Health Care

Health Alert: Meningitis Outbreak in NYC Among Gay Men

A health alert has been issued by the New York City Health Department warning of an outbreak of deadly new strain of bacterial meningitis among gay men. They are recommending all gay men, regardless of HIV status get a vaccination.

Health Department Issues New Vaccination Recommendations for Men at Greatest Risk for Contracting Meningitis

Four new cases of meningitis among men who have sex with men have been reported in 2013. Three of the last five cases have been fatal.



Investigating medical malfeascance

The General Medical Council is investigating London-based gender-change specialist Dr. Richard Curtis after three complaints have surfaced.

One patient complained about regretting undergoing treatment after taking hormones and having a double mastectomy. A second accusation is that Dr. Curtis prescribed drugs to patients under the age of 18 without the requisite specialist knowledge.

Dr Curtis is also accused of failing to follow acceptable levels of care and breached conditions placed on his practice by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), the GMC’s arm’s-length disciplinary body.



Gender Prison: Oregon raises the bar on equal medical care

By "healthcare", of course, we use the modern definition: insurance coverage.

The Oregon Insurance Division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services issued a bulletin last month adding transgender people to the list of those who may not be discriminated against.

In 2007 the Oregon state legislature passed a law (SB 2) prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This new measure restricts insurance companies from denying medical and health care coverage to transpeople as laid out by SB 2.

And it only took 5 years to do that.



Mental Illness: A Cause Near and Dear to Me

This is actually a revision to a post i first wrote back in 2007, but it's still just as pertinent (and pretty much unlearned) today as it was then and always has been... Also, to be clear, it's going to take a lot of things to help prevent the now seemingly constant shootings we have here, including smart and serious gun control laws being enforced, better mental health awareness and parity, and perhaps even looking at our culture as a whole. I am only addressing that which has directly affected my life.



Texas to Deny Healthcare to Thousands of Poor Women

Court upholds legality of Texas’ defunding of Planned Parenthood.

On October 25, 2012 the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused Planned Parenthood’s request to rehear a case that will allow Texas to deny the organization State funding under the new Texas Women’s Health Program. In August, a three judge panel representing the 5th Circuit Court ruled that Texas could deny funding to Planned Parenthood. Lawyers representing Planned Parenthood appealed the panel’s decision and requested an en banc hearing before the court. An en banc hearing means that the court’s judges would rule on the case, instead of a panel as was done in August. The court’s refusal to hear the case en banc means that effective November 1, 2012 Texas will no longer provide funding to Planned Parenthood.



Gender Prison: Transgender Health Tales: One movie and two websites

Gregory Kelley of the Atlanta Examiner recently wrote about the showing of Mark Freeman's Transgender Tuesdays: A Clinic in the Tenderloin at Atlanta's Out on Film Festival. Transgender Tuesdays was presented last night. The movie debuted at Frameline in San Francisco in June.

Transgender Tuesdays is the story of the Tom Waddell Health Center and its groundbreaking clinic to service the transgender community which began in 1993. Freeman was a nurse practitioner at the clinic from its inception who retired last year. He also spent 20 years producing Healing Tales, a storytelling radio show featuring people living with HIV and AIDS and their caregivers, for KALW-FM.

This cinematic journey brings the lives of 12 spirited transgender people into your world so you can understand what it is like to be scorned through life but the story does not stop there. Throughout this feature you find strength, hope, courage and unity at a time where more than a little faith was needed.

--Gregory Kelley



Rare event: Transwoman wins battle with insurance on carrier

Ida Hammer, 34, is originally from Utah and now lives in the borough of Queens, New York City. Raised a Mormon, Ida is a writer and an activist. She moved to NYC four years ago and immediately began hormone treatment and living as a woman.

Among the places she publishes her writing is The Vegan Ideal. She also has published in On the Issues magazine. Trans Violence Is Violence against Women is from last December. She organizes Trans Women's Anti-Violence Project.

Ida has won an enormously important battle with her insurance carrier.

Ida approached her insurance company, MVP Health Care, in July, 2011 about having her genital realignment surgery covered. Of course, MVP declined...twice.

My insurance company denied my claim on the grounds that it was ‘cosmetic’ surgery. (But) my doctors determined that the surgery was necessary, and the insurance company was second-guessing my doctors.

--Ida Hammer




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