IN THE LOOP

The news you need to know this week

Welcome to the latest edition of our update on the news you need to know and how it affects you and the communities we serve. Every couple of weeks we send out an e-mail featuring important updates, and you can sign up below! As always, thank you for your support of APLA Health, and please share this with others who may be interested.

09/05/17

Help Communities Devastated by Hurricane Harvey

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Hurricane Harvey has devastated southeast Texas, parts of Louisiana, and the city of Houston. The destruction rivals that of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and reconstruction will take years.

The LGBTQ community and people living with HIV in the Houston area have a particular need for assistance. The Houston area has the highest number of people living with HIV in Texas, and ensuring access to medication is critical. The state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program has implemented measures to help facilitate access to HIV medication for those impacted by the storm.

The storm will inflict incalculable harm to the area’s health care system and could leave many without access to care. Please consider making a donation to one of the organizations below that will be assisting the people of Houston in the days and years to come:

  • The Montrose Center, a Houston LGBTQ community center, has set up an online fundraising page to help them give aid to those members of the LGBTQ community affected by Harvey. You can make a donation to the Montrose Center at:
    my.reason2race.com/DNicol/HurricaneHarveyLGBTQDisasterReliefFund2017

  • Legacy Community Health is one of the largest health care providers for low-income individuals and people living with HIV in the Houston area. Legacy operates multiple health centers that are now open and providing wrap-around health services to Houston residents. You can make a donation to Legacy at:
    legacycommunityhealth.org/development/donations

  • The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund was established by Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmett to accept donations for people affected by the hurricane. You can make a donation to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at:
    ghcf.org/hurricane-relief

Take Action to Defend the DACA Program for Young Immigrants

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The DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is under attack. Republican officials from 10 states have warned President Trump that if he doesn’t kill the DACA program by today, September 5, they will take their case to court. And reports over the weekend suggest that Trump plans to end the program, but delay enforcement for six months so that Congress has an opportunity to act.

President Obama established DACA by executive order five years ago. The program gives young undocumented immigrants, often those brought here as children, the right to live and work here legally. DACA protects over 800,000 young immigrants in the United States and almost half—366,987—live in California. California DACA recipients can also access health coverage through the state’s Medi-Cal program if they meet certain income requirements.

As advocates for our patients, co-workers, friends and neighbors, we need to make our voices heard in support of DACA. Go to defenddaca.com (hosted by the National Immigration Law Center) to see which elected officials you should call. Or call the White House at 202-456-1111 (TTY/TTD 202-456-6213).

Support Safer Consumption Services in California
Call Your State Legislators Today

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A bill currently being considered by the California Legislature, AB 186, would allow a limited number of counties to provide “safer consumption services.” Safer consumption services provide a legal, safe space for people to consume pre-obtained drugs in controlled health care settings under the supervision of trained staff. These spaces have been found to reduce transmission of HIV and hepatitis C, prevent overdose deaths, and increase use of medical and social services.

Although there are approximately 100 safer consumption services operating in over 65 cities around the world, none currently exist in the United States. AB 186 would put California at the forefront of the national movement to provide these services and improve the health of people who use drugs.

AB 186 will be voted on very soon, so call your state senator and assemblymember today! Let them know that you support allowing counties to approve safer consumption services in order to address fatal overdoses, reduce HIV and hepatitis C infections, and improve public safety. To find your state legislators, visit findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.

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