Friday, March 29, 2013

Wide Lenses and Angles Ahead

All Things Gay Coming This Way

With the SCOTUS( Supreme Court of The United States)  hearing testimony on both California's
Prop 8 and DOMA, it seems as if everybody wanted to acknowledge that they knew, was related to or somehow connected to someone who was gay. For COP 24/7 it was almost damn near too much to take! For days on, the airwaves and social media was off the chain with supporters, allies, and politicians racing the wind to get on board with being "friends of the gays." Whoo Hoo! So just what the hell does all this mean. Does this really reflect the sea change that keeps falling from the lips of pundits or another passing moment in our ever increasing "blink" society. In the meantime, this forum wanted to end the week that was "all about the gays," with an interesting commentary from advocate and activist Keith Boykin. Mr. Boykin is a noted commentator, television pundit and has amassed a distinct body of creative works including being a New York Times bestseller. I followed and sourced his long running blog which often pushed me in numerous directions of exploring my personal take on a cadre of matters. And yes I've met him personally tow which I find him totally engaging. I find smart men are extremely sexy to me.  Here is his take on the issues and if you've got back talk, observations or replies, let's hear them. Don't forget to follow us, subscribe, opt-in e-mail or bookmark us!

Commentary: The Evolution of Black America on Gay Marriage

How popular opinion about marriage equality has changed in the African-American community.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rolling in the Rainbow Deep

Hair Affair Rocks A Different Beat

The Hair Affair held last Friday at The Terry House Mansion benefiting Lucie's Place and The Living Affected Corporation( ) was a rousing success according to organizers.
Unfortunately, complete event totals were unavailable at post time but will be shared onced announced.
Mr. Luke Henley, Event Producer hosted a Hair Affair after party featuring the Show Directors of Miss Kitty's including Miss Gay Arkansas, Veronica Duvall. Each participant donated their tips to further support the fundraising effort. The Living Affected Corporation accepted a $174 gift toward their sexual health programming.

The evening was designed as multi-tiered event featuring local designers, vendors, artisans, stylist and entertainment all stars from the LGBTQ community. Hosted by Mc's Dominique Sanchez and Mr. Roy Diaz, the show also served as a platform for attendees to further their understanding of the mission and visions of the community based organizations.

Health Literacy and Training in the City

The Arkansas Department of Health’s HIV/STD/Hep C Section and Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities is requesting  attendance at this joint HIV Health Literacy and connecting the LGBT community training on April 4-5. To attend, you must RSVP for both or one of the trainings. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.  Click the following link to RSVP:


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Reaching for Healthy Signs of Life and Happiness

CDC Speaks to Going Smokeless in the LGBTQ Community

COP 24/7 applauds the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Smoking and Health (OSH) for including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people among the populations featured in their new ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ tobacco cessation campaign. The campaign features compelling messages from people affected by tobacco use. Other populations featured include African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans/Alaskan Natives.
Locally, The Living Affected Corporation through its STRILITE program has partnered with Future Builders, Inc on addressing tobacco use in the gay community. The organization has begun both training and public forums to educate about
smoking among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in the United States which is much higher than among the total population.
Facilitator Mr. Lee V. Brown, said the the sessions will offer insights that smoking increases your risk for lung cancer, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and other smoking-related diseases. Brown stated that there will be sessions scheduled for both May and June at groups offices. Call 379-8203 for more info or

 One of the ‘Tips from Former Smokers’ ads features a lesbian who suffers from asthma triggered by working in a smokefilled bar. Recently released data from the CDC shows that LGBT people smoke cigarettes at rates that are nearly 70% higher than the general population. The Fenway Institute and other organizations have been educating health agencies about the need for LGBT inclusion in public health campaigns for several years. The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity was involved in consultations with the CDC to help augment the diversity in the ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ ads.

The ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ campaign will include ad buys tailored to populations that have smoking disparities, access to tobacco quitlines in multiple languages, and online materials customized for special populations. Expect to see the ads run on TV, radio, print, and online through June. During 2012, the Tips From Former Smokers campaign resulted in 200,000 additional quitline calls across the nation. For more info


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rainbows of Health and Wellness

LGBTQ Health Awareness Week 2013

Did you know that March 25-29 is LGBTQ Health Awareness Week?? NO?  Well COP 24/7 to the rescue with our ongoing take on keeping you, you and yes you too my friend on issues and matters
that should concern you. Although the marriage equality mash up is taking center stage, none of that really matters if individuals and or couples are making healthy choices or taking responsibility for their overall health concerns. There is no doubt that gay people are within all the statistical info on obesity, smoking, mental health, hypertension, diabetes and other health maladies. It's imperative that our well being become a priority as well as our insistence that policy makers and providers be engaged to address gaps in the health care delivery system. In other words, I urge everyone to become an informed and empowered consumer.

The LGBTQ community is not and should not be a singular issue construct. After all for some, marriage equality has no significance in their lives, even though others feel wildly invigorated by the issue. At the core, there are a wide array of challenges and matters that in my opinion have not received the groundswell of interest that marriage equality has garnered. Currently the ebbing and flowing of the medicaid expansion issue should be a paramount concern since its impact will far reaching and ultimately live changing for many gay people. Undoubtedly the "gay intersection of issues" must also includes lack of economic parity, homelessness, intimate partner violence, racial discrimination and gay youth. In the big picture, no matter what the Supreme Court decides come this June, there are a host of disparities awaiting their turn in the spotlight.

Obama Raises the bar on LGBTQ Health

As this forum recognizes LGBT Health Awareness Week 2013, I wanted to emphasize the depth of which the Obama administration has been involved with using the full force of the US government to deal with a spectrum of health issues directly affecting LGBT communities across the nation. This ground breaking move was further scaled up with the 2012 White House LGBT Conference on  that allowed viewers access to the proceedings of interest. COP 24/7 vows to continue to enlighten and encourage our readers to become aware of policies and investment in our well being.
Health – was hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and Mazzoni Center. Over 300 attendees from 22 states participated in the day’s events at Thomas Jefferson University. COP 24/7 has been at the forefront to alerting our readers to a online streams from

In April 2010, President Barack Obama asked Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to identify steps the Department could take to improve the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ("LGBT") individuals and families.In response, Secretary Sebelius set up a Department-wide LGBT Issues Coordinating Committee, currently co-chaired by Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh, Administrator of the Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee, and Deputy General Counsel Ken Choe (who replaced former Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families David Hansell).

The Committee, on behalf of the Secretary, developed the Secretary’s Recommended Actions to the President to Improve LGBT Health and Well-Being ("2011 objectives"), which were sent to the President and released to the public in April 2011( 

As the Department continues its efforts in support of all communities, it presented its accomplishments from this past year and its goals for this coming year with respect to the LGBT community.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Keeping it Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addresses LGBT Health Awareness Week

Editors note: COP 24/7 has been a firm supporter of wellness and access to affordable health care in the LGBTQ community and beyond. As Executive Producer, I applaud the efforts of Secretary Sebelius on her continuing support and messaging. Its imperative that community members take responsibility for their overall health especially the affects of smoking, knowing their HIV status and making healthy choices. This forum will continue to share overviews, videos, links and informative content on wellness and prosperity. Check us out all week as COP 24/7 goes healthy, wealthy and wise!

Shortly after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, President Obama asked me to identify steps we could take at the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. As we mark the beginning of LGBT
Health Awareness Week, I am proud to say that we have been working hard to ensure LGBT Americans have the same rights and protections as other Americans.

For example, we have released rules requiring Medicare and Medicaid-participating hospitals to allow visitation rights for same-sex partners. This means LGBT Americans now have the same opportunities as other Americans to be with their families and loved ones when they are sick.
LGBT Americans have experienced – and continue to experience – health disparities and are more likely than other Americans to be uninsured or underinsured. Now, because of the Affordable Care Act, our major national health surveys are beginning to include data on LGBT populations. This will give us the information we need to target and reduce disparities among this group going forward. We have also formed an internal working group to ensure we’re developing and coordinating policies targeted at increasing access to care for LGBT Americans and addressing their special health care needs.

Globally, we are leading efforts to advance a World Health Organization resolution supporting the health of LGBT populations around the world through equal access to health care services and by breaking down stigma and discrimination that create barriers to care.
In addition, like all Americans, LGBT individuals will continue to benefit from the Affordable Care Act. Beginning in January 2014, Americans will have access to quality, affordable coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplace—where they can begin to shop for and easily compare health insurance plans starting in October 2013.

Starting in 2014, Americans will no longer be denied coverage or locked out of the health insurance market just because they are sick or have a pre-existing condition. And millions of Americans with private insurance and Medicare already have access to preventive services like blood pressure screenings at no cost to them.

You can learn more about the new Marketplace—and sign up for updates about enrollment—by visiting

Moving forward, we remain committed to improving the health of all Americans, including LGBT Americans, and we look forward to continuing this work during LGBT Health Awareness Week and beyond.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Follys For U

Its' another TGIF and how! I don't know about you or you, but for those of "you" who keep whining that there's nothing to do in Little Rock. Get over it. There's plenty and COP 24/7 has spotlighted,highlighted and damn sent up the "Bat Signal" about activities happening in the rock. So if you've got nothing to do, then perhaps its most likely that "you ain't about doing nothing anyways." Hey you guys! There's more stuff to do in Little Rock than I've got damn time for. So without any delay, let's play!

There's an APP for That!

Finding things to do in Arkansas is now right at your fingertips, literally. Need a getaway to a beautiful Arkansas State Park? Well who couldn't use that? Whether you live in Arkansas or just traveling through the Natural State, the Arkansas State Parks On-The-Go Park Guide for iPhone or Android will help you find just the right park for you. Find a park by type (camping, Historic Site, Lake, Lodging, Mountains, Museum or even just for a picnic) Find one near you and get contact information, a list of upcoming programs and a link to the park website for more information. There's even a map to help you find the park and give you directions from wherever you are.

The single favorite thing to do in these parks is hike a trail so we've included that too. Find a trail near you, look it up by location, difficulty or type. Detailed trail maps are not currently included. Many Arkansas State Parks are in very rural areas with limited cell phone coverage. If you plan to hike a trail you can pick up detailed maps at our park visitor centers or download them from our website before leaving home. The new site, found at, features the following four buttons on its main page that link directly to valuable travel information.

Gay Road Trip Campers Arrive

Got nothing to do? Enter the Gay Road Trip Campers who have come on the scene to fill a niche for those who are both die hear or novice campers. Established December 2012 with a trek to Petit Jean State Park, the group seeks to be a "diverse" bunch whom enjoy the rustic lifestyle and apparently roughing it in the outdoors. Currently they have another tip to the Branson/Table Rock area being planned for April. Final dates to be announced. Even though the group states on its Facebook page that its "vision" is about inclusiveness, ironically the FB page is cited as a "closed group" with a stated caveat,"  the founders maintain the right to block anyone considered not appropriate from the group. We don’t foresee this ever being an issue but we do have the right. We accept all people, all races, sexual preference, body shape and size, fetishes, nationality, and/or shoe size." Personally I think I'd rethink some of this verbiage but to each his own I guess. Obviously its not a problem for the 234 members who are "friends" of the page.

Meanwhile the group seeks to provide a space or an avenue to meet new people with similar interest. Plus they hope that this new venture will build friendships and memories through different camping and road trip events. If you are interested they state that they would love to see this new outing possible as a place for our community to go to experience camping, weekend outings etc. You can contact them on Facebook for further details and camping schedules. If you go, don't forget to share some of you experiences with COP 24/7 or better yet maybe COP 24/7 might need to take it to the woods for chance.

Pride in the City

Is there nothing that doesn't get posted to FACEBOOK? Why certainly not. That's why I got the word that there's a move to bring folks together to talk about the re-emergence of "Gay Pride" week or day or what have you in Little Rock. The post sent out from the management of MK's, 610 and TRAx's entitled "Our Diversity 2013" is seeking individuals interested in participating in organizing this years festivities next Tuesday night at Miss Kitty's, 8 pm. As a former participant in this planning, I've been asked to attend and share my two cents on executing such a event. Unfortunately in my opinion, this planning is running a bit late, but as "they say" and I"m not always with that, "better late than never." We';ll be in the house and share the updates as they unfold. Stay tuned....

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Round-Up and More

LA Corp's STRILITE Engages Bridging the Gap in LGBTQ Community

The Living Affected Corporation and its same gender loving program, STRILITE partnered with Future Builders Inc. on sharing information on smoking cessation in the LGBTQ community and beyond. Founder, CEO, Linder Conely, offered an overview of her organization and its mission to speak to a myriad of issues around tobacco use. "I was glad that this partnership came about and the joint effort that Future Builders could share with Living Affected," said Conely. "This is an important dilemma that has not received as much attention as it should have. Therefore, through these training sessions and community forums we can extend out educational reach." Co-facilitator, Lee Brown, current Board of Director Member and LA Corp Director of Development and Expansion, stated that he was enthusiastic at the response and hopes that the "Bridging The Gap" concept can be fully developed to engage many social determinants that are highly impacting the community overall. The next community meeting is scheduled for April 18, 2013, 7pm 401 North Maple Street, Suite A (Presbyterian Church of Argenta), North Little Rock. Call 279-8203 for more info or

Justin's HIV Journal Speaks to Lifted Organ Ban

 Justin B. Terry-Smith, is a HIV positive Black Gay man living in Laurel, Maryland whom continues to parent his child concurrent to his health messaging about HIV and AIDS.Especially around the issues of organ donations for those living with HIV and AIDS who may require access to life saving organs. Many such individuals also deal with comorbidities situations such as needs for kidneys or other vital organs. COP 24/7 joins Smith in applauding the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for approving the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act, S. 330. The bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Tom Coburn, (R-OK), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Rand Paul (R-KY) would lift a federal ban on the donation of HIV-positive organs to HIV-positive recipients, making it possible for researchers to study the safety of such procedures.

Smith decided to share this news as well as his legacy story via his YouTube channel and other social media platforms. Mr. Smith has over 1,000 subscribers with a mounting 271,000 views of his postings. Now that's doing some mass outreach if I have anything to say about it. He has stated that he feels it's important that people who have unprotected sex know what they might be getting themselves into.

According to his site he reports that, "people have asked me why I am doing this, why have I put my personal business out like this. I tell them it is to help educate people, to make them aware and to make them think twice about having unprotected sex." COP 24/7 has been aware of this remarkable activist and advocate and wanted to share his "voice" with our audience.

We applaud Smith as he takes a stance that "this is my personal journey that needs to be told to help the community. HIV is neither glamorous or a rite of passage. Watch the Journal and think twice. In the words of Pedro Zamora, "I'm not dying. I'm living with it." Maybe we can shout out to Mr.Smith for a visit to Little Rock to share in our community building and human capital growth plans. Can we get a sponsor????


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Native Streams of Consciousness

HIV/AIDS in the Two-Spirit Community: A Hidden Crisis
 By Harlan Pruden, Director, NorthEast Two­Spirit Society

March 20th is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day to raise awareness of the terrible toll that HIV/AIDS continues to take on Native American populations. HIV/AIDS is a crisis that affects many American Indians and Alaska Natives, but particularly Two-Spirit individuals, who often experience stigma and discrimination in both Native and mainstream society.
What Does Two-Spirit Mean?
The term “Two-Spirit Exit Disclaimer” has several meanings within Native cultures and communities, but it is primarily a contemporary term that refers to those traditions in which some individuals have a blend of both male and female spirits. Two-Spirit is a concept of gender identity, not one of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation describes an individual’s choices in sexual relationships with others. Gender describes the expected roles an individual plays within a community’s social norms and structures. Many Two-Spirit organizations prefer to separate the Two-Spirit identity from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) identities of the mainstream/dominant culture, emphasizing the use of the term “Two-Spirit” to describe a person’s gender within their culture, rather than the more Western concept of sexual orientation.
Impact of HIV/AIDS
In the United States, HIV and AIDS are tracked according to certain categories recognized by the scientific/medical establishment. “Men who have sex with men” (MSM) is one of these categories; “Two-Spirit” is not. MSM (or what we would call male-bodied Two-Spirit individuals) bear the brunt of the HIV/AIDS crisis among Native American populations. According the Centers for Disease Control and Disease Prevention, MSM and MSM/IDU accounted for 62.3% of all new diagnoses of HIV infection among American Indians and Alaska Natives in 2011. MSM and MSM/IDU also accounted for 60.0% of American Indians and Alaska Natives living with AIDS in 2010.
Native Americans, including Two-Spirit people, call upon the public to consider the epidemic in relation to the size of the Native American population, lest comparisons to HIV/AIDS in other populations inappropriately dismiss the impact of the disease on Native communities.
During the Thursday, February 7, 2013 meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), Dr. Karina Walters Exit Disclaimer of the University of Washington and I had the opportunity to brief the Council on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Two-Spirit community. Learn more about the PACHA meeting on
The National Confederacy of Two-Spirit Organizations, a coalition of 17 Two-Spirit community-based organizations, looks forward to working with PACHA and HHS to better meet the needs of the Two-Spirit community.
Editor’s Note: For more information on HIV/AIDS surveillance among Native populations, see the CDC report, Improving HIV Surveillance Among American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States (Jan. 2013).
COP 24/7 Editors Note: ATEC sposnored a one day conference on the impact of HIV and AIDS in Arkansas's Native American community in Hot Springs. This forum hopes to get a onsite report as to conclusions and outcomes of this programming. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Take Me Higher, Part 2

There's on thing about COP 24/7,  you can count on this forum not being a "big empty" hole of overly dated content that is not relevant to anyone. Its just not done here and I vow that I will keep it fresh and kicking throughout 2013. With that said, every now and then matters take root that causing this forum to do some fancy footwork in producing our daily content. Of course we've made no bones about sourcing material, linking to content, video and certainly making sure that we use any stuff forwarded to us from stringers or other producers. Therefore, I want to again send out a big shout out to all content producers, video bloggers, podcasters and individuals who are creating original content that could be featured on this site. From its origins, COP 24/7 has always presented itself as the "virtual town square" for all to share, be heard or at least come listen. In the past I've even offered to allow another individual to "produce" this site and serve as its overseer. Yet, no takers and from what I can tell, COP 24/7 stands alone as a daily LGBTQ updating site in all of Arkansas. Yea that's right, and we ain't mad about it either. Therefore if you got info, hot topics, observations or whatever, then hit us up for consideration. Don't forget, if you are thinking about it, then most likely COP 24/7 is talking about it! Let's hear from you...

Politics 2016
Hillary Speaks to Marriage Equality

Let the 2016 political games begin! Ladies and Gentlemen and all who haven't decided, COP 24/7 predicts that with this little video share from former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that she's in it to win it in 2016. How nice it must be for the Human Right Campaign to be able to get this plum video to use not only as a foray for Clinton to "shout out" to gay folk, although we didn't hear a peep from her as First Lady of Arkansas, I guess it better late than never. As I watched this and the evolving of President Clinton, I can't help but remember all those years ago when locals as then staff person Betsy Wright about asking then Gov. Clinton about a "Gay Pride Proclamation," she didn't seem to see it being in the governor best interest. Fast forward to 2013 and the Clinton's have discovered the gay "glitterati" from A to Z!
One would think that perhaps they might think that there's some of them gays back in Arkansas that might need some star power to raise some needed funds for our social justice fighting.
Well its only for the asking, so I guess I should get about it to see what can be done.., In the meantime, Mrs. Clinton has brought it about LGBTQ rights both on the home front and of course during her now record breaking globe trekking. So here we go....Hillary 2016!

Words Matter: 10 Steps to Healing from Word Wounds

By: Mary Jayne Rogers Ph.D.

We have all heard and probably recited the nursery rhyme "sticks and stones can break my bones..." You know the rest: "But words can never hurt me." If only it were true. The fact is that words do hurt. Unlike a bruise or broken bone, we can't see the wound on the outside...

10 Steps to Healing Word Wounds

How do we begin to mend the wound we have received from the words of others?

1. Become mindful of the words we use and recognize how our own use of language associates words with feelings, responses and outcomes. Here are a few examples: I am heartbroken; I have a gut feeling; This job is killing me; That person makes me sick; What a pain in the neck. These words and the feelings...

Read the full article here...

Are you following COP 24/7? No? Then why not!  Come follow the leader, COP 24/7, Arkansas' longest running LGBTQ information portal. If you are thinking about it, then most likely we are talking about it. Do it today...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Take Me Higher Monday

COP 24/7 Hits Record One Day Visitors

Its taken some time and much trial and error, but the "COP 24/7" train that could is chugging along nicely, thank you. On Saturday, March 16, 2013, the COP 24/7 blog site hit 800 page views for the day which is a all time marker for the site.  At post time, I am still trying to analyze this surge and what item, ad or interest drove the traffic. Currently I access the Google analytical modules that offer an informational snapshot of comings and goings. As I've stated in the past, COP 24/7 has proven to have a what I've termed as a "beacon" style cascade which reverberates not only throughout the far reaches of rural Arkansas but to my surprise a "global" reach as far as the Ukraine in Asia. And I do mean that Asia! Now I'm saying all of this in juxtaposition to the fall 2012 focus group's canvassed by The Latino Commission's capacity building program Healthy Communities Now and co-sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Health.

The sessions were concerning Internet usage in connecting and mobilizing the LGBTQ community in building healthier communities by building a web based virtual platform interfaced by end users. Since the meet up's took place, the entity has assessed their findings, while sharing in a final report some startling internal perceptions and interesting facts about how the Internet is either being used or not used among gay individuals. Although a methodology was instituted in the report, it was noted that the report was intended to be a broad approach in its results.

 What COP 24/7 found most striking in the report was the level of "negativity" that respondents cited about their respective areas ranging from Fayetteville to Forrest City. Many involved used descriptive words of "drama, divided, clickish, tired and ugly," to describe what they "saw" as the LGBTQ community around them. Furthermore, it seems that many participants used social media outlets as a means to avoid being in local bars or venues where gay people congregate or frequent.  Even more glaring to COP 24/7 was the notion that despite the 70's gay movement and subsequent HIV/AIDS health crisis, many felt that both generational issues and the scope of advocacy involvement still presents challenges or barriers for gay Arkansans. And as COP 24/7 poured over the findings, it was apparent that this forum has been "on point" about the lack of agenda continuity, leadership vacuum, cultivating relationships and the ongoing ability to alienate individuals without resolve. Not to steal any thunder from this agency, but COP 24/7 has been pounding the table about these issues and asking the hard questions about it for the past seven years and counting.

 If there's to be a "virtual platform" developed, its seems that COP 24/7 has been at the forefront of such a possible model. There's no doubt that this long running platform could easily be retro fitted to meet the cited criteria set forth in the final report. So, where do we go from here? Or will this be another "much a do about nothing going no where?"  The entire report will shared next month during a two day long capacity building workshop being presented by ACRIA ( AIDS Community Research Initiative of America) and TLC. Stay tuned, we will keep you betcha!

HIV Infection Is Most Concentrated In The South, Where Students Don’t Learn About It In School

The CDC’s most recent HIV Surveillance Report contains the first-ever comprehensive data set allowing researchers to map HIV infections across the entire country. As the agency explains, their new data paints a “complete picture of diagnosed HIV infection in the U.S.,” revealing potential trends in infections across different regions. At least one clear trend emerges among Southern states, where the concentration of HIV infections tend to be higher:

It’s likely no coincidence that many of those same states lack the comprehensive sexual education requirements that would help educate their residents about HIV transmission from an early age. Health classes in Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana aren’t required to provide any kind of medically accurate information about HIV. And in two of those states — Texas and Florida — public schools don’t have to offer any type of sexual health education whatsoever.

In fact, just 20 states across the country mandate both sex education and HIV education, while the rest of country’s youth are growing up with significant gaps in their knowledge about sexual health. That’s especially troubling amid reports that, even though new cases of HIV in the U.S. are beginning to stabilize, young people still continue to put themselves at risk for the virus.

To read the rest of this article:


Friday, March 15, 2013

TGIF: COP 24/7 Style

Gwist Recap: The Best Video Clips From The Gay YouTube Channel, March 10 - March 17

GWIST is a brand new YouTube channel that brings together videos of interest to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. From the founders of Logo, Gwist isn't ABOUT being gay, but FOR being gay and for anyone who wants to BE a gay!
In my daily search to gather "what's really going on" I often check the HuffPost Gay Voices features a complete booty of items, clips, links, articles and just plain old stuff. The HPGV folks have decided to post several of the best videos featured on Gwist during the previous seven days. Well I couldn't just let them all have the fun, since COP 24/7 has a video link to YouTube in our margins and don't forget that this forum has been all about walking technology's wild side and then some. Also its been brought to our attention by our readers and visitors that more video should be included instead of so much "reading" content. I'm happy to oblige even though I am an avid reader and not in the "dumbing down" of  America syndrome that seems to running rampant across the landscape. But never mind that now, check out this week's best clips below! You know COP 24/7 is always aiming to please. Share your thoughts or perhaps forward your video submission for use on this site. Surely there's got to be some creative forces out their that are up to the challenge. Let's hear from you today!!


Reaching Gay Men Through Social Media

Earlier this week I shared with you my first time as a featured "plenary speaker" during the 5th Annual Regional HIV/AIDS Conference held in Hot Springs. I was asked to present a session on "Reaching Gay Men Through Social Media," which was a topic that I knew that I would have to spend some time in research  mode. It's been a minute since I've been in the classroom, but I quickly got my thought processes flowing. As I explored and drilled down on the subject I realized just how much info there is to discover on the topic as well as my "interpersonal" unscientific research that I amassed from many locals continued to pique my interest. The ultimate winner in the social media game with many gay men is none other than Facebook. Its hands down that many and I do many of you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time posting everything from your body parts to rants on even the most insipid matters. Supposedly all of this in the name of being "social." During the presentation I offered a snapshot of statistics from a Pew research that noted that the LGBTQ community utilizes the Internet for news, blogging, entertainment sites and most of all direct interaction.

Much of this social connecting is centered around popular sites such as Manhunt,, A4A ( Adam4Adam), Gay Black Chat (GBC), Grindr and Jack. Each has its own uniqueness but overall mostly gay men are now engaged in "high tech" cruising where individuals can make contacts both near or far. Although it seems less personal, to some degree their is an element of "personal" since users can actually size up a person from profiles or posted pictures. The conversation can be in "IM"(instant messaging) or other forms of chat that allows each person to determine if they've got a possible connection. My presentation to clinicians, advocates, endusers and or administrators was design to give insights to organizations that may be seeking to scale up their social media strategies or Internet partner services which also are used in the STI (sexually transmitted infection) prevention tool box.

I encouraged participants to take a closer look at how their entities could harness the power of the Internet in "messaging" to gay men meanwhile offering a set of bullet points to consider in the process. I emphasized that gay men in Arkansas are digitally savvy and I found their presence on all of the aforementioned sites and beyond. In a interesting juxtaposition, my presentation intersected with a focus group survey on web usage promoted by The Latino Commission and the Arkansas Department of Health. The goal of the assessments were to speculate on the feasibility of creating a web based platform that could facilitate more community cohesion and communication. I couldn't help be interject that COP 24/7 has been on that task for more than seven years despite not being a house hold name of sorts. I believe that I certainly created at least a model to be considered and I plan on leveraging my current research in conjunction with this platform to be a player in the game. My dear readers COP 24/7 has taken a licking but kept on ticking. And by golly you ain't seen nothing yet. Come grow with us as I take it to the next level and more. Got thoughts, comments, stories, let's hear em.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Periscope UP and OUT

Big Hair Affair for a Cause in the Rock
The first ever "Hair Affair" event scheduled for March 22 at the Terry House Mansion, 411 East 11th Street from 6-11 pm. According to organizers will serve as a duel fundraising event for The Living Affected Corporation and the continuing fundraising effort for the Lucie's Place concept that will address LGBTQ youth issues.  

A full evening of fashion, vendors, networking and spotlights on the "Big Hair" trend that's being seen on runways from NYC to Milan. Local stylist will offer tips and tricks of the trade, meanwhile clothes designers will be offering their latest looks for spring or fall. Local show host Dominique Sanchez and Zia D'Yor are scheduled as MC's and a host of other notables will be parading their "biggest and baddest" hair concoctions. It promises to be a night to be remembered. Tickets are still are available for purchase at levels of $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Check out this link to get tickets on line:  For more info on LA Corp check out their website at  Get those tickets before they are all gone, its a don't miss event.

Black gay men wanted for survey

The National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition (NBGMAC) wants to increase its knowledge about how Black gay men communicate. To do so, the organization has launched a survey to gauge how Black gay, bisexual and same-gender loving men use the Internet for communication purposes and to get health policy and advocacy information. If you are a Black gay, bisexual or same-gender loving man, the NBGMAC asks that you please take a moment to complete the brief survey and share with your networks. If not, please share the message with colleagues, friends or family members who are. To complete the survey, click here.

Join Me to Kick Off a Mass Movement Against Gun Violence From Your Living Room on Saturday, March 23rd

The response to my Newtown letter this week has been overwhelming. It is so very clear to everyone that the majority of Americans have had it with how we as a country have recklessly allowed the NRA and the gun manufacturers to get away, literally, with murder.

That, right now, is going to come to an end.

The "tipping point" against the gun madness has taken place because of the tragic slaughter of 20 little children in Connecticut. This time, the shock and horror didn't subside after a few weeks, as it did after the 30+ massacres since Columbine. This time we haven't been able to shake it from our collective consciousness. This time – and the NRA knows this – this time we the people aren't going to quiet down. We are demanding real action.

In the past few days, a number of people and grassroots groups have suggested to me that we do something to use 'Bowling for Columbine to rally thousands – millions – to come together and kick-off a massive spring action to get gun control laws passed. I love this idea and I have agreed to participate in helping to launch it.

So, next Saturday, March the 23rd, on the 10th anniversary of the evening that 'Bowling for Columbine' won the Academy Award, is sponsoring a screening with me in New York City and other groups are joining together to ask you and thousands of others to host a nationwide gathering in your homes where you invite friends and neighbors to come over and watch the movie together – and then, afterward, I will join you LIVE, via the Web, in your living rooms to talk to you, take your questions/suggestions and decide what we are all going to do.

I am asking the nearly five million of you who receive this email, plus my 1.5 million followers on Twitter and my nearly 800,000 Facebook friends, to set aside next Saturday night, March 23rd, and invite people over to your home to watch my movie and have a talk with me and others who will lead this mass movement for gun control action.

Over the next few days I will send you more details, but I just wanted to get the word out today, after so many thousands of you have written me via email and Twitter, and ask you to hold the date for next Saturday and start to get the word around to your friends and family. I'll let you know the easiest ways to get a copy of the film for free or nearly free so you can show it in your living rooms. And I'll let you know how to "beam me in" when the movie is over. By the end of that night, my hope is that we will have a peaceful but fierce army of millions making their voices heard to those who represent us on Capitol Hill. We will, instantly, vastly outnumber the NRA and the gun lobby.

And for the sake of our children and the future of this great country, we will win.

Let everyone know – next Saturday, March 23rd, we're all getting together to watch 'Bowling for Columbine' in thousands of "house parties" across America, and I will be there with you, thanks to the wonders of 21st century technology. 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Busting a COP 24/7 Move

COP 24/7 Signs On to Endorse National Youth Awareness Day

Today's young people are the first generation who have never known a world without HIV and AIDS. In the United States, one in three new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24. Despite this harsh reality, young people and their allies are determined to end this pandemic once and for all.

The creation of National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is a momentous step towards acknowledging and addressing the needs of youth — and towards holding our leaders accountable each year as we continue this fight. Only by investing in young people in all aspects of the HIV and AIDS response will we achieve the dream of an AIDS-free generation. COP 24/7 has signed on to call on President Obama, Congress, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the HIV & AIDS community to officially recognize April 10 as National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day.

This forum has been steadfast on the this chronic illness and its widening thrust throughout communities everywhere. Especially most notably among young black men who are being directly impacted and not linking to or staying in a care continuum. For more info on how you too can sign on click it to

HRSA’s New Affordable Care Act Webpage

The Health Resource Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HRSA/HAB) has created Ryan White and the Affordable Care Act: What you Need to Know, a website meant to provide guidance on the key provisions of the ACA for the Ryan White Program. The page is intended to grow as a resource guide as more information becomes available.

Women and their Allies To Rally Against The Oppressive AR Legislature at Arkansas State Capitol                                             

Organizers of the "Protest at the State Capital" event are calling on women who are appalled at the treatment the Arkansas legislature has handed them this session to gather for a rally March 23 at 3pm. So far more than 1,000 people (men and women) have indicated on the event''s Facebook page ( that they plan to attend the event.

Organizers Donna Shade and LeeWood Thomas issued a press release about the event citing that  a speaker line-up is being formed.

The rally will protest the newly-enacted laws unconstitutionally rescinding abortion rights and well as bills still under consideration to grant person hood to the embryo and defund Planned Parenthood.

Are you following COP 24/7 yet? If not,why not, come follow us as we prepare to offer new prizes and great swag from our prize closet. Get ready, set and WIN!!!!  Stay tuned for wining clues coming this week


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Vagina Monologues

In lieu of the Arkansas Legislature's wrecking ball session, COP 24/7 offers the video "This is My Body" as a reminder to the power of visual images and words that are mightier than the sword. COP 24/7 urges or readers, supporters, allies and visitors to "Be Empowered," speak truth to power. Need we say more...?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Trending COP 24/7

COP 24/7  Executive Producer cited with Leadership Award

I am always humbled and some times taken aback when being recognized for my passion and energies to my social justice work. Sometimes I ponder, is this work a "call" on my life?, my determination to leave something as my legacy or am I doing what I ask others to do in "being the change the wish to see." Consequently, I've decided that it's all of them and to my surprise so much more. I was truly proud to stand with my colleagues as a winner of the Dr. Estella Quimosing AIDS Leadership award during the climatic banquet of the 5th Regional HIV/AIDS Conference in Arkansas, March 7-8, 2013, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (pictured L to R, L. Brown, C. Mabin, K. Johnson, D. Levi, D. Anderson, Rev. D. Robinson, K. Holmes)

The conference hosted by Jefferson Comprehensive Care System under the theme, “Uniting In The Fight To End HIV/AIDS”  highlighted and offered a series of sessions on the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the South amongst youth, communities of color and employment challenges for those living with HIV and AIDS. Doing double duty, I was a plenary speaker on the topic of "Reaching Gay Men through Social Media," representing The Living Affected Corporation. This was a first for myself and what an experience to share my research on this intriguing topic. As I worked through the presentation to demonstrate the impact and wide ranging importance that social media is playing among gay men, it hit me again that COP 24/7 has been in the "social mix" without really taking stock of it. I've been socially interacting with the LGBTQ community for over seven years always with our focus being on "keeping it real" and "on point." There's more news coming on the digital front and COP 24/7 will be bringing you the latest just shortly.

 The conference was presided by Mrs. Sandra H. Brown, JCCSI Chief Executive Officer and featured Dr. Nate Smith, Deputy Director for Public Health Programs of the Arkansas Department of Health and honored guest Dr. Henry Masters III, MD, Medical Director, Global Medical Affairs of Baxter Healthcare Corporation. The two day event also feature a planned schedule of topics ranging from substance abuse to HIV policy issues.

"Dr. Q" Leadership Award winner, founder and CEO of The Living Affected Corporation, Diedra Levi, lead a workshop on HIV and the LGBT community in which she and Louis Henry of the Capacity Building Assistance Center highlighted key flash points during the AIDS epidemic that has had lasting affects in the gay community. The duo demonstrated the significance of those lost and the manifestations of those challenging times that has subsequently impacted social norms.

 JCCSI was awarded a grant from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the Part D program in August 1999. Part D is unique from other HRSA funded programs because our focus is on women, infants, children, and youth (WICY) and their families who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. For more info on The Living Affected Corporation click to

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Marching and Moving Forward 2.0

Raising a Hair Affair for a Cause

Have you got tickets yet? Its the first ever "Hair Affair" event serving as a duel fundraising event for The Living Affected Corporation and continuing fundraising effort for the Lucie's Place concept that will address LGBTQ youth issues. The event will take place, March 22, at the Terry Mansion, 411 East 11th Streeet, from 6- 11 p.m. 

Organizers are planning a full evening of fashion, vendors, networking and spotlights on the "Big Hair" trend that's being seen on runways from NYC to Milan. 

Local stylist will offer tips and tricks of the trade, meanwhile clothes designers will be offering their latest looks for spring or fall. It promises to be a night to be remembered. Tickets are still are available for purchase at levels of $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Check out this link to get tickets on line: 

Daily-use HIV Prevention Approaches Didn’t Work for African Women in the VOICE Study

According to findings of a major HIV prevention trial presented Monday, March 4, 2013 at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections Exit Disclaimer (CROI), study participants who received daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) did not experience any protection against HIV compared to those in the placebo arm, likely because very few were taking the study drugs as directed.

The trial, known as the Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic (VOICE) study, was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of three HIV prevention strategies compared to placebo. It was sponsored and largely funded by National Institutes of Health-funded Microbicide Trials Network Exit Disclaimer, a worldwide collaborative clinical trials network focused on preventing the sexual transmission of HIV.

View the webcast of the presentation Exit Disclaimer by one of the study’s co-leaders, Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo of the University of Washington. Read the presentation abstract Exit Disclaimer.
The NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases issued this statement about the study findings, noting that the results were likely due to very low levels of product use, particularly among young, single women.

A statement about the study results from Dr. Jonathan Mermin, Director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, stresses that consistent use is imperative when using pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection. Read the CDC statement.
Finally, the NIH-supported Microbicide Trials Network also issued a statement Exit Disclaimer discussing the study findings.

Legislative A-GO-GO: Let's Party like its 1874

COP 24/7 was glad to see some musings and other outrage being expressed with the current tidal wave of crazed legislative measures that not even Gov. Bebee can do a damn thing about it whether he's in the state or out of the state. Case in point with Lt. Gov. Mark Darr taking it upon himself to some "governoring"with signing into law a bill to make secret the list of 130,000 Arkansans with concealed weapons permits.

Darr signed the while Gov. Mike Beebe was in Washington, D.C. attending the Governors Conference.Beebe opposed the bill but, after it passed both houses, said he'd let it become law without his signature.

Had Beebe vetoed the bill, legislators could have overridden the bill with simple majority votes in the House and Senate, both of which are controlled by Republicans. Darr says he didn't want to see a delay in the bill becoming law. Thank you to the "Quit the Crazy" folks who are calling out wingnuts who just don't seem think that we need to be moving forward in the 21st Century. Check it out  on Facebook and share your "stop the insanity" plea.


Monday, March 04, 2013

Marching and Moving Forward

Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Women’s History Month

March 1 marked the beginning of Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is as fitting as it is exciting: “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).”
The nation this year recognizes such extraordinary women as Patricia Era Bath (1942), whose invention of the Laserphaco Probe was an important milestone in the advent of laser cataract surgery; Rita R. Colwell (1934), the first woman director of the National Science Foundation; Susan A. Gerbi (1944), a molecular cell biologist whose research has potential significance in understanding the role of hormones in certain cancers; and Flossie Wong-Staal (1946), a virologist and molecular biologist whose work made it possible to develop HIV tests.

And I want to acknowledge the thousands of women who work throughout the Department making sure that groundbreaking biomedical research moves forward, that life-saving vaccines are getting to the public, that community health clinics are accessible to families who have nowhere else to go, that drugs are safe, that our seniors get the health care they need, and that our young children at risk get the Head Start support that is vital to their future success in school.

The success of American women is critical to our families and economy. Among the initiatives of this administration to advance gender equality, are efforts to bring more women into science and health care professions. Women who hold STEM degrees and jobs earn 30 percent more on average than women in non-STEM jobs.

We also know that American women – and men – will not have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, provide for their families, and contribute to their communities without accessible, affordable and high-quality health care and insurance. For too long, insurance companies stacked the deck against women, forcing us to pay more for coverage that did not meet our needs. Because of the Affordable Care Act, a new day for women’s health has arrived. Thanks to the health care law, millions of women are benefiting from expanded access to preventive services, such as mammograms and prenatal care, at no additional cost. And millions more will soon have access to the Health Insurance Marketplace – open enrollment starts Oct. 1, 2013 – where they can compare health plans based on benefits, quality and cost and choose the one that best fits their needs.
During Women’s History Month, let us remember the women pioneers in the sciences and work to continue their legacy.
Editors Note: You can learn more about Women's History Month at

We Are Empowered: National Women's and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 3/10/13


Friday, March 01, 2013

Streamlined Trending

Marco McMillian Death: Mississippi Town Burns with Grief and Disillusion

It's happened yet again. The murder of talented individual whom soared to heights on the big stage of life but decided to pay it forward by returning to his hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi. COP 24/7 sends it condolences to Mr. Mc Millian's family and awaits outcomes surrounding the arrest of Lawrence Reed as the suspected murderer. This tragedy continues to highlight the complexities of being gay in the south while offerings us another sobering snapshot of how homophobia, violence and family dynamics intersect in the lives of many gay men and women.

McMillian's body was found the next day near the Mississippi River levee between Sherard and Rena Lara, Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith said. Warren Strain, a spokesman with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, said the autopsy was completed but toxicology and other test results are pending, and no cause of death will be released until the report is completed.

The Coahoma County Sheriff's Department said in a news release that Reed was charged in the death of 34-year-old McMillian, a candidate for mayor of Clarksdale. Campaign spokesman Jarod Keith said McMillian's bid was noteworthy because he may have been the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.

The sheriff's department has not released a possible motive for the crime.

The Insanity Legislative Session Continues

Is anybody annoyed that the current Arkansas Legislative convening seems to be running amuck with a flurry of half baked legislation that is being swiftly enacted faster than a quick change artist. Ranging from not allowing conceal carriers being identified to a fetal heartbeat measure that is ringing bells across the country. The 89th Legislative session has been a down right barn burner in which its GOP strong hold has acted like "bulls in a china cabinet." The trouncing of Gov. Bebee has been amplified that legislators believe that not even decisions rendered by the United States Supreme Court matter to them. At this point, I can just imagined agitated opposition to all this mayhem are already "lawyering up" as the lawsuits will be rolling like no bodies business. It will be the Mr. & Mrs. Taxpayer who will be the ultimate looser as the rest of the nation looks on with shaking heads and wagging fingers. Brace yourselves as we move into next. Stay connected to COP 24/7 and check in on these bustas at:

Have you got Tickets yet? If not call 379.8203 or hit it over to purchase advance tickets @  Do it TODAY!!!! A great way to support the work of The Living Affected Corporation and Lucie's Place.

$10 in advance, $15 at the door.