The last week of March has been LGBT Health Awareness Week since 2003. We have explored some of the barriers to healthcare for the transgender community in previous blog posts, but it remains important to bring awareness to the unique healthcare needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and the health disparities that continue to affect the lives of so many Americans.

Experts report that LGBT people often avoid seeking out medical care or refrain from “coming out” to their healthcare provider. This compromises an entire community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals who are at increased risk for several health threats when compared to heterosexual or cisgender peer groups: Gay men are at higher risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections; lesbians are less likely to get cancer screenings; transgender individuals are among the least likely to have health insurance along with risks from hormone replacement and atypical cancers. Even as youths, LGBT people are at higher risk of violence, depression, substance abuse, homelessness, and other suicide-related behaviors.

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World AIDS Day—which became the first ever global health day in 1988—recognized 30 years this past December 1st. Since HIV/AIDS became a public health concern in 1981, over 35 million people have died from AIDS-related complications worldwide. An estimated 940,000 people died from HIV-related causes in 2017 alone. At the beginning of 2018, approximately 36.9 million people were living with HIV, with 1.8 million newly diagnosed in the year prior. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that only 75% of people with HIV are aware of their status.

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Yesterday, December 1, has been known as World AIDS Day since 1988.  In the past 27 years, access to care has grown so that 15 million people are able to get life-saving HIV treatment. New HIV infections have been reduced by 35% since 2000; AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 42% since the peak in 2004.  This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “On the Fast-Track to end AIDS,” and aims to increase investment in the next five years with the goal of reducing HIV infection by 89% by 2030.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the advanced stage of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which can be transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, most commonly through sexual contact or transfusing blood unsafely (i.e., intravenous drug use) with someone who is infected.  A mother could also transmit the virus to their child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.  The HIV infection attacks the immune system until an opportunistic infection such as certain kinds of pneumonia, toxoplasmosis, as well as rare cancers and brain illnesses are contracted, at which time the diagnosis has progressed to AIDS.  There is

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You may be thinking since it’s already mid-summer it’s too late to search for a camp. Not true! Many of the Camps and Retreats we have listed run at various times throughout the year or are even year-round. More importantly, the Camps and Retreats we list are solely dedicated to serve adults and children with specific medical conditions or diagnoses as well as non-medical challenges such as social, emotional, psychological or educational issues.  It can be very upsetting when an individual cannot participate along with their peers due to a medical condition. Luckily, NeedyMeds has stepped in to make sure that is not the case by offering a helpful list of camps and retreats specifically designed for people with certain diagnoses.

Who Do They Serve?

Every camp listed on the NeedyMeds site is different – serving different people based on their medical condition. In general the camps are designed for children and young adults with a specific diagnosis. There are also many camps available for children whose parents have a specific diagnosis, and a number of camps that are designed not just for children but for siblings or the entire

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This winter may be dragging on and on for many of us, but summer is just around the corner! A fun past-time for many children and young adults is summer camp – a few weeks away from home, cooking over a camp-fire, s’mores and sing-a-longs. Many children with specific diagnoses, however, are unable to go to camp with their peers; their condition keeps them from going to summer camp. This can be very upsetting, telling a child they cannot participate along with their peers due to a medical condition. Luckily, however, there are now many camps and retreats specifically designed for people with certain diagnoses.

Who Do They Serve?

Every camp listed on the NeedyMeds site is different – serving different people based on their medical condition. In general the camps are designed for children and young adults with a specific diagnosis. There are also many camps available for children whose parents have a specific diagnosis, and a number of camps that are designed not just for children but for siblings or the entire family to enjoy. Most camps are funded by private or government run organizations.

What

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