“When you have the privilege of dining out, whether it’s at a greasy spoon or at a five-star white tablecloth restaurant, you are nourishing yourself both physically and spiritually.” Read more of Pam Grier’s chat with Mecca Bos-Williams, blogger for ‘Hot Dish’ in Minneapolis.
Dining Out For Life AIDS service organization Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS a cutting-edge facility in downtown Phoenix, offers clients everything from child care and an on-site pharmacy to counseling and wellness programs—and even perks such as massages and acupuncture. It’s a full range of services aimed at keeping patients on track. “When people are diagnosed, it can be scary and life-changing,” says Ken Gabel, the center’s board chair. “You might get a diagnosis at a testing center, and then you are basically handed a flier.” Read more.
ActionAIDS was founded in 1986 on a simple principle: “No one should face AIDS alone.” It was a reflection of a time when people were abandoned after contracting the virus and left with little support. “Back then there was nothing,” Michael Byrne, the group’s director of development, says. “People were shunned—even by their families. Funeral homes wouldn’t accept bodies”… (Read more)
Thanks to innovative treatment programs and powerful medication cocktails, HIV is no longer a death sentence. But the San Diego LGBT Community Center wants to stop the transmission of the disease altogether. Its goal? To help stop new transmissions of HIV in the city by 2024—and if its current progress is any measure, that might just happen.
Dining Out For Life spokesperson Pam Grier is not just a sassy, talented film star and magnanimous supporter for AIDS awareness, LGBT and environmental rights. She’s also a fantastic chef too.
“I come from a family of cooks. My mom comes from a long line of skillet-throwing women, that’s where I got my grandpa’s fried chicken recipe, the one I taught Federico Fellini how to make,” she says (The Denver Post, 2013). One of her specialities includes rich, satisfying Red Velvet Pancakes. Whip up some of these Foxy Red Velvet Pancakes on your next lazy weekend morning:
Did you know that Dining Out For Life service organization San Francisco AIDS Foundation started the first HIV/AIDS hotline in the United States? TakePart.com interviewed Josie Larimer and others who are heavily involved in this incredible organization, which provided more than 15,000 free HIV and STI tests in 2013. Read more.
Each week, we will highlight a magnanimous Subaru driver who assists those affected by HIV/AIDS in their community.
Kate Davidson, Volunteer/Communications Manager at House of Ruth in Louisville, KY
How long have you been a Subaru owner? I’ve been a proud owner of a Subaru Forester since December 2001. My Mom also owns a new Outback, which is her second Subaru and my brother used to drive an Outback too.
How do you help those affected by HIV/AIDS in your community? I am a Volunteer/Communications Manager at House of Ruth, a nonprofit organization that strengthens the lives of those with or affected by HIV/AIDS. My time is spent engaging community members in our mission and managing our print and online communications.
How do you use your Subaru vehicle to help? I use my Forester for work 5+ days a week, not only for basic transportation, but also for hauling materials for House of Ruth events like the Louisville AIDS Walk and Pet Walk, the Kentuckiana Pride Parade and Dining Out For Life. Because my Forester holds much more than a sedan, I use it whenever we need to move items like Dining Out For Life materials, donations for our Clothes Closet…and volunteers, too!
Are you a Subaru driver and Dining Out For Life advocate? Have you used your Subaru to distribute Dining Out For Life flyers, pick up friends for dinner on the big night or in some other creative way? Send your story and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Behind every design is an artist with inspiration. Designer Mondo Guerra‘s new Love Responsibly design for Subaru of America is heavily influenced by a passion for HIV/AIDS advocacy and Dining Out For Life. Check out the day of the reveal, which aired on Pivot TV:
ActionAIDS, Philadelphia’s Dining Out For Life ASO, posted an article about Bisexuality and Health Care Disparities from guest blogger Lillian Klasen, a 2014 summer intern from Temple University’s Department of Public Health in the ActionAIDS Prevention Department. Lillian is now working as a Benefits Outreach Specialist, screening and applying for seniors’ benefits at Benefits Data Trust:
The challenges and health disparities that face the LGBT community won’t come as a surprise to ActionAIDS employees – or in general to readers of this blog. However, it is worth noting that data and research confirm the heightened risk for a range of negative health and social outcomes that bisexual-identifying individuals face when compared to their gay and lesbian peers.
According to a 2013 report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bisexual women are at the highest risk for sexual violence: “a staggering 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner,” while 35 percent of heterosexual women and 43 percent of lesbian women reported this type of violence. Further, Healthy People 2020 notes that bisexual women are less likely to have health insurance and more likely to have difficulty obtaining medical care, experience higher rates of breast cancer and heart disease, and report a lower quality of life. Bisexual men are 50 percent more likely to live in poverty than gay men and thus face challenges in gaining access to needed health care.
Finally, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has noted that “many, if not most, bisexual people do not come out to their health care providers or to researchers due to judgments that silence, stereotypes that shame, and assumptions that erase bisexual identity.” Similarly, a keyconclusion of the Ontario Public Health Association is that those who identify as bisexual are less likely to come out to their healthcare provider than their gay or lesbian peers. As such, importantly, there are missed opportunities to talk about a client/patient’s sexual behavior and discuss options for reducing their risk for HIV and STIs.
One way to create a more inclusive environment is to ensure that providers understand some of the misconceptions that surround bisexuality and result in biphobia and bi-invisibility. Some of these errors include:
- Only considering a person’s sexual orientation based on their current partner’s gender
- Believing bisexuality is just a phase or that people who identify as bisexual are confused
- People who identify as bisexual are promiscuous or do not want to have monogamous relationship
Finally, some people just dismiss bisexuality entirely, believing that a person who comes out as bisexual will inevitably come out as “fully gay.”
While more research focused specifically on the health care issues facing bisexual individuals is needed, the data we do have is quite compelling and should give greater urgency for strategies ensure that we take appropriate steps to prevent and treat HIV in this population. Given its individualized, comprehensive approach to care, ActionAIDS is well positioned to support this population and reduce the burden of HIV among its bisexual clients by ensuring an inclusive environment for people to discuss their sexual behaviors. Hopefully, we can inspire others to do the same.
ActionAIDS is Dining Out For Life’s first AIDS service organization and will be celebrating 25 years of this event on April 30, 2015. For more info, visit: http://www.diningoutforlife.com/philadelphia.
Indianapolis’ Dining Out For Life AIDS service organization, The Damien Center, was featured on the AIDS United Blog:
Picture a day with us. Our lobby is packed. Both client computers are in use for job searches. A young woman is requesting an emergency appointment with housing, since her job ended unexpectedly. A gentleman has re-entered care and our staff is walking him through available services.
A woman has visited the food pantry and now waits for her appointment in the medical clinic. One patient is learning about health insurance options while the partner of an individual living with HIV is learning about preventive medications. The testing center is busy, helping clients learn their status and explore different prevention methods.
Then, an HIV+ patient, Michelle*, steps out of her care specialist’s office, a mix of relief and pride on her face. In 2013, she re-entered care after having dropped out of care years before. Her viral load was dangerously high – over one million. Don’t know much about HIV viral loads? The number represents the amount of HIV in the body, and Michelle was in risky territory.
Our intense personalized plan to support Michelle included daily phone calls to be sure she stuck to her strict medical regimen and weekly home visits. We walked alongside her, helping her eliminate the barriers to care that she was contending with.
That’s how our approach works – every patient works with our staff to develop an individualized care plan that provides the specific support they need to get their health back on track. The end goal? To empower patients to get in care and stay in care.
It’s been six months, and Michelle has just learned that she has achieved an undetectable viral load. The most amazing thing about Michelle’s story? It’s not unusual for our patients. The most effective way to prevent new HIV infections is to identify every individual living with HIV and provide them with the support they need to achieve undetectable viral loads. Our staff has helped Linkage to Care patients achieve an average viral load reduction of 93% within their first year in the program precisely through stories just like this one.
Our comprehensive approach changes lives, and remarkable outcomes like this are our norm. On our website, you can explore more about what we do to empower our patients as well as help us restore health to our patients and eliminate the threat of HIV for future generations. Help us make more incredible stories like Michelle’s possible in 2015.
*Client’s name has been changed.
Dining Out For Life in Indianapolis is held on the International Date (April 30, 2015). To learn more, visit the city’s DOFL page: http://www.diningoutforlife.com/indianapolis.