For LGBT Individuals, There Is Hope Beyond the Stigma of Life & HIV
Where does one turn when they are coming to terms with their sexuality, dealing with discrimination in school or at work, or even after finding out they contracted HIV?
Anxiety and frustration builds up in the LGBT community as resources become limited with various anti-LGBT bills passing throughout the nation allowing churches, schools, and even medical professionals to deny services to LGBT individuals. However, the hope stands strong as leaders within the community step up to help those within the community just as they helped themselves. Scott A. Kramer in New York, NY is one of those leaders looking to make a better life for others within the community.
Kramer shared his testimony through Facebook last week as he talked about his journey in participating annually as he promoted the AIDS Walk New York held on Sunday, May 15th. In that testimony, he shared how the doctors diagnosed him with HIV in 1988 and AIDS in 1995. During that time, he did heavy research and went to numerous community support groups and organizations to help extend his life. Now he gives back as he lives his life as living proof. Today, he is now a psychotherapist with his own practices specializing in various LGBT issues, especially in dealing with HIV.
“What I have found is that stigma, fear, and disclosure, are still huge issues for people,” Kramer shares on Facebook. “People are still scared to tell their family members about their HIV status; still terrified to tell people they may be interested in dating.”
Along with promoting modern-day advances such as PrEP and TasP (treatment as prevention), he started out his own support group called Hi-fIVe, helping those gay men dealing with HIV/AIDS in their daily lives. He realized that the perceptions and stigmas that he grew up upon throughout the 80s are still around today and he works hard to change them.
Also working hard worldwide in making changes towards medical practices for the LGBT community is famed doctor, journalist and author Dr. Max Pemberton. Known for his weekly columns in The Daily Mail and the Telegraph, Pemberton works hard in advocating for better platforms for the LGBT community in the United Kingdom.
He opened eyes in 2014 stating that having Type 2 Diabetes in today’s world is worse than being HIV-positive in discussing PrEP, which caused controversy and split the opinions of worldwide. He continues to spread the word about medical advances and open doors for the LGBT community not only as a medical professional, but also as an openly gay man himself. Realizing that the resources was limited, he dedicated his research towards opening those advances towards LGBT individuals and continues to share his research today through his weekly column in the Daily Mail.
Totally appalling decision by NHS England not to fund PrEP. We know it works. Ludicrous not to fund it https://t.co/AKgRbxCd5Q
— Max Pemberton (@MaxPemberton) March 23, 2016
Many individuals do not know where to go when they are faced with common dilemmas in the LGBT community, but there are support groups and professionals out there that know where they are coming from. That is because a majority of these professionals have been in their shoes and work hard to build a better tomorrow for themselves and others for generations to come.