Showing posts with label Discrimination Free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Discrimination Free. Show all posts

November 21, 2018

Every Person in Danger of HIV Should Have Available The Prevention Pill }}Medical Panel Says

  It's Not a long-term vaccine but it will do the same job...keep you from HIV even if your partner has it!
 One PILL will Keep HIV Away, So Why Would You become HIV by not taking Pill???? YOunger guys are mostly taking it but people that should know better are not!
A Truvada pill. The drug, used to treat people with HIV, also helps prevent the virus from infecting healthy people

An influential panel of medical experts recommended for the first time Tuesday that physicians offer preventive medication to anyone at high risk of acquiring HIV.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force estimated that 1.2 million people are eligible for the daily drug regimen, which is very effective at preventing HIV infection, but only 78,360 took the medication in 2016. About 40,000 people were newly diagnosed with HIV that year.
John Epling, a member of the task force and a professor of community medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the Carilion Clinic, said routine discussion of the medication has not permeated primary care. He said he suspects that some doctors are not having conversations with patients who should be considered high risk.
“It’s just one of those things that haven’t diffused all the way through primary care yet,” Epling said in an interview. “The more familiar territory is in using condoms and avoiding multiple sexual partners.” The task force’s draft recommendations are aimed at persuading more doctors to bring up the subject of preventive drugs with their patients, he said. [Is HIV prevention pill right for you? CDC outlines how to tell whether you should be on the medication]
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP, is a combination of two drugs — tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emitricitabine — made by Gilead Sciences and marketed as Truvada. Taken daily in a single pill, the FDA-approved medication greatly reduces the chance of acquiring HIV, according to research cited by the task force. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that PrEP cuts the risk of contracting HIV through sex by more than 90 percent and reduces the risk by more than 70 percent for intravenous drug users.
Side effects — mainly nausea and mild, reversible kidney problems — are minor, but patient adherence to the drug program varied between 30 percent and 100 percent in research considered by the task force, an independent panel of experts on preventive medicine. 
The drug also is very expensive, at nearly $1,676 for a 30-day supply, according to Gilead. Most insurance covers the drugs, but critics have cited out-of-pocket costs as perhaps the biggest obstacle to staying on the medication.
In a statement, a Gilead spokesman disagreed, adding that “the CDC estimates that less than one percent of people who are indicated for Truvada for PrEP have an unmet need for financial assistance . . . Beginning September 1 of this year, we increased our patient support programs by raising the annual co-pay assistance from $4,800 to $7,200 and doubling patient eligibility for the Medication Assistance Program from six months to 12 months.”
Growth in the use of PrEP has been rapid, according to a 2018 study led by epidemiologists at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory Universityin Atlanta. Its use rose from 3.3 people per 100,000 population in 2012 to 36.7 people in 2017. 
But use of the medication is more than twice as frequent in the Northeast than it is in the South, the researchers found, even though a disproportionate number of new HIV diagnoses occur in Southern states.
The development of effective therapies and better prevention have changed HIV from a death sentence to a manageable disease that people can live with for decades. The CDC estimates that 1.1 million people in the United States are infected with HIV, including an estimated 15 percent who don’t know they have it, the task force reported.
According to the CDC, new HIV diagnoses are disproportionately concentrated among injection drug users and black and Latino men who have sex with other men.
The task force singled out four groups of people it considers to be at high risk for HIV:
* Men who have sex with other men and have a partner with HIV, a recent sexually transmitted infection or inconsistently use condoms; * Heterosexuals who have a partner with HIV, a recent sexually transmitted infection or inconsistent condom use with a partner whose HIV status is unknown and is at high risk for contracting the virus;
* Injection drug users who share needles or are at risk of acquiring HIV through sexual activity.
* Sex workers or people trafficked for sex.
As it did in 2013, the task force also recommended that all people ages 15 to 65 and all pregnant women be screened for HIV.
The proposed recommendations are open for public comment until Dec. 26.
 Washington Post

October 8, 2018

In Tokyo Now is Against The Law to Discriminate Against LGBT

Tokyo passed a law on Friday that prohibits “the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, citizens, and enterprises” from “unduly discriminat[ing] on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”
The law was passed in light of Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic Games. After Russia passed anti-LGBT legislation before hosting the Olympics in 2014, the International Olympic Committee added a non-discrimination clause to the contracts that host cities must sign.
Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike, wrote when she was elected that the Olympics “will be a touchstone for the creation of a new Tokyo.” She also mentioned creating a diverse city “where everyone … can actively participate in society and lead fulfilling lives” as one of her goals as governor.
Human Rights Watch Japan director Kanae Doi said Tokyo “has enshrined in law its commitment to hosting an inclusive and rights-respecting Olympic games.” The organization praised Japan for steps it has recently taken to prevent LGBT discrimination, such as including LGBT students in Japan’s anti-bullying policy. However, the organization notes that Japan still needs to take further steps, such as legalizing same-sex marriage at the national level and making it easier for transgender Japanese citizens to correct their genders on legal documents.

November 3, 2017

Speech with Cake Fills Up The Supreme Court

Free Speech and Licensing rules and rights Fills The Supreme Court Schedule this season

In the pantheon of Supreme Court challenges, few have produced the outpouring of support and opposition as has Colorado baker Jack Phillips' refusal to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Over the past two months, the high court has been flooded with nearly 100 legal briefs, equally divided between the two sides, that raise lofty legal arguments about free speech and religious liberty, equal rights and anti-discrimination laws.
Only three issues in recent years come close to engendering as much emotion at the court as the continuing battle over same-sex marriage, now focused on a single cake that never got made: Abortion. Affirmative action. And the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
“This case is not about the cake. It is about licensing discrimination,” says James Esseks, LGBT project director at the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Charlie Craig and David Mullins in their fight with Phillips.
Kristen Waggoner, senior vice president at Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the baker, is ready for battle as well. "Marriages, weddings, are uniquely different," she says, noting that Phillips "often attends that ceremony."
Those two groups will argue the case before the justices next month, but they're not alone in making their views known. In early September, some 50 groups filed legal papers in support of Phillips. This week, an equal number flooded the court with support for the gay couple. Both sides can claim backing from states and municipalities, senators and House members, businesses and religious groups. 
Even bakers are divided. A group of "cake artists" from across the country weighed in along with Phillips' backers two months ago, although they claimed neutrality. They said their work, like his, "requires artistic exertion within an expressive endeavor to generate works of art" — and they included images of their work.
A separate group of chefs, backers and restaurateurs chimed in on Monday, including Anthony Bourdain, host of Parts Unknown on CNN, and Sam Kass, an assistant chef in President Barack Obama's White House. 
"Even when prepared by celebrated chefs, food retains a clear purpose apart from its expressive component," they wrote. "It is made to be eaten."
The debate in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commissioncomes down to this: Can state and federal laws compel merchants to serve any and all customers? Or do constitutional rights of free speech and religious liberty allow for exemptions? 

Parades and Boy Scouts

Those on Phillips' side include a star witness: the Trump administration, which contends that designing wedding cakes is a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. Newly confirmed U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco will argue the case alongside Waggoner.
"When Phillips designs and creates a custom wedding cake for a specific couple and a specific wedding, he plays an active role in enabling that ritual, and he associates himself with the celebratory message conveyed," the Justice Department argues.
The administration and others on Phillips' side emphasize two Supreme Court precedents. In 1995, the court ruled that St. Patrick's Day parade organizers had a right to exclude gay and lesbian participants. In 2000, it ruled that the Boy Scouts could exclude gays as troop leaders. In both cases, the court said the groups could not be forced to alter their messages. 
Eighteen states, led by Texas, argue that's a form of commandeering. "No government — even one with the best of intentions — may commandeer the artistic talents of its citizens by ordering them to create expression with which the government agrees but the artist does not," their brief says.
The National Organization for Marriage, which played a leading role in fighting same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court in 2013 and 2015, cites other instances in which the high court has protected the right to exclude speech.  
"Newspapers cannot be forced to print messages from those they criticize," the group says in legal papers. "Car owners cannot be forced to display political messages, children cannot be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, parades cannot be forced to include other viewpoints, utilities cannot be forced to include brochures for consumer advocates in the utility’s billing envelope, and government workers cannot be forced to even pay for the political speech of labor unions."
Other groups go so far as to say that Phillips' right to earn a living is jeopardized. He stopped making wedding cakes rather than serve same-sex marriages, eliminating about 40% of his business at the time. 
Eleven Republican U.S. senators and 75 House members wrote that Americans would be forced to make "a choice between their conscience and their livelihood." The result, the Family Research Council said, would be "an unconscionable inequality where people who hold traditional marriage beliefs are excluded from owning a public business."

'It happens everywhere'

For those who defend Colorado's anti-discrimination law — one of 22 such laws across the country that protect gays and lesbians from unequal treatment — the case is akin to the battle over the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"I remember the signs saying 'Whites only' and 'Colored only,'" says Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who marched and was severely beaten during the civil rights movement. He's among 211 House and Senate Democrats who argue in court papers that laws like Colorado's protect minorities from "the indignity and humiliation that comes from being denied service on a discriminatory basis."
Examples of indignity and humiliation are laid out in legal papers submitted by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a gay rights group that detailed discriminatory actions from birthing classes to funeral homes and from tax preparers to tow truck drivers.
"It happens everywhere," says Rachel Tiven, the group's CEO. "It isn’t limited to cake bakers and wedding photographers.”
If Phillips can refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, the American Bar Association says, even legal advice could be dubbed expressive.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund cites the high court's 1968 ruling in Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, in which the justices unanimously rejected a barbecue chain's effort to exclude African Americans. 
"There is no limiting principle that would permit exemptions for 'artistic' or 'custom' products without eviscerating public accommodations law," the group says.
In response to arguments that Phillips has a free speech right to refuse his services because of his religious beliefs, First Amendment expert Floyd Abrams and others say that does not extend to the marketplace. 
"The Colorado statute ... regulates the conduct of selecting customers," their brief says. "When an artist sells a message, he must take all comers."
And business groups on the gay couple's side say that's ultimately good for business. They include Apple and Amazon, Cisco and Intel, Uber and Lyft, as well as a coalition of small businesses.
"Study after study shows that businesses — and small businesses in particular — suffer considerable negative economic consequences when operating under laws that permit discrimination," the Main Street Alliance says.

October 17, 2016

Rochester, NY Perfect Score for Non Discrimination

 By the looks on this picture it looks like a big city with the typical resident on a big city. Too smart and too cold. Not Rochester! The city is cold in the winter but the people are the warmest, polite, educated people.

Rochester received a perfect score Monday from a prominent national gay-rights group for the city's non-discrimination policies.

The 100 score for the city was the third year in a row it has received the top ranking from the Human Rights Campaign, the Washington D.C.-based advocacy group.

The group is pushing cities to install stronger anti-discrimination laws, scoring 506 cities across the nation, including 10 in New York.

The average score for cities in New York was 87 out of 100 points. The national average was 55.

[[ When my company gave me a choice of a few cities were they were moving in and my choice of which one would I have to pick to open a new outlet, I asked for Rochester because I wanted to stay in New York State, knowing that New Yorkers tend to be go getters and hard workers. Even outside of New York City. I ask other managers if that sense was true for upstate New York and others thought the same way. So Rochester it was and I found myself in a small city with a strong grass roots community in civil affairs and proud motivated gay residents. I never expected to find a gay bar yet there were several, nor did I expect gay couples yet I found many that did not seem to be too concern about what people thought. Couples that had been together for many years. As a matter of fact everybody seemed to be partnered just like I was at the time.  The single ones seemed to be closeted or transplants from other places.

The residents of this town are extra nice particularly if you come from a big city like NYC but finding gays born there and also transplanted there attracted by this beautiful city with its small but interesting work-thriving downtown area. There were guys from cities along the notheast and even from Puerto Rico which surprised me plenty. I am glad to see they still maintain that good sense of community and good gay neighborly ways. I am sure there are girls too but my experience was with guys. I still think how much fun I had in that little town. I even made it to the Jerry Lewis Telethon and was on TV to give a check from my company. I never forget coming back home after a night out on a snowy sunday evening. As I was cutting thru the center of town trying to avoid the thruway because of the snow I got a flat tired by hitting the side of the sidewalk making a turn which I did not see because of the snow collected there. A police car approached with blue lights on. I figured he saw me make the turn (there was a left turn sign which I did not see) and now was a ticket time. The police officer was about my age, which made him young and was very neighborly and polite. Trying to make conversation and trying to give an excuse I told him I was new in town and I did not know the roads too well. I gave him a business card so he would know I was no bs’ him. He ask me for the tools to change the tired and started changing the tire himself. I felt so bad I told him not to bother, he said I was well dressed and he did not want me to get dirty. I never had a better encounter with a cop nor with another motorist ever before nor after as far as that is concern. That was Rochester. I was only there less than a year before they send me to Buffalo. I always miss Rochester and proud to have lived there.  Adam Gonzalez, Publisher]]
"I’m not surprised that the city of Rochester was able to score a full 100. The city has a long history of really doing the right thing on behalf of the LGBTQ community, and in making sure the right systems are in place," said Scott Fearing, executive director of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley.

LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and either queer or questioning. Queer used to be considered a derogatory term, but the Human Rights Campaign, an organization that lobbies for LGBT rights told USA Today in 2015 that people now use the term because it is not specific to sexual orientation or gender identity and is more of an umbrella term that can encompass a lot of people.

There have been times that the Gay Alliance, one of the nation's oldest LGBTQ advocacy groups, had to help prod the city government forward. It took months of lobbying before the city agreed to extend benefits to domestic partners, as it did in 1994, and to improve police relations with the gay and lesbian communities. The group also had to sue in the early 1990s to force the city to accept its nonprofit status.

Fast-forward to recent times. "I have been very impressed with the city in all different aspects, in all different departments. We have good relations with the police," said  Fearing, who has worked with the Gay Alliance for seven years and been executive director for three.

Rochester was one of four cities in New York to get a perfect score and one of 60 nationally.

Albany, New York City and Yonkers were the others in the state. Buffalo got a 95, and Syracuse received a 94.

“This year, dozens of cities across the nation showed they are willing to stand up for LGBTQ people in their communities even when some state governments are not,” Chad Griffin, the Human Rights Campaign president, said in a statement.

In 2011, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature legalized same-sex marriage, the largest state at the time to do so.

After opposition in the Republican-led Senate, Cuomo took executive action last year to put in place regulations to protect transgender New Yorkers from discrimination.

The report said that in many states, however, local governments and cities have more progressive laws on gay rights.

The group deducted points from cities that have laws prohibiting individuals from "using public facilities consistent with their gender identity" and added points "to recognize cities that are offering transgender-specific city services."

Rochester fared well because of its non-discrimination laws; "transgender-inclusive insurance coverage;" elected gay officials, as well as a LGBTQ liaison in the city.

One of the main differences between Rochester and its other upstate cities is that Rochester has a LGBTQ police liaison or task force, which Buffalo did not, the report said.

The other difference is that Syracuse didn't reported 2014 Hate Crimes statistics to the FBI, while Rochester did, according to the report.

Fearing noted the state Senate's refusal to pass the transgender non-discrimination law, and said it might be helpful for Monroe County to adopt such a measure. He said the county government generally has not been supportive of LGBTQ rights, and a decade ago engaged in a high-profile legal fight to deny benefits to same-sex spouses of county employees who had been married in other states before New York legalized such unions.

"Maybe we need to try to get the County Legislature to look at transgender protections," Fearing said. "We hear from them regularly, (transgender) people who are neither employed in nor citizens of the city of Rochester proper."

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren also cited the city's traditions in response to the latest ratings.

“Rochester has a long history of being a diverse and welcoming city,” Warren said. “I think Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass are proudly looking down at us, knowing that when it comes to modern day issues of equality and social justice, the city that they loved still leads the way. I would like to thank the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for recognizing Rochester as a city that values equality.”

Joseph Spector is chief of USA TODAY Network’s Albany Bureau. 

If you are reading this in Rochester, just say hi on the comments. Alright?

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