Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012
News for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Physicians
United States unveils game plan to end AIDS
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last week the nation's plan to achieve a global "AIDS-free generation," according to a story by Reuters. Advances in drug treatment and prevention strategies have brought this goal within reach, finally allowing medicine to get ahead of the epidemic, Clinton said.
Data from the most recent United Nations AIDS report confirms that both the number of deaths from AIDS and people newly infected with HIV are falling. The United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program, launched in 2003 by former President George W. Bush, has aided this positive movement by advancing HIV treatment in Africa, and the Obama administration plans to continue to work from this strategy.
President Obama has asked Congress for $6.4 billion for PEPRAR and other AIDS programs in 2013 with the hope of encouraging other donors and recipient countries to invest in the project. The new PEPRAR plan also includes greater emphasis on the populations most at risk for HIV, including men who have sex with men. This is important in light of a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealing that 70 percent of new HIV infections in American youths occur in gay and bisexual males.
The AMA continues to support promoting awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender health issues and disparities in medical education.
GLBT conversion therapy to face multiple court challenges
Debate surrounding gay conversion therapy is heating up as the controversial treatment will be brought before courts in New Jersey and California, the New York Times reports.
Conversion therapy, which advocates claims helps men overcome same-sex attractions but critics argue is unscientific and harmful to patients, has recently been banned by the California state legislature. There, ex-gay therapists are seeking to block the law as an unconstitutional infringement on speech, religion and privacy.
Across the country, four gay men in New Jersey have filed a civil suit against a counseling group where they sought conversion treatment. The men allege they were emotionally scarred by false promises of inner transformation and humiliating techniques, the New York Times reports.
Meanwhile, conversion therapy clinics continue to draw thousands of teenagers and adults, despite the prevailing opinion of leading scientific and medical groups that there is no evidence that core sexual urges can be changed and that this type of treatment can cause depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior.
If the therapists are unsuccessful, California's ban will take effect in January.