NASTAD Gay Men’s Health Equity Newsletter

By Andrew Zapfel October 11, 2019

GMHE Newsletter

Welcome to the inaugural NASTAD Gay Men’s Health Equity work group (GMHE) newsletter! This quarterly newsletter will include updates from NASTAD’s work, as well as news, resources, and tools to support your endeavors in strengthening the HIV and viral hepatitis response for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM). We hope you enjoy this reflection of recent activities and preview of new opportunities.

If you have questions on the NASTAD GMHE work group or topics/resources you want to include for future newsletters, please email Maegan Samuel.


June 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world. To learn more about Stonewall, you can enjoy two documentaries found at the links here: Stonewall Forever – A Documentary About the Past, Present, and Future of Pride and Stonewall Uprising.

Health departments across the country celebrated and continue to celebrate Pride! Below are a few pictures of health departments engaging in Pride festivities, sharing health information, and engaging with this diverse community.


Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Tennessee Department of Health

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene


ViiV tells stories of black gay men on stage to address HIV disparities

Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness Says He Is A “Member of the Beautiful H.I.V.-Positive Community”

Merriam-Webster adds nonbinary 'they' pronoun to dictionary

Seattle AIDS memorial will explore ways to honor victims and inspire activism

What Stonewall Can Teach Us About Saving Lives from Overdose


Talking Points: The Resource Guide for Facilitating Stigma Conversations

To accelerate the end of the HIV epidemic, both within the United States and globally, NASTAD recognizes that conversations about HIV stigma must be at the forefront of our work. This new tool includes videos, tools, and tips on how to implement your conversations around stigma and develop action plans that center the voices of those most affected by HIV. 

Addressing Stigma in Healthcare Facilities: A “Secret Shopper” Intervention

NASTAD’s new tool provides a framework for health departments to adapt an innovative approach to engage communities in monitoring and evaluating stigma and discriminatory behaviors in health facilities. This “secret shopper” approach allows health departments and other public health stakeholders to engage the community in assessing healthcare providers to ensure that services provided are culturally competent and affirming.

Trauma-Informed Approaches Toolkit

This toolkit was developed to assist health departments, specifically Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs (including Part B Programs and ADAPs), community-based organizations, and HIV Clinics, in taking action to become trauma-informed. It covers the basics of trauma, provides an overview of the impact of trauma in PLWH, describes trauma-informed approaches and strategies, and offers practical steps for organizations to operationalize a plan for delivering trauma-informed care.

NCSD Coalition Playbook

NCSD developed this toolkit after many requests from public health department employees and their partners for tips on where to start when thinking about building a coalition.

Building Healthy Online Communities

Building Healthy Online Communities provides a plethora of resources to support online and social media outreach and education for GBM. More information can be found here.

CDC Viral Hepatitis

Though hepatitis A and B vaccines are recommended for men who have sex with men, vaccination rates among this group remain low. CDC recommends vaccinating men who have sex with men for hepatitis A, which is particularly important during the ongoing outbreaks in multiple states. CDC has developed resources that can be tailored with your jurisdiction’s information.

Also, CDC has a web feature designed to educate gay and bisexual men about the outbreak and the importance of getting vaccinated. To stay connected, follow @cdchep on Twitter.

Interested in listening to NASTAD’s webinar about this topic? The webinar can be found here.

2019 National Viral Hepatitis Progress Report

The CDC published the 2019 National Viral Hepatitis Progress Report to share the trends in viral hepatitis vaccination efforts, and disease incidence and mortality. The report highlights the importance of: 

  • Vaccinating vulnerable populations against hepatitis A and hepatitis B
  • Detecting and stopping ongoing transmission of hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
  • Improving testing and linkage to care and treatment for persons with chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Surveillance Report 2018

On October 8, 2019, CDC released the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Surveillance Report for 2018. STDs had reached an all-time high in 2018, marking this the fifth consecutive year of increases for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. According to the CDC, the incidence of STDS in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men is greater than reported in women and men who have sex with women only.  There is also a disproportionate incidence of STDS among racial minorities and Hispanic gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men as well as those of lower socioeconomic status and younger. NASTAD, as part of the Partnership to End the HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Epidemics, issued a statement on the release of the report.

New Research (note there may be a paywall for certain articles)

High risk and low uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV acquisition in a national online sample of transgender men who have sex with men in the United States

The influence of online experiences: the shaping of gay male identities

Integrated cognitive-behavioral therapy for social anxiety and HIV/STI prevention for gay and bisexual men: a pilot intervention trial

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults have higher prevalence of illicit opioid use than heterosexual adults: evidence from the national survey on drug use and health 2015-2017

Homonegativity experienced over the life course by young black gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (YB-GBMSM) living with HIV in Atlanta, Georgia

Upcoming Meetings

NCSD: STD Engage – November 19-22, Alexandria, Virginia

NMAC: Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit – December 3-4, Houston, Texas

NASTAD’s National HIV and Hepatitis Technical Assistance Meeting – December 3-5, Washington DC For more information on the meeting, contact Andrew Zapfel.