Why Medicaid Expansion Matters To LGBTQQ African-Americans in Georgia

Expanding Medicaid to LGBTQQ African americans is important because:

  • LGBTQQ community is less likely to be discriminated
  • More care for those with HIV
  • 21% of LGBTQQ are parents raising children. Coverage would benefit them and their children.

To read the full fact sheet click here.


HIV Among African Americans (2013)

African Americans have the highest rates of HIV. 1/16 men and 1/32 women contract HIV. African Americans have the highest rates of STI’s and having an STI increases the rates of transmitting HIV. Other reasons why HIV is transmitted are: some people really just don’t know they have it and have not been tested because they are scared, getting tested is stigmatized and/or because of homophobia. Their socioeconomic status affects whether they get tested, have access to healthcare, and the kind of healthcare they get.

  • African Americans are the population most likely to have HIV.
  • LGBTQ Blacks have the highest rate of HIV
  • Lack of access to healthcare is one factor that directly or indirectly increases the risk for HIV infection.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention are working on a couple initiatives to reduce HIV infection rate among Blacks.

  • CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) has a campaign
  • Works on HIV prevention
  • MSM Testing Initiative
  • Offers technical support to organizations working on HIV awareness and prevention

Check out the full article here.

Adolescents, Protecting: Ensuring Access to Care and Reporting Sexual Activity and Abuse

This reference guide was created in 2004 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.  It is a reference guide that provides information as a key for health professionsl to ensure that adolescents have access to the health services they need.  It includes sexual and reproductive health services information.

  • Sexual activity and sexual abuse are not synonymous. It should not be assumed that adolescents who are sexually active are, by definition, being abused. Many adolescents have consensual sexual relationships.
  • It is critical that adolescents who are sexually active receive appropriate confidential health care and counseling.
  • Open and confidential communication between the health professional and the adolescent patient, together with careful clinical assessment, can identify the majority of sexual abuse cases.
  • Physicians and other health professionals must know their state laws and report cases of sexual abuse to the proper authority, in accordance with those laws, after discussion with the adolescent and parent, as appropriate.
  • Federal and state laws should support physicians and other health care professionals and their role in providing confidential health care to their adolescent patients.
  • Federal and state laws should affirm the authority of physicians and other health care professionals to exercise appropriate clinical judgment in reporting cases of sexual activity.

Click here to read more about providing the best care for adolescents


Illinois HIV Care Connect

HIV Care Connect Logo

Illinois HIV Care Connect is a program of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which is responsible for administering Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Illinois HIV Care Connect is a comprehensive network of health care and support services for HIV+ individuals that is coordinated by eight regional administrative offices covering all of Illinois’ 102 counties. IDPH also supports the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and the Continuation of Health Insurance Coverage Program.

To learn more about the education materials, resources, and statistics the Illinois HIV Care Connect offers, click here.

Questions and Answers: LGBTQ Youth Issues FAQ

This online resource on the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SEICUS) website focuses on answering common questions regarding LGBTQ youth.  Topics discussed include data from surveys regarding same-sex sexual behavior, HIV/AIDS and STD risks, mental health, homelessness, schools and education and general trends.


“Questions and Answers: LGBTQ Youth Issues.” Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. n.p. n.d. Web. 9 Jan. 2014.

Link to “Questions and Answers: LGBTQ Youth Issues

Howard Brown Health Center (Chicago, IL)

Image Source: http://www.howardbrown.org/hb_locations.asp

Howard Brown Health Center was founded in 1974 and is now one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations.  Howard Brown Center is based in Chicago and serves men, women, infants, youth, and children through many health clinics and research centers.  For more information about Howard Brown Health Center’s history, click here.


“Howard Brown exists to eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness.”

The Howard Brown Health Center provides many services including:

  • Walk-in Clinic
  • STD & HIV Rapid Testing
  • Transgender Health
  • HIV/STD Prevention & Services
  • Youth services
  • Elder services
  • Community initiatives
  • Alternative Insemination (AI) Program
  • Case Management
  • Counseling & Psychotherapy
  • Domestic Violence Support
  • Workshops & Support Groups

Howard Brown Health Center offers discounted health services to qualifying patients who are uninsured and have low income.  They also accept many insurance plans, in addition to Medicaid and Medicare.

For a list of locations, hours and specific services, click here.

For health related matters, please phone Howard Brown Health Center at 773-288-1600.  For urgent health issues, please call 911.

Connect with them via Facebook or Twitter.

Be Yourself (2006)

The “Be Yourself” booklet, published by Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, is targeted towards youth who are or may be GLBT and have questions or are interested in looking for more information via websites and organizations.

Very detailed answers are provided for questions ranging from “Is it okay to be GLBT?” to “Do I need to worry about HIV and AIDS?”  Topics discussed include reparative therapy, ex-gay ministries, gender identity, stereotypes, youth of color, HIV, AIDS, acceptance, coming out, communication, harassment, friendships and family.  A list of organizations and resources is also included.

Link to PDF of “Be Yourself” booklet

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, founded in 1916, is an organization that is committed to providing trusted health care, educating and informing the community, leading the reproductive health and rights movement, and advancing global health.

“Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence.”

The website provides up-to-date, clear, and medically accurate information about a variety of topics such as:

Planned Parenthood health centers also provide a variety of services such as:

  • Abortion
  • Birth Control
  • Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)
  • General Health Care
  • HIV Testing
  • LGBT Health Care
  • Men’s Health Care
  • Pregnancy Testing & Services
  • STD Testing, Treatment & Vaccines
  • Women’s Health Care

Click here to find your closest Planned Parenthood Health Clinic.

Connect with Planned Parenthood via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Youtube.

NCHHSTP State Profiles from Centers for Disease Control (2010)

The 2010 NCHHSTP State Profile is the most recent (as of Jan 2014) statistical report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that provides information regarding HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB for all 50 states.  Each report also includes descriptions of prevention and control programs that the specific state public health officials and CDC support.

Click here for the PDF of the “NCHHSTP 2010 National Report”

Click here for the PDF of the “NCHHSTP 2010 Illinois Report”

Click here for the link to NCHHSTP Reports for other states


American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

The American Sexual Health Association, founded in 1914, aims to communicate to the public, patients, press, providers and policy makers by developing and delivering sensitive health information about sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases/infections.

Their mission statement:

“The American Sexual Health Association promotes the sexual health of individuals, families and communities by advocating sound policies and practices and educating the public, professionals and policy makers, in order to foster healthy sexual behaviors and relationships and prevent adverse health outcomes.”

The website provides information about:

You can also get updates from the ASHA Blog and through their Youtube channel.

Advocates for Youth

Advocates for Youth, established in 1980, aims to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive rights.  They focus on working with young people ages 14-25 in the U.S. and abroad and treat young people as a valuable resource.

Advocate for Youth’s Rights. Respect. Respnsibility (3Rs) Core Values:

RIGHTS: Youth have the right to accurate and complete sexual health information, confidential reproductive and sexual health services, and a secure stake in the future.

RESPECT: Youth deserve respect. Valuing young people means involving them in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies that affect their health and well-being.

RESPONSIBILITY: Society has the responsibility to provide young people with the tools they need to safeguard their sexual health, and young people have the responsibility to protect themselves from too-early childbearing and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Their website contains information such as:

They also publish a variety of publications ranging from topics such as “Peer Education” to “State Facts” and “Abstinence Only Programs.”

You can connect with Advocates for Youth via Facebook, Twitter, & Tumblr

Office of Population Affairs Website

The Office of Population Affairs (OPA) oversees the Title X program, the only federal program dedicated to family planning and related preventive services, and also advises the Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Health on reproductive health topics, family planning, adolescent pregnancy and other population issues.

The OPA oversee research and grants that support:

  • Family Planning— assists individuals in determining the number and spacing of their children through education, counseling and comprehensive medical services
  • Embryo Adoption Program–increases public awareness of embryo donation and adoption

* Title XX Adolescent Family Life was originally administered by the Office of Population Affairs but has moved to the Office of Adolescent Health since 2012.

The OPA website also has information regarding general reproductive health, contraception, and STIs.

You can connect with them via Twitter.

Effective Sex Education (2006)


This article, written by Brigid McKeon (Advocates for Youth) provides an overview of the effectiveness and characteristics of comprehensive sex education and the dangers of abstinence-only programs .

By age 18, 70% of U.S. females and 62% of U.S. males have initiated vaginal sex.  Adolescents have a fundamental human right to comprehensive and accurate sexual health information in order to make healthy decisions about sex and healthy sexual behaviors.

The article provides statistics and data supporting several points–

  • Comprehensive sex education is effective and does not promote sexual risks
  • Abstinence-Only programs are dangerous, ineffective and inaccurate
  • Medical organizations, parents and the public support comprehensive sex education

The fact sheet also includes characteristics of effective sex education as well as medical and public health recommendations to support comprehensive sex education.

Link to “Effective Sex Education”

Educating Teenagers About Sex in the United States (2010)

This data brief published by the Centers for Disease Control shows data collected from teens (ages 15-19) who answered questions about formal sexual education they have received and whether or not teens talk to their parents about sex .  Sex education in schools and other places, as well as received from parents, provides adolescents with information to make informed choices about sex at a crucial period of their development.

  • Female teenagers were more likely than male teenagers to talk to their parents about “how to say no to sex,” methods of birth control, and where to get birth control
  • Parental communication about sex education topics with their teenagers is associated with delayed sexual initiation and increased birth control method and condom use among sexually experienced teenagers
  • About one-half of teenagers reported first receiving instruction on “how to say no to sex,” STDs, and how to prevent HIV/AIDS while in middle school.

Citation:  Martinez, G. (2010).  Educating Teenagers About Sex in the United States.  CDC Data Brief.

Link to “Educating Teenagers About Sex in the United States”

Douglas Kirby’s 17 Characteristics at a Glance (2007)

“17 Characteristics at a Glance” is taken from Kirby et al.’s report, Sex and HIV Education Programs for Youth: Their Impact and Important Characteristics and their publication, Tools to Assess Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs (TAC).  This is a brief one page description of the 17 common characteristics of programs found to be effective in changing behaviors that lead to STD, HIV and unintended pregnancy among young people.

To identify those characteristics, Kirby and his colleagues conducted a systematic review of 83 studies of HIV prevention and sex education programs that were from both the developed and developing world.  About 66% of these programs showed positive behavior changes.  The researchers then conducted a more in-depth analysis of characteristics of these curriculum-based programs that showed positive changes.


Kirby, D., Rolleri, L. A., Wilson, M. M. Tools to Assess Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs (TAC). 2007.

Link to PDF of “17 Characteristics At A Glance”

What the Research Says About Abstinence Only (2008)

 photo siecus-logo_zps795f1d16.gif
Over the past 25 years, Congress has spent over $1.5 billion on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.  However, no professional scientific study has found these programs broadly effective.  This fact sheet, compiled by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), lists several professional study published in peer-reviewed journals with their findings about abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

Several interesting conclusions include:

  • According to the researchers, in communities where there are a higher proportion of pledgers, overall STD rates were significantly higher than in other settings. Specifically, in communities where more than 20% of young adults had taken virginity pledges, STD rates were 8.9% compared to 5.5% in communities with few pledgers.
  • Further research found that, among those young people who have not had vaginal intercourse,pledgers were more likely to have engaged in both oral and anal sex than their non-pledging peers.  In fact, among virgins, male and female pledgers were six times more likely to have had oral sex than non-pledgers, and male pledgers were four times more likely to have had anal sex than those who had not pledged.
  • The average age of sexual debut was the same for the abstinence-only-until-marriage participants and control groups (14 years, 9 months).

Citation:  SIECUS (2008).  What the Research Says About Abstinence Only.

Link to “What Research Says About Abstinence Only Until Marriage Programs

The Impact of Abstinence and Comprehensive Sex and STD-HIV Education Programs on Adolescent Sexual Behavior (2008)

There has been an ongoing debate about the effectiveness of abstinence-only versus comprehensive sex education and the impacts these two programs have on adolescent sexual health and behaviors.  Over the past 15 years, many researchers have studied the impact of abstinence programs on adolescents’ sexual knowledge, behaviors, and intentions but Dr. Kirby considers these research studies poorly designed and not objective.  By reviewing and evaluating both abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education programs, Dr. Kirby hopes to come clearer conclusions as to which program is most effective.

Dr. Kirby rigorously reviewed and evaluated 56 studies that assessed the impact of such curricula (8 that evaluated 9 abstinence programs and 48 that evaluated comprehensive programs) and studied whether these caused positive or negative changes to adolescents’ behaviors.

Dr. Kirby’s study results indicated that most abstinence programs did not delay initiation of sex and only 3 of 9 programs had any significant positive effects on any sexual behavior. On the other hand, about two thirds of comprehensive programs showed strong evidence that they positively affected young people’s sexual behavior, including both delaying initiation of sex and increasing condom and contraceptive use among important groups of youth.

Dr. Kirby concludes that:

  1. Some evidence (but no strong evidence) currently supports the assumption that abstinence program is effective at delaying first sex for adolescents
  2. Abstinence programs are not more effective at delaying initiative of sex compared to comprehensive sex education programs
  3. Abstinence programs are not sufficiently effective in eliminating teen’s sexual risks or eliminating comprehensive sexual education programs
  4. There is stronger evidence that comprehensive sex education can delay initiation of sex and increase contraception use

Citation:  Kirby, D. B. (2008). The Impact Of Abstinence And Comprehensive Sex And STD/HIV Education Programs On Adolescent Sexual Behavior. Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC5(3), 18-27.

Link to “The Impact of Abstinence and Comprehensive Sex and STD-HIV Education Programs on Adolescent Sexual Behavior”

The Accuracy of Condom Information in Three Selected Abstinence-Only Education Curricula (2008)

Condom use promotion has been an important public health strategy for preventing HIV and STIs.  In addition, research has indicated that when used correctly and consistently, condoms can protect against HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, gonorrhea in men, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, and possibly HPV.  Since 1998, the federal government has greatly expanded its support for abstinence-only education programs (AEO).  In light of continued federal funding, concerns have been raised about the scientific accuracy of the information that is taught.

The authors, Lin and Santelli, reviewed three federally funded AEO curricula for medical accuracy, focusing on condom information.  The three AEOs that were reviewed were– Me, My World, My Future (Teen Aid Inc.), Sexuality, Commitment & Family (Teen-Aid Inc.) and Why kNOw (AAA Women’s Services).  The authors looked at specific statements about condoms as well as scientific references that were cited and considered the current medical understanding about the topic at the time each specific curriculum was published.  Statements were categorized as “out of date, selectively reported and not peer-reviewed” and were also categorized by themes related to aspects of condom use–condom slippage and breakage, contraceptive efficacy, condoms and HIV transmission risk, youth as condom users, and condom availability and distribution (Lin and Santelli 58)

The authors found evidence of misinformation about condoms in the three AOE curricula.  The three curricula conveyed the message that condoms fail to provide protection agains HIV, STIs, and pregnancy.  References that were cited were out of date, from non peer-reviewed sources and the curricula would draw conclusions that went beyond the findings from the cited research.  The authors conclude that the information about condoms in these curricula does not represent accurate, current, and complete medical knowledge about the the effectiveness of condoms as a form of contraception.  The findings also raise important questions about the ethics of AOE promotion and the fact that students need access to medically accurate information, as a minimum.

Citation:  Lin, A. J., & Santelli, J. S. (2008). The accuracy of condom information in three selected abstinence-only education curricula. Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of Nsrc5(3), 56-69. doi:10.1525/srsp.2008.5.3.56

Link to “The Accuracy of Condom Information in Three Selected Abstinence-Only Education Curricula” (Subscription Only).

Mathematica Policy Research – Impact of Abstinence Only Education (2007)

This report examines the behavioral impact of four selected programs that received funding through the Title V, Section 510 grants: (1) My Choice, My Future! In Powhatan, Virginia; (2) ReCapturing the Vision in Miami, Florida; (3) Families United to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (FUPTP) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and (4) Teens in Control in Clarksdale, Mississippi. This report provides results from a multi-year, experimentally-based impact study and examines the impact of these programs on teens sexual abstinence, their risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and other behavioral outcomes. The report is based on survey data collected in 2005 and early 2006 – four to six years after study enrollment – from more than 2,000 teens who had been randomly assigned to either a program group that was eligible to participate in one of the four programs or a control group that was not.

The researchers looked at two sets of outcome measures, Sexual Behavior (rates of sexual abstinence, rates of unprotected sex, number of sexual partner, etc.) and Knowledge and perceptions of Risks Associated with Teen Sexual Activity (youth perceptions of the effectiveness of condoms and birth control pills and etc.)

The impact findings show no overall impact on teen sexual activity, rates of unprotected sex and some impacts on knowledge of STDs and perceived effectiveness of condoms and birth control pills.  Approximately half of all high school youth report having had sex and one-quarter of sexually active adolescents have an STD.  The findings from this study show a continued need for rigorous research and education to combat the high rate of teen sexual activity and its consequences.

Citation: Trenholm, C., Devaney, B., Fortson, K., Quay, L., Wheeler, J., & Clark, M. (2007). Impacts of Four Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Programs. Mathematica Policy Research Inc.

Link to “Mathematica Policy Research – Impact of Abstinence Only Education.”