Rainbow Health: What Is It?

Health is wealth. It’s been reiterated millions of times and we all know it by now. After all, we’ve been told about it from a young age and I am sure we already grasped its value over the years. While we are all aware of the importance of being healthy, our lifestyle says differently. In our prime, we are often deluded that we can conquer it all and we won’t easily succumb to diseases and ailments most old people suffer from. However, the times have changed and our modern lifestyle has put us at higher risk of certain conditions that even cancer has become so common right now regardless of your age.

Not all ailments go away on their own like the common cold and flu. There are also some that no amount of medication can cure. Think of HIV and AIDS. You’re a goner once you are diagnosed with this condition because there is simply no cure. Medical management is palliative, meaning it just offers the symptomatic treatment of the disease but nothing can be done about it anymore. And if there is any demographic that is increasingly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, it’s the LGBT community. Their active sexual relationships even with relative strangers have led to this rise in lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders afflicted with HIV/AIDS. Management has actually improved nowadays as patients diagnosed with it live longer lives but the fact remains you will eventually succumb to this condition sooner rather than later.

Two organizations that serve people with HIV and do public advocacy on health issues of gay, lesbian and other groups announced Tuesday that they will merge.

The move will combine the Minnesota AIDS Project, founded in 1983, and the Rainbow Health Initiative, a group started in 2001 that’s best known for conducting a health survey of the LGBT population.

The name of the new organization has yet to be determined, but the merger has been approved by the boards of both organizations and will take effect in early 2018. Leaders of the two organizations say they are not just joining forces but plan to expand their reach.

(Via: http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-aids-project-rainbow-health-announce-merger/449311003/)

When you say rainbow health, it stands for the health of the LGBT people or the rainbow community. We all know how prevalent HIV/AIDS is in their population and as such it has stigmatized them and made them suffer even more aside from the burden of the health risks they are facing especially when sexually active. Most people who die of AIDS are from the LGBT community. The government recognizes this trend and tries to intervene or at least help affected individuals cope with such a diagnosis. Unfortunately, federal help may be cut short depending on who is sitting in power and how they see LGBT in general.

These fears are well-justified: Trump recently announced his intention to cut significantly the budget of the AIDS Emergency Plan, a project intended to help victims of the epidemic worldwide, especially in Africa. According to the proposed cuts, funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is to be reduced from $6 billion to $5 billion starting next year. In June, six experts resigned from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, claiming that “the President simply does not care” about the disease and its consequences.

While Trump remains a major target of the LGBT community, the core struggles of AIDS victims have shifted considerably since the disease changed from being an epidemic that cut down tens of thousands of young people in America with harrowing speed, into a chronic illness for which preventive treatment is available. Surprisingly, the historical narrative that the new exhibition presents emphasizes a series of positive AIDS-related developments, the most prominent of which was the expansion of the idea of domesticity to include political assemblies, communal centers and cultural hubs.

(Via: https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.812347)

The odds may be high but the rainbow community is more united now than ever and they have been actively fighting for their rights in all corners of the globe. And if there is one right they are most concerned about, it has to do with their health. Like everyone else, the LGBT community deserves the right to basic healthcare services and they should not be alienated or ignored because of their sexual orientation and preferences. Politicians should put aside their biases and look after the needs of their constituents or extend help where help is needed as long as they can. It’s the reason why rainbow health persists to be an issue in the US because the leaders don’t always see everybody eye to eye and as a result, come up with legislations or policies that neglect the needs of some whether it is intentional or not.

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