Thursday, December 21, 2006

Circumcize Texas (?)

Male circumcision has been discovered to prevent as much as 50 percent of infection for men. It is even protective for women, reducing their rates of infection substantially.

The discussion in Africa now is whether to promote male circumcision and even whether to make it mandatory. Tanzania, for example, is considering whether to implement "mass circumcision" for its male citizens.

This raises the question: should this policy be discussed in Texas?

More Blogger buzz(ing)

After some months of fiddling with a new version of Blogger, the Blogger folks say that it's out of beta and ready to use. They also say that it's time to shift all blogs to the new Blogger.


It's not happening here. Not that I don't want to shift to the new Blogger. After having panned it as inadequate for our needs, I am now eager to make the shift. For one thing, the new Blogger works better for email subscriptions. For another, it turns out that I like the categorization option. (I have secretly been playing with the new Blogger for, well, fun.)

So. I've backed up the template. I'm all ready to rework the sidebar. I'm eager to add some new subscribers. But it's not happening.

So. I'm linking to the article where the Blogger folks say it's gonna happen, so they can see (a) the link and (b) that I want to shift the blog! Sooner rather than later, guys.

Recall, recall!

Oh, dear! Yesterday's post regarding "AIDS in the Media" was an unfinished draft of an article that I am working on. I accidentally published it instead of saving it to drafts, and Feedburner/FeedBlits did their thing, sending it out to all our subscribers. Alas and alackaday! I hope you were not unduly confused by the thing just fizzling out before it reached any real conclusion. I've "unpublished" the article, properly saving it to drafts this time. This means you'll see it again someday. In the meantime, please delete the article from your email inbox or feed reader. It's not ready for prime time.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sex, Drugs, & Money

I gave a policy briefing at the 15th Texas HIV/STD Conference along with Randall Ellis, Government Relations Director for Legacy Community Health Services. Called "Sex, Drugs, & Money," the briefing included discussion of the cultural context for HIV/AIDS policy in Texas, resources for local advocates, and an outline of issues that we will (or may) see in the 80th Texas Legislature. While only about 10 people had preregistered for the session, closer to 50 showed up. I was most pleased by the attendance; unfortunately, we did not have enough handouts for everyone who was present.

As promised, I have now published my presentation on the Texas AIDS Network website as a PDF file. I used my version of "beyond bullets" to create my presentation in PowerPoint, using graphics and very few words on my slides, but writing extensive commentary in the notes. While the "notes" are not a script of what I had to say in the briefing, they do give the flavor of what we talked about.

My thanks to all who attended the session. I look forward to working with you in the coming months.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

STAR+PLUS delayed

The feds have not yet approved Texas' waiver application to extend STAR+PLUS coverage to the rest of the state, so plans to roll the program out in Travis, Bexar, Nueces service areas by January 1, 2007, have been put on hold. The Harris County STAR+PLUS program will continue uninterrupted, and eligible clients in other parts of the state will continue to be served by Medicaid.

More information from the Health and Human Services Commission is available here.