Showing posts from June, 2019

Ugandan-born American Puts In Volunteer Time At The New York Pride 2019

NYC-Pride 2019 One day, a long time back in 2013 as part of a   planning meeting, I was asked to volunteer some time as a welfare officer for the San Francisco Pride Event. What this meant was that I would spend three days on my feet, running from one end of Market Street to the other. My specific work area was between the Castro and Civic Centre. My task was to ensure we had enough sunburn cream and I was the supplies coordinator. I had 12 stations to check in with. On day three, we were able to wind down and break up. By 2:00 AM, I was so exhausted but still smiling. What I saw, what I heard then, what I contributed to minute by minute was so thrilling and fulfilling. I volunteered the following year and in 2015 as well. In the subsequent years, I chose to be an onlooker at other Pride Events. One in Los Angeles CA, Boston MA, Chicago IL and Oakland CA. I had time on me and decided to volunteer at the Heritage of Pride, New York. I had saved some money to

Feature Story: Chloe Schwenke On Another side of Pride

June – the celebratory and festive month of LGBTQ+ Pride – slipped by so quickly. For me, it started on a less than ideal note, as the threat of someone in the crowd of spectators brandishing a weapon disrupted the very end of the massive Pride parade through Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. I was one of those end-of-parade marchers; as such I had my first experience watching a vast panic-stricken crowd careen straight toward me and the marchers around me (including some very young children). It was a terrifying moment, and for those of us marching at the very end of the parade, our parade was over. That disappointment was somewhat assuaged by having seen more transgender flags than ever before (not counting the one that I was using as a cape). Even more remarkably, many people seemed to even be aware of what and who that pale blue, pink, and white striped banner represented. I took note, and I had to smile. We have a flag. We’ve arrived. Despite our minuscule numbers, we’ve

Revitalizing Self-Care Routine

Self care is many things. Bottom line: self preservation, agency, productivity and autonomy. You have the opportunity, motive and ability to feed yourself when you are hungry. Or drink up to quench that thirst. You strive harder to maintain a healthy life.   WHO published the first guidelines on   hashtag #SelfCare   - focusing on ways people can look after their own sexual & reproductive health, including: •self-injectable contraceptives •home-based ovulation predictor kits •HIV self-testing •self-sampling for HPV, STIs For more see: But there is more to life. Life can become hectic. With all of our daily commitments, it can be so difficult to find time to take care of ourselves. Self care is essential to our health. Self-care doesn't need to be difficult, there are easy steps you can take to make your own self-care routine.  Come up with a routine to make sure your body and m

Q And A Forum: Transgender Persons Contribute To Thriving Communities

There is no doubt that Trans persons are part of the diversity that makes up our communities. They are not fixtures but as human as the next person. We bring a video segment to see how you can help create spaces for growth and development in your communities. The video is courtesy of "Designated Survivor" featuring Kiefer Sutherland. Enjoy!

Q And A Forum: Ten Reasons Why Disclosing Your HIV Status Before Sexual Intercourse Is Respectful

Humans want to be loved! Human need to be loved! One way to feel wanted and loved is by winning and keeping friendships. The other way is to do everything and not be rejected. In other words humans work for rewards, recognition and confidence. Humans work against rejection, dejection and isolation. It is against this background that we bring you ten reasons why consenting partners should disclose their HIV or any other communicable diseases such as TB, Hepatitis, Syphilis or Gonorrhea to a partner. 1. It shows that you both mutually respect each others' right to quality of life influencing information 2. It creates opportunities to talk about how you both can support each other not to transmit in case one or both of you have positive diagnosis 3. It is an opportunity to plan how far you want to take your relationship 4. It provides opportunity to talk about sex, illnesses, growth and development as humans 5. It builds mutual confidence for partners to conf

Q And A Forum: When Lack Of Transport Does Not Explain Why Clients Miss Picking Up Their ARV Refills

When your clients miss picking up their scheduled ARVs on planned pick-up days, do not only think of lack of transport or bad weather as the cause.  Key Populations (KP) can be empowered to engage in HIV Prevention if their needs are understood. Understanding needs leads to differential diagnosis. Diagnosis leads to linking beneficiaries to service support which in turn addresses those needs. This leads to enjoyment of quality life. But why is it still difficult to serve Key Populations?  One answer lies in understanding the barriers or what leads to vulnerability and susceptibility.  Barriers are psycho-social, physical or geographical.  Psycho-social issues fuel avoidance tactics including asking proxies to pick it up for them. When this is done, it is known as avoidant coping. According to a study published in the Journal of International AIDS Society (JIAS) by Valerie and others (2018), Internalised stigma is enhanced by avoidant coping (denying and

Q And A Forum: 10 Reasons Why You Should Test For HIV

We have fielded over 1,450 queries on why persons should test for HIV.  The question was asked by some who were not sexually active, those who were and others who were celibate after voluntary abstinence.  We have ten points on opting to test: 1. One gets to access counselling and guidance on health seeking practices before taking the test. 2. This increases opportunities for care by a qualified and trained health care provider. 3. A negative test provides opportunities for self examination into sexual activity decisions. 4. A positive diagnosis provides opportunities for taking up ARV therapy. 5. A positive diagnosis provides care against opportunistic infections. 6.  It provides opportunities for one to plan to engage in and commit to regular self care practices. 7. It is a link to other referral services such as housing, nutrition and livelihood support. 8. It links one to life planning and quality life affirming activities such as joining viable post-test