Medicine Hub

Can Truvada Hurt You? New Video Debunks Three PrEP Myths: WATCH


Youreka Science (which is kinda like ASAP Science, except mostly about diseases) debunks three myths behind pre-exposure prophylactics (PrEP) like Truvada to separate fact from fiction. The myths are that it doesn't work, it has bad side effects and is impossible to get.

Gawker also recent published a thorough but informative article about PrEP that's worth reading.

See Youreka's video AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Can Truvada Hurt You? New Video Debunks Three PrEP Myths: WATCH" »

Stephen Colbert Talks to Gay Teen Science Prodigy Jack Andraka: VIDEO


Stephen Colbert last night welcomed Jack Andraka, the 16-year-old gay science genius who developed a groundbreaking new way to detect early stages of pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer.

Asked Colbert: "Have you thought about using your powers for evil, cause this is the age at which normally supervillains make the turn?"


If you missed Andraka's 60 Minutes segment, catch it HERE.


Continue reading "Stephen Colbert Talks to Gay Teen Science Prodigy Jack Andraka: VIDEO" »

What The Death Of DOMA Means For Medicare

SiegelkopelovToday has already seen the unprecedented advancement of rights for same-sex married couples with the U.S. Department of Treasury's decision to extend tax benefits to same-sex married couples, regardless of the state in which they live. This is, or course, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Now, the Department of Health and Human Services is following suit, and has released guidelines for what the end of DOMA means for Medicare.

Same-sex married couples will now have access to nursing home care through their Medicare-funded private insurance, a benefit that has always been available to opposite-sex married couples. According to the Washington Blade, in the days before DOMA was struck down:

"Seniors with Medicare Advantage previously may have had to choose between receiving coverage in a nursing home away from their same-sex spouse or disenrolling from their plan to be with their loved one. The latter option would mean paying more out of pocket for care."

Thankfully, those days are now over. Danielle Moon, director of the Medicare Drug & Health Plan Contract Administration Group, lays out The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new post-DOMA interpretation of the term "spouse":

"In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor, CMS believes it would be impermissible to interpret the term ‘spouse,’ as used in section 1852(l)(4)(A)(iii), to exclude individuals who are in a legally valid same-sex marriage sanctioned by a state, territorial or foreign government...MA organizations therefore are required, effective immediately, to cover services in a SNF in which a validly married same sex spouse resides to the extent that they would be required to cover the services if an opposite sex spouse resided in the SNF."

Fed-dept-of-health-and-human-servicesIn a news statement accompanying the new guidelines, Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius noted that this new guideline is the first of many more that will be on the way:

“HHS is working swiftly to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and maximize federal recognition of same-sex spouses in HHS programs. Today’s announcement is the first of many steps that we will be taking over the coming months to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.”

Better yet, Moon has clarified that the new guideline applies to couples, across the country, even if they live in a state that does not yet recognize marriage equality:

“The foregoing analysis applies to individuals of the same sex who are domiciled in a state or territory that recognizes their relationship as a marriage. It also applies to individuals of the same sex who were legally married in a state or other jurisdiction without regard to whether they are domiciled in a state or territory that recognizes their relationship as a marriage.”

You can read the full release, via the Washington Blade, HERE.

New York Doctor's Restroom Welcomes Everyone: PHOTO


Given what's happening in Arizona now, I thought this might be a good time to show off this photo, taken by my partner Dave at his doctor's office in Manhattan.

Nation's Most Influential Pediatrics Group Backs Gay Marriage

In a new policy statement published today, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announces its support for same-sex marriage as well as full adoption and foster care rights for all parents regardless of sexual orientation "as the best way to guarantee benefits and security for their children."

Aap“Children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way we do that is through marriage,” said Benjamin Siegel, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, and a co-author of the policy statement. “The AAP believes there should be equal opportunity for every couple to access the economic stability and federal supports provided to married couples to raise children.”

In a previous policy statement published in 2002 and reaffirmed in 2010, the AAP supported second-parent adoption by partners of the same sex as a way to protect children’s right to maintain relationships with both parents, eligibility for health benefits and financial security. The 2013 policy statement and accompanying technical report adds recommendations in support of civil marriage for same-gender couples; adoption by single parents, co-parents or second parents regardless of sexual orientation; and foster care placement regardless of sexual orientation.

Read the policy statement HERE and the technical report HERE.

'Broadway's New Musical 'Kinky Boots' to Support Landmark Columbia University LGBT Health Initiative: You Can Too

Columbia University Medical Center recently established a new groundbreaking LGBT Health Initiative. Never before has a medical school included such specialized training in LGBT issues as part of its curriculum for physicians and psychiatrists 

KinkyThe director of the initiative, Anke A. Ehrhardt, Ph.D., who is also Director of the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health at  the NYS Psychiatric Institute and the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, explained the program in a memo sent out late last month.

Across the lifespan, new issues are emerging, including LGBT youth coming out at  earlier ages, new family identities being forged by same-sex marriage and co-parenting, relationships, and the aging of the first openly LGBT generation. We will  bring together scientists, clinicians, educators, and policymakers to respond comprehensively  to the critical issues facing LGBT people. For example, families, schools, and health providers  are often ill-prepared to offer support to LGBT youth, which increases their vulnerability to shame, low self esteem, isolation, loneliness and self-harm. We will conduct the research necessary to develop the tools that families, schools, and health providers can use to strengthen resilience among LGBT people. Such research will also inform the training of the  next generation of clinicians and educators and drive public policy to improve the climate of  schools and communities so that LGBT youth can thrive. 

The Initiative’s research efforts will recognize the diversity within the LGBT population  and the urgent need to understand the intersections among gender identity, sexual orientation,  race/ethnicity, social class, and age, as well as the specific needs of different groups.

Said Dr. Walter O. Bockting PhD, the initiative's co-director: "Almost every day in the news, there is another sign of progress in fighting stigma and in confronting the inequities found among the LGBT population. However, despite this dramatic increase in public awareness, research to guide this progress and training in evidence-based, culturally competent health care has lagged behind. To fill this gap, we will take LGBT health research, practice, education, and policy to a  whole new level by working collaboratively with faculty and students, colleagues in the field,  affected communities, and policymakers."

So important is this initiative to the LGBT community that the new Broadway musical Kinky Boots is hosting a special one-night only event at the show, featuring a pre-show cocktail reception with composer/lyricist Cyndi Lauper and director Jerry Mitchell, and a post-show talkback with book writer Harvey Fierstein. The evening will be co-sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and all proceeds will go directly to program development for the Initiative for LGBT Health.

So if you're interested in seeing Kinky Boots and want to help Columbia implement this new initiative, you can get tickets to the benefit performance, the pre-show cocktail reception and post-show talk-back by calling Leigh Ann Brienza, Director of Development, at 212-304-7227, or by email at

There are still a few tickets left I'm told. Click the flyer for more details.


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