Candace Y.A. Montague
D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
Dr. Hader Has Her Say: Part Two -- An Exclusive Interview
February 1, 2011
The Department of Health's HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Administration has been in existence (under several other names) since the mid 1980's. HAHSTA's reputation has been embrued by scandal, mismanagement, political battles, financial turmoil and high leadership turnover rates. Dr. Shannon Hader was the twelfth person to hold the senior administrator position. In spite of the negative press and disappointments that arose during her watch (such as the report that showed that DC's HIV infection rate was and still is 3%), she put on a brave face and met the challenge. Part two of the interview reveals what her last day at HAHSTA was like and the advice she offers her successor.
Dr. Hader Has Her Say: Part One -- An Exclusive Interview
February 1, 2011
As I stated once before, if Dr. Shannon Hader ever wanted to tell her side of the story I would be listening. Well the time has come. Her unceremonious exit from HAHSTA last June, left many of us in the community bewildered. Today, she graciously emerged in an exclusive interview to give just a little more insight on her perspective. In part one, we see what her high and low points were while serving as the top administrator and what she would do if Mayor Gray offered her old position back to her.
Report Shows D.C. LGBTQ Youth in Need of Urgent Support
January 26, 2011
A report released this week by Southeast based SMYAL (Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League) shows that the needs of DC area LGBTQ youth are not being met. The report shows disparities in how youth are being treated at home, in school, and the amount of information about sex geared towards their lifestyle. Ignoring the needs of this population puts them more at risk for bullying, homelessness, suicide and HIV than their heterosexual counterparts. The report is based on survey results from several studies including Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), Center for American Progress and the United States Census.
NMAC Welcomes a New Deputy Executive Director
January 19, 2011
The National Minority AIDS Council announced yesterday that Daniel Montoya will be its new deputy executive director. NMAC is a Northwest-based AIDS service organization that provides information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, community groups and others who help people with HIV. Mr. Montoya has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and is a candidate for a Master's degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. He has served as Senior Policy Advisor to the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases, Division of AIDS, Government Affairs Director at AIDS Project Los Angeles and Executive Director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS. He has been in public health for 22 years and has been HIV positive for 23 years.
Stroke Numbers Rise Among People With HIV
January 18, 2011
Research suggests that people with HIV are up to three times more likely to have a stroke than those who are not infected. The study will be published tomorrow in the online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele, Professor of Neurosciences at the University of California conducted the research. He stated that, "Our findings showed that stroke hospitalizations in the United States decreased by seven percent in the general population within the last decade while stroke hospitalizations for people with HIV rose 67 percent."
Repealing the Affordable Health Care Act Means Woes for People With HIV
January 18, 2011
Today the House Leadership of the 112th Congress will consider repealing the Affordable Health Care Act that passed last year. President Obama, key democrats, and health care advocates worked hard to get that act passed. Local AIDS service organizations had their issues with selected parts of the bill in the past but it was a good place to begin. Now the Republican dominated House wants to repeal the act. According to the News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 60 million or 1 in 5 Americans have no health insurance. The Act, as it stands now, will provide coverage to an 32 million uninsured Americans and strengthen the Medicare program. For people with HIV/AIDS, it will mean much more.
Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive: At Home Base
December 29, 2010
This final installment of the series explains why and how HIPS supports sex workers when the world has turned their backs on them.
Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive: On the Van -- Part Two
December 28, 2010
HIPS volunteer Meredith Zoltick offers "tools" and emotional support for sex workers. Photo: DC HIV/AIDS Examiner.
Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive: On the Van -- Part One
December 27, 2010
This article is a three part journal entry of sorts. A first hand glimpse at how a small-scale organization called HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive) goes out into the red light district of DC after hours and distributes the tools that sex workers need to stay safe and stop the spread of HIV. The van goes out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 11 pm until 5 am.
Three Reasons Why Criminalizing HIV Is So Wrong
December 19, 2010
Ok. So there's been a lot of talk about the criminalization of HIV lately and this article is a late addition to the debate. For those who are not aware of what criminalizing HIV means, here's a simple explanation. It means that when people who are HIV positive perform an unprotected sex act, or try to expose another person to the virus by biting, spitting or purposely cutting themselves, they should be given the harshest punishment by law. For some, this seems reasonable given the fact that the person has a potentially deadly and incurable disease. However, activists and advocates in the AIDS education field feel that this is over the top and completely unnecessary. The Positive Justice Project summed it up best by stating, "The use of criminal law as a way to stop or slow HIV transmission invariably is ineffective. The reasons why individuals take risks with their health, and how they assess risk, are many and complex. Arresting and prosecuting people with HIV for consensual sexual relationships or no-risk conduct, such as spitting, does nothing to take these reasons into account, or to assess risks based on the specific circumstances of the case at hand, such as viral load or even basic issues of intent or mutual responsibility."
D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
Candace Y.A. Montague
Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.
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January 21, 2014 - Safer Sex Advice From Dr. Rachael Ross: A Blog Entry by Candace Y.A. Montague
December 19, 2013 - Dating Websites for People Living With STDs: Are They Worth It? A Blog Entry by Candace Y.A. Montague
December 6, 2013 - Three Ways Nelson Mandela Fought AIDS: A Blog Entry by Candace Y.A. Montague
November 25, 2013 - Magic Johnson and Friends Discuss Life and HIV: A Blog Entry by Candace Y.A. Montague
November 5, 2013 - How People With HIV Can Use the Affordable Care Act Website
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