Thursday, December 30, 2010

Safety Net Message for December

Have a healthy 2011: schedule your HIV test today at the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective. Email info@hglhc.org. Happy New Year!

--from your friends on the Safety Net Team

Please share this with everyone-- ESPECIALLY all the men who love men who are in your life-- friends, family, lovers, hookups, & strangers! post it on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace (uhh if you still use it).... send it to cuties on ManHunt and Grindr....  wish everyone a safe and happy new year!

And once you share it, do yourself a favor and take this quick survey to let me know that you shared this important health reminder. You will be entered into a drawing to WIN a $10 GIFT CARD to TISANE. Winner will be notified by 1/20/2011. The survey is here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZW8V337


Stay safe, play safe, lovies. And enjoy ringing in the new year. Oh, and make SURE you have a designated driver-- I don't wanna be bailing any of you out, but more importantly, I want you to take care of yourself and others coz you're beautiful and worth it.

-Jamie
Safety Net Team Captain

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010
Recommendations and Reports December 17, 2010 / Vol. 59 / No. RR-12

Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)
Subgroups of MSM are at high risk for HIV infection and other viral and bacterial STDs. The frequency of unsafe sexual practices and the reported rates of bacterial STDs and incident HIV infection declined substantially in MSM from the 1980s through the mid-1990s. However, since that time, increased rates of early syphilis (primary, secondary, or early latent), gonorrhea, and chlamydial infection and higher rates of unsafe sexual behaviors have been documented among MSM in the United States and virtually all industrialized countries (103,104). The effect of these behavioral changes on HIV transmission has not been ascertained, but preliminary data suggest that the incidence of HIV infection is increasing among MSM in some urban centers, particularly among MSM from racial and ethnic minority groups (105) and among those who use nonprescription drugs during sex, particularly methamphetamine and volatile nitrites (also known as “poppers”). These adverse trends likely reflect the 1) changing attitudes concerning HIV infection that have accompanied advances in HIV therapy, resulting in improved quality of life and survival for HIV-infected persons; 2) changing patterns of substance abuse; 3) demographic shifts in MSM populations; and 4) changes in sex partner networks resulting from new venues for partner acquisition (e.g., the internet). Increases in bacterial STDs are not necessarily accompanied by increases in HIV incidence; for example, oral sex may permit efficient spread of bacterial STDs but not HIV, as does serosorting (preferential selection of sex partners of the same serostatus) among HIV-infected MSM (106,107).

Clinicians should assess the STD-related risks for all male patients, including a routine inquiry about the sex of sex partners.

MSM, including those with HIV infection, should routinely undergo nonjudgmental STD/HIV risk assessment and client-centered prevention counseling to reduce the likelihood of acquiring or transmitting HIV or other STDs. Clinicians should be familiar with the local community resources available to assist MSM at high risk in facilitating behavioral change and to enable the conduct of partner notification activities. Clinicians also should routinely ask sexually active MSM about symptoms consistent with common STDs, including urethral discharge, dysuria, genital and perianal ulcers, regional lymphadenopathy, skin rash, and anorectal symptoms consistent with proctitis, including discharge and pain on defecation or during anal intercourse. Clinicians should perform appropriate diagnostic testing on all symptomatic patients.

Routine laboratory screening for common STDs is indicated for all sexually active MSM. The following screening tests should be performed at least annually for sexually active MSM:

• HIV serology, if HIV negative or not tested within the previous year;
• syphilis serology, with a confirmatory testing to establish whether persons with reactive serologies have incident untreated syphilis, have partially treated syphilis, or are manifesting a slow serologic response to appropriate prior therapy;
• a test for urethral infection with N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis in men who have had insertive intercourse† during the preceding year; testing of the urine using nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) is the preferred approach;
• a test for rectal infection§ with N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis in men who have had receptive anal intercourse* during the preceding year (NAAT of a rectal swab is the preferred approach); and
• a test for pharyngeal infection§ with N. gonorrhoeae in men who have had receptive oral intercourse† during the preceding year (NAAT is the preferred approach). Testing for C. trachomatis pharyngeal infection is not recommended.

Evaluation for HSV-2 infection with type-specific serologic tests also can be considered if infection status is unknown; knowledge of HSV-2 serostatus might be helpful in identifying persons with previously undiagnosed genital tract infection.

Because of the increased incidence of anal cancer in HIV-infected MSM, screening for anal cytologic abnormalities can be considered; however, evidence is limited concerning the natural history of anal intraepithelial neoplasias, the reliability of screening methods, the safety and response to treatments, and the programmatic support needed for such a screening activity.

More frequent STD screening (i.e., at 3–6-month intervals) is indicated for MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners. In addition, MSM who have sex in conjunction with illicit drug use (particularly methamphetamine use) or whose sex partners participate in these activities should be screened more frequently. All MSM should be tested for HBsAg to detect HBV infection.

Prompt identification of chronic infection with HBV is essential to ensure necessary care and services to prevent transmission to others (108). HBsAg testing should be made available in STD treatment settings. In addition, screening among past or current drug users should include HCV and HBV testing.

Vaccination against hepatitis A and B is recommended for all MSM in whom previous infection or vaccination cannot be documented (2,3). Preimmunization serologic testing might be considered to reduce the cost of vaccinating MSM who are already immune to these infections, but this testing should not delay vaccination. Vaccinating persons who are immune to HAV or HBV infection because of previous infection or vaccination does not increase the risk for vaccine-related adverse events (see Hepatitis B, Prevaccination Antibody Screening). Sexual transmission of hepatitis C virus infection can occur, especially among HIV-infected MSM. Serologic screening for hepatitis C infection is recommended at initial evaluation of newly diagnosed HIV-infected persons. HIV-infected MSM can also acquire HCV after initial screening; therefore, men with new and unexplained increases in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) should be tested for acute HCV infection. To detect acute HCV infection among HIV-infected MSM with high-risk sexual behaviors or concomitant ulcerative STDs, routine HCV testing of HIV-infected MSM should be considered.

† Regardless of history of condom use during exposure.
§ Commercially available NAATS are not FDA cleared for these indications, but they can be used by laboratories that have met all regulatory requirements for an off-label procedure.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December's Safety Net Message

December's Safety Net Message:

Giving gifts? Presentation counts-- "wrap it up" in style! Make the season bright with red and green condoms to keep you safe this holiday season.

The CARE Program and HIV Testing

 

Donna Shubrooks, RN
STD Program Coordinator at HGLHC

         
STD QUESTIONS?

Ask Donna…





Why does the CT Health Department need to be notified if I test positive for HIV or an STD?  Isn’t that just my own business?

--Seeking Privacy in the Big Picture


Dear Seeker,

Of course that is your private business, and that info is always treated with complete confidentiality.  Each state health department is dedicated to serving the public, and that means YOU!  Think of it this way…if the water in the reservoir was dangerously contaminated in YOUR town, YOU would EXPECT the Health Department to notify everyone to keep people safe.  If YOU worked in a factory with dangerous toxic fumes or rode on an airplane beside someone with active TB, YOU would EXPECT the Health Department to warn YOU that safety precautions were needed, or testing and treatment was required for YOUR benefit.  RIGHT?  That level of care is expected and deserved by all residents in every state.

So… when a new case of a contagious disease or infection is detected (such as TB, Measles, Encephalitis, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia or HIV), people who may have been exposed deserve to be notified that they should be tested and treated.  There is no judgment about “HOW” that infection may have been transmitted.  This is where the CARE Program comes in.  CARE Program counselors are specially trained to help people infected with HIV as well as their partners.  The counselor will help tell your sex or needle-sharing partners that they may have been exposed to HIV. ALL INFORMATION DISCUSSED WILL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL.  The counselor will notify your partners at risk without revealing ANYTHING about YOU!  They cannot say your name, age race, even your gender or when they may have been exposed.  This program is there to help YOU, in a few different ways:  1.  A CARE counselor can tell your partners FOR you.
2.  A CARE counselor can be WITH you when YOU tell your partners.
3.  If you want to tell your partners by yourself, the CARE counselor can 
     help you practice how to tell them. They can be sure you understand
     the FACTS about HIV so you can answer any questions your partner
     may have.

Why do your partners need to know?  Remember, they DON’T need to know anything about YOU!  But,
·       they should know that they might have HIV and could choose to be tested. 
·       they can get early medical care if they have HIV.
·       they can learn how to protect themselves and others from HIV
·       they can get free testing and treatment for other STDs.

Don’t forget, we’re ALL in this together.  We care about our community and want people to be safe.  ANY consensual sex practices have consequences.  We indeed ARE each responsible for our own sexual health, but wouldn’t YOU want to be told if you had been at risk and could be easily tested and treated? 

THINK ABOUT IT!   Have fun, but play safely.  Know the rules and protect YOURSELF.  That protects others too.

For more info about the CARE Program or how to get tested, call 860-509-7920 or the National AIDS Hotline 1-800-342-2437.

The Health Collective is here for you too.
Call us at 860-278-4163.

BE WELL.  BE YOURSELF.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day Safety Net Message

The Safety Net message for December 1, 2010 is:

"Today is World AIDS Day. Do you know your HIV status? Get tested & tell your friends to do the same. http://hglhc-safety-net.blogspot.com/ for info"

Once you've sent the message to your friends via text message, email, Facebook, Twitter, or other communications, please answer these few questions and you will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift card to CVS!

Survey is here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2YR7TFD


Thanks for all that you do.

-Jamie
Safety Net Team Captain

LOLS!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiIHQBlPKvE

Presidential Proclamation on World AIDS Day

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
November 30, 2010

Presidential Proclamation--World AIDS Day

WORLD AIDS DAY, 2010
- - - - - - -


BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION


On this World AIDS Day, as we approach the thirtieth year of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, we reflect on the many Americans and others around the globe lost to this devastating disease, and pledge our support to the 33 million people worldwide who live with HIV/AIDS. We also recommit to building on the great strides made in fighting HIV, to preventing the spread of the disease, to continuing our efforts to combat stigma and discrimination, and to finding a cure.

Today, we are experiencing a domestic HIV epidemic that demands our attention and leadership. My Administration has invigorated our response to HIV by releasing the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. Its vision is an America in which new HIV infections are rare, and when they do occur, all persons regardless of age, gender, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance will have unfettered access to high quality, life extending care.

Signifying a renewed level of commitment and urgency, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States focuses on comprehensive, evidence based approaches to preventing HIV in high risk communities. It strengthens efforts to link and retain people living with HIV into care, and lays out new steps to ensure that the United States has the workforce necessary to serve Americans living with HIV. The Strategy also provides a path for reducing HIV related health disparities by adopting community level approaches to preventing and treating this disease, including addressing HIV related discrimination.

Along with this landmark Strategy, we have also made significant progress with the health reform law I signed this year, the Affordable Care Act. For far too long, Americans living with HIV and AIDS have endured great difficulties in obtaining adequate health insurance coverage and quality care. The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from using HIV status and other pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny health care coverage to children as of this year, and to all Americans beginning in 2014. To ensure that individuals living with HIV/AIDS can access the care they need, the Affordable Care Act ends lifetime limits and phases out annual limits on coverage. Starting in 2014, it forbids insurance companies from charging higher premiums because of HIV status, and introduces tax credits that will make coverage more affordable for all Americans. This landmark law also provides access to insurance coverage through the Pre Existing Condition Insurance Plan for the uninsured with chronic conditions.

Our Government has a role to play in reducing stigma, which is why my Administration eliminated the entry ban that previously barred individuals living with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States. As a result, the 2012 International AIDS Conference will be held in Washington, D.C., the first time this important meeting will be hosted by the United States in over two decades. For more information about our commitment to fighting this epidemic and the stigma surrounding it, I encourage all Americans to visit: www.AIDS.govhttp://aacyf.convio.net/site/R?i=JdfMtgDFWCFCKohEXd42nQ...

Tackling this disease requires a shared response that builds on the successes achieved to date. Globally, tens of millions of people have benefited from HIV prevention, treatment, and care programs supported by the American people. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria support anti retroviral treatments for millions around the world. My Administration has also made significant investments and increases in our efforts to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS at home and abroad by implementing a comprehensive package of proven prevention programs and improving the health of those in developing countries. Additionally, the Global Health Initiative integrates treatment and care with other interventions to provide a holistic approach to improving the health of people living with HIV/AIDS. Along with our global partners, we will continue to focus on saving lives through effective prevention activities, as well as other smart investments to maximize the impact of each dollar spent.

World AIDS Day serves as an important reminder that HIV/AIDS has not gone away. More than one million Americans currently live with HIV/AIDS in the United States, and more than 56,000 become infected each year. For too long, this epidemic has loomed over our Nation and our world, taking a devastating toll on some of the most vulnerable among us. On World AIDS Day, we mourn those we have lost and look to the promise of a brighter future and a world without HIV/AIDS.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim December 1, 2010, as World AIDS Day. I urge the Governors of the States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join in appropriate activities to remember the men, women, and children who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty fifth.


BARACK OBAMA

Great article: "I Am HIV Positive and I Don’t Blame Anybody—Including Myself"

by Kirk Grisham ShareThis


Friday, November 12 2010,

I am HIV positive, and I don’t blame anybody for it—not myself or anybody else.

He didn’t rape me and he did not trick me. It was through our unprotected sex that I became HIV positive. Since seroconverting, I have been very conscious of the language I use to discuss transmission, particularly my own. To say “he gave me HIV” obscures the truth, it was through a mutual act, consensual sex, that I became HIV positive. When speaking to him a couple months after my diagnosis I gathered that he knew he was positive when we had sex. But that is beside the point; my sexual health is mine to control, not his.

We are encouraged to think about prevention and transmission in terms of responsibility. Someone must be at fault. Culturally, we hunt for secret villains. Today’s “down low” black man is but the latest boogeyman at which we’ve pointed our fingers—the latest of the so-often racialized monsters at which we can direct HIV blame rather than have honest conversations about sex and relationships.

In recent weeks, another recurring villain has re-emerged: the HIV-positive criminal who callously infects others. Last month, long-standing accusations that baseball legend Roberto Alomar hid an alleged HIV infection from his wife and girlfriends returned to the news. This summer, German pop star Nadja Benaissa made international headlines as she was tried for failing to disclose her HIV status to sex partners. These stories rarely fail to steal the news spotlight, and often throw local communities into HIV panics.

There must be a reason they are so resonant, right? They are evidence that HIV transmission from knowingly positive persons is rampant, right? Wrong. The reality is that the vast majority of HIV infections occur between two consenting people who believe they are doing nothing more risky than making love—or, at least getting laid.

People who know their HIV status are actually more likely to use condoms than not. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one snapshot study that found 95 percent of those living with HIV infection in 2006 did not transmit the virus to others that year. Another CDC study, released in September, found that while one in five “men who have sex with men”—public health jargon for gay and bisexual men—in 21 major cities has HIV, nearly half of those men (44 percent) don’t know it. The agency estimates that the majority of new infections each year result from sexual contact in which the positive person does not know he or she has HIV.

HIV disproportionately affects African Americans, regardless of sexuality. They account for half of the people living with HIV/AIDS, but just 13 percent of the overall U.S. population. Studies also suggest African Americans are least likely to know their HIV status, with the younger being less aware. Similar patterns exist among men who have sex with men, of all races. No talking and no testing, just finger pointing.

The communication problems that help drive these trends don’t stop with finding monsters to blame. People I love and talk to about my status do not always have the language or tools to express their grief and worry. They ask things like, “How could you be so irresponsible?” Or, “How could you fuck up like this?”

This language hurts, but more importantly it shifts the discussion from meaningful conversation about risk and vulnerability to simplistic directives: if only people used condoms, transmission would cease. But this idea relies on a complicated array of misconceptions and idealistic assumptions of equality, equal access to information, and how to use that information to stay HIV negative.

It is irresponsible to just tell people to use condoms without acknowledging that conditions like poverty, patriarchy and homophobia play roles in the so-called risks we all take. Even with people who have seemingly escaped these broader contexts—say, a working-middle class white man such as myself—stigma can prevail. Stigma that is produced by homophobia and general ignorance, yes, but also by American society’s desperate need to discipline and punish, to affix blame on individuals rather than confront the systems in which individuals live. So the AIDS epidemic becomes a challenge of personal responsibility rather than a damning indictment of global public health. That personal responsibility, however, is tricky: I bore no responsibility for the epidemic, until I had HIV, when it became entirely my problem.

When I used to get tested at the city clinic, they would tell me that people stay negative by disclosing their negative status. Having a conversation is paramount—negotiating whether and how you want to use protection, talking about the last time you were tested and asking the same of your partner. This dialogue cannot be taken for granted, but for many, before these conversations can happen, we need the tools to do so. So here, we lead by example. Three people of varying HIV status offer their own testimonies on how they think about their sexual health, and what it means.


Benee Williams
Age: 28; HIV negative

I can’t always say that I have cared much for my sexual health. I listened to the teachers speak about individual health but none of it seemed to do its purpose. I’m not so sure if I understood the power of owning my sexuality or knowing how to protect my physical and mental health. As I got older, I really started to look outside of what I deemed “me in between the sheets.” I started to think about my sexual health as more than just physical. I declared I own this body; I must respect it. When I do or do not have sex it is my decision, and I must be active in that decision, not passive. I appreciate sex. Through this process I have learned that communication about health awareness with my partners has improved over the years as well. Sex is one of the most natural things we can do as humans.


Catherine Mercedes Brillantes Judge
Age: 24; HIV negative

As a survivor of domestic violence and the many forms of abuse that it carries, I know being in control of your sexual health is critical for feeling empowered and safe. It took me years until I finally felt that I was in control of my sexual health and decisions. When I made the choice to be celibate (for a specific time period), it was the first time I felt in control of my body. It was liberating for me since I was often forced into sex throughout my adolescence. After not having the ability to say “no” for such a long time, I know the importance of making that decision. There are structural reasons why women feel that they are not able to say no, and we need to work to change that. As a young feminist of color, I believe it takes much more than reproductive health care and education for us to feel in control of our sexuality—it takes personal empowerment too. That to love and respect yourself means not only resisting coercion, but being comfortable enough to say yes when you want to have sex too.


Brandon
Age: 31; HIV Positive

My relationship to HIV has been woefully simple and dramatically complex (with emphasis on the drama). When I tested positive, I knew it was not a death sentence. It was post 1996. I’d worked in prevention. I knew I was going to live. The problem became living and remaining a sexual being. As a youth organizer, I had been taught to integrate positive sexuality into youth work. I was taught, and believe, that sex is a natural part of our human experience and that we should teach and support each other in our explorations of sex and the ways in can enhance or relationships, friendships, and lives.With HIV I almost lost that…others tried to take it away from me. Now I talk about it raw and uncut. I talk about the challenges but also reclaim space in the sexual community and use my own experiences, the good, the bad, and the multi-orgasmic to demand permanent space for all those living with HIV. To all the poz people in the world, I say, with love: fuck on.

World AIDS Day: Moving Toward an HIV-Free Generation

Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, MD, Senior Policy and Medical Advisor at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research coauthored an article with Kate Goertzen and Yuri Hanada on "World AIDS Day: Moving Towards an HIV Free Generation" published on today's Huffington Post. Full text below:


World AIDS Day: Moving Toward an HIV-Free Generation

Susan Blumenthal, M.D.
Public Health Editor at HuffPost and Former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General
Co-authored by Kate Goertzen and Yuri Hanada


On this World AIDS Day, achieving an HIV-free generation must be a top priority. In many areas of the world, including the United States, youth bear the brunt of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In 2009, 370,000 children who became HIV-positive globally were infected by mother to child transmission (MTCT). That's 1,000 children every day. Provision of anti-retroviral medications (ARVs) to pregnant women living with HIV could prevent most of these infections, but only 53 percent of pregnant women who are HIV positive receive these drugs in low and middle income countries. In contrast, thanks to public health education and access to lifesaving ARV medications, MTCT has been virtually eliminated in the United States, and most babies are now born HIV-free. This makes the current HIV infection rate for this generation of young people in America all the more alarming: As many as 250,000 youth are living with HIV in America today. Furthermore, in 2006, more HIV infections occurred among people ages 13-29 in the United States than any other age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite considerable progress in the scientific understanding of HIV as well as the eradication of MTCT in America, the incidence and prevalence of, and misconceptions about, HIV among our youngest generation suggest that we have much work to do to effectively alter the course of the epidemic among youth.

America's youth are coming of age at a time when AIDS is considered to be a treatable disease. Unlike young people in the early days of the epidemic in the U.S., most young people today have not witnessed the deaths of peers from this illness. Complacency surrounding HIV/AIDS in America has led to a kind of AIDS amnesia, particularly among youth. The results: large numbers of young people who are unaware of their risk for infection, who have never been tested, and who take unnecessary risks with their health.

In the U.S., statistics concerning HIV/AIDS among young people are particularly startling for the most vulnerable groups. Young men who have sex with men (MSM), ages 13-24, accounted for 84 percent of HIV/AIDS cases from 2004-2007. Yet, a 2005 survey of young MSM in seven major cities revealed that only 23 percent of those who had tested positive were already aware they were infected. In 2007, African Americans, another vulnerable group, represented 17 percent of adolescents ages 13-19 in the U.S., but accounted for 72 percent of HIV/AIDS cases in this age group. Young women, intravenous drug users, and youth whose parents are living with HIV/AIDS are also at increased risk.

Scientists have found that the dynamic developmental phase of adolescence itself contributes to vulnerability as a result of significant physiological changes, including those of the reproductive anatomy, which increase susceptibility to HIV infection. Additionally, youth mount robust immunological responses that may surpass those of adults, and it is unclear exactly when the switch from the biological mechanisms of child to adult drug metabolism occurs. These factors can potentially affect the safety and dosing requirements in vaccine and other biomedical prevention technology trials and yet prevention and treatment recommendations for young people are often extrapolated from the results of adult-only studies. For example, the recent finding that anti-retroviral (ARV) medication taken as a prophylactic "prevention pill" (PrEP) can reduce transmission by 43.8 percent and when taken as prescribed by as much as 90 percent is game changing; the median age in this study of MSM was 25, underscoring why youth must be included in future clinical trials.

There are additional considerations that place young people at high risk. While adolescence marks a period of exploration that may translate to episodic and risky sex, young people may not have the interpersonal skills necessary to negotiate safe behaviors that can protect them from HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unintended pregnancies. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth may face stigmatizing and isolating environments that affect their psychological and sexual health, as those who are unable or unwilling to disclose their sexual orientation may withdraw from critical sources of social support and prevention services.

Furthermore, structural factors such as homelessness, transportation, and state laws regarding the confidentiality of minors' health information impede young people's access to youth-friendly services and health information. Approximately one-third of all junior and senior high schools have no on-site health services. Meanwhile, half of sexually active youth will have contracted an STI by age 25, increasing their risk for HIV, but approximately two-thirds of 15-17-year-olds and half of 18-24-year-olds have never been tested for an STI. This is why comprehensive, evidence-based, and age-appropriate sex education is needed in schools today.

The HIV/AIDS burden on youth underscores the urgent call for an enhanced focus on their unique needs. The Obama Administration's first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), announced in July, identifies the importance of addressing the growing HIV epidemic among young people. NHAS presents a prime opportunity to prioritize and target vulnerable youth with appropriate prevention and service-delivery programs while expanding efforts to reach all young people with vital HIV/AIDS information.

Every hour, two young people in the U.S. become infected with HIV; of those who do become infected, approximately 80 percent do not know that they are HIV-positive. Altering this trajectory will require a comprehensive, multifaceted approach -- one that invests in research and mobilizes all sectors of society to design and implement prevention and treatment programs that specifically address youth issues. This is the roadmap to attain an HIV-free generation in the United States. For our nation's future, we must act now.



Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A. (ret.) is the Senior Policy and Medical Advisor at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. She is also a Clinical Professor at Georgetown and Tufts University Schools of Medicine and Chair of the Global Health Program at the Meridian International Center. Dr. Blumenthal served for more than 20 years in senior health leadership positions in the Federal government in the Administrations of four U.S. Presidents, including as Assistant Surgeon General of the United States, the first Deputy Assistant Secretary of Women's Health, as a White House Advisor on Health, and as Chief of the Behavioral Medicine and Basic Prevention Research Branch at the National Institutes of Health. She is the Public Health Editor of the Huffington Post. Admiral Blumenthal has received numerous awards including honorary doctorates and has been decorated with the highest medals of the US Public Health Service for her pioneering leadership and significant contributions to advancing health in the United States and worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2009 Health Leader of the Year Award from the Commissioned Officers Association and was recently named a 2010 Rock Star of Science.

Kate Goertzen serves as a Research and Policy Assistant at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.
Yuri Hanada is an Alan Rosenfield Health Policy Fellow at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

Today is World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day, observed December 1 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

Take this quiz to find out if you've been at risk for HIV and to read a great resource from a UK-based HIV prevention website:

http://www.worldaidsday.org/Facts-and-Stats/Have-you-put-yourself-at-risk.aspx

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Message

Did you share the October Halloween message with your friends? If so, answer a few quick questions and you could win $20 to Tisane!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YL9CR2B

It's easy and it'll help us figure out how many people we are reaching with the Safety Net project.

Thanks!
--jamie

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Halloween! October's Safety Net Message

BOO! Don't be scared to talk about safer sex before you hook up at those Halloween parties. Whatever costume you wear, always accessorize it with a condom! -- From your friends on the Safety Net Team




and hey, you can be the coolest one at the party & send the right message with the condom costume! (Dang, I wish I thought of this first, but I decided to go with a nurse. I work at the Health Collective, I thought it was fitting!)


Monday, September 27, 2010

want $25 to spend @ VIP?

are YOU missing out on a $25 gift card to VIP [Very Intimate Pleasures] ? If you shared the September Safety Net message ("stay safe, play safe") on Facebook/Twitter or by email/text message, answer a few quick questions here and you will be entered to win this month's drawing for the Safety Net project!


http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WK5LTTN
 

Friday, September 24, 2010

44 pct of gay, bisexual men with HIV don't know it

ATLANTA – One in five sexually active gay and bisexual men has the AIDS virus, and nearly half of those don't know they are infected, a federal study of 21 U.S. cities shows.

Experts said the findings are similar to earlier research, but the study released Thursday is the largest to look at gay and bisexual U.S. men at high risk for HIV. More than 8,000 men were tested and interviewed, and 44 percent of those who had the virus didn't know they had it.

Overall, less than half of 1 percent of Americans have the AIDS virus, according to a calculation by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a research and policy organization in Washington, D.C.

But gay and bisexual men continue to be infected at much higher rates, said Jennifer Kates, Kaiser's director of global health and HIV policy.

"We don't have a generalized epidemic in the United States. We have a concentrated epidemic among certain populations," she said.
That's why a new national AIDS strategy, unveiled by the White House in July, is emphasizing more of a government focus on men who have sex with men and others at the highest risk of getting infected, Kates said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends HIV testing at least once a year for all men who have sex with men and are sexually active, but research indicates more than half don't get tested.

An earlier study in just five cities in 2004-05 found similar results.

The new study, conducted in 2008, included 16 additional cities. Researchers offered free testing to the men, interviewed them and paid around $25 for their participation.

Black men were more likely to have HIV, with 28 percent reportedly infected, compared to 18 percent of Hispanic men and 16 percent of white men.

Black men were also least likely to know they were infected — about 60 percent didn't know they had HIV — compared 46 percent of Hispanic men and 26 percent of whites.

___

Online:
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September's Safety Net Message

Stay safe, play safe! Condoms can prevent HIV if used correctly, every time. Get a sampler pack with many varieties at HGLHC!

"Stay safe, play safe! Condoms can prevent HIV if used correctly, every time. Get a sampler pack with many varieties at HGLHC! -- from your friends @ Safety Net"

Once you've sent it out, don't forget to answer 5 questions here:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WK5LTTN


You could win $25 to VIP!

Thank you for all that you do for the community.
-Jamie

Respect Yourself-- Protect Yourself!

http://www.youtube.com/italkbecause


http://www.youtube.com/italkbecause


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just for Fun!

My mom bought this for me. I guess she understands my sense of humor!



It's CLOBBERIN' HIV TIME!






Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August's Safety Net Message

Every 9 1/2 minutes, someone in the US is infected with HIV. Know your status, get tested this month!

Didja share this? Answer 5 questions and you could win a $25 gift card to VIP! Oooh la la! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/C25BMHR


Where did the estimate that every 9½ minutes someone in the United States gets HIV come from?


--In 2008, CDC developed new estimates for the annual number of HIV infections—which suggest that about 56,300 new HIV infections occur each year. This estimate is a national average. CDC arrived at the 9½ minutes figure by dividing the number of minutes in one year by the 56,300 new HIV infections that were estimated for 2006. This result indicates that, on average, one new HIV infection occurs every 9.34 minutes in a year. For more information on the 56,300 estimate visit the HIV Incidence section of the CDC HIV Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/incidence.htm

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

HIV Infections and the Law

Shared from our friend Josh:


Regarding the discussion on non-disclosure of HIV+ status. This is a case from Australia.

Most prosecutions for infections have been in the US and Canada, a trend that drew condemnations in Vienna 2010, but this is an increasing trend. Prosecutions have involved both hetero and MSM.

All of these cases so far involve people intentionally lying about their + status, or tampering with condoms to reduce their effectiveness and increase risk of transmission.

The concerns that have been raised include scaring people from getting tested (ie. if you know you're + and infect someone, you could go to prison). Another issue though is that a court could rule that all unsafe sex carries strict liability. In other words, not knowing your status is not enough of a defense.

In other words, the + partner is responsible for ANY infection resulting from unsafe sex if he knew or "ought to have known" there was a risk of transmission. Just as individuals do not have the right to consent to be stabbed or seriously injured, a court could rule that the right to private, consensual sex (ie. Lawrence v. Texas 2003) does not extend to transmission of a dangerous pathogen.

Taken to its logical conclusion, I fear that these well-intentioned measures aimed at a few reckless, or even callous individuals, could be used by a right-winger on the bench to all but re-criminalize gay sex, or sex between / with HIV+ individuals.

In the end, it proves that each individual must rely on themselves for protection. While trust is great, latex is better.

--Josh

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/man-with-hiv-exposed-others-court-told-20100805-11jv2.html

Monday, July 26, 2010

Safety Net Team Luau @ Tommy's!

Have you ever seen a bear in a grass skirt? Come on down to Tommy's Restaurant on Wednesday, July 28th around suppertime to check out the Hawaiian Luau party brought to you by HGLHC's Safety Net project!

Congratulations to this month's Safety Net team member "T," who won a $25 gift card to CVS for sending out the previous Safety Net message and for completing the quick survey!

Wanna get in on the fun and help keep our community safe from HIV? Be a part of the team! Txt "SAFETY NET" to Jamie at 860-268-3777. We'll send you a quick message once a month that you can forward on to your friends to remind them about HIV testing and bring you news about HIV in CT. Fill out a quick survey once per month and you can win cool prizes and gift cards!

See you at Tommy's!

<3 -- Jamie

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ka-BOOM!

Hey, y’all! Here’s the Safety Net message to send out as soon as you can:

Did you see fireworks this weekend? Don’t forget your HIV test, firecracker! ;) from the Safety Net Team


Once you’ve sent the message to your friends (especially to men who love men), take our quick survey here for your chance to win a $25 gift card to CVS this month!
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YKDPQWQ


Thanks team! Xoxox,
-Jamie

Monday, June 28, 2010

Last Ones Out of the Closet?

According to CNN, it's bisexual men. What do y'all think?

"I think a lot of bi people are afraid to come out because there is pressure on both sides."
--Joshua Verbeke, 29-year-old bisexual
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/06/28/bisexual.male.last.closet/index.html

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May's Safety Net Message

What did the penis say to the condom?.... “Cover me, I’m going in!”


check out our FREE XL condoms @ HGLHC . Get some! 860-278-4163 or info@hglhc.org

----
 
Send this message out to your friends via text message, email, Facebook, or Twitter and fill out this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CSBZY5T
 
You will then be entered into a drawing for a $10 DunkinDonuts gift card!

Monday, May 3, 2010

April's Safety Net Winner!!

Congratulations to our own BRYAN  D (the really cute photo at left), the Safety Net volunteer who won this month's giveaway!! BRYAN is a Safety Net volunteer who completed the monthly survey to report his involvement with the project (basically, to report the # of txt, email, or FB messages sent/if he posted it as a FB status message) and won this month's drawing for a $10 GIFT CARD TO TISANE, a really cool coffee/tea house and bar serving delish Euro-Asian food (their gay night = Tuesday night, and queer women's night is the 1st Sunday of each month, FYI), and a SEXY GIFT BASKET!! Gooooo BRYAN!!

Volunteers, make sure you take ONE MINUTE to complete each month's short sur...vey that asks how many messages you sent to your friends (or even if you posted it on FB!) and you could be entered to win a great giftcard. Even if you don't want the giftcard (you selfless individual!), we still really need the numbers to analyze how the project is doing!!


Sorry, B, couldn't resist putting this cute topless photo of you up on the Safety Net blog.... what can I say, bbs, you're too cute! This was taken at an MPowerCT fun BBQ and Karaoke event, btw....
 
Stay tuned for May's message, coming up soon! Thanks to all of our volunteers! and if you're interested in becoming a Safety Net volunteeer, then just drop me a quick line-- even just "safety net"-- via email or txt! email: jamieb@hglhc.org or txt or call me at 860-268-3777
 
Thanks, y'all. You're amazing. <3

-Jamie B, Safety Net Team

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love your Latex: Condoms 101

Condom Care & Storage:


Always…

  • Always get your condoms from a trusted location, where the temperature is controlled and condoms are displayed away from windows and direct sunlight. HGLHC cares for our condoms and stores them in temperature controlled conditions away from sunlight.
  • Always store condoms at room temperature (55° - 80° F) and in a dry place. This means you should avoid leaving them in your car for too long (where it can get too hot or too cold).
  • Always check the date to make sure the condom has not expired and make sure there aren't any tears or holes in the package
  • Always wash hands before handling a condom if you've been handling oil-based products like massage oil, baby oil, some lotions, vegetable oil, petroleum jelly (Vaseline), Crisco, etc. Why? Oils can break down the latex. That's why you should use water-based lubes like we give out @ HGLHC.
  • Always throw used condoms away in the garbage wrapped in tissue.
Never…

  • Never leave condoms in direct sunlight or store them for prolonged periods at temperatures above 100° F or below freezing. Never leave condoms in your glove compartment or your wallet.
  • Never reuse a condom!
  • Never throw used condoms away in the toilet. You'll have a lot of explaining to do to your plumber.


Using a Male Condom....

The best way to prevent a condom from breaking starts before you ever open the package. Follow these simple tips to help ensure you are being protected!

--- Remember, if you have never used a condom before, practice first! Put it on by yourself if you're a male(ladies, use a vibrator or banana) to make sure you know the drill before you are in the heat of the moment.


Before foreplay…

-- Check the expiration date. Never use a condom that is expired. Expiration dates are found on the packaging and also on the wrapper of each individual condom.
-- Make sure the condom wrapper has not been opened. If it looks extremely flat and smashed, don't use it.
-- If you feel good about the condom you chose, leave it un-opened in a handy, easy-to-reach location, like on the night stand near the bed... under the living room couch... in the kitchen cabinet... wherever you might get it on!

When to put it on…

-- Put the condom on at the time the penis is erect (hard) before it comes in contact with other skin. This will reduce your risk of spreading disease and will keep pre-cum away from your partner's body.
-- Use the condom during oral sex. You can still spread/contract sexually transmitted diseases and infections through your mouth! Try mint-flavored ones... freshen your breath while you're at it ;)

How to put it on…

-- Carefully open the condom wrapper. Start to tear the edge that has a zig-zag cut. Make sure you are only tearing the wrapper and NOT the condom! Never use your teeth, scissors, etc. to open a condom.
-- Pull the condom out check which side is up. Place your thumbs in the center of the condom and try to unroll it. If you can't, flip it over and try again. You want the rolled edge to be facing out. It should look kinda like a sombrero, like this:

-- PINCH THE TIP OF THE CONDOM so that you are pinching around an inch of latex and then (while you're still pinching the tip!!) put the condom on the penis. This is important-- you don't want any air in the condom because that could cause it to break when the guy ejaculates ("comes"). Put it on, while you are pinching the tip, and unroll it all the way to the base of the penis.
-- Use extra lubricant. Add water-based or silicone-based lube to the outside of the condom after it is already on. This helps to reduce friction and takes more stress off the condom. Don't apply lube to the shaft of the penis before the condom is on! This could cause the condom the slip off. However, a small amount of lube on the tip of the penis before the condom goes on is great for sensation and extra sensitivity.... so, a little lube is alright, but not down the whole penis, please!
-- Never use an oil product with condoms, including Crisco (ick!), Vaseline, hand lotions, or massage oils.


During and after…

-- If it slips off while you're getting off, get a new condom. If it breaks, get a new one. If you are ready for round #2, get a new one. Never re-use a condom or try to put it on after it has been unrolled.
-- When pulling out, hold the base of the condom to make sure it stays in place.
-- Take it off by grasping the opening of the condom at the base of the penis and slowly sliding it off. Wrap the used condom in a tissue and throw it in the garbage. Never flush a condom down the toilet.


Have fun, y'all!

-- Jamie B 
Safety Net team member--

So many condoms, so little time!

The really cool Safe Sex Store has the scoop on all the different condom varieties to help you choose the right kind. Mix it up - try something new!




Monday, April 19, 2010

April's Safety Net Message :)

Hey Safety Net team & volunteers,

Please send out by text or email the following Safety Net message, especially to any men who love men that you know.... and don't forget to fill out the survey after you send it!

Survey is here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JRPGJYK

Message is as follows:

------------------------

APRIL'S SAFETY NET MESSAGE: **** TXT 4 UR TEST! Know your HIV status? Text YOUR ZIP CODE to KnowIt (or 566948) for ur nearest test center. OMG. GYT! ****

DID YOU KNOW....1 in 2 people who have sex will get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by the age of 25, and most won’t know it. If you’re sexually active, the only ...way to know is... to GYT (Get Yourself Talking and Tested).

OMG. GYT! http://www.hivtest.org/

Find your nearest HIV and STD testing site online. Or call 860-278-4163 to set up your testing appointment.

You can even confidentially TEXT MESSAGE the Safety Net team leader, Jamie B, to set up an HIV and/or STD test at the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective (HGLHC). Just text "HIV TEST" to 860-268-3777.


Be Well. Be Yourself.
--your friends on the Safety Net team

http://hglhc-safety-net.blogspot.com/

-------------------------------


Once you've sent the message, please fill out this 30 second survey and you can WIN a fabulous gift card to TISANE!!!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JRPGJYK

Enjoy their yummy menu items or have a delicious beverage of your choice at one of the coolest gay-friendly joints in Hartford. You can win this, all  because you're doing great work and helping to keep our community safer by preventing HIV & STDs.



big lovies,
-jamie (the gal in the polka dot boots)

How to use a condom... now with pictures ;)

If this is too tiny for you (heh heh heh), click on the image to expand it


The above is borrowed from a sexual health clinic in Ontario, and below is more info from them... I love the little (safer) sex squad cartoon characters, especially the one that looks like STRONG BAD!


http://www.healthunit.com/sectionList.aspx?sectionID=378

http://www.healthunit.com/sectionList.aspx?sectionID=378

Safety Net winner for March 2010

Congratulations to Wendi C., the winner of the drawing for the Safety Net volunteer prize for March 2010!
 She is the Executive Director of New Freedom Recovery Housing, a residence for men and women who are new to recovery, just coming back, or who just need a safe, clean and sober living environment on their journey in recovery from substance abuse.

Wendi has been a wonderful Safety Net volunteer since November 2009, recruiting others to help join our cause to send safer sex and HIV prevention messages to their friends. She won a $25 gift card to V.I.P. (Very Intimate Pleasures) for her participation in March.... way to go, Wendi!


Wendi C, Safety Net volunteer



I Will Survive! (If I use this sexay condom....teeehee)

A disco-ball-shaped condom I picked up at the Planned Parenthood table at the Transgender Lives Conference on Saturday, 4/17.

NOW I see what "Lady GayGay" means when she says she "wants to take a ride on your disco stick!"

You can always get free condoms (including cute ones like this) at Planned Parenthood in CT, and with 18 health centers across the state, there's definitely one in your area. We loves 'em coz they're really LGBTQIA friendly, open and affirming.

You can always get free condoms at Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective (HGLHC), too. Stop in and grab some in all the cool varieties we have to offer, no questions asked!

-jamie

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

TXT 4 UR TEST!

DID YOU KNOW....

1 in 2 people who have sex will get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by the age of 25, and most won’t know it. If you’re sexually active, the only way to know is to GYT (Get Yourself Talking and Tested).

OMG. GYT!

http://www.hivtest.org/

Find your nearest HIV and STD testing site. Or call 860-278-4163 to set up your testing appointment.

You can even confidentially TEXT MESSAGE the Safety Net team leader, Jamie B, to set up an HIV and/or STD test. Just text "HIV TEST" to  860-268-3777.



Be Well. Be Yourself.

--jamie b., Safety Net team leader

Monday, April 12, 2010

News from HGLHC!

Queer Prom 2010 * April is STD Awareness Month * Gay Bingo April 24 * Komen Foundation Grant at Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective * New Board Member Marci Simmons * Volunteer Spotlight on Douglas Zywiczynski

& MORE!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Safety Net: Condom Demonstration!

SAFETY NET team members Troy and Jamie show you how to use a male condom correctly!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sex and the UniverCity: Sun, shades and STDs

Sex and the UniverCity: Sun, shades and STDs
From the University of Connecticut's DAILY CAMPUS Newspaper
By Alyssa Carroll

Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Bikinis, beaches and bodies; spring break is a guaranteed recipe for some seriously sexy times. But with a week of students looking to party, there’s something else that can really make things start burning up: an STD.

Meeting people is bound to happen, but for every sexy accent comes a whole slew of foreign diseases ready to pounce on your freshly-tanned body.

International travelers are at particularly high risk of contracting STDs, including HIV and syphilis, when having sex with locals.


Foreign locations may have legalized prostitution, and just because you would never be involved with one, doesn’t mean the cute guy on the beach never has.

Similarly, when having a one-night stand, take a minute to think about the person you’re with (beyond their cute butt). Think to yourself about how easy a decision it was for that person to sleep with you. If it doesn’t seem like this is a new thing for this person, you may want to wonder how many times he or she has done this before.

According to 1999 World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, “340 million new cases of curable STIs (syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis) occur annually throughout the world in adults aged 15-49 years,” and the number is only growing.


WHO also reports 30 different kinds of sexually transmissible bacteria, viruses and parasites.

So, let’s do some quick math.

If there were 340 million curable STI cases in ’99, 30 kinds of STDs and 200 people in the bar you’re partying at, what are the chances of contracting something totally vacation-ruining?

Probably higher than your chances of winning a wet T-shirt contest.

These numbers are not listed to encourage celibacy, but being smart and safe is obviously the most important part of being on vacation.

Now, in an attempt to avoid preachy “safer sex” information about the importance of condoms (and about how they are 99.9 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and how they prevent STDs and general grossness), I’ll skip that whole spiel. [Safety Net editor's note: you can find all that info on this page anyway!]

But remember, crabs are only cute on the beach.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Safety Net St. Patrick's Day Party @ Tommy's!


Wednesday, March 17th
7-10PM (or whenever)


Tommy's Restaurant - Gay/Bear Night
825 Saybrook Road
Middletown, CT


Directions, menu, etc here: http://www.tommysrestaurant.com/


Join us for a fun night at Tommy's Restaurant in Middletown. It's gay & bear night, so join the guys and the Safety Net crew for a fun night of food, drinks, and FREE STUFF to celebrate St Patrick's Day!

Bring your cell phones and wireless devices and send out this month's Safety Net message on site for your chance to win prizes, gift cards, and more!

It's gonna be fun night. We'll see you there! Rock out with your shamrock out!

-jamie


Friday, March 12, 2010

Show YOUR True Colors... wink wink

Hey er'rybodddy!

It's time for the weekend, woohoo! Hopefully you're on your way out to enjoy the True Colors conference, the world's largest LGBTQIA youth conference being held at UConn in Storrs today and tomorrow, and you're psyched for the great workshops, free giveaways, amazing information, really cool brilliant people, fun gay stuff to buy, and FUN FUN FUN events and basically the biggest gayest day for LGBTQIA youth I can think of. Always a good time.

But maybe you've got even gayer activities planned for the weekend, like... um... well, I guess the only thing more queer than the True Colors conference is gay sex itself! (Although I saw this Facebook post about the conference today: "Damn. That's gay. But not as gay as eating a unicorn sandwich at a Liza Minnelli conference while wearing a Mariah Carey t-shirt and twirling a baton dipped in glitter." And yeah, that's possibly gayer than gay sex).

Anyway, if you might be gettin' lucky this weekend, DO get some fun GREEN condoms from HGLHC to celebrate spring and/or St Patrick's Day. And speaking of colorful condoms, I found this really fun, hot sex game from a Johns Hopkins newsletter. Yes, we nerds have sex, too! Here's a hot sex game idea:



"Condoms don't need to have such a negative stigma. In fact, with
the right attitude and the right choices, condoms can be fun and can provide another reason to play games in bed. For example, a friend of mine assigns each "activity" a color, picks a condom randomly and they do whatever the color is -- while using the condom."


Why didn't I think of that?! We just got a new shipment of all kinds of fun rainbow color condoms so you can have ALL varieties of "activities" depending on what color condom you use... brings a whole new meaning to "collect them all!" In fact, I challenge you to go ahead and stop by to pick up an assortment of rainbow rubbers to try this out. Hey, I'll even have 'em right near the front door for you so you can just get in and out and on with it. I meant the condom pick-up, not the condom useage! Oh, your poor deprived partner.

Then come back here and post your most creative safer sex ideas (positions, activities, places, etc!), one for each color of the rainbow. Sounds hot!

-jamie

Have a really happy St. Patrick's Day!

Don't miss the condom of the month at Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective... pick up your free condoms in four-leaf-clover green in their spring-grass-green wrappers to celebrate spring or St. Patrick's Day in style!

Get lucky with lubricated LifeStyles brand condoms, and...

rock out with your shamrock out!


Grab your free condoms & safer sex kits at HGLHC, 1841 Broad St in Hartford. Stop in and say hi to the safer sex squad, or talk to Jamie to become part of the Safety Net team-- you could win great gift cards, have fun, and hook your friends up with cool, free goodies.




Congratulations to Austin, our most recent Safety Net teammate who won our monthly drawing for a $25 gift card. Austin has been a stellar participant in Safety Net since its humble beginnings and is one of the funniest & nicest guys I know. He's also helped to come up with previous Safety Net messages and is actively involved in social and community-building events in Hartford, CT, and beyond.

At right is one of my my favorite pics of him, giving some serious sexy face! Thanks again for being on the Safety Net team.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January's Second Safety Net Message

Congratulations to ERNESTO, our Safety Net volunteer winner of the month! He received a $25 gift card to Dunkin Donuts for his participation this month in the Safety Net HIV prevention program. I want to encourage our Safety Net volunteers to fill out the online survey after your participation each month. You, too, could win fabulous gift cards and prizes while helping the community!

If you’d like to become a Safety Net volunteer, text or call me, Jamie, at 860-268-3777 (add me into your contacts as Jamie Bassell if you want) to get started.

If you’re already a volunteer, GREAT! Please go ahead and send out the 2nd message of January:

Use a condom with your partner tonight. It’ll look good on you! ;) From your friends @ Safety Net. More info: www.hglhc.org/safetynet

(This can also be abbrvt’d in the following txt form)

use a condom w ur partner 2night. It’ll look gr8 on u! from ur friends @ Safety Net. hglhc.org/safetynet

Condoms can be sexy, and HGLHC has many colors, flavors, textures, brands, and varieties. Some have lube, studs or ribs for extra pleasure, and others even glow in the dark! Be creative, be sexy, be safe.

All kinds of condoms are available for free at Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective. Stop in for a sampler pack or see what we have to offer. Find the perfect condom for you and your partner.


Make a stylish statement with different styles available.
They're the perfect way to accessorize any outfit... especially a birthday suit. ;)

Express yourself AND protect yourself!

From your friends,
-The Safety Net Team

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year from Safety Net @ HGLHC!

Safety Net wants to help you get a head start on your new year's resolution to have a happy and healthy 2010. From now until January 22nd, get a FREE rapid HIV test at Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective (HGLHC) when you present the text or email you received with this information, or mention the code "SN2010."

Call, email, or IM to make an appointment. Contact details for the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective are below:

Location: 1841 Broad St, Hartford CT. Just a block south of Trinity College.
Phone: (860) 278-4163 (ext 17 for Jamie B, and/or her confidential voicemail)
Email: jamieb@hglhc.org (confidential email address for Jamie B, Safety Net project coordinator and HIV Counselor)
AOL Instant Messenger Screen Name: HGLHC




And new for 2010... make a resolution to find the perfect condom for you and your partner(s).

http://www.condomdepot.com/product/detail.cfm/nid/212/pid/2474

Or pick up your free condoms at HGLHC. We always have tons of fun varieties to try and they are completely, totally, 100% free of charge!


Be Well! Be Yourself.

Jamie
--The Safety Net Team @ HGLHC