ‘H.I.V Hope Inspires Victory’. He has released a trailer for the documentary which stars the current cast members Stephen Hart, Charles Sanchez, Donnie Bell and Dr. Justin B Terry-Smith and Joshua Luckey-Riddle (Luckey)- Singer of "This Spirit" song soundtrack. Stay Tuned to get more information on the documentary.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
A&U: America's AIDS Magazine writer Justin B Terry-Smith interviews Charles Mattocks the creator of new HIV Reality Show.
The nephew of Bob Marley, Mattocks has had a successful musical career. He has also starred in several films, as well. His most noteworthy performance came with the title role of The Summer of Ben Tyler, with James Woods and Elizabeth McGovern, and he has appeared on CNN, Dr. Oz, and The Today Show, among others.
To see the full interview click here or go to the link below