NHS England will officially not offer PrEP, a drug that prevents HIV, to gay men
NHS England has made its final decision to not provide PrEP to gay and bisexual men. The national health provider has denied it is their responsibility to provide a drug that can help prevent the transmission of HIV. NHS England does fund other medication to protect sexual health, such as the oral contraceptive pill.

In March, NHS England said PrEP could not be considered for the specialized services annual prioritization process. It said ‘local authorities are responsible for HIV prevention services’, and not NHS England. They were forced to reconsider the decision after the shock of HIV and health charities and many politicians urged them to rethink their plans. The National AIDS Trust threatened legal action.

But in a statementissued today (31 May), NHS England made clear they would not offer the drug. The National AIDS Trust is considering further legal action

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT, said:‘NHS England is sitting on something that could be the beginning of the end for the HIV epidemic – if only it were made available.  The refusal to commission it for all those at significant risk is astonishing.   Seventeen people are being diagnosed with HIV every day. We are extremely disappointed and we will now be looking at our options, including further legal action.’

Matthew Hodson, the director of gay men’s health charity, GMFA, told Gay Star News: The NHS’s decision not to ever consider commissioning PrEP is both a shock and a disappointment. Although the commissioning landscape has become complicated there have been clear indications the NHS is able to commission preventative treatments.

‘Each year, thousands of gay men become infected with HIV and many of these infections could be prevented if PrEP was available. We now have all the tools we need to prevent new HIV infections but this requires commitment and investment. Without PrEP being added to our prevention armory, we are no closer to ending HIV. At a recent LGBT reception in Number 10, Prime Minister David Cameron made a strong commitment to do whatever he could to facilitate access to PrEP. In light of this, the NHS decision is a particularly crushing blow.’
No, Nurse, My Health Issues Aren’t All Rooted in My Sex Work — The Development Set — Medium

By brilliant Naomi Kwe at!

No, Nurse, My Health Issues Aren’t All Rooted in My Sex Work
As an Indigenous woman in Canada, I’ve seen throughout my life how doctors and nurses put together false narratives of me. And I hate it.

…And when Indigenous girls like me grow up, the poverty and violence we face is staggering. These experiences contribute to the growing number of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit folks (i.e., Native people who have both feminine and masculine spirits).
While I’ve avoided all of these fates, it sometimes feels like it was by a hair.

At some point when I was fifteen, a car hit me while I was a walking on the highway. I don’t remember anything about the accident, but I woke up from a coma a month later with a brain injury. I left home two years later, and began to work two minimum wage jobs while attending high school. I soon realized that to take care of myself financially, I needed to find better paying jobs.
Forced displacement of Indigenous peoples takes many forms. Some are forced into state care, while others are forced to leave home for work and educational opportunities. For Indigenous women, it sometimes means difficulty accessing safe and secure housing. For me, when I was eighteen, I escaped an abusive relationship after being arrested and found that safety and support in a women’s shelter on a nearby Aboriginal reserve.
Around this time, I found an ad in a local paper for an escort agency, and decided it was my best option. Not only did my brain injury impact my relationships with loved ones, it also affected my schooling. I suffered daily migraines, hearing loss, vision loss, and I had difficulty concentrating for long periods of time. Working two jobs while being a full-time student was too much for me.
By contrast, sex work allowed me to support myself financially, so I could focus on attaining the grades to get me into post-secondary education.
By the age of twenty, I was living in a dancers’ house in London, Ontario. Stray cats roamed the basement, getting fat on the mice that also called the place home. I had no idea what my future held.

When I entered the sex trade, one of the first things I noticed was the way doctors and nurses would treat me. Much of this wasn’t totally new for me, given my Indigenous status and my experiences as a teenager.
Since I was living in a city by this point, and not in my hometown in Northern Ontario, I was able to access a nearby doctor after I was sexually assaulted. This was the first time I was accessing healthcare on my own; I was living in the city without identification or knowledge of any clinic locations. As I walked in, I was nervous about what I would encounter from these health care professionals.
While the doctor provided me care, I disclosed to her that I was new to the region, that I had no family or friends there, and that I needed to access services like health care. But just as I started to feel comfortable, I learned that this doctor’s office did not come without issues.
A nurse assumed every health problem related to being part of the sex trade — including my sexual assault, which in reality had no connection. She failed to consider how part of my mental health issues were related to events from my adolescence, like my suicide attempts, car crash, and abusive relationship. This nurse put together a false narrative, which made me simultaneously angry, frustrated, and hopeless….

I refuse to post anything with “war on obesity” or “obesity epidemic” bullshit in it.

It means  a huge swath of articles about poor people are off the table immediately.

Because rich people are extremely interested in policing and stigmatizing poor people’s bodies, but not in actually caring about poor people’s health.

When poor people talk about medicaid cuts, medicare cuts, food stamp cuts, about the brutal stress of applying for many social programs, about unsafe housing, about lack of clean water, about poisoning of poor communities by corporations, workplace safety violations, the extremely high rates of severe poverty among disabled people, etc. rich people don’t give the tiniest of fucks about the health of the poor.

But suddenly when we’re talking about poor fat people they all muster up a mountain of fake concern about our health.

On top of being based on a whole bunch of other bigoted nonsense (and importantly, being fat is not automatically connected to health), the rich people pretending to care about poor people’s health the moment fat poor people are at issue is just classic concern trolling.
California Governor Signs Historic HIV Bill
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that could save the lives of some people living with HIV.

California Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) has signed a bill allowing organ transplants between HIV-positive individuals. Senate Bill SB 1408 was authored by Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), and co-sponsored by organizations including Equality California, AIDS Project Los Angeles, The Los Angeles LGBT Center, and Positive Women’s Network-USA. The bill passed California legislature unanimously, and now places California in line with federal law regarding HIV-positive organ transplants.

“There is no reason for state law to maintain an antiquated prohibition on organ donation by HIV-positive persons.  By expanding the pool of organ donors, we will shorten the time for all persons on the organ donor waiting lists, and save lives in the process.” Senator Allen commented in a press release announcing the passage of the bill. California previously banned transplants between positive individuals, a move that followed the 1988 Organ Transplant Amendments Act, an effort by federal legislature to prevent the entry of positive organs into the organ transplant system for fear of infecting negative individuals.

“It should not be a crime to save someone’s life, yet current law criminalizes the donation of HIV-positive organs to HIV-positive recipients,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California.  "There are currently HIV-positive people in California waiting desperately for an organ transplant.  This is the first step in what we hope will be a number of measures to modernize California’s antiquated laws that harm and stigmatize people living with HIV.“

This breakthrough comes only a month after the first successful HIV-Positive organ transplants at Johns Hopkins Medical Hospital, the first of such transplants since 2013, when the HOPE (HIV Organ Policy Equity) Act was passed by Congress in 2013.
New Obamacare Rule Protects Transgender Patients
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule under Obamacare on Friday that prohibits denying health care or health coverage on the basis of gender identity.
By Dominic Holden

Just hours after the Obama administration on Friday stood up for transgender students, it took unprecedented steps to protect transgender patients.

Transgender people must be provided transition-related services and cannot be denied health care by providers or professionals who receive federal funding, according to a final rule announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rule specifically bans the denial of coverage or health care itself on the basis of gender identity.


Cody Pedersen and his wife, Inyan, know that in an emergency they will have to wait for help to arrive.

Cody, 29, and his family live in Cherry Creek, a Native American settlement within the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in north central South Dakota.

The reservation is bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. But Cherry Creek has no general store, no gas station and few jobs.

When Inyan, 34, was preparing to give birth to her two youngest children, doctors scheduled her to have cesarean sections in a hospital rather than having her wait until she was in labor to come in.

In January, Cody was stabbed in the neck. It took an ambulance two hours to arrive.

For Native Americans, Health Care Is A Long, Hard Road Away

Photos: Misha Friedman for KHN and NPR

Progressives need to hold Hillary’s feet to fire. Bernie is already campaigning to bring universal/single-payer health care to America. 

Democrats need to elect someone who sees health care as a right, not a privilege.

Going bankrupt does absolutely nothing to help health provider’s bottom line. It only destroys the lives of the sick and vulnerable.

THIS WEEK IN TERRIBLE: Gynoticians Are Pushing 15 Anti-Planned Parenthood and Anti-Women’s Health Bills, And Most Will Become Law

Just this week, lawmakers across the United States are attempting to pass at least 15 different laws in 7 states that would block access to reproductive health care for patients and contribute to bad reproductive health care outcomes in these states.

The laws range from direct attacks on Planned Parenthood to wide-range assaults on women’s health care.
This man's medication cost jumped from $400 a month to $40,000 a month
Neven Mrgan takes a prescription drug called Cuprimine. Without it, he would slowly die from liver disease. Unfortunately, the price of Cuprimine has gone from $400-$1,700/month to $44,000/month. C…

Remember how Martin Shkreli jacked up the price of Daraprim and we all wanted to throw him in a well?

Well, Shkreli isn’t the only one doing this shit.
Welcome to the National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network!💫
Fully aware of the real harm and degradation that has been inflicted on black and brown poor communities under the guise of care by the hands of social workers. The truth is, clinicians and therapists of color lack adequate resources and support in the mental health field. The situation is even worse for queer and trans people of color.

Blatant racism, homophobia, misogyny and transphobia in educational institutions and organizations take an immense toll on queer and trans people of color (QTPoC) who come to this healing work in service of community. Institutional barriers keep many of us from going to or completing graduate education not to mention licensure.

How many of us have developed mental health issues as a direct result of oppression in our education and work as therapists?

How many of us have experienced the harms that come with microaggressions from those who are supposed to help?

One of the country’s most outspoken abortion providers has filed a civil rights complaint against the hospital where she works, saying that it has wrongly banned her from giving media interviews.

Last fall Diane Horvath-Cosper, an obstetrician and gynecologist, did a lightning round of media interviews after a shooting attack killed three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic, raising new safety concerns at health care facilities that perform abortions.

“I want women to be able to access abortion in a safe, legal, compassionate environment. So no, I’m not deterred,” she told MSNBC then.

Can A Hospital Tell A Doctor To Stop Talking About Abortion?

Photo caption: Diane Horvath-Cosper says part of her job is advocating for patients’ access to health care, including abortions.

Photo credit: Gabriella Demczuk

Jordin Purcell-Riess has worked as a registered nurse at the emergency department at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Conn., for three years. She describes her workplace as phones going off, voices everywhere, every room full. “You look around and the hallways are full of patients on stretchers, you walk out to the waiting room and you can see on our board that there’s 15 people signing in,” she says. “The second you can get your ICU patient upstairs, there’s another one waiting for you.”

She typically doesn’t get a chance to eat or drink or go to the bathroom during her 12-hour shift, Purcell-Riess says. And she’s not alone. Her nursing manager points out that a 2007 study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicinefound that 24 percent of ICU nurses and 14 percent of general nurses tested positive for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Nursing has long been considered one of the most stressful professions, according to areview of research by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012. Nurses and researchers say it comes down to organizational problems in hospitals worldwide. That includes cuts in staffing; some California nurses struck last month for a week over low staffing and wages.

Nurses Say Stress Interferes With Caring For Their Patients

Photo credit: Oivind Hovland/Getty Images/Ikon Images