Gayborhood News Briefs

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January 6, 2011
By: Joe Siegel/TRT Reporter

Massachusetts News Briefs
The Fenway Institute has issued preliminary guidance for medical providers on the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as an HIV prevention tool. This guidance follows publication of a November 23 New England Journal of Medicine article on the results of the iPrex trial showing that PrEP reduced HIV infection in gay and bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women.

Those taking the medication daily had a 44 percent lower rate of HIV infection than those in the placebo. When looking at only those with a high adherence level who reported at taking at least 90% of their medication, the protective effect exceeded 70 percent. For those in whom medication was detected in their blood, risk of infection decreased by more than 90 percent. The Fenway Institute was one of two American sites involved in this study and Dr. Kenneth Mayer, Medical Research Director and Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute is one of the study authors. More about the iPrex study and results at www.fenwayhealth.org/iprex.

Steve Smith is stepping down from his position as Executive Director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus in February in order to pursue a leadership role with another performing arts organization this winter.

Over his sixteen years as Executive Director, Smith tripled the BGMC’s annual audience and grew its annual operating budget from $120,000 to $600,000. The Board of Directors has initiated a transition and search process to hire Steve’s replacement; more details will be announced by mid-January. For inquiries about the transition and search, please send email to ed_search@bgmc.org.

MassEquality will be holding phone banks for volunteers to call residents of Rhode Island in an effort to identify supporters of marriage equality. The effort began in December and will continue throughout January.
MassEquality is holding the Red Party, a major fundraising event on February 19. The event will be held at the Estate, 1 Boylston St., Boston. Tickets are $100.

For more information, contact David Samson at 617-878-2302.

Worcester News Briefs

The Trustees of the Nathaniel Wheeler Trust awarded AIDS Project Worcester a one-year grant in the amount of $1,450 to support the purchase of perennials for the agency’s Green and Gold Community garden. Some 70 plants will be purchased come spring 2011 and installed in the community garden. The project brought together students from WPI, staff from the Regional Environmental Council, volunteers from the Toxic Soil Busters and Worcester Roots Project, and staff, volunteers, and consumers from AIDS Project Worcester.

Connecticut News briefs
The Imperial Court of Rhode Island is holding their annual Coronation from February 18-20 at the Hartford/Windsor Marriott in Windsor. The theme is Yule Ball: A Night of Mystery and Magic in the Great Hall of Hogwarts. For more information, go to their website at: www.iscofallct.org.

Connecticut Trans Advocacy’s Fifth Annual Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference will be held on April 30, 2011 at the UConn Health Center in Farmington, Ct. For more information, go to their web site at: www.transadvocacy.com.

Rhode Island News briefs
AIDS Project Rhode Island will soon be launching a search for a new Executive Director. Stephen Hourahan, who has held that position for the past year, will be serving as a Senior Advisor to Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee. Hourahan will advise Chafee on a range of issues. Hourahan also was a senior advisor to Chafee’s gubernatorial campaign and served as Chafee’s Director of Communications for his U.S. Senate office.

Hourahan, 52, was employed as the first director of development at the AIDS Action Council in Washington in 1989. At the time, there was no action regarding the epidemic at the government level. AAC was the first national AIDS organization.

After leaving the staff of AIDS Action, Hourahan  served as an APRI board member and remained in that position until 1993. In 2008, Hourahan was presented with the organization’s Richard Katzoff Leadership Award.