News & Notes
Carmen Navarro, Body Positive's Co-Director of Community Outreach and Education, received a Samuel and May Rudin Community Service Award in a ceremony on June 14.
The focus of this year's Rudin Awards is services to women, and Navarro was honored for her work with women both at Body Positive and previously at the Ryan Health Center. BP Executive Director Scott Cotenoff, who nominated Navarro for the award, says, "I'm very glad that Carmen is being recognized for her extraordinary contributions to health and sexuality education for women -- particularly women of color -- with HIV."
This is the thirteenth year that the Community Service Awards have been given. Navarro was chosen from more than 100 nominees to receive one of the six awards, which are named for New York realtors and philanthropists Samuel and May Rudin. Other recipients were Frances Saunders, Marsha Green, and Isabelle Pickett (one award) of the Bronx Single Parents Network; Carol Ambrose, of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York; Rev. Annie M. Bovian, of the Women's Action Ministry; Jackie Ebron of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty; and Sarah White, from Women in Community Service.
On May 24, the United States Supreme Court ruled that schools may be liable in student-on-student sexual harassment.
The 5-4 decision, which overturns a federal appeals court decision that said the federal law in question did not apply to cases of stduent-on-student harassment, is seen as having particular significance to gay and lesbian students, who are often prey to sexual harassment as well as other types of violence.
"This landmark decision by the highest court in our land reinforces that federally funded schools must address and stop student-on-student harassment that interferes with their access to education," said Caroliyn Wagner, a Regional Director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and resident of Fayetteville, Arkansas. "This is a critical tool for all youth and their parents to help secure a hostility-free learning environment for all students."
"We are relieved to hear that the Supreme Court is making it crystal clear to schools that they have an obligation to protect all of our children," said PFLAG Executive Director Kirsten Klingdon.
Wagner and her husband, Bill, helped secure an historic agreement last year between federal education officials and the Fayetteville Public Schools, stating that the school district must take specific steps to handle various forms of sexual harassment, including that directed at gay and lesbian students. The agreement came in response to a complaint brought by their son, Willi, who charged that the local school system did not act after he was harassed repeatedly and beaten up by a gang of students.
The National Minority AIDS Council is teaming with model/actress Daisy Fuentes in a national awareness campaign to encourage people living with HIV/AIDS to see their doctors about anemia to improve the quality of their lives. "Celebrate Life" is the theme of the campaign, which features print and radio public service announcements and advertisements, a toll-free number -- (888) 321-AIDS -- for more information, and on-line information at www.nmac.org.
"The AIDS epidemic is having a devastating impact on people of color, particularly Latinos and African-Americans," said Paul Akio Kawata, Executive Director of NMAC. "The quality of life for people living with HIV is being compromised by HIV-related conditions such as anemia. As many as 95 percent of people living with HIV will develop anemia during the course of their disease, and we want them to know they don't have to feel tired all the time. Options are available that can dramatically improve their quality of life."
Anemia is an abnormally low level of red blood cells and is a common complication of HIV/AIDS and its treatments. It can be caused by the virus itself or by certain HIV/AIDS treatments that suppress the bone marrow, among other factors. It can be diagnosed by a routine red blood cell count.
Symptoms of HIV-related anemia include fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and loss of appetite and sex drive. People suffering from anemia may feel tired, weak, drained, or "wiped out," frequently lacking the energy to get out of bed or climb a flight of stairs. They can also experience difficulty performing everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, taking a shower, or making the bed.
This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.