Category Archives: New Orleans

Prison Health News: Spring 2011 Issue Available for Download!

The spring issue of Prison Health News has been out for a few months — but it is such a good one, I hate to see it go!

You can download it as a pdf for reading by clicking here, or the printable version by clicking here. See the end of this post for helpful printing instructions.

This issue’s got

  • “Recovery from Injustice”: An Interview with Ronnie Stephens by Suzy Subways
  • Nutrition Behind the Walls: If You Are Stressed, Get Sick, or Have Diabetes by Teresa Sullivan, Laura McTighe, and Kimberly Rogers
  • NO JUSTICE!: When Sex Work Brands You as a “Sex Offender” in New Orleans by Deon Haywood and Laura McTighe
  • Surviving Solitary Confinement by Bro. Tee (Terrance E. White)
  • How HIV Meds Work, Part 1 by AIDS InfoNet

plus, addresses for Advocacy and Support Resources and Informational Resources!

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Filed under African Americans, economic justice, gay and bisexual men, gender, New Orleans, people with AIDS in leadership, prison, sex workers' rights, Southern United States, Uncategorized, women

US Social Forum workshops not to be missed!

So the US Social Forum starts tomorrow in Detroit!

I had a life-altering, mind-blowing experience at the first-ever USSF, in Atlanta in 2007, and wrote this open letter to the AIDS movement and the Left: https://aidsandsocialjustice.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/open-letter-to-the-left-and-the-aids-movement-two-ships-passing-on-our-winding-way-to-a-new-dawn/

This will be the second-ever USSF. I’ll be blogging about sessions I go to that are inspiring. But I probably won’t post anything here til after I get home, exhausted as my aching bones get at conferences, and me without a laptop.

Here are some sessions I’d recommend for AIDS activists and all social justice activists who are blessed to be going to Detroit!

– Suzy

WED, 10am-noon, Cobo Hall: O2-42
Join in the Whirlwind: A Cooperative Panel on Research and Movement Building
Team Colors Collective

WED, 1-5:30pm, Cobo Hall: D2-08
The Take Back the Land Movement: Realizing the Human Right to Housing in the US
Take Back the Land (Miami), Survivors Village (New Orleans), Chicago Anti-Eviction Coalition

WED, 1-5:30pm, Cobo Hall: W2-67
US Social Forum Queer People’s Movement Assembly
co-hosted by The Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex (TGI) Justice Project, which works on prison issues, along with other groups including Queers for Economic Justice, SONG: Southerners on New Ground, and more groundbreaking LGBT groups Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, African Americans, Alternatives to 501c3, arts and culture, California, disaster capitalism, displacement and gentrification, Drug users' rights, economic justice, gay and bisexual men, gender, Haiti, harm reduction, housing, immigration/migration, imperialism/colonialism, Latina/o communities in the United States, New Orleans, New York City, police repression, prison, revolutionary strategies, sex workers' rights, sexual violence, Southern United States, trans and gender non-conforming, transformative justice, treatment access, women

Survivors in Action: Disaster, conflict, and displacement—communities struggle to heal

by Suzy Subways, Editor, Solidarity Project

APRIL 2007 • Issue 4

War and natural disaster affect the AIDS pandemic in ways that can be devastating to individuals and their communities. Service disruptions increase HIV risk, interrupt treatment, obstruct continuity of care, and impede the provision of other necessary services, although the specifics vary depending on the nature of and response to the crisis. This article looks at two disparate regions of the world in which communities are determined to heal after experiencing severe crises. On the U.S. Gulf Coast following the 2005 hurricane season, and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ravaged by civil war, activists and providers are identifying community needs, developing creative ways to meet them, and demanding that government and the international community support their efforts. These two very different situations provide examples of how disaster—whether natural, caused by humans, or a combination of both—and the resultant displacement of people affect those living with and at risk for HIV.

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Filed under Congo (DRC), disaster capitalism, displacement and gentrification, imperialism/colonialism, New Orleans, sexual violence, Solidarity Project, treatment access, Uncategorized, war

Katrina’s Aftermath: Stranded Without Medication and Medical Care

by Suzy Subways

APRIL 2007 • Issue 4

A disaster that uproots large numbers of people causes an immediate public health emergency, and the effects continue to be felt if the damage isn’t quickly repaired. Soon after the hurricane, P. Gregg Greenough, MD, MPH and Thomas D. Kirsch, MD, MPH went a step further in an October 2005 New England Journal of Medicine commentary, observing that, “Given the ineffective response mechanisms that were in place, Katrina could become a public health catastrophe.” They cited potentially devastating sanitation and immunization problems, among other concerns. “The biggest health issue, however, was and will continue to be the inability of the displaced population to manage their chronic diseases,” they argued. “Katrina disproportionately affected the poorest residents of New Orleans, who did not have the health reserve or the access to care needed to absorb the blow of a breakdown of the local public health system. In the long run, the destruction of the public health and medical care infrastructure has the potential to be more devastating to the health of the population than the event itself.”

Before the hurricane, Charity Hospital’s respected HIV Outpatient (HOP) Clinic served about half of New Orleans’ 7,000 HIV-positive patients. Severely damaged by Katrina, the clinic closed for two months, then operated out of several temporary facilities. Rebecca Clark, MD, says, “Seventy percent of our patients experienced disruptions in their medications for a month or two.” This is far more than a temporary inconvenience, since it can lead to HIV drug resistance and dangerously weakened immune systems, increasing the risk of serious illness and death.

In its 2006 report Voices of the Storm: Health Experiences of Low-Income Katrina Survivors, the Kaiser Family Foundation, documented cases of lower CD4 cell counts due to medication disruptions. One resident of a group home said that her facility gave her only a three-day supply of her HIV medications when she was evacuated. An incarcerated man with HIV missed his medications when he was moved to another prison. An HIV-positive man with severe mental health needs lived on the streets for weeks after evacuation from his group home. These incidents illustrate what many people with HIV experienced when a major natural disaster was combined with a callous and inept government response.

Charity Hospital is now permanently closed. The HOP Clinic is back in its original location but shares the space with other clinics—and only half of its former patients have returned. Many no longer have homes to come back to.

In June 2006, members of the Survivors’ Village tent city marched on the affluent Garden District of New Orleans to protest plans to replace low-income public housing with “mixed income” developments. Photo by Nick Fuller Googins, NOLA Indymedia.

Housing Crisis Increases HIV Risk

Following the hurricane, serious barriers made it difficult or impossible for people to return to their homes or obtain new housing. The lack of affordable housing in New Orleans has created new gaps in HIV prevention services, as many providers themselves haven’t come back. Five of the city’s ten community-based HIV prevention contractors went under in the wake of the storm due to the hurricane’s destruction and to staff not returning. Residents who have made it back are dealing with housing instability and stress, heightening their HIV risk, says Noel Twilbeck, co-chair of the Louisiana AIDS Advocacy Network and executive director of NO/AIDS Task Force. “When people are living in stressful situations, they have a tendency to engage in risky activities,” he says. “There are people living in houses that still don’t have walls up, waiting for repairs.” Continue reading

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Filed under African Americans, disaster capitalism, displacement and gentrification, economic justice, housing, New Orleans, sex education, Solidarity Project, Southern United States, treatment access, Uncategorized

TAKE ACTION

APRIL 2007 • Issue 4

Last summer in New Orleans, former public housing residents built a tent city called Survivors’ Village to protest being locked out of their homes as 86 percent of pre-Katrina public housing units, mostly undamaged, remained fenced off. In early April, Survivor’s Village will re-launch with cottages instead of tents, along with a legal clinic, first aid station, and chapel. Visit their “How to Help” page to download flyers, email legislators, donate, and sign up for action alerts.

Encourage your Senator (www.senate.gov) to co-sponsor and support the federal Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007, which would re-open 3,000 New Orleans public housing apartments by August 1, 2007 and maintain pre-Katrina levels of federal housing assistance. This bill, approved by the House of Representatives on March 21, is a direct result of grassroots organizing by local activists. Now it’s up to the Senate to pass it and get it to President Bush.

Donate money or volunteer your healthcare, education, counseling or administrative skills by emailing the New Orleans Women’s Health and Justice Initiative (WHJI), which is opening a clinic at 1406 Esplanade Avenue this spring to offer quality, affordable healthcare and counseling services to low-income and uninsured women of color, regardless of immigration status. The clinic aims to fill gaps left by Charity Hospital and other closed facilities. WHJI also plans to expand its community organizing for healthcare and social justice. To receive a tax deduction, please make checks out to Women With a Vision, with “New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic” in the memo line, and mail to P.O. Box 51325 New Orleans, LA 70151.

Check out this Letter from the People of New Orleans to our Friends and Allies, by New Orleans-based activists, published in Left Turn magazine’s April/May 2007 issue.

Check out CHAMP’s comic book version of Mindy Fullilove’s Root Shock.

Global Strategies for HIV Prevention supplies the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) kits to HEAL Africa in Goma, DRC. Specify that your check go toward PEP kits and mail it to Global Strategies at 104 Dominican Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901.

Women’s Equity in Access to Care and Treatment (WE-ACTx) provides HIV treatment, primary care, trauma counseling, income generation activities, and family planning services to thousands of women who were raped during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and works in solidarity with grassroots Rwandan women’s associations to advocate for improved treatment access. Mail donations to WE-ACTx, 3345 22nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94110. Call (415) 648-1728 or email weactx@gmail.com for more information.

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Filed under African Americans, Congo (DRC), disaster capitalism, displacement and gentrification, economic justice, housing, imperialism/colonialism, New Orleans, sexual violence, Solidarity Project, Uncategorized, war, women

HIV Prevention with New Orleans’ Newly Arriving Latino Workers

An Interview with Alicia Negron   — As told to Pedro Soto, CHAMP, West Coast

APRIL 2007 • Issue 4

Alicia Negron was hired by the city of New Orleans to provide HIV prevention services for Latinos after hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Up to 120,000 Latinos have arrived to work on the reconstruction of New Orleans, where a devastated HIV/AIDS infrastructure remains unprepared to serve them.

New Orleans. This is a different world. Everything has been destroyed. Everything is broken, from politics to police service. Most of the Latinos—Mexicans, Guatemalans, and Salvadorians—who have arrived looking for work are undocumented workers who live under bridges or in abandoned houses.

Local government and politics have tied up all the funding for food and housing; they don’t offer it to anyone. People spend two or three days without food; they roam the streets asking for food. People have no knowledge of what HIV is because, in the places that Latino workers live, no one even knows the word. They live in absolute informative discrimination. Continue reading

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Filed under disaster capitalism, displacement and gentrification, economic justice, housing, immigration/migration, imperialism/colonialism, Latina/o communities in the United States, New Orleans, sex education, Solidarity Project, Southern United States, Uncategorized