Health

Special focus needed for LGBTI and HIV-positive in aged care

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex aged care residents in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) face social isolation, concerns of disclosure of their sexual orientation and other unique needs, a new report has found.

Minister for Ageing Mick Gentleman will release the findings of a study calling for better education for service providers, staff and residents of aged care facilities on Thursday.

CDC: Syphilis on the rise among gay, bisexual men

The number of cases of syphilis in the United States jumped 10% from 2012 to 2013, with gay and bisexual men accounting for 75% of the increase, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

"There are over 20 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases [STDs] every year in the United States, and they continue to pose a risk of lifelong complications for millions of Americans," said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.

Millennials and Social Media: Engaging, mobilizing and learning for HIV outreach

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 50,000 Americans are newly infected with HIV each year. Of those, one in four (26%) is 13-24 years old. In 2012, the highest rate of new diagnoses of HIV infection occurred among people aged 20–24 years.

NIH to study link between diabetes and lesbian, bisexual women

The National Institutes of Health through its National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has awarded $524,403 to San Diego State University to study diabetes and sexual orientation in women.

"Type 2 diabetes (T2D) contributes to substantial morbidity, disability, and premature mortality in the U.S.," the grant said.

Alabama: Blue Cross extends coverage to married gay couples

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama’s largest insurer now offers spousal coverage to legally married gay couples in order to comply with a federal rule that insurance companies must treat married couples the same regardless of sexual orientation.

A spokeswoman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama said the company began offering same-sex spousal coverage for underwritten plans in early 2014, “in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ regulations that prohibit health insurers from discriminating in health plan coverage on the basis of sexual orientation.”

New Zealand: New one-year blood ban now in place

The new 12 month stand down period for gay and bisexual men who want to give blood comes into effect today in New Zealand, after being approved by Medsafe.

It means men who haven’t anal or oral sex with another man in a year can donate.

The ban period was dropped from five years to 12 months at the recommendation of team which carried out a review for the New Zealand Blood Service.

The group cited the fact Australia’s twelve month stand-down for the past ten years, with no evidence of HIV transmission, in its reasons for the change.

Legislators call on HHS to end discriminatory blood donation policy

WASHINGTON DC -- U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Representatives Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), led a letter with 75 of their congressional colleagues calling on Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell to replace the outdated and discriminatory lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM) with a policy based on individual risk factors.

Look Better Naked: The dirty truth about Canola Oil

Mainstream media says that canola oil is “heart healthy” and is a good source of monounsaturated fats, similar to olive oil. It’s important to realize that much of what you hear in mainstream media is influenced heavily by marketing tactics of major food companies. Canola oil is cheap to produce and made from rapeseed.

New York: Insurers told to cover transgender treatments

ALBANY, New York — New York’s financial regulators advised health insurers statewide on Thursday to cover transgender treatment deemed to be medically necessary.

The Department of Financial Services said commercial insurers may not deny needed treatment for gender dysphoria — when someone’s gender at birth is contrary to his or her identity.

The guidance sends the message that discrimination against transgender people won’t be tolerated, department Superintendent Ben Lawsky said.

Oregon: Pregnant lesbian sues after being denied family leave

PORTLAND, Oregon -- "They are not your children," a pregnant lesbian's boss said as she denied family leave, she claims in United States District Court, Portland, Oregon.

Lisa Sweeney sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest for violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Oregon Family Leave Act, sexual orientation discrimination, hostile work environment, whistle-blower retaliation, retaliation for opposing discrimination and wrongful termination.

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