Tuesday, June 02, 2015

United Colors of Pride Part 2

As we prepare to march on till our final posting later this year, we find this platform realizing that this will be the final Pride month that we will highlight. Since our 2004 inception, COP 24/7 was designed to share information, engage discussion and eventually "hot light" area issues, challenges and barriers that impacted our community. Ultimately, this little exercise as a citizen town crier often times found itself on the "hot seat" or either igniting the ire of others whom felt dared to be questioned. It is for this reason that COP 24/7 should have been valued and appreciated.

If we don't back talk to the powers that be, then our concerns or dissatisfaction with the status quo will go unrecognized or fulfilled. The pieces offered here have always been meant and will continue until the final post, be about challenging readers to take a moment and "think." For the unbelievable past 11 years COP 24/7 has stood in the information gap when all others fell by the wayside. Amazing as that they may seem, its been a tremendous testament to staying power with the belief that somewhere along the line we may have made a difference...

The LGBTQ Health Boom in Arkansas

As we recognized three decades after the first HIV case diagnosis, there exist a burgeoning HIV/AIDS industrialized behemoth that has included all manner of prevention, intervention and big data research and development touting an array of outcomes and results. On the heels of all of
that infrastructure, we now find "infrastructure 2.0," that has now given way to the next wave of "LGBT Health" best practices, equity concerns and more professionals looking to enhance health disparities in the LGBT community.

And that massive wave of gay health issues has been streaming into the natural state in the guise of many local efforts to address a myriad of health related conditions ranging from smoking to sexual health. Unknowing to the gay community itself, there has been a flurry of "gay health" activity as far back as the 2011 released LGBT/ HIV Tobacco survey report by Dathan Johnson, BA, whom concluded through a Survey Monkey portal the following:
"The most critical recommendation is that a concerted effort be made to heighten LGBT-focused organizations awareness of tobacco control as a public health priority in the community. Specifically, as a public health department, ADH should assist these organizations in including tobacco control advocacy and programs in their scope of activities to build healthier communities."
This report is among many such reports, task forces, work groups and more surveys including another such unreleased 2014 assessment funded using the massive tobacco settlement dollars that has funded everything up to the states drug court system.(Talk Business 11/2011). Meanwhile, the race to address LGBT health within the impending HRC sponsored, "Equal Care for Equal Lives," LGBT Tobacco Work Group and cultural competency movements begs the question as to whether all this will advance these issues primarily by linking people and information or will their be any real and definite advocacy for policy change.

As these efforts unfold, can stakeholders count on there being any significant strategies to support what has already been cited in a plethora of glossy reports ranging from the 2010 SHARP (State Healthcare Access Research Project) plan, 2014 Arkansas Minority Health Commission report or any other number of "white papers," power points or campaigns created that have come and gone ending up shelved with marginal to no results. Added to this is the fact that much of this research has not been cataloged or provided in a clearinghouse or centralized repository for future needs or reference.

This forum has been supportive of empowering and the wellness of our community through a variety of sources, but continues to ponder how these engagement will translate into any impact among those who may feel distanced from such efforts, not because there has not been outreach to possible participants but can't realize what it all means to them or why. So we go on, more smart thoughts, talk and papering with hopes that some how something will make a difference. 

Pride Schedules Released

With Pride Month 2015 now rolling, COP 24/7 is excited to share more pride events being produced locally on this platform and our Facebook page ( www.facebook.com/corneliusonpoint  ). 

Friday, June 5th- Pride dinner at Satchemo's Bar & Grill. PFLAG Little Rock will hold their June meeting there at 6 pm, with dinner following at 7 pm.

Saturday, June 6th- Pride Pool Party from 2-6 pm with donations going to the 2015 LR Pride Fest (address TBA).

Sunday, June 7th, Conway Pride Caravan. We'll be meeting at 12 pm at First Pres downtown (800 Scott St.) to carpool to Conway Pride with Center for Artistic Revolution and PFLAG Little Rock. You're invited to walk in the Pride Parade with us and we'll also have a booth at the festival.

For any questions, call (501) 213-6543

Webinar: Breaking regulatory barriers for greater female condom access

This Wednesday, June 3
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET | 10 - 11:30 a.m. CT | 9 - 10:30 a.m. MT | 8 - 9:30 a.m. PT
Click here to register!

A variety of safe and effective female condoms currently exist. However, regulatory hurdles limit new products from entering consumer markets. With the pipeline of new receptive partner-initiated condoms growing, advocates must understand how regulatory issues determine product introduction and approval in their country.

Join the National Female Condom Coalition this Wednesday, June 3 at 11 a.m. ET to learn about:

• Receptive partner-initiated condoms in development
• Link between regulatory environment and female condom access
• Current regulatory issues and obstacles
• Unique advocacy opportunity to break barriers to existing female condoms and pave the way for emerging internal condoms

Panelists will include:
Mags Beksinska, Director, MatCH Research
Coco Jervis, Program Director, National Women’s Health Network
Jessica Terlikowski, Director of Prevention Technology Education, AIDS Foundation of Chicago & National Female Condom Coalition

Register today!

This webinar is presented by the National Female Condom Coalition, and co-sponsored by AIDS Foundation of Chicago, AVAC, California Family Health Council, CONRAD, Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), International Rectal Microbicide Advocates, MatCH Research, National Women’s Health Network, PATH and Universal Access for Female Condoms Joint Program.

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