Matt Baume writes in the Huffington Post:
If the ACA is repealed, as Republicans are trying to do, not only would 32 million people lose health care, according to the Congressional Budget Office, but LGBTs would be disproportionately affected. And “disproportionately affected” is a phrase which here means “get sick and die.” For example, HIV treatment can cost thousands of dollars per month. Insurance companies that don’t want to pay for that treatment could just refuse to cover all gay people on the basis that gay men are more likely to be HIV positive. Or they could raise monthly premiums just for gays. Or they could create a lifetime cap, so you pay into their system and then as soon as you need expensive treatment, they drop you. All this was legal until the ACA banned it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has taken the unprecedented step of producing a music video Exit Disclaimer to educate gay men about the many HIV prevention options available to them, and it is foot-stomping fabulous.
By Mark S. King, Mark S. King, HIV positive activist and writer, MyFabulousDisease.com
From the Huffington Post…
No one likes going to the doctor. It’s scary.
But for gay men, it’s even scarier. For one, gay men experience a great deal of stigma and shaming, which makes difficult conversations even harder. Gay men, as a population, are also at higher risk for certain sexually transmitted diseases and conditions. That’s also scary. Lastly, predicting a health care provider’s response to gay-specific isn’t easy. Some doctors are totally comfortable talking about gay sex and gay men’s health; in other instances, doctors shut down entirely.
The reality is, gay men need to feel empowered to have difficult conversations with their doctor. After all, your life is literally on the line. And if your doctor doesn’t respond with professionalism and understanding, it’s time to find someone new.
To get the ball rolling, I asked the gay internet (i.e., my Facebook page) for questions that they’re afraid to ask their doctor — and walked the walk by asking my own doctor, Dr. Jay Gladstein. Here’s what he had to say:
From HuffPost Live…
Just because marriage is attainable by all, doesn’t mean everyone needs to attain it. HuffPost Live looks at #WhatsWorking to break the stigma of homosexual promiscuity and why it’s okay if gay men & women just want to have sex and not a life-long relationship.
A series of real stories from real people about their unique experiences along the HIV Continuum of Care.
See more at Positivespin.HIV.gov.
Smoking is especially dangerous for people who are living with HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS. Brian learned that lesson the hard way, when he had a stroke—a brain attack—at age 43. In this video, Brian talks about surviving HIV-related medical problems—then nearly losing his life because of smoking. See All Brian’s videos.
And from LOGO online…
Smoking now leads to more deaths in the LGBT community than HIV according to the Centers for Disease Control, which also reports that while 20.5% of heterosexuals smoke, 30.8% of gay people use tobacco products. “We know that approximately one million LGBT people [in the U.S.] will die early from tobacco-related causes,” says Dr. Scout from the Network for LGBT Health Equity. “We want to save those lives instead.”
I you’re HIV-positive and smoke, the combination can take even more years off your life: According to the Network for LGBT Health Equity, being HIV-positive takes an average of 5.1 years off one’s life, but people who smoke and have HIV die 12.3 years earlier on average. Yet the smoking rate is two to three times higher among adults who are HIV-positive than in the general public.