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Family & Medical Leave Act to include gay parents

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis

In a move praised by LGBT groups, the U.S. Department of Labor announced June 22 that it would expand the definition of “son and daughter” to make more gay families eligible for coverage under the Family & Medical Leave Act to care for sick children.

“No one who loves and nurtures a child day-in and day-out should be unable to care for that child when he or she falls ill. … The Labor Department’s action today sends a clear message to workers and employers alike: All families, including LGBT families, are protected by the FMLA,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

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By the numbers: Gay blood donation ban

1 Times for a man to have had sex with another man since 1977 in order to be permanently banned from donating blood 1 Years that a person who has had heterosexual sex with someone who is HIV-positive is banned ...
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ARCA seeks volunteers for historic HIV vaccine trial

ARCA principal investigator Dr. Melanie Thompson

The AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta is currently seeking 10 to 12 volunteers to help test the safety of a vaccine that shows the potential of reversing HIV viral loads in HIV-positive individuals.

The 77-week trial of a vaccine from GeoVax, a biotechnology company based in Smyrna, Ga., that specializes in developing an HIV vaccine, is the first of its kind.

This study is “the first therapeutic trial ever conducted using a promising HIV vaccine candidate from GeoVax, Inc.,” according to a May 18 press release from ARCA.

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No Georgia hospitals rated ‘top performers’ by HRC

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay political group, released its annual Healthcare Equality Index on June 7. Two Georgia hospitals, both in Atlanta, were among the 178 facilities rated on policies affecting LGBT patients and staff.

Emory University Hospital received credit for having an equal employment opportunity policy that includes sexual orientation.

Piedmont Hospital received credit for having a gay-inclusive Equal Employment policy, as well as visitation policies that give same-sex couples the same access as opposite-sex couples and next of kin, visitation polices that give same-sex partners the same visitation for their minor children as opposite-sex partners, and cultural competency training that includes healthcare issues that impact LGBT people.

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State health grant targets LGBT smoking

The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative has received an $85,000 one-year grant to work with the state to determine tobacco usage and prevention methods within the LGBT community.