Together with many of our community colleagues and AIDS.gov, NMAC and Altarum have joined forces to commemorate Men’s Health Month [external-disclaimer]. Men’s Health Month is observed every year in June, and the goal is to raise awareness about preventable health problems, as well as to encourage early detection and treatment of illnesses among men and boys.
Men face a variety of potential health challenges, including heart disease, prostate cancer, and mental illness. HIV and AIDS are among these issues, and they significantly impact men of color. According to the CDC:
- In 2010, men accounted for 80% of all new HIV infections.
- There were 38,000 new infections among men in the U.S. in 2010, and, of those, 78% were men who have sex with men (MSM).
- Of the 38,000 new infections among men in the U.S. in 2010, 39% were black/African American, 35% were white, and 22% were Hispanic/Latino.
- Of the 39% of black/African American men diagnosed with HIV in 2010, 38% were youth between the ages of 13-24.
(http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/gender/men/index.html. Retrieved on June 7, 2016)
We realize that addressing HIV/AIDS among men requires a multifaceted approach that takes into account men’s relationships, HIV status, and health care needs. No one entity can do it alone, which is why we are working diligently with our community partners and the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) to make our national goal of creating an AIDS-free generation a reality.
Participate in Our Twitter Chat!
To help further address the issue of HIV/AIDS among men, we are partnering with several other healthcare organizations to host a Twitter chat in observance of Men’s Health Month on Wednesday, June 22 at 2pm, ET. The chat will feature Dr. Richard Wolitski, Acting Director of OHAIDP; Mr. Ernest Hopkins, Director of Legislative Affairs at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation; and Dr. Leo Moore, Associate Medical Director at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. This is an opportunity for providers, community-serving organizations, and individuals to learn more about what men and the people who love them can do to prevent, detect, and/or treat illnesses that impact men.
The objectives of this chat are to:
- Increase awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on men of color;
- Increase awareness about effective HIV prevention strategies for men of color, including views on healthy relationships, sex and sexuality;
- Inform participants about treatment options available for HIV/AIDS, including the effectiveness of PrEP; and
- Inform participants about how to address men’s health from a holistic and health conscious perspective.
Access HIV/AIDS Resources!
There are several strategies, activities, and resources in place to help address the impact of HIV/AIDS. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the HIV Care Continuum are two significant ways in which we are making national strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In addition, Positive Spin is a digital storytelling project that features the true stories of 5 HIV+ men and their experiences along the HIV continuum of care. There are also several national HIV campaigns that were designed specifically to address the needs of men. These campaigns include: Start Talking. Stop HIV.; Reasons/Razones; Testing Makes Us Stronger; and Information is Powerful Medicine. Click here to learn more. Finally, for more information and resources about HIV/AIDS, visit www.aids.gov.
Take Action for Men’s Health!
It will take a concerted effort on all of our parts to help encourage health and improve the health outcomes of men across the nation. Fortunately, there are several things that we can all do to help make the health of men a priority throughout the month of June and beyond:
- Participate in Wear BLUE Day: Wear blue on the Friday before Father’s Day (June 17, 2016) to show your support and concern for the health and wellness of the men in your life. Learn more about Wear BLUE here .
- Use social media: Use your social media outlets to promote Men’s Health Month. Click here for several ideas and suggestions for social media posts regarding men’s health.
- Download resources and share them with others: There is information available for those who are interested in supporting men’s health this month and beyond. The Men’s Health Network provides a variety of resources to download, use and share, including posters, public service announcements, health guides, and more. Click here to learn more.
We are looking forward to your participation on June 22, and we would like to continue to unite with you in our journey toward improving the health of the nation one step at a time.
Please stay tuned for our next Twitter chat in our series as we explore the progress and impact of the Affordable Care Act on people living with HIV and/or substance use disorders in July. Here’s more information:
- The Twitter chat on People Living with HIV/AIDS and ACA Health Exchange engagement will take place on July 13, 2016 at 2-3pm EST, with featured speaker Dr. Ron Simmons, Executive Director, Us Helping Us People Into Living (UHU), Washington, DC.