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HIV / AIDS and Gay History

Posted in Community, News on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010 by admin - 5 Comments

gay_christian_flagThe American story of AIDS will always be connected to Gay history, even though on a world level, most people with the virus are heterosexuals. This is because the virus first became known in America because of unusual deaths initially noticed within the Gay population. This led officials in the public health field to create a diagnosis of Gay Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome or GRIDS, before it was understood how the virus was really transmitted. Unfortunately, this mistake labeled AIDS as a gay plague or gay cancer in most American minds.

religion
image courtesy of coloradoindependent.com

Christian Churches considered to be mainstream (along with the connected faiths of Judaism and Islam) were often forced into uncomfortable discussion about their values of faith, hope, and charity related to the two American groups first seen as being at higher risk for HIV infection men who had sex with other men and injecting drug users. This was a special concern for the Catholic Church and some other religious organizations, that have unilaterally rejected the use of condoms, even though this position goes directly against the recommendation of public health officials as a proven protection against HIV infection. The first U.S. Surgeon General to deal directly with AIDS, Edward Everett Coop, responded by stating: We are guardians of public health, not guardians of public morality.
In the first two decades of the American AIDS epidemic, faith-based groups that did not identify as a Gay church have often become involved with the GLBTQ community to provide emotional, spiritual, and physical support to those living with HIV. For example, this has included provision of hospices for people with AIDS. Even among those institutions that are known for their interpretation of the religious-based rejection of same-sex intimacy as being unacceptable, many support groups were created that attempt to integrate GBLTQ members into their faiths. The oldest such group is the Catholic Dignity/USA. Other examples would be the Mormon Affirmation, the Jewish OrthoGays , and the Islamic Al-Fatiha Foundation, just to name a few now associated with mainstream institutions. However, most of these institutions are not officially affiliated with their parent organizations.

Jesus-Has-Two-Daddies

image courtesy of toppun.com

The first faith-based organization known as the gay church, is now called the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, or UFMCC. It was founded in 1968, long before the AIDS pandemic began. Another significant part of Gay history has been the appointment of the Reverend Gene Robinson as the Episcopal Church s first openly gay bishop. Gay History has also recorded intense discussions on the lives of the GBLTQ community, the role of the non-gay church, and its involvement in HIV issues both in America and globally. AIDS has played a great part in terms of opening up the awareness of mainstream religions of their GLBTQ members.

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AIDS / HIV Test

Posted in Community, Information, Resources on Friday, January 1st, 2010 by admin - Leave a comment

gettested

image courtesy of utsa.edu

Do you know your HIV status? The medical establishment believes over one million Americans are HIV positive, but only about one in four know their status. Many, who are positive, do not ask for their outcomes, even when they are tested. A 2000 study found that almost one in three never returned to be told their test results.

Understandably, health care providers consider HIV testing to be a major concern. Medical professionals currently say being tested as soon as possible with the expectation of early intervention with medication can prevent or postpone HIV related infections.cdc_national_hiv_testing_day

image courtesy of cdc

1985 saw the first AIDS HIV test to be licensed. The rapid tests,  easily available in 2010, can provide you information in less than 20 minutes. These began to be used in 1992. The first home use AIDS HIV test became available in 1996. This home test needs a self-collected blood sample which will you mail to a lab. The procedure will take approximately 72 hours, and then you can call a central number  to get your results by giving the code that comes with the test.

This secret code allows an anonymous HIV test. A great number of people choose an anonymous HIV test, since they honor their privacy. A number of insurance providers, before the health reform attempts by the Obama administration, will refuse coverage for what is considered a pre-existing condition.

HIV Test Centersknowit_180x150

Are you looking for HIV Test Centers? If you are, it s important to know nine states do not provide anonymous HIV tests. These are Idaho, Iowa, Nevada, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee. If you call one of these states home, then instead of going to your local HIV Test Centers, you may want to use a home based test, or chose to use the services of an adjoining state.

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