Health Hub




San Diego Man Charged With Willfully Exposing Boyfriend To HIV - VIDEO

Thomas Guerra

The San Diego City Attorney's Office has charged a 29-year-old man with knowingly exposing an ex-boyfriend to HIV, who is now testing positive. Thomas Guerra has also been accused of infecting 24 other men with HIV, reports Gawker.

Guerra's unnamed accuser said that he was messaged by a man on Facebook who told him of Guerra’s HIV positive status.

The accuser also said that he discovered a number of text messages on Guerra's phone allegedly implicating him:

"Texts where he's stating he's negative to people then bragging to others about giving people his 'positive load.’ It's crude, it's...I don't know how someone could treat another individual like that."

Guerra, who is also known as Ashton Chavez, currently faces a maximum of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. However, his alleged victim is hopeful that additional text message records could prompt prosecutors to upgrade the case to a felony, punishable with up to eight years in prison.

Watch an ABC 10 News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "San Diego Man Charged With Willfully Exposing Boyfriend To HIV - VIDEO" »


Obamacare Expanding Healthcare Access For Trans People

8604814536_16657de938_z

A growing number of low-income people who identify as transgender are finding that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is making it easier for them to transition. One of Obamacare’s key components is the requirement that health care providers provide coverage for all people interested in purchasing policies, regardless of whether or not they have pre-existing conditions.

Previously gender identity disorder, the psychological description of a dysphoria associated with one’s birth sex and assigned gender, was frequently used both to disqualify people from purchasing health plans and as a justification for denying certain forms of coverage. By making health care generally more affordable and divorcing coverage from employers, Obamacare is removing many of the barriers that trans-identified people have traditionally had to deal with

“The system isn’t perfect — low-income people buying insurance through a state exchange will still have to pay monthly fees — but it’s an improvement over the current setup,” Transgender Law Center Project Health program manager Anand Kalra explained to the Advocate:

“[A]ll plans sold through state exchanges have to provide coverage for 10 ‘Essential Health Benefits,’ which include, among others, preventative care, reproductive health, prescription drugs, mental health care, and treatment for substance abuse.”

Increased access to a broader network of healthcare practitioners is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t address all of the infrastructural healthcare difficulties faced by the the trans-community. There are far fewer general practitioners that specialize in trans-health issues. Moreover, while insurance companies can no longer out and out deny trans-identified people coverage simply for being trans, the approval process for many  medical procedures commonly associated with trans-people can be arduous.

"It is not a simple, easy, magical surgery," Devin Payn recounted to Kaiser Health News. "Trying to do this without insurance is a big risk. Things can go wrong ... not having the money to pay for it would be awful."


Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Gay Blood Donor Ban - VIDEO

Ban

Equality California, the largest LGBT advocacy organization in the state, has partnered with Assemblymember Richard Bloom to advance an assembly joint resolution (AJR 50) urging President Barack Obama to compel the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to introduce blood donor policies that do not discriminate against men who have had sex with other men.

Currently, the FDA prohibits men from donating blood for life if they have even once had sex with another man since 1977.

Medical organizations including the American Red Cross and the American Association for Blood Banks have called for a reevaluation and/or repeal of the policy citing its excessively broad nature and advances in blood testing.

BloomThe Williams Institute think tank estimates that an additional 130,150 men would likely donate 219,200 pints of blood each year if the ban were lifted, helping blood banks which routinely operate with a short supplies.

Bloom said:

“The FDA's archaic exclusions are both discriminatory and unwise, considering the nation’s chronic blood supply shortages. It is time for the FDA to restructure its blood donor deferral policies to reflect sound science, not outdated social prejudices.”

The resolution, which passed the Assembly Floor yesterday with a final bipartisan vote of 58-15, will now move to the Senate for consideration.

Watch a report on a blood donor protest at the University of Cincinnati's Hoxworth Blood Center last month, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Gay Blood Donor Ban - VIDEO" »


What Goes On Inside A Depressed Person? - VIDEO

 

Asap

ASAP Science has a new explainer on depression.

Noting that the true causes of depression have yet to be pinned down precisely, the video explains the biological basis for depression and how the growth and connections of brain cells play a large roll.

It also considers the hereditary nature of depression and bipolar disorder - studies have shown that if one identical twin has bipolar disorder the other twin has a 60 to 80 percent chance of developing it too.

The video concludes with an introduction to depression in other species.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

You can also read David Mixner's recent piece on his struggles with depression here.

Continue reading "What Goes On Inside A Depressed Person? - VIDEO" »


Robert Oscar Lopez: Same-Sex Marriage Is 'A Tidal Wave' Sweeping Up Children - VIDEO

Robert Oscar Lopez

In a July speech to the Stanford Anscombe Society, anti-gay activist and "ex-gay" Robert Oscar Lopez said that he cannot support same-sex marriage because it has become a “tidal wave” that has “swept up children,” reports Right Wing Watch.

The Stanford Anscombe Society aims “to help university students and young adults to promote the values of marriage, family, and sexual integrity to the broader popular culture” and “defines marriage as a union, until death, between one man and one woman.”

Lopez said that although he once supported same-sex marriage, many people “have chosen to yoke gay marriage and gay parenting together” which forced him into the opposing camp “because it ultimately means that in order to protect the sexual relationship between two adults, you have to shatter the relationship between a child and either his father or his mother.”

Lopez also attacked what he called “a very powerful gay lobby that has a lot of money” which works to “erase” the realities of life for LGBT people, including high rates of domestic violence in same-sex relationships,”rampant problems with depression, anxiety, eating disorders” and “the fact that HIV infection rate recently went up among boys 13 to 19.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Robert Oscar Lopez: Same-Sex Marriage Is 'A Tidal Wave' Sweeping Up Children - VIDEO" »


HIV Testing During Dental Visits Could Become Effective New Way to Stop Virus's Spread

Dentist

The next big step in combating the spread of HIV could come from your dentist’s office. Testing and knowing one’s HIV status are crucial components to curtailing HIV, but oftentimes there exists a significant social stigma that comes with requesting a test from one’s primary physician. Dentists offices, according to University of Chicago Center for Health Administration Studies Faculty Chair Dr. Harold Pollack, provide the perfect setting for making HIV testing de rigueur. Unlike clinics geared towards sexual health, which can be few and far between depending on one’s community, dentists’ offices are widespread and more easily accessible.

In the same way that pharmacies offer tests for cholesterol, blood pressure, and vision, dentists offices could branch out their services offered. A visit to the dentist could begin with a quick swab one’s cheek and end with HIV test results without any blood work necessary.

“We don’t need anything from our primary-care physicians,” Pollack explained to Ozy. “We want nice-looking white teeth with no cavities.”

Generally speaking people visit the dentist more frequently than they do their doctors, according to Pollack’s research. He estimates that nearly 70% of high-risk individuals schedule annual dental appointments, whereas most people only go to the doctor when they are certain that something is wrong.

Dentists in Canada, Mexico, and South Korea have begun administering HIV screenings as a part of a regular checkup. In the U.S., the practice is not nearly as common, and not without significant hurdles. For all of their scarcity, HIV clinics are more than merely a place that will administer health screenings and medication. Clinic staff are trained to handle and  share kinds information that dentists don’t have to deal with very often. But Pollack is certain that HIV testing deserves to a feature of modern dentistry.

“In the U.S., we’ve done a bad job of carving oral health out, having separate insurance plans.” He insisted. “We need to have a mentality that really grasps that oral health is part of health.”


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged