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Positive Impact marks 20 years of fighting HIV through mental health

Positive Impact

The list of drugs David Bedsole has abused reads like a greatest hits of the gay club scene: Ecstasy, GHB and crystal meth.

Bedsole, age 50, says drugs became a problem for him not even three years ago, in August 2010, but it didn’t take long before his life came apart.

“Meth brought me to my knees,” he admits.

For James Carmichael, age 42 and also gay, the struggle with substance abuse began much earlier, at only 17. After abusing heroin, cocaine and crack, he hit rock bottom.

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CDC campaign ‘Testing Makes Us Stronger’ targets black gay, bisexual men

HIV posterWith new numbers from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control & Prevention showing a 48 percent increase in new HIV infections for young black gay and bisexual men between 2006-2009, activists and CDC officials are trying to find ways to halt the pandemic particularly within this community.

Today it was announced at the 2011 HIV Prevention Conference that the CDC is set to launch a "Testing Makes Us Stronger" campaign with black MSMs (men who have sex with men).

Featured in posters and in social media campaigns including Facebook and Twitter, the project will urge black gay and bisexual men to get tested and know their status. The campaign will also be advertised in black gay publications as well as mainstream black publications.

The conference is being held in Atlanta through Wednesday, Aug. 17.

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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.