New Jersey — This week (March 21-25), the National Coalition for LGBTQ Health and its partners raise awareness of the significant health care needs and challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals and communities. Barriers to medical care such as stigma, homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination negatively affect the physical, emotional, and mental health of members of the LGBTQ+ community.
This year’s theme LIVE OUT LOUD for LGBTQ Health is an opportunity for advocates and community members, as well as state and federal officials to speak openly about the importance of adequate and accessible health services for people and LGBTQ+ communities.
The LGBTQ+ community faces significantly greater challenges in achieving good health compared to members of the straight and cisgender community. Inequalities in medical care prevent individuals from accessing and receiving appropriate, patient-centered health and support services in a safe and inclusive environment.
By not receiving the care they need, community members experience health issues in areas such as substance abuse, substance abuse, mental health and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV and HIV. AIDS.
HIV, AIDS and other STIs have a significant impact on LGBGTQ+ individuals and communities. It is important to include testing for HIV and other STIs as part of a person’s annual medical appointments. Anyone at high risk of contracting HIV and other STIs should be tested more frequently. Many people living with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections have no signs or symptoms. Testing is the only way to know if you have HIV or other STIs.
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Testing not only reduces the risk of spreading new infections, but also connects people to prevention, medical care and treatment services. Anyone at high risk for HIV should get tested often and talk to their healthcare provider about available prevention options.
Over the past 10 years, “life-changing” advances in HIV testing, prevention, medical care and treatment have improved health outcomes: longer and healthier lives for people living with HIV and effective prevention options for those who are not infected with HIV. Better options mean fewer new HIV infections, fewer people with AIDS and fewer AIDS-related deaths.
Effective prevention options help end HIV in all communities. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is an anti-HIV drug taken daily to help prevent HIV transmission through sex or injection drug use. PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is an anti-HIV drug taken only in an emergency. If you think you have been recently (within the past 72 hours) exposed to HIV, contact your health care provider, emergency physician, or emergency care provider immediately about PEP to help prevent HIV.
Although there is still no cure for HIV, early testing and treatment options allow for a healthy life with HIV. Treatment with anti-HIV drugs (antiretroviral therapy) can keep the amount of virus in the body at a low level undetectable level. Maintaining an undetectable level of HIV prevents passing the virus on to others (Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U). All people living with HIV should start treatment, regardless of their medical condition or how long they have been living with HIV. Live out loud. Support LGBTQ+ health.
New Jersey offers free HIV and other STI services to all state residents through the hotline. Knowing who to call for resources and information is the first step to ending the HIV epidemic in New Jersey. The helpline is staffed by healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, and pharmacists) available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide free, confidential help: Call: 1-800-624-2377 or Cat here
• Referrals for screening, prevention, treatment and other related services
• Information on prevention and treatment of HIV, hepatitis and other STIs
• Information about the side effects of drugs used to treat HIV and other STIs
• Referral to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) services
• Places of advice and treatment
• Referral to harm reduction centers (access to syringes available)
• Partner notification services
• New Jersey AIDS Drug Program (ADDP)
Connect with the NJ AIDS/HIV/STD hotline (clickable)
Observation Day hashtags: #LGBTQHealth #LiveOutLoud
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