New York: New Health Effort Launched
June 20, 2005
Spencer Cox, a longtime New York AIDS activist, has founded the Medius Institute for Gay Men's Health, an organization that will seek to advance research and policies affecting the overall health of gay men. The institute will start with a $100,000 annual budget. Its first effort will be to promote depression screening as part of routine medical care for gay and bisexual men.
"Despite the key role that depression and other mental health issues play in influencing risks of HIV and other preventable diseases, gay men's mental health needs have gone tragically unaddressed," Cox said.
Recent CDC data show that between 1,039,000 and 1,185,000 Americans had HIV at the end of 2003. Of those, 74 percent were men. Among men, 67 percent of new HIV diagnoses were attributed either to sex with men or injection drug use among gay and bisexual men. The new estimates appear at a time when many AIDS groups have shifted focus from gay men to other populations affected by the disease.
Cox also plans to organize a workshop -- the MidLife Project -- to bring together researchers, service providers and other organizations working with gay men in midlife. Although young gay men are considered the most at risk for HIV, gay men in their 30s and 40s continue to account for a significant number of new diagnoses, said Cox, who hopes the workshop will provide new directions for future research into issues that affect gay men in midlife.
The Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies at New York University, the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Research at Columbia University and the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California-San Francisco are partners in the MidLife Project.
While the institute will advocate for research, it will not fund it. Cox said although the institute will focus on gay men and HIV; it will also look at other issues that affect gay men's health.
Gay City News (New York City)
06.22.05; Duncan Osborne
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.