Monday, May 06, 2013

The Swirl Edition

Producing COP 24/7 and More

It never amazes me at the time and effort that it takes to put this little exercise in citizen journalism and town square piece. For those of you who are new to COP 24/7, welcome. If not, welcome back. According to the Google metrics and analytical tools that allow me to get snapshots of the inner workings or behind the scenes connection of this forum often gives me some surprises. As I've stated many times before, I'm totally blown away at exactly who is "checking in" or stopping by to see what I'm up too.

However, as time would have it, often I get "back logged" and sometimes find myself over loaded with the process of sorting, editing, sifting and doing what I felt is my damn best to keep bringing my audience not only "what's really going on" regionally but staying on point throughout my postings. There has been talk of using this platform as a frame for an "experimental" platform to communicate prevention messages as well as other vital information within the LGBTQ community. So far, its all been lot's of "talk-talk" with some hints that some how someone over the rainbow will perhaps decide that its a good idea. Well, let's not hold our breathe on any of that but you can be assured that if any of this rolls forward, you'll be the first to know. If you think its a good idea, then by all means let's hear from any or all of you.

 So if you roll through and it seems that we may be running behind or caught up in other processes, then don't worry. We are always just a click away from refreshing and updating! If you are not following us, then why not? Do it today and don't forget to share your comments or observations.

New USPSTF HIV Testing Recommendation Paves the Way for Increased Testing and Timely HIV Diagnosis in the U.S.

This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Exit Disclaimer (USPSTF) released a new Recommendation Statement Exit Disclaimer on screening for HIV, giving a “Grade A” recommendation for routine HIV screening for all people aged 15 to 65, as well as younger adolescents and older adults who are at an increased risk for HIV infection. It also gave a “Grade A” recommendation for HIV screening for all pregnant women, including those in labor whose HIV status is unknown. (Read a fact sheet Exit Disclaimer [PDF 120KB] about the new USPSTF HIV screening recommendations.)

Implementation of these recommendations will aid substantially in efforts to improve the HIV treatment cascade and achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

The new Recommendation Statement aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings, issued in 2006. In that document, the CDC recommended that opt-out HIV screening be a part of routine clinical care for American adolescents and adults aged 13-64.

Contact your local health provider or primary care physician for more information on screening availability or referrals.

Get your Tickets today! Its going to be sell it at


Friday, May 03, 2013

Staying Wired and COP Connected

Alicia Keys Introduces New National “EMPOWERED” Campaign, Reaching U.S. Women on All Platforms

Editorial Note: Many organizations are using new media channels to reach communities in the response to HIV/AIDS. Recently, we asked our colleagues at the Kaiser Family Foundation to share some information on the EMPOWERED campaign. The following guest post is about EMPOWERED, an example of a national campaign using traditional and new media. Among federal examples, the CDC’s Act Against AIDS
 has taken a similar approach.

On April 15 Exit Disclaimer in Washington, D.C, as she introduced EMPOWERED Exit Disclaimer, her new campaign developed as part of the Greater Than AIDS initiative Exit Disclaimer, recording artist Alicia Keys called on the women of America to use their power to help bring an end to AIDS.
“Women and girls have been affected by HIV since the start, but that impact has not been recognized,” Ms. Keys said. “And as the sisters, mothers, daughters, and caregivers, we are the backbones of families, communities, and entire societies. We will never see an AIDS-free generation without harnessing the power and strength of women.”
EMPOWERED is a new, national cross-platform HIV awareness campaign that includes TV, radio, and outdoor and print ads Exit Disclaimer, in addition to digital content and social media. By joining with Greater Than AIDS, Alicia Keys is reaching women in the U.S. in everyday ways—on their computers, on their phones, at bus stops—to make everyday choices that can change the course of this epidemic.
EMPOWERED’s digital focus revolves around the powerful stories of five women living with HIV in the U.S. Alicia Keys met with these women and they shared their struggles and triumphs living with HIV. A six-minute signature video Exit Disclaimer excerpt of that conversation was released exclusively online, then promoted widely with direct prompts to watch the video from all outdoor ad placements and through social media distribution by both Greater Than AIDS and Ms. Keys.
One recent Tweet from Ms. Keys read, “Its time2change the way we think about HIV. We R #EMPOWERED Exit Disclaimer! I’m so moved by this,” with a link to the video. The video has also been featured widely on online media sites, including BET, Huffington Post, and the Grio. Greater than AIDS will make a 30-minute version of the video to community groups, for use at events that serve and educate women.
EMPOWERED also continues to roll out new online exclusive features, including five recently released personal profile videos Exit Disclaimer for each of the women in the EMPOWERED signature video with Alicia Keys. These intimate portraits of the women, whose faces grace the EMPOWERED outdoor ads, allow a greater understanding of their EMPOWERED statements and what led each to speak out about HIV. By creating layers of content that build as viewers explore different platforms, EMPOWERED creates a rich learning experience, with the ultimate endpoint of informational resources on HIV prevention, testing, and treatment.
As the campaign goes on, Greater Than AIDS Exit Disclaimer and Ms. Keys will use social media to continue to promote these online features and the actions every woman can take in her own life to protect herself from HIV. Already the campaign has received a wave of positive feedback. For example, a recent Facebook posting by Ms. Keys Exit Disclaimer of photos from the EMPOWERED launch event garnered nearly 49,000 “likes.” An online call out from Ms. Keys for responses to the EMPOWERED video started a conversation among commenters, such as, “This really changed my perspective about HIV,” “I cried watching this,” “Newly diagnosed, thank you.”
Through dialogues about HIV, Alicia Keys CAN help to change the way America thinks about HIV/AIDS. We are EMPOWERED Exit Disclaimer.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

May Poles and More

May Is Hepatitis Awareness Month

By Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, and Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Ronald Valdiserri
Dr. Ronald Valdiserri
May 1 marks the start of the month-long observance of Hepatitis Awareness Month. The observance is an important element of government-wide efforts to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and decrease health disparities by educating communities about the benefits of viral hepatitis prevention, testing, care, and treatment.

Hepatitis Awareness MonthThroughout the month of May, HHS and our partners who support the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis will be engaged in a variety of activities to increase awareness—among the public and healthcare providers—about viral hepatitis, including the importance of testing, the availability of care and treatment, and associated adverse health effects resulting from undiagnosed and untreated viral hepatitis. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing several blog posts about implementation of the Action Plan.

On May 19, we will observe the second annual Hepatitis Testing Day. Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States. An estimated 4.4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis; most do not know they are infected. This places them at greater risk for severe, even fatal, complications from the disease and increases the likelihood that they will spread the virus to others.

Hepatitis Testing Day was established in the Action Plan as a means to raise awareness and educate health care providers and the public about who should be tested for chronic viral hepatitis. Unfortunately, many communities and populations remain uninformed about various facets of viral hepatitis, including associated adverse health effects, the need for testing and care, and the availability of vaccines (for hepatitis A and hepatitis B) and treatment – especially priority populations at high risk for viral hepatitis, such as injection drug users; people living with HIV; gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men; baby boomers (people born between 1945-1965); African Americans; and Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Please join us in promoting both of these important observances—Hepatitis Awareness Month and Hepatitis Testing Day—to enhance public awareness of viral hepatitis prevention, testing, care and treatment across the United States. Here are a few things you can do:
  • Learn more about awareness activities, including testing events, taking place in communities around the country to mark Hepatitis Testing Day. This page from CDC allows people to search for Hepatitis Testing Day events taking place near them in May. Event organizers can also list their events.
  • Review the web badges, digital tools, fact sheets, posters and other resources available from CDC on this page and find one you can use this month.
  • Take this 5-minute online hepatitis risk assessment developed by the CDC and get a personalized report on hepatitis testing and vaccination recommendations.
  • Read more about the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan on our recently updated page.
Won’t you please commit to learning more yourself and/or sharing information about viral hepatitis with at least two other people this month?  Working together, we can raise greater awareness about the epidemic of viral hepatitis in the United States and, in so doing, make great strides in improving the health of persons who are at risk for or living with viral hepatitis.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Welcome to 2nd Quarter 2013

A Simpler Way to Apply for Health Care
by Kathleen Sebelius,  Secretary of Health and Human Services

Editor's Note: The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare," will have several access points throughout the state. The Living Affected Corporation has been selected as a designated point within the LGBTQ community. Through this organization individuals and or families will be able to get "in-person" assistance as everyone is give access to an insurance marketplace to choose appropriate coverage for their circumstances. For more information contact the group at 501.379-8203 or

Today, we take one more step toward meeting the promise of helping millions of Americans access quality, affordable health coverage.

We have finalized the application you can complete later this year to learn what health insurance programs you are eligible for and the discounts to help pay for it. Starting in October, it will be the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and tax credits that will help pay for premiums.
one application you can use to apply for the new

I’m also pleased to say the application has been simplified and significantly shortened. The application for individuals is three pages, and the application for families is reduced by two-thirds, to seven pages.

This is much shorter than industry standards for health insurance applications today.
Whether you choose to use this application to apply for coverage online, by phone, or on paper, the Health Insurance Marketplace will give you better options than they have today – with one destination to apply and many resources to get help.

In-person counselors and a toll free phone line will be available to help you through every step of the process.
The online application that will go live on when the Health Insurance Marketplace opens for enrollment on October 1, can be found here:
You can sign up to learn more and get ready to enroll at