Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spare Change News 4/10/08

AIDS Action Committee

Today, two to three people in Mass. will become HIV positive. In one year, more than 900 new infections will afflict the state. Between 24,000 and 26,000 people currently live with HIV/AIDS, but what’s more disturbing is that a quarter of them do not know it, and risk passing the virus to others.

AIDS Action Committee of Mass. (AAC) is a community-based, non-profit organization focusing on the prevention of AIDS in the Mass. population. The general mission targets AIDS prevention through education and advocacy while supporting those already infected. In addition, the organization lobbies for substantial AIDS policies at all levels. AAC boasts a staff of 70 dedicated individuals along with hundreds of volunteers, all passionate about erasing this deadly virus.



How Well Does the Boston Healthcare System Treat its Homeless Constituents? An Interview with Spare Change Vendor and Healthcare Consumer, Ed Larsen.

HJ Pound: What is the easiest way for a homeless person to obtain health care?
Ed Larsen: Honestly? Get yourself put in the hospital. Hospitals are also businesses that need to get paid. You rack up a high enough bill and they will do whatever it takes to get you MassHealth so they can get their money.
HP: Do you believe that everyone should have health insurance?
EL: There are pros and cons. Everybody deserves basic care, but there are consequences to socialized medicine. If everyone gets basic care here [in the United States] you will end up having to wait a really long time for specialist services like in Canada and Europe. Except for the rich. Unless we move to a single-payer system the rich will always have private insurance and get care faster.
HP: How has being homeless effected your health care?
EL: Well, I am on MassHealth for now, and I am happy. I do eventually want to get a job aside from being a Spare Change vendor though. Subsidized housing won’t be there forever, besides, I am not a big fan of the government. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate everything the government has done for me, I just don’t want to be at their mercy forever. The problem is, I don’t want to lose MassHealth either. Private insurance is great in some ways, but it doesn’t cover everything. [Private health insurance] used to be impossible to get with pre-existing conditions, and even now it only covers certain necessary services to an extent, which is crazy because it is so expensive. Plus, it already costs so much to live here, between transportation, housing, and taxes. And now, if you don’t have insurance you will get fined.



Four Arrested in Bank Protest

Four young women who chained themselves to a Bank of America in Copley Plaza were arraigned April 2 on counts of trespassing, disturbing the peace, and resisting arrest.

Candace Bollinger, 27, of Hicksville, New York, Adrienne Naylor, 23, of Dorchester, Mass., Laila Murad, 17, of Brighton, Mass.; and Elise Ansel, 20, of Sanderlan, Mass. locked their arms together using large cylindrical tubes, while Bollinger locked her neck to the bank’s door with a bicycle lock in protest of Bank of America’s investment in the coal industry. Their protest yesterday was part of an international protest called Fossil Fool’s Day, according to Climate Justice Now (CJN) spokesman Evan Greer, 22. He claimed over fifty people protested.

Naylor decided radical protest was necessary because, she said, “Holding signs and sending letters doesn’t change shit.”

Ansel agreed, “You can’t change the system by working in it.”

The women said they hoped to raise awareness about damage they claim coal mining inflicts on the environment. Ansel said, “450 mountain tops in Appalachia were blown clear off.”

8 comments:

the zak said...

> Between 24,000 and 26,000 people currently
> live with HIV/AIDS, but what’s more
> disturbing is that a quarter of them do not
> know it, and risk passing the virus to others.

A thought experiment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_experiment
the strategy of let's get tested TOGETHER BEFORE we have sex,
for A VARIETY of STDs.
A sexual health checkup reduces ambiguity and it can be
like anything else potential sex partners might do together.

garp97 said...

I think that the strategy of getting an STD check-up together is great, but guys can only be spot checked for a couple STDs and the HIV test in MA only reflects actions taken 6 weeks before the test. Also- what about the spontaneous hook-ups so many of us enjoy? Meeting our needs is a major need (see maslow's hierarchy) and shouldn't be dependent on waiting for STD test results when there are tons of other ways to protect ourselves in the here and now. Again, I love the idea of people being tested but in the meantime....don't punish yourself.

the zak said...

          > I think that the strategy of
          > getting an STD check-up
          > together is great, but guys
          > can only be spot checked for a
          > couple STDs and the HIV test
          > in MA only reflects actions
          > taken 6 weeks before the test.

Testing detects infections acquired anytime,
all the time, all the years before getting
tested. Not getting tested won't detect any
existing infections.


          > Also- what about the
          > spontaneous hook-ups so many
          > of us enjoy?

Getting tested TOGETHER BEFORE having sex,
for A VARIETY of STDs changes that.


          > Meeting our needs is a major
          > need (see maslow's hierarchy)
          > and shouldn't be dependent on
          > waiting for STD test results
          > when there are tons of other
          > ways to protect ourselves in
          > the here and now.

What are the tons of other ways?... Are there
any difficulties using them diligently and
consistently?...How well have they worked out
for the people who are living with or dying
from disease?...


          > Again, I love the idea of
          > people being tested but in the
          > meantime....don't punish
          > yourself.

The living organisms that infect us
have a life too.

garp97 said...

dude- i totally agree with you that testing is a great idea. but some things cannot be tested for but may be present, example herpes. the tests aren't always clear cut and lots of people may carry it without ever having an outbreak. and the MA hiv test has a 6 week window, meaning that it will only show the presence of hiv antibodies if the virus landed in your body 6 weeks before the test date.

other ways of protecting yourself include, but are not limited to: oral sex, using condoms for your fave form of penetration, mutual masturbation, massage, shaving together, using toys but not your fingers or cock, wrapping your toys and/or cleaning them between use, etc etc. sex is sooo fluid and wonderful and can be enjoyed on multiple levels without always having to involve "fucking."

and condoms can be difficult or not fun to use. call your local sex guru/counselor/therapist/friend and talk it out. there are ways to still protect yourself. be creative.

the zak said...

          > but some things cannot be tested for
          > but may be present, example herpes.

On the contrary, please check out
http://www.webmd.com/genital-herpes/herpes-tests


          > the tests aren't always clear cut and
          > lots of people may carry it without
          > ever having an outbreak.
          >
          > and the MA hiv test has a 6 week
          > window, meaning that it will only
          > show the presence of hiv
          > antibodies if the virus landed in
          > your body 6 weeks before the test
          > date.

Getting tested now, today can detect
infections acquired in the months, years
before any window period or latency. A
benchmark from now, today can be useful in
optimizing treatment for any infections
detected with subsequent testing later.


          > other ways of protecting yourself

Before and during sexual activity what can
possibly happen can change when the heart
beats faster and the mind numbs with passion.


          > and condoms can be
          > difficult or not fun to
          > use.

For so called safer sex practices and condoms
to work they have to be used every single
time from beginning to end with never ever
even one single exception. Diligent practice
that had been unlikely for people now infected.


          > call your local sex
          > guru/counselor/therapist/friend
          > and talk it out.
          >
          > there are ways to still protect
          > yourself. be creative.

Ask let's get tested TOGETHER
BEFORE we have sex, for A VARIETY of STDs
http://NotB4WeKnow.blogspot.com

A sexual health checkup reduces ambiguity
and can be like anything else potential sex
partners might do together.

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neal said...

The mission of Spare Change and the Homeless Empowerment Project (HEP) is to play a role in ending homelessness in our community by providing income.Spare Change News is a street newspaper published in Cambridge.A separate project, sparechangenews.com is the blog for another Spare Change News .Ever since homeless and poor people started hawking the Spare Change News, impostors have tried to interlope on the action.
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