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.