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Take Action Today!

Demand Congress to Count LGBT People to End AIDS

April 27, 2009

Call both of your senators today! 202-224-3121 [U.S. Capitol Switchboard]

Tell them to end AIDS, LGBT people cannot be ignored in Federal data collection any longer -- and to sign-on to the Sen. Whitehouse "Dear Colleague" letter by Tuesday, April 28.

CHAMP has long called for the money to follow the epidemic -- and for that to happen, we need data.

Persistent gaps in information about the gay men, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) -- including gay men and MSM of color -- mean that fewer than 8% of gay and bisexual men surveyed in 15 cities received group-level HIV prevention services and only 15% received individual-level interventions.

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The bottom line is 85-92% of all MSM at risk for HIV do not encounter prevention intervention services. Most transwomen, also, experience exclusion from prevention programs, and the rate of HIV in this hard hit community is estimated to be as high as 69% (limited data available suggests a range of 14-69% transwomen HIV prevalence).

We need accurate and complete data on LGBT communities, so that federal prevention appropriations and programming will target the communities that bear a disproportionate burden of HIV risk and vulnerability.

Demand Congress Count LGBT People! We have less than a 48 hour window to call for LGBT health data collection!

Thanks to advocacy efforts, 46 Representatives in the House supported the addition of an LGBT question to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Now Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) is leading the charge in the Senate to rally support for appropriating the $2 million necessary to add this question to the NHIS that guides health policy, funding and programs nationwide.

As of Friday, April 24, only 1 of 100 Senators signed on to support LGBT health data collection!

Call your Senators now. Tell them that to end AIDS, LGBT people cannot be ignored in federal surveys any longer. Ask your Senators to sign on to the Sen. Whitehouse "Dear Colleague" letter about LGBT health data collection by Tuesday, April 28.

Contact your both of your Senators by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (two calls). Tell the operator your state and ask to speak to your Senator. When you are connected to your Senator's office, ask for the staff member who works on Health and Human Services appropriations.

To locate your U.S. senators' names, click here.

Talking points

  • I urge you to sign on to support the Sen. Whitehouse letter asking for LGBT data collection in the largest federal health survey, the National Health Interview Survey.
  • LGBTs have many acknowledged health disparities, but until the federal health surveys stop ignoring us, our hands will be tied in getting the data that's needed to eliminate these disparities.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: For the Senator to join this important effort, please contact Jordanna Davis in Senator Whitehouse's office by close of business on Tuesday, April 28th.

This is the springboard to getting LGBT people on the Census, and it's the single thing that would completely change LGBT health overall. So please call your Senators now and insist they sign on to this letter!

Call Script

My name is [NAME], and I live in [CITY, STATE]. Thanks for taking my call. I'm calling to encourage Senator [SENATOR'S NAME] to sign on to the Sen. Whitehouse "Dear Colleague" letter about LGBT health data collection by Tuesday, April 28th. LGBT people have many health disparities, including high rates of HIV. Until the federal health surveys stop ignoring LGBT, our hands will be tied in getting the data that's needed to eliminate them. For the Senator to join this important effort, please contact Jordanna Davis in Senator Whitehouse's office by close of business on Tuesday, April 28th. Thank you.

Please make your calls by Tuesday, April 28th. Let us know how your call went by emailing champ@champnetwork.org.

Thanks for taking action,
Vanessa and all of us at CHAMP



  
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This article was provided by Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project.
 
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