Be Well Pittsburgh! – helping uninsured Pittsburghers find health care

Be Well Pittsburgh! collaborates with health care consumers, health care providers, social service providers and community organizations to improve uninsured Pittsburghers’ awareness of and access to health care resources. Be Well! was founded in 2005 and was originally funded by a Seed Award from the Sprout Fund. The Seed Award supported the printing of 6,000 copies of a resource booklet entitled “Be Well! Healthcare Options for the Uninsured.”  The booklet was distributed in public venues
and through social service organizations in Pittsburgh. Its release was launched at a community health fair at the Quiet
coffeehouse during the summer of 2006. The information was listed online at shortly thereafter.

The information in the booklet and on the website was compiled using some existing resources and through additional research, as well as through information from health care providers themselves. All resources must be free or offered at reduced cost for
uninsured persons.

Be Well! continues to revise, update, print and distribute the booklets as funds allow.  They also continually revise and update the
website. They act as a reference source to individuals and service providers, participate in community events, and hold community information sessions on health care resources for uninsured people.

You can check out Be Well Pittsburgh! for services and more information.

“First studies of its kind breaks down MSM sex stereotypes”

Michael Reece

From the Indiana University Website:

The study, published online ahead of print in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, tapped the largest sample of its kind in theUnited States to examine the sexual behaviors of gay and bisexual men. In collaboration with the OLB Research Institute at Online Buddies, Inc., researchers were able to include feedback from nearly 25,000 men. While gay study participants reported 1,308 unique combinations of behaviors, the most commonly reported behavior was kissing a partner on the mouth.

From a public health standpoint, say the researchers, this study provides professionals with data on the behavior of men having sex with men (MSM) that was missing from the sexual health discussion.

“Due to the disproportionate impact of HIV among MSM, the majority of research on gay and bisexual men’s sexual behavior is situated within the context of disease. This emphasis has resulted in a body of literature about gay and bisexual men that is risk-focused, with limited understanding of the diversity and complexity of these men’s sexual lives,” said co-author Michael Reece, director of IU’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion.

For a copy of the study or to speak with Reece, contact Tracy James, Indiana University, at 812-855-0084 and

“Stigma May Take Toll on Lesbians, Gays”

A post from

The stigma and inequalities that lesbian, gay and bisexual people face on a daily basis can increase their stress level and affect their well-being, according to a new study.

“Imagine living life anticipating exclusion from your friends, family and professional circles simply because of who you are and who you love — that resulting stress takes a toll on one’s life and health,” said the study’s co-author, Ilan Meyer, of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

The researchers set out to determine how stress resulting from daily, non-traumatic events, such as isolation at work and estrangement from families, affected 57 lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) people. The researchers were interested in everyday occurrences,  rather than overt abuse or hate crimes.

Black and Hispanic study participants reported the stress from homophobia, racism and sexism led to certain missed life opportunities, including educational advancement, and less self-confidence.

“For members of minority groups, day-to-day life experiences that may seem minor to others can and do have significant and lasting impact on one’s well-being,” said Meyer. “The idea that simply walking out your door will expose you to societal rejection and stigma creates a climate of stress that can lead to detrimental, long-term consequences.”

To read the full article, go to


The study was recently published online in Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

“Reversing the Alarming HIV Increase Among Black Gay Men, Part 2”


The second of a two-part series examining the high rates of new HIV infection among Black gay and bisexual men.  Part 1 described the new data detailing the dramatic increases in new infections, examined some of the reasons driving the numbers and described the CDC’s new social-marketing initiative, designed to encourage testing among Black MSM.

In light of the persistent increase in new infections among MSM (men who have sex with men)–and despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new testing initiative–a consensus has emerged among prominent Black gay men who have leadership positions in HIV/AIDS policy, prevention and public health: A larger investment is needed from public and private sources, as well as a more “holistic” approach to Black gay men’s sexual health.

Read the full article on