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White House conference in Atlanta attracts activists from across the state

White House conference on HIV/AIDS

In 2009, some 2.6 million people were tested for HIV. Of those, only 4,100 were transgender.

That was one of the startling facts revealed at the White House LGBT Conference on HIV/AIDS held April 19 at Morehouse School of Medicine. The conference was one of many LGBT-related conferences the White House plans to hold throughout the year.

Former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, now a professor at Morehouse, also noted that HIV infections continue to rise among gay and bi men. For example, 61 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. are among gay and bisexual men, although this population accounts for only 2 percent of the country’s population, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

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[Video] Atlanta doctor examines health issues facing gay community

Dr. Randy Martin from Piedmont Healthcare and HealthWatch MD today released a video highlighting the unique health concerns for LGBT persons in light of recent medical reports examining the gay community.

Martin, a former medical correspondent for Atlanta's WSB TV, is a well-known figure in Atlanta medicine and the medical correspondent for HealthWatch MD.

Martin spoke with Dr. Patrick Coleman, an internal medicine specialist at Piedmont Physicians in Atlantic Station, about the lack of research in LGBT healthcare and specific issues facing gay and lesbian patients, including increased risk of substance abuse, cancer in lesbians and depression among LGBT youth.

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Health & Fitness: Top 10 health concerns you should discuss with your doctor

GAY MEN

HIV/AIDS, Safe Sex That men who have sex with men are at an increased risk of HIV infection is well known, but the effectiveness of safe sex in reducing the rate of HIV infection is one of the gay community’s great success stories. However, the last few years have seen the return of many unsafe sex practices. While effective HIV treatments may be on the horizon, there is no substitute for preventing infection. Safe sex is proven to reduce the risk of receiving or transmitting HIV. All health care professionals should be aware of how to counsel and support maintenance of safe sex practices.

Substance Use Gay men use substances at a higher rate than the general population, and not just in larger communities such as New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. These include a number of substances ranging from amyl nitrate (“poppers”), to marijuana, Ecstasy, and amphetamines. The long-term effects of many of these substances are unknown; however current wisdom suggests potentially serious consequences as we age.