Friday, December 07, 2012

TGIF and More

World AIDS Day 2012 Part 2.0

COP 24/7 has been a proponent of always staying on the cutting edge of whatever is next on the tech curve. With the proliferation of smart phones, tablets and all things mobile, it is my desire to utilize as many of the gizmos and gadgets to keep bringing you my reader the fastest, breaking or at some point even "live streaming" from this portal to where ever you are. During World AIDS Day it became apparent that the use of old media in the form of newspaper coverage and new media such as pictures posted to social media sites such as Facebook or either other coverage being posted to mainstream media sites need to be scaled up in 2013. The LGBTQ community has many "geeks" and savvy tech folk that need to not only collaborate with each other but make their talents known. This forum gave a shout out in search of local tech heads only to hear nothing but "crickets." COP 24/7 has not been left behind on the digital frontier, since this forum actually blazed a trail with pod casting and posting all manner of video or links to viral video's that made our information cut. Therefore as 2012 takes the runway out, I am committed to keep on keeping on in 2013. Watch for our special brand of news and views coming at you from all the digital angles!
The Arkansas Minority Health Commission sponsored the docu-drama film, "Deep South"produced and directed by Lisa Biagotti which spotlighted the plight of HIV and AIDS in  what is known as the "deep south" states of the United States. The presentation also involved local panelist, Kathy Heirs,  Bob Coffey, Ms. Biagotti, Cornelius Mabin and Dr. Naveen Patil. Moderated by State Representative, Linda Chesterfield, the panel shared their observations of the film in regards to current conditions in Arkansas. It was determined that the issues of stigma, homophobia, poverty and many other social determinants have played a significant role in the trajectory of individuals embracing risky behavior. Each panelist cited that despite advances such as single pill regimens, additional clinics and continued interventions, the increase in incident and infection rates is intolerable.
On Friday, November 30, I was afforded the chance to address participants of the World AIDS Day 2012 conference on the Arkansas State University campus in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Under the direction of Dr. Katherine Carrick, the planning committee energized students of the School of Social Work as well as other campus groups and the community at large. From the moment I arrived I felt a sense of warmth and welcoming spirit that set the tone for my appearance and breakout workshop. I shared the stage with Ann Dixon and Connie Roebuck as we engaged the attentive audience on our "lived experiences" and how HIV and AIDS has ebbed and flowed throughout our lives. Dixon told the audience about her rejection of the notion that she could have been exposed to the virus because she wasn't among the risk groups.However she later found out that her husband had not been forthcoming about his own risky behavior resulting in her infection. Roebuck shared that even though she had been infected and later diagnosed, she has continued to lead a healthy life through her regimen. Audience members were surprised to learn of her recent marriage and exploded into a rousing round of applause. I concluded the session with my own personal reflections citing limited statistics but emphasizing that each of us has a "personal responsibility" for not only our sexual health but our ability to challenge the issues of equality for all. In the breakout session, I was charged with speaking to People of Color, HIV and Stigma where I attempted to unpack some of the off-handed and often overlooked means in which not only disease and people are stigmatized. I asked those in attendance to describe how they viewed stigma and what was their reply to it. Each participant shared how the class gave them another outlook on how stigma can be a barrier and challenge to those living with HIV and AIDS in Arkansas. Organizers have already asked me back for 2013 and the contacts that I made their have asked that I be available for other possible speaking engagements.
HHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
December 2012 Webinars
The HHS Partnership Center continues to host a series of webinars for faith and community leaders. All webinars are open to the public and include a question and answer session where you can ask HHS staff any questions you may have. We also encourage you to submit questions you would like to have answered on the webinars to
To participate in one of the webinars, please select your preferred topic from the list below and submit the necessary information. After registering you will receive an e-mail confirmation containing information about joining the webinar. Please contact us at if you have registration problems.
Introduction to the HHS Office for Civil Rights (in English and Spanish)
December 10th at 3:30 p.m. ET
An introduction to the HHS Office of Civil Rights in English and Spanish. The Office of Civil Rights will share information about what their office does, how they can help faith and community leaders and will answer questions.
The Health Care Law 101
December 12th at 3:00 p.m. ET
A presentation on the main provisions in the Affordable Care Act, the health care law, and how to access care in your community.
The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish)
December 18th at 2:00 p.m. ET
A presentation on the main provisions in the Affordable Care Act, the health care law, and how to access care in your community.
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