Monday, June 30, 2014

Pericopes UP and OUT

Can you believe that that first two quarters of 2014 have come and gone as of today? Where the heck did all that time go, not to mention all that was covered and who knows what's to come. Producing this platform takes many twist and turns ranging from gathering content to finalizing what will make the cut. Even though it seems as if its a easy thing to do, its not especially when it comes to continuity and certainly the "time effort" that it takes to keep it fresh and refreshed on a daily basis. Many of the experts that I subscribe to, all state that if you not busting out new content and cross pollinating it with you social media aspect, then you most likely will not get the maximum punch from your work.

I know for a fact that COP 24/7 takes at least at 25 hour commitment each week including some updates, rewrites, re-posting, cross connecting and researching "what really going on." This platform has some Google Ads that offers some click through support but not enough to be considered a significant revenue source, we added our Circle of Friends outreach via our Pay Pal portal that to date received no contributions and now we are in the mix to seek possible banner or widget sponsorships to help with powering our efforts. Ultimately we will have to assess all of our work and determine our next steps. So as we examine all of work, stay tuned as we will be announcing shortly those decisions. Until then, its time to dive back in to the deep end of COP 24/7!


Money Makes the World Go Around

 
 
It was the 1972 hit film, "Cabaret" staring iconic Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey as nightclub stars in 1930's Germany, which featured many show stopping numbers including the bit entitled "Money Makes the Go Round" still resonates to this day. "Money," whether you have it or not, is central to making the world go round and round and most definitely around! This is not lost on COP 24/7 who has been producing this forum for the past 10, yes count em, ten years without recouping any revenue as yet. Early on, this experiment was a tippy toe move to understand just what "blogging" was all about with no real plan as to how to really utilize it or prepared to embrace the ultimate impact that it would go on to have. But this dilemma is not just a COP 24/7 issue, it is an issue that reaches beyond to the fact that due to a LGBTQ "patchwork" of infrastructure and dedicated funding models, many local community based groups as well as those activist who are the needed "footman" attempting to articulate the cause at the policy table simply don't have access to resources to facilitate their participation.
 
 Point blank, there's nothing currently in place to support those efforts and although needed, there are some serious questions as to how to create such a structure and even more glaring are inquires as to its management. As conferences and other meetings are announced, often times these events may have some "sponsorship" or scholarship component to them. However, these coveted items of assistance are extremely competitive and often its a crap shoot if such help may come one's way. To add to this mix, is also if there's some assistance, most times its limited to either perhaps lodging, some registration or travel subsidy that offset's some expenses but usually requires some input from the attendee.
 
 This is especially tricky for those events that require a "reimbursement" element in which the attendee pays upfront and waits for a subsequent pay out from organizers. However, no matter how its constructed or arranged, many of these situations some times are extreme challenges for those with limited incomes or access to resources to assist them in being apart of the education and information process. So what do we do? Despite a flurry of "fund raising" that has occurred, none of those dollars were distinctively slated to any designated fund of this nature.
 
 Also, although well meaning, most of the fundraising has been marginal to actually "money loser's" such as recent pride pageant that on the surface announced a $850 net which in actuality netting no funds after both pre and post production cost were assessed. Also some activist and advocates have taken to "crowd funding," such as a Go Fund Me posting from Ms. T. Lockett seeking funds to attend the Transgender national lobby day in Washington D.C. At post time, Lockett had secured $135.00 toward trip expenses, however, this type of funding also incurs cost. Go Fund Me deducts up to a total of 8% of the amounts donated with the rest available for draw down from the participant. Some agencies or entities have travel stipends, but usually those fund are regulated to program focus or outcomes. 
 
Consequently, such funding can only be use for specific conferences or meetings after rigorous vetting.. If there is to be some type of independent fund set up, then there should be questions as to how its administrated and exactly how would it be sustained. Would a fiduciary model be used allowing a audited entity to serve as a domicile or would a trustee be established to oversee how proceeds were disbursed. What mechanism's would be employed to create the "dollars and cents" needed to fund that purse.
 
Most fundraising experts cautions organizations about "bake selling" or "tea cupping" their fund
raising efforts that usually become exhaustive with limited return on investment including time and effort. Is a corporate sponsor structure possible? Perhaps, but most large firms are seeking a more tangible outcome for their bucks such as engaging consumers with their products, leveraging their brand or an outcome that supports their core values. The impending scale up of Project One America at the behest of the Human Rights Campaign, might come with some solutions but even this avenue has no assurances. Even more the talk of office staffing and such, to date there has been no bona fide plan of action that has been released to determine exactly what the structure or game plan will look like. Its still a wait and see for the state.
 
 It is obvious "Houston there's a problem," but exactly the nuts and bolts of how it will be resolved will require much thought and preparation. In the meantime, the foot soldiers will have to continue to fend for themselves as the need for Arkansas' LGBT community to be on the national playing field is a nail biter at best.  

Editors Note: You can check out Ms. Lockett Go Fund Me link on our Facebook page (www.facebookcom/corneliusonpoint )



Don't forget that open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act begins November 15, 2014 Watch COP 24/7 for more updates!




 
 
 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Outbound Friday

It's been another of those weeks of burning the candle at both ends! COP 24/7 has clicked off updates, did live "real time" posting to our Facebook page, checked in with our partners at The READ and done it all from the Southern Health Partners Conference in Atlanta.

Wow, who does this? Why does anyone do this? And why should anyone keep doing this work? Seems like we do here at COP 24/7 and it's done because it vitally important that Arkansas has representation at all policy tables, conferences, webinars, teleconferences and beyond. It is for this reason that I encourage readers to join our Rainbow Circle of Friends which is designed to assist with creating the vital independent funding stream to make sure that fuels our efforts to advocate and staying engaged with the processes that result in decisions by policy makers. If we don't create those streams of fund, then just who do we expect will do it for us?

We'll have more on that later, but just know that it has been our call to use this forum as an open space to "educate, inform and empower" for the past 10 years! Who knew that when this little experiment started that it would be still giving for all this time.

Especially as other's joined me here in cyberspace, but didn't last and have long since vanished from the scene. Thanks to all who have came along on this journey while sharing your encouragement, criticism, observations and or rant to how we may have rumpled your feathers. Through it all, COP 24/7 has stuck it out as we prepare to determine what's next in our forward momentum. Stay locked and loaded to COP 24/7, I've got some special announcements to make. Stay tuned, you will not want to miss out....

COP 24/7 Special

Observing National HIV Testing Day

A statement by Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH
 
Today, as we recognize National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), it is important to note that nearly 1 in 6 Americans who have HIV do not know they are infected. If you are between the ages of 13-64, or are pregnant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you be tested for HIV at least once as a part of routine healthcare, and more often if you are at high risk for infection.
National HIV Testing Day - June 27Testing is particularly important if you are part of a population that is heavily affected by HIV.

These populations include African Americans, Latinos, and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) of all races – particularly young African American MSM (ages 13-24), who have higher rates of new HIV infection than any other race/ethnicity or gender.

Fortunately, getting an HIV test has become easier thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA requires most new health insurance plans to cover certain preventive services –including HIV testing – without additional costs (e.g., co-pays or deductibles) to you.
If you aren’t sure where to get an HIV test, visit AIDS.gov’s HIV Testing Site & Care Services Locator to find a convenient testing location. You can also visit the NHTD website to find information on more than 400 NHTD testing events taking place across the nation.

You can benefit from testing no matter what the results are, because knowing your HIV status puts you in charge of your health.

For more information about NHTD, or to find an HIV testing location near you, please visit AIDS.gov. You can also follow the conversation on social media with #NHTD. For resources on HIV prevention, please visit Act Against AIDS. For more information on the ACA, please visit healthcare.gov.


AHPG Supports NMAC Pride Letter

Community Co-Chair C. Mabin of the Arkansas HIV Planning Group, signaled his support to a letter that acknowledges leaders from the HIV/AIDS community appreciates and says thank you to those LBGT leaders who stood up and recommitted to the fight against HIV/AIDS. President Obama host an annual LGBTQ Pride Reception on June 30 in which he highlights challenges and triumphs during his administration. From the groundbreaking National HIV/ AIDS Strategy to the continuum of care initiative, the administration has created a spectrum of access of funding across all levels of the government.

Within all of this work it has also included passing a hate crimes bill in Matthew Shepard’s name. Lifting the HIV entry ban, strengthening the Violence Against Women Act to protect LGBT victims.  The administration told hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid that they have to treat LGBT patients just like everybody else  With the arrival of the Affordable Care Act it will ban insurance companies from denying someone from coverage just for being LGBT. 

Plus the administration put in place new policies that treat transgender Americans with dignity and respect. And because no one should have to hide who they love to serve the country that they love, the administration ended "don't ask, don't tell" once and for all. There is much to be proud about as the society continues to evolve around equality and equity for all. Below is the actual letter that will be circulated next week.  


June 30, 2014


Dear LGBT Community, 


 
On the occasion of President Obama’s annual LGBT Pride Reception, leaders from the HIV/AIDS community appreciate and say thank you to those LGBT leaders who stood up and recommitted to the fight against HIV/AIDS.  

One year ago, leaders in the LGBT community wrote a Declaration to the community asking them to recommit to the fight against HIV/AIDS.  Over 1000 leaders signed the Declaration and many local, regional and national organizations disseminated it via listserves, newsletters and social media. Since the release of the Declaration, there has been a significant increase in our community’s discussion about the disease.  We’ve seen editorials, newsletter articles, staff trainings, workshops and plenaries at annual meetings, and a host of other activities to raise awareness about HIV within the LGBT community.  

Our work is far from over, but last year was an important step forward and we look forward to working collaboratively to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in America.  However, even as we work to stop new HIV infections, there are still over one million Americans living with HIV.  Our fight must continue until we find a cure.

Over the next year, it’s our hope that together we can combat HIV criminalization, fight stigma that keeps many people with HIV living in fear, provide sexual health education for LGBT youth, and ensure access to healthcare for the LGBT community via the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, and remain committed to finding a cure. 

Science and policy have aligned like never before to make it possible to envision an AIDS-free generation. That vision will not be realized without addressing the persistent and disparate impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. Thank you for all that you’ve done and for all that you will do.  

Happy Pride America!


Dont' forget to Save the Date!!!



 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Big Twisting Thursday

 National HIV Testing Day 2014

COP 24/7 has been on the march this week updating our site with the most current information and other activities around the June 27 event. In an earlier post, we cited that we couldn't discover any actual activities taking place, however, late breaking information was released as it was announced that a testing event will take place involving the Arkansas AIDS Foundation and The Living Affected Corporation. At post time, additional details were unavailable, however when we get them, we will most certainly share them. I don't make this stuff up folks. All I can do is try to message it even though I feel that this type of hasty and flying by the seat of your pants type of planning usually doesn't yield much. All I can say is that this forum has been the mix from the onset of the entire week and has been pumping out, no less than from the road on multiple channels. Just sayin.  In the meantime, check out the video below from our video partners at YouTube and if you know of any other activities that are later breaking don't hesitate to tell somebody.





Visualizing Health Policy: Understanding the Effect of Medicaid Expansion in the South

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic examines the effect of decisions by states in the South to implement or forgo the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion. This premise is also central to my attendance during the Southern Health Partners conference occurring in Atlanta this week. Organized by Community Catalyst, and each session unpacked next steps in capacity building, community organizing,  best practices and strategies. On Friday (June 27) the LGBTQ roundtable will feature presenter Andrew Cray, Policy Analyst, LGBT State Exchange Project, Center for American Progress to discuss how the ACA has impact that community.
jama_2014june_thesouth_(4)That session is targeted to drill down on the fact that many in the LGBTQ community are either uninsured or underinsured. Furthermore, the intersections of Ryan White services and those states whom have not move forward with Medicaid expansion. It is expected to be a robust discussion that participants will lead to additional organizing around a collective that will coordinate efforts across states.
The graphic shows that Southerners are more likely than people living in other parts of the United States to be uninsured; that most Southern states have poverty rates above the national average; that without the Medicaid expansion (which most Southern states are not implementing), Medicaid eligibility levels for adults in the South remain low; that nearly 80% of the 4.8 million uninsured US adults who fall into the coverage gap live in the South; and that the coverage gap in the South disproportionately affects people of color.
 
 
The Rapert Roar: Still All Hat and No Cattle

Well you wouldn't ya know it!! State Senator Jason Rapert (R-Conway) just can't seem to shut up by no means even when he has "foot in mouth" disease. At this point he's a loose cannon that you just don't know what to expect will fall from his lips nor who will find some means to take his tirades seriously.
Mr. "God, Gays and Guns" fiddler himself even got Judge Wendell Griffin riled up with a opt editorial in the Arkansas Demgaz that all but busted this joker out with candor, grace and the eloquence that Mr. G emotes effortlessly.
 So just what will this busta will not do or say that requires COP 34/7 to keep hitting the "we're crazy" button!! But you know we love our crazy folk in the south by just saying "bless his little heart, he just can't help himself.

Rapert has just been beside himself ever since that Piazza decision including that ridiculous and senseless resolution decrying that "marriage is one man- one concept.".  But while he's towing that line,  hold on a minute let's do a rewind. Isn't this the same dude that has been mucho loco about policing women's vagina's with a nine inch probe?
Not to mention more crazy talk about "taking the country for the Lord," while attacking the President Obama about visiting with Muslim leaders to the White House instead of attending the national prayer breakfast for Rapert was totally incorrect. And add to his crazy greatest hits is his fetal heartbeat bill.

And not let's forget that the good Senator has the audacity, temerity and down right gall to align himself with a cadre of African American minister's on the Capitol steps citing that they were with him in his crazy. Let's call that what it was, a blatant attempt to do a "Prop 8" move that somehow there's a overwhelming support against the LGBTQ community from seeking full inclusion in our society.

Allegedly, Rapert waxed on with this comment, "we're not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in." Really you people? Talk about a "wing nut."
And what people would that be anyway Mr. Rapert? Have not your own policies and rhetoric been some of the most inane and asinine as well as embarrassing verbiage spewed since being elected. Just so you know Rapert has garnered several Facebook pages devoted to either debunking his crazy or trying to fund raise for another candidate to replace him. Check this link to donate to candidate Tyler Pearson: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/tylerpearson Please people in Conway, do what you can to send this crazy back to the corner it came from.
 
And now for a commercial moment...



Do you Know? If not, the you should. Check out our locator widget in the margins to find a testing site near you!!
 
 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The ZIP Files Continue Part 2

New Partnership with the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) Supports Providers with Materials in Clinics to Urge Patients to Test for HIV
Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information response to the domestic AIDS epidemic, has released new targeted media messages urging Americans to get tested for HIV as part of efforts coinciding with National HIV Testing Day (June 27). Greater Than AIDS will also be providing associated pride theme related material to the group STRILITE for use during Little Rock Pride October 5 at the Clinton Presidential Park.
Through this new partnership with the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) these materials will be available to be placed  in clinics to support providers in HIV outreach, and an ongoing partnership with Walgreens offers free HIV Testing in select pharmacies. Greater Than AIDS is also distributing nearly 10,000 kits containing 1.25 million HIV testing-themed outreach materials to health care providers across the country to encourage HIV testing as a part of routine care. Greater Than AIDS is also providing I Got Tested community materials to health departments and community organizations across the nation. Unfortunately as of post time, COP 24/7 could not discover that any of these free materials were being acquired for distribution in Arkansas nor any local stores participating in this effort despite the state having a distinct Walgreens presence. 
By profiling real-life stories of people who got tested – including both those with positive and negative results – the I Got Tested campaign highlights the importance of knowing one’s status regardless of the outcome, routinizing testing, and reducing stigma. Media ads appearing throughout June promote free and low-cost testing in communities by promoting hotlines and web-based resources provided by departments of health and agencies and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more info: www.greaterthan.org
 
Community Catalyst Confab in ATL
Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization working to build the consumer and community leadership that is required to transform the American health system. The group is holding its annual meeting, June 25-27 at the Emory Conference Center and Hotel, in Atlanta, GA. 
Delegates from around the country involved in educating and enrolling around the Affordable Care Act will be present during the convening. Arkansas will be represented by COP 24/7 Executive Director and Living Affected staffer C. Mabin during the end week meeting. Mabin served as a "In-person" assister as the ACA program begin seeking individuals to enroll last October. The Living Affected Corporation was responsible for seven counties with a target of 2800 to be served with a primary focus in the LGBTQ community. 
The meet up will focus on "best practices" of building coalitions, outreach to hard to reach communities and break out sessions to discuss effective strategies that each state represented encountered or perhaps challenges that could be strategized from participants. Mabin has been asked to be apart of the LGBTQ roundtable discussion that will be apart of the overall programming. Watch the COP 24/7  Facebook platform for "real time" coverage from the event.
So What have you done today to be Proud?
 
Come follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/corneliusonpoint
 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The ZIP Files of COP 24/7 Part 1

Have we said it's fast and furious here at COP 24/7? Well in case you haven't noticed this platform has been burning the candle at both ends with our post ups on this page and doing double duty with our Facebook page and collaboration with the local LGBTQ newspaper, The READ. Talk about holy keyboard moments! Cranking out our special brand of news and other coverage including those "real time," snippets on FB can be daunting to say the least. Yet somehow we get it done and then some which includes our moving and shaking to cover other local happenings from the marriage equality roll at the court house to wading through a tidal wave of emails. What we've learned since our inception is the fact the "communication" has been seriously lacking and continues to be so even with our breakthroughs in how we can communicate.

Why does this persist is mind boggling and often times quite unsettling since much of this information contains not only vital health messaging, but also many other empowering opportunities. Yet with that said, this forum will continue to pull out all stops to discover, research, cull and troll for "what's really going on." Dear readers, you can show your support for our efforts by joining our Rainbow Circle of Friend using our secured Paypal portal. Your donation allow this forum to keep up our advocacy work as well as developing resources to help other advocates who want to make a difference in Arkansas. You can show some pride with making a commitment to share your treasure with us. Do it today!  And now for the latest....

The READ Rolls Again!


Here it comes again, The READ hit the streets as scheduled last Friday with its lasts edition of news
and special interest items covering a range of topics.

According to T. Estell, Editorial Editor," it was a lot of work to make sure that our "pride" edition covered as much as we could possibly could in the time we had," She continued, "Even though we knew that marriage equality had happened as we were putting the last issue together, we felt that we could sweep all of those activities into the pride category as well." 

The monthly newspaper is release each third Friday and can be found at many local venues and outlets including libraries, bookstores and can be found on its website (www.theread.net ) on the following subsequent Friday. The entity has added a new sales person in order to seek out possible ad revenue and other sponsorships to assist with the funding revenue needed to keep the periodical publishing. Currently the newspaper has I-30 as a substantial sponsor and is seeking launching some classified and or personal ad's as an added feature.

Also coming to the newspaper will be interactive advertising that will cross pollinate the static ad within the paper to a possible emerging The READ YouTube channel bringing the ad to life with the products being advertised. The staff believes that this interactive measure will allow a greater connection with readers. Plus a "value added" incentive for advertisers as well as readers. For more advertising information call 501.379-8203 or hit em up at info@livingaffected.org

HOPWA Modernization Legislative Proposal


The current HOPWA formula includes information on well over half a million Americans who have died, and does not reflect or use what the CDC refers to as the single best measure of the current geographic burden of the epidemic: the number of people currently living with an HIV diagnosis.
 
When the HOPWA statute was enacted in 1990, less than 10 years had passed since the first case of AIDS had been reported in the United States, and only about five years had passed since the HIV virus had been isolated and identified by scientists. The HOPWA funding formula reflected the nature of early surveillance data available at that time.

Modernizing the HOPWA funding formula is a key pending HUD action item under President Obama’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS). The NHAS directs HUD to work with Congress to develop a plan to shift to HIV/AIDS case reporting as the basis for HOPWA formula funding. HUD commenced an extensive public consultation process in 2011 to solicit public input from grantees, stakeholders, and federal agency partners through a series of forums. The results of this collaboration greatly assisted HUD in developing the legislative proposal.

The Department’s FY 2015 HOPWA congressional budget justification includes a legislative proposal to change the formula and to expand the provision of short-term housing assistance. Congressional action is required prior to enactment of the proposal, as the HOPWA statute must be amended to enable the use of living HIV cases. This is due to the existing statutory language referring only to cumulative AIDS cases for purposes of providing formula grant awards. As such, the purpose of this notification to dispel any misunderstanding regarding the status of this legislative request since it remains a proposed action. In fact, the Department has previously submitted the legislative request in the FY 2013 and FY 2014 HOPWA budget requests without congressional action.

The proposed formula change would be based on living HIV cases, including those living with AIDS, and would serve as a baseline to better reflect the nature of the HIV epidemic, as well as aligning the distribution of HOPWA formula funding with other Federal HIV programs, notably the Ryan White CARE Act program which has already enacted living HIV cases. The existing 25% formula factor would be revised to adjust for local housing costs (Fair Market Rents) and community need (poverty rates). In addition, the legislative proposal also includes language that would expand short-term housing interventions to allow for more flexible time limits and for rapid re-housing of homeless persons living with HIV/AIDS.

The legislative proposal contains a stop-loss provision that would be phased in over a period of three years. As the new formula is phased in, grantees would not lose more than 10 percent or gain more than 20 percent of their share of the previous fiscal year’s formula funds.
 
SAVE the DATE!!!
 
The Center for Artistic Revolution will be presenting its 10th Annual Corazon, June 28th, at the Bosewell-Mourot Art Gallery, 5815 Kavanaugh in the height section of the city. The evening will be a mix creative art and noshing with refreshments and beverages while raising money for a great cause. COP 24/7 encourages you to add this to your busy calendar of pride month events.
 
 


Don't forget National HIV Testing Week June 21-27, 2014. Talk HIV. Test HIV. Treat HIV. Do you know your status or need to do something about it ? Check out HIV Test locator widget in right hand margin of this platform.
 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Roll Out

So far June has been a barn burner of a month and that was before the first day of Summer last Saturday!. COP 24/7 has been in overdrive as we have journeyed across the state and Mid-south in our efforts to be on the scene of what's really going on. Often times our post get delayed or either pre-produced as a means of staying funky fresh in the break neck world of digital media. This especially true as often times cutting edge news happens so fast that COP 24/7 does it best to post it either on this platform or in real time on our associate Facebook page ( www.facebook.com/corneliuonpoint ). If you have not "Liked" our page, then by all means do so! Also consider joining our Rainbow Circle of Friends as a supporter of all the work this medium does to support equality advocacy and firm support of health equity for all. Your donations or support to of the placed Google Ad's allow this forum to keep reaching out with our creative process and voice to educate, empower and inform a wider range of policy makers and or representative who make decisions. And finally don't forget to subscribe, RSS feed or at least bookmark COP 24/7 to stay in the information fruit loop!  Do it Toda!!!

National HIV Testing Week: So What's Up Arkansas?

This week, June 21-27 is National HIV Testing Week, yet from what this forum has observed, no one seems to know it. Although COP 24/7 reported that the states AHPG has "signed on" as a supporter including a forthcoming position paper, there appears to little to no other interest according to events listed on the groups website at www.nhtwus.org . However COP 24/7 did learn that a small post would occur on the Arkansas Department of Health's Facebook page and nothing else seems to be planned as we post.

Furthermore from our  research we've learned that this effort is the first ever National HIV Testing Week for the US. National HIV Testing Week USA which provides an unprecedented opportunity for partners (community based organizations, healthcare organizations and providers, other healthcare professionals, advocates and policy makers) across the US to unite for one week to help more people become aware of their HIV status and to encourage those who know their HIV status and are not in regular HIV medical care to start a discussion about treatment. Twenty national organizations have agreed to partner in sponsoring this outreach effort and we hope that the success of National HIV Testing Week USA will engage everyone in conversations about getting tested for HIV, getting treated for HIV and preventing HIV transmission.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the more than 1.1 million people believed to be living with HIV in the U.S., an estimated one in six do not know that they are infected. Early diagnosis and treatment can save lives and is known to reduce the spread of HIV. Not matter what else is not happening or perhaps is not being communicated that is happening, COP 24/7 is doing our part to recognize the week and National HIV Testing Day, June 27! If you know of something that we've missed, don't hesitate to share that or your comments on how this health dilemma is being dealt with in Arkansas.

 



COP 24/7 Zip Line Articles and Updates 


An Update on Stakeholder Health 


By Heidi Christensen


 

Stakeholder Health (formerly known as Health Systems Learning Group) is a voluntary, peer-led learning collaborative that has enjoyed the participation (over the last two-and-a-half years) of some 90-plus organizations across diverse sectors. It developed out of a series of stakeholder convenings co-hosted by the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and the Partnership Center at the Department of Health and Human Services and participating health systems.

Read more at stakeholderhealth.org. 

Heidi Christensen is Associate Director for Community Engagement at the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Capacity Building & Grant Writing Training for Faith-based and Community Organizations


Event Date: Wednesday, July16, 2014; 9:00am- 4:00pm EDT

Event Location: Howard Gittis Student Center (1755 N. 13th Street - Morgan Hall D 301, Temple University, Philadelphia PA 19122)

Contact Information: Sayed Abubaker Phone: (202) 708-2404 Email: Sayed.A.Abubaker@hud.gov


The HUD Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships provides capacity building and grant writing-related trainings for faith-based and community organizations. Through the Capacity Building Training for Emerging Organizations launched in 2004, participants receive personal instruction from key HUD staff on how to become more competitive for Federal grants, secure 501(c)(3) status, and create the organizational structure necessary to secure government funds. Since its inception, the Capacity Building Training has grown to include information for intermediate and advanced organizations.

This program is designed to:

  • Address the misconceptions surrounding partnerships between faith-based organizations and the government
  • Equip non-profit groups with practical information as they strive to achieve economic empowerment and wealth creation for their communities
  • Educate faith-based and community organizations about opportunities available in HUD programs and the federal government

Friday, June 20, 2014

Doing the COP 24/7 Shuffle and More

NABWMT Countdowns to national Conference

The 2014 Convention Planning Committee for the 34th Annual Convention to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 8-12, 2014 will host its membership to a variety of enlightenment sessions under the theme: Reflecting, Rekindling, Renewing.

National Co-Chair Mr. Mark Behar announced that the conference will launch on Wednesday evening with a Meet and Greet Gathering at Ayzha (pronounced “asia”) Fine Arts Gallery and Boutique with the first ever Art Invitational by NABWMT artists and performers. Behar stated that, "this will be dazzling and this activity is kindly being supported by our friends and brothers of Midland Regional."

Thursday night:  Madam X Talent/No Talent Show at Warehouse/Hot Water, with an incredible sound system, stage, and lighting, with the organizations own in house music maker, DJ Doug.
Friday night: Film and discussion by director and a panel discussion by Queer Youth and Mentors at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.

In addition, guest presentations by Derek Spencer of Baltimore’s Jacques Initiative (courtesy of Gilead Pharmaceuticals), Dr. Tito Izard, CEO of one of the area’s largest inner city community centers about disparity of health care, Dr. Mo White, on LGBT relationships, Dr. Kendal Broad on her study of NABWMT and interracial relationships, a first ever color guard by LGBT Veterans, and  the group's signature black and white caucuses, and a first ever health fair. COP 24/7 Executive Producer C. Mabin will present in regards to his literary project being supported via the entities Bush Mallon Institute for Social Justice.

The Doubletree Hilton Downtown will serve as the host hotel and there will be outings to local venues and activities across the city. For more info check out there web site, www.nabwmt.org

White House Office of National AIDS Policy Announces Two Bay Area Listening Sessions

As part of a summer series of listening sessions around the country, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) has announced that it will be hosting two sessions in the Bay area later this month. The listening sessions will focus on local implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and the HIV Care Continuum Initiative. Mr. Douglas Brooks, ONAP’s newly appointed director, will lead both listening sessions, which will take place as follows:
  • Oakland, CA–Tuesday, June 24, 2014 (4:00 PM to 7:00 PM)
    Oakland City Hall Council Chambers – Corner of 12th and Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
  • San Francisco, CA–Thursday, June 26, 2014 (3:00 PM to 6:00 PM)
    UC Hastings College of the Law – Louis B Mayer Lounge – 198 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Use this link Exit Disclaimer to register for either of these listening sessions.

The purpose of the listening sessions is to better understand local and state level efforts related to the implementation of the NHAS, including discussion about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is helping advance the Strategy. The meetings are open to the public with the goal of engaging many stakeholders about the innovations, successes, and challenges being experienced at the state and local levels. Pre-registration is requested so that organizers know how many attendees to expect. To RSVP, please visit: https://www.cmpinc.net/onap Exit Disclaimer. Upon submitting your RSVP, you will receive a detailed confirmation letter via email.
Subsequent Listening Sessions
Later this month, ONAP will announce details of additional listening sessions to be held in Chicago and New York City.


AHPG Signs On to Campaign

The Arkansas HIV Planning Group proudly supports the efforts of UCHAPS ( Urban Coalition of HIV and AIDS Prevention Services) in their campaign to increase awareness concerning individuals getting tested and knowing their status.

The group also will be issuing a position paper on the campaign and its work during its Mid-year planning and strategy session held June 19-20 at the 4-H Center in Ferndale, Arkansas.

Check out our Facebook page(www.facebook/arkansashivplanninggroup ) for prevention messages, updates, links, videos and other resources in our mission to decrease infection rates in Arkansas.






 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

COP 24/7 Rewind and Reboot Part 2

Dining With Pride
mooyah

June 26, 2014 – 6:00-9:00pm

Mooyah Burger and Fries 10825 Kanis Rd., Little Rock

Everyone has to eat dinner! So. Bring yourself, your family and friends to Mooyah! 15% of the proceeds for the evening will go to support Little Rock PrideFest October 5, 2014.

Little Rock PrideFest is going to be held at the Clinton Library grounds. There will be a parade followed by a festival that will feature vendors, entertainment, a free picnic, and so much more!

So come out and help make this the best Pride Little Rock has ever seen!


Northeast Arkansas Goes Pride!

Artist Carol Plunk will be among the featured guest at the 1st Annual Northeast Pride celebration being held June 28 from Noon to 4pm at Craighead Forest Park, Pavilions 3 & 4  in Jonesboro, Arkansas. 

This is jus the latest of the round of pride events that have taken place around the state as Little Rock continues to prepare for its fall showing in October. According to the groups Facebook page, organizers have been busy acquiring T-Shirts, wrist bans, and all manner of "pride" gear to assist with making the event successful. 

The event will also host a "Pet Pride" parade as owners will walk the runway with there animals attired in the their pride best. COP 24/7 congratulates all organizers in their respective communities on gathering momentum to demonstrate the diversity of the LGBTQ community and beyond! For more info contact: northeastarpride@gmail.com  Tell them you heard it here first!!

Schedule of events

10:00 - Setup begins
12:00 - Day event opens - opening remarks
12:00 - Community picnic begins
12:15 - Community talent pride silent auction begins - Food, Fine Arts, Handmade Crafts, Services - proceeds to benefit pride
12:30 - Volleyball starts
12:45 - Children’s games begin - Face painting throughout the eve
nt
1:00 - Carol Plunk, first set - CDs available!
2:00 - Carol Plunk, second set
2:45 - Recognition of Couples with enduring relationships - 10-15 years, 16-20 years, and 20+ years. Longest lasting couple receives a special gift
3:00 - Blessing of Couples - Photos
3:15 - Pride Pet Parade - 3 categories of prizes: Most creative, Best of Parade, Most Prideful
4:00 - Day event closes
 
 
 
 

 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

COP 24/7 Rewind and Reboot Part 1

 
Maximizing Community Reach: Social Media Peer Mentors

 
 
Naima Morales CozierFor many HIV/AIDS agencies, social media can be an effective tool to build awareness and knowledge, recruit community members to participate in prevention and care programs, promote community events, and increase HIV testing. Nevertheless, simply having a social media presence is often not enough to meet these goals.
How can HIV/AIDS prevention and care organizations use social media to move their target audience to action?
Iris House Exit Disclaimer, an HIV/AIDS agency in New York, has approached this question by training social media peer mentors. LOVE YOUR LIFE, a Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-funded program, aims to build awareness and decrease stigma related to substance abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS. The Iris House LOVE YOUR LIFE program has engaged members of the community to be “social media peer mentors.” These mentors develop HIV prevention and substance use prevention messaging that can be shared on their own social networks. They help expand the reach of the substance abuse prevention, mental health services, and HIV/AIDS prevention and care messages beyond Iris House’s online community.
Recruit
LOVE YOUR LIFE social media peer mentors are recruited from Iris House HIV prevention and care programs, local colleges and universities, and high schools. The social media peer mentors represent African American and Hispanic women, transgender women, and young men who have sex with men.
Train
After peer mentors are recruited they receive a wide range of training. The peer mentors are not only trained on substance abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS topics and resources, but they also receive training on how to maximize social media reach and develop effective and relevant messages that will resonate with their social networks. Jeffrey Padilla, an Iris House health educator, tells us that, “Peer Mentors have been trained to disseminate safer sex messages within their social media sites (Facebook) by utilizing positive messages or language that creates a safe conversation or (cyber environment) around HIV without breaking confidentiality to their friends/network. Through such effort we are tagging along with campaigns such as “Testing Make Us Stronger” and “Start Talking. Stop HIV” to educate/familiarize mentors on the different resources available to them on social media sites or apps.”
Create
iris houseOnce they receive their training, social media peer mentors use existing federal, local, and community resources to create text, photo, and video content that they share on their personal and Iris House Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Social media peers also promote several National HIV/AIDS Awareness Days and participate in awareness day community events. Each post includes Iris House tags and hashtags so that program staff can track and measure the level of engagement.
TA to Mentors
After the training, social media peer mentors have access to technical assistance and any additional social media assistance for the extent of their involvement in the program.
Michael Barret Jones, Director of Development, Social Media, and Advocacy, told us, “So far, Iris House programs have trained 45 peer mentors, resulting in HIV and substance abuse messaging reaching more than 1,000 people who’ve never heard of Iris House or the work we do in Harlem and the South Bronx. Talking to people in their own language and on their own platforms is critical in getting to zero.”
 
Training community social media advocates to develop and share HIV/AIDS content within their social networks is an opportunity to make relevant and accurate messages that move people to action. This approach can also significantly reduce HIV/AIDS stigma within our communities. According to Ken DeJesus, the project director, “Our peer mentors have used this approach to deliver prevention messages on social media and during outreach. The fact that their family and friends see someone like themselves encouraging others to participate in a national testing or awareness day has been empowering. This approach helps to reduce stigma and to get the message across about the importance of HIV testing.”
 
What is an innovative way you are encouraging social media engagement regarding HIV/AIDS in your community?
 
Iris House, established in 1993, provides comprehensive services and advocacy for women, families, and communities infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, while providing prevention and education services for their clients and at-risk communities. To learn more about Iris house programs you can visit http://www.irishouse.org/ Exit Disclaimer.
 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Road Warror On the Move Part 2

Enroll America Steps off in DC

The State of Enrollment 2014 National Conference started with a Welcome Reception on last evening as the conference prepares to host over 800 representative from across the country. The Arkansas
delegation arranged in a pre-conference call to do a "meet & greet" held during the reception to get acquainted with logistics, introductions, networking strategies and other possible needed contacts.

Held at the massive Renaissance Washington hotel, the conference exceeded the hotels capacity which cause some delegates to make reservations at area overflow properties including myself grabbing a room at the Hampton Inn Convention Center site. You can catch my "real time" coverage for COP 24/7 on our Facebook page where you will discover great pictures and video.

I am attending as a licensed In-Person Assister on behalf of The Living Affected Corporation. Commonly known as "LACorp," the agency was the only  "owned and operated" LGBTQI agency to be awarded a contract by the Arkansas Insurance Department. The agency covered seven counties with goals to serve up to 2800 individuals including hosting enrollment events in local bars and venues plus offering in-house education and enrollment services.
  
This morning at 8:30 am ET, former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will speak at the opening plenary. This will mark Ms. Sebelius’s first public remarks since stepping down as secretary, and she joins the panel with:
  • The Honorable Steven Beshear, Governor of Kentucky
  • Anne Filipic, President, Enroll America
  • Dr. Drew Altman, President and CEO, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Dan Hilferty, President and CEO, Independence Blue Cross
Don't forget you can go on the road with me at www.facebook.com/corneliusonpoint  Check this forum for additional information and updates! Have you subscribe yet? Considered joining our Rainbow Circle of Friends? Help support our advocacy and activist work in Arkansas and beyond!

New AIDS group debuts as NAPWA successor

A newly created national coalition called Pozitively Healthy will advocate for people with HIV and AIDS following the closing in February of the 30-year-old National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA), according to the coalition’s organizers. In a May 10 statement, organizers said the new coalition will be an arm of the Washington, D.C.-based national AIDS group HealthHIV, which will manage the coalition’s finances and infrastructure.

“Pozitively Healthy’s mission is to ensure the strong independent voice of the 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States,” the statement says. It says the coalition will advocate for “access to quality health care and the most impactful prevention, care and treatment services in this era of health reform implementation.”

The statement says organizations, including the Names Project Foundation associated with the
national AIDS Quilt, and AIDS-related publications will be a part of the coalition in addition to individuals. “Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Pozitively Healthy coalition will develop and drive an advocacy and education agenda to address issues impacting People Living With HIV/AIDS, with special attention to African-American MSM [men who have sex with men], women, and transgender populations,” the statement says. Brian Hujdich, executive director of HealthHIV, said HealthHIV and organizers of Pozitively Healthy are inviting AIDS activists and their supporters from throughout the country to apply for membership on a national steering committee created to set the coalition’s agenda and mission.

 He said organizers are also inviting activists and others supportive of the coalition’s efforts to become members of the coalition. He said membership is free. Information about Pozitively Healthy and a sign-up form to become a member is available at HealthHIV.org. Five members of the steering committee, which had 16 members as of early this week, are former officials at NAPWA, including NAPWA’s former executive director and CEO Frank Oldham. Veteran Washington State AIDS activist Judi Billings, a former NAPWA board chair, has been named co-chair of the Pozitively Healthy steering committee.

David Waggoner, founder and publisher of the Albany, N.Y.-based national AIDS magazine A&U, has been named as the other co-chair. The prominent role being played by former NAPWA officials and staffers prompted AIDS activists and bloggers Michael Petrelis of San Francisco and Greg Milward of Wisconsin to raise concern, saying events leading up to NAPWA’s financial collapse and bankruptcy took place under their watch.

With creditors owed more than $750,000, NAPWA filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy at the time it announced it was shutting its doors permanently in February. Oldham announced his resignation from his post as NAPWA’s executive director and CEO in October and left the organization in November before news of the impending bankruptcy surfaced. A document filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maryland lists Oldham as owing NAPWA more than $80,000 in “accounts payable.”

Oldham and all other former officials at NAPWA have declined to comment on any of the details that surfaced in the public records associated with the bankruptcy filing. Stephen Bailous, NAPWA’s former deputy executive director and a current member of Pozitively Healthy’s steering committee, told the Blade shortly after the bankruptcy filing that NAPWA’s financial problems stemmed from the organization’s difficulty in raising funds during the downturn in the economy, which he said led to a mounting debt.

Hujdich of HealthHIV told the Blade that Oldham, Billings and the other former NAPWA officials were named to the Pozitively Healthy steering committee because of their years of experience in AIDS-related matters and their distinguished record of advocacy for people with AIDS. He said that similar to all members of the steering committee, the former NAPWA officials’ role in the coalition would be limited to policy and advocacy matters.

“We’re handling the management of it so that we’ll handle everything financial and any infrastructure with regards to how to help support it,” Hujdich said. “As it relates to the way NAPWA was managed, none of the former NAPWA board or staff members that are part of the coalition are connected in any way to the running of the coalition financially,” he said.

“And so they have no role in anything fiscal.” According to Hujdich, Pozitively Healthy will operate as an all-volunteer entity, with a membership and most steering committee members located throughout the country.

Added Hujdich, “There shouldn’t be an issue about their involvement. And all the more reason — not just those who were involved with NAPWA but others who are long committed to HIV advocacy — why wouldn’t we want to include their voice and give them an opportunity to do this?” (sourced: Washington Blade/ L. Chibbarro )

Monday, June 16, 2014

Road Warrior on the Move Part 1

Here we go again! It's on the road to engage, network and seek education opportunities for my personal enrichment as well as retrieving the information to share with as many as possible. And I'm not alone in this activity as the post will note. Those activist and concerned citizens who make these junkets are the "boots on the ground" folks who make their way to conferences, workshops, seminars, and or a variety of teleconferences, webinars and strategy sessions.

Its this type of making the connection that is required to make sure that Arkansas interest and concerns at least get a chance to be a part of a greater conversation or policy making decision.

However, often time there are not resources available to offer delegates which are desperately needed to attend such outings. This forum is not purporting that there be yet another "fund raiser" but our current infrastructure is hampered by the lack of secured funding streams, unrestricted allotments and viable as well as crediable management of any fund that is established.

Its unfortunate that much of this mindset is not "sexy" enough for most since they don't get it that our liaison's and road warriors often time have to fund their own expenses or accept reimbursement options. If want equality, then there's a price to pay for it on many levels and there needs to be some serious meeting of the minds on just how to do it.

Arkansas HIV Planning Group Strategizes

The Arkansas HIV Planning Group has announced its Mid year Strategy Session scheduled for June 19-20 at the 4-H Center and compound in Ferndale, Arkansas. According to Co-Chair's Courtney Hampton and Cornelius Mabin, this meeting will cover a wide berth of discussion, assessment and unpacking what's working or not working in Arkansas.

During the meet up, technical assistance will be provided by NASTAD, (National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors) to clarify internal structural challenges and barriers. Also participating will be all 2014 grantees who were awarded prevention dollars for cycle 2014. Each entity has been requested to demonstrate the effectiveness of their respective projects in relation to the states jurisdictional plan and NHAS.

The entity scaled up its 2014 collaboration capacity by composing a Medicaid Expansion sign on letter that was forwarded  to both Health committee members and legislators. According to Arkansas HIV Task Force Co-Chair and AHPG Membership Committee Chair Ann Dixon stated, "it was our opinion that a group we should publicly share our support of Governor Bebee's support of the expansion measure."

She continued, " we believed that the expansion would be and has been beneficial to all Arkansans." The group also followed up its sign-on circulation with phone banking to legislators. Co-Chair, C. Mabin, Kari Coffman and Dixon also provided testimony concerning House Bill 1185 which will allow therapeutic substitutions for prescribed drugs.

Unfortunately the bill received committee "do pass" support and was enacted at the displeasure of activist.  Currently AHPG also undertook creating and launching a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ArkansasHPG ) to assist with disseminating vital information. The page also has contact information and meeting dates updates.  COP 24/7 urges our readers, allies and supporters to follow this platform for the latest information as well as encourage you to action on these matters.

White House Meeting on HIV in the South

Arkansas' "road warriors" Mr. Bob Coffey and Ms. D. Levi will serve as representative during this week's "White House Meeting on HIV in the South," June 18. The session was rescheduled from last year government budget shut down debacle.

This meeting will continue the dialog about specific issues, challenges and barriers directly impacting those living with HIV and AIDS. Attendees have had a series of pre-meeting teleconferences coordinated by SASI ( Southern AIDS Strategy Initiative) to outline questions around new HOPWA guidelines, PrEP, transgender engagement and rising infection rates among communities of color.

In a April report release, the group's SASI research team  expanded its analysis of the CDC HIV surveillance data over a four year period (2008-2011) and released their updated report.  SASI’s analysis shows that black/African-American MSM and women remain the hardest hit in the deep south southern region.  The percentage increase of new HIV and AIDS diagnoses that were black/African American MSM was the largest in the South.  In the targeted deep south region, the percentage of new HIV diagnoses among black/African American MSM increased from 26% in 2008 to 29.9% in 2011.

For black/African-American women, the large disparity in rates with those of white women remain in the targeted deep south region.  In 2011 the HIV diagnosis rate for black/African-American women in the targeted region was 42.8/100,000 white the rate for white women was 3.2/100,000.        
                                                                
The Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) is part of the White House Domestic Policy Council and is tasked with coordinating the continuing efforts of the government to reduce the number of HIV infections across the United States. The Office emphasizes prevention through wide-ranging education initiatives and helps to coordinate the care and treatment of citizens with HIV/AIDS. Thanks to SASI for their assistance in both keeping in the information flow and travel assistance.


Got Questions? Need Information? Then get in the know prior to June 30, 2014. Call 379-8203 for the latest about how Affordable Care Act can work for you!