News & Updates
CHOICES, The TN AIDS Education and Training Center (TN AETC), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the HIV Treaters’ Group are proud to announce a collaborative program for HIV medical care providers to hear Stephen Goldstone, M.D., speak on HIV and rectal cancer. Dr. Goldstone is the nation’s specialist on ano/rectal cancers, anoscopy and HPV.
The program will be held June 27, from 6:30 to 9 pm at the Napa Cafe, 5101 Sanderlin Ave # 122, Memphis, TN, 38117
To RSVP contact Jamie Russell-Bell, TN AETC, at 901-218-0693, Jamie.firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the program contact Victoria Harris, Ed.D., Director of Education, at the Comprehensive Care Center at 615-875-7874, email@example.com.
CHOICES is pleased to partner with the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) on a series of free, accredited webinars on HIV/AIDS. The next session is Family Planning for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS on Tuesday, June 11 from 10:00 – 11 am – CST. Free CME’s available.
Presenter and CHOICES’ clinician Nikole Gettings, MSN, CNM, will help clinicians will learn to:
- Counsel patients living with HIV on pregnancy options and healthy preconception practices
- Discuss contraceptive options and the specific drug interaction between highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and hormonal birth control methods
- Assist patients in developing a reproductive life plan
- Identify local and national reproductive health resources for persons living with HIV
Space is limited so please email Katy at CHOICES ASAP to reserve your spot.
Healthy & Free Tennessee will sponsor “Reproductive Justice 101” by SisterReach Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott. The free training will be held June 25 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. in Memphis, TN at The Urban Child Institute, 600 Jefferson Ave. The training is supported through a grant from the National Institute for Reproductive Health.
This training will benefit all those who desire to better understand and use the Reproductive Justice (RJ) framework in their community work and advocacy campaigns.
The training will focus on learning and integrating human rights standards in education, faith, health service, activism and advocacy. Topics will include an overview/history of Reproductive Justice; core principles of RJ; Reproductive Oppression; Human Rights; Intersectionality; Self-Help; and distinctions between Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights & Reproductive Justice.
Advocates, activists, clinicians, community leaders, reproductive health educators, sociologists and anthropologists are encouraged to participate. Participants are encouraged to bring a brown-bag lunch. Healthy & Free TN will provide dessert.
Nearly 400 happy people filled Playhouse on the Square, sipping “Prophylactic Punch” made with organic juices from Cosmic Coconut, enjoying delicious appetizers from some of our best local restaurants, and voting for their favorite apparel and accessory designs made with condoms.
Thanks so much to everyone who came out for the 1st Annual CONDOMONIUM!
The event promoted the critical public health message that “Condoms Save Lives and Condoms Save Futures,” and raised $15,000 to support CHOICES’ reproductive health education programming and Patient Assistance Fund.
Thanks so much to all our event sponsors and to the Memphis community for such enthusiastic support. We’re already making plans for next year…
Choices’ clinician Nikole Gettings, CNM, recently spoke to medical providers in the U.S., Africa, Iran and other countries via a webinar about how highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is providing new fertility options for individuals living with HIV. This educational partnership with the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals represents CHOICES’ first venture into online clinical training and education, a long-time goal of the agency.
A new public health education initiative, Community Conversations, invites members of the community to CHOICES for informal presentations on a variety of reproductive health topics. These casual sessions give our guests the chance to learn from clinicians and from one another, and provide an opportunity to explore topics that are rarely discussed at length in a clinical environment. The May 16th session will focus on HPV.
Dozens of local agencies, organizations and programs have been working collaboratively for more than three years to help reduce Memphis’ teen pregnancy rate, and advocate for support for parenting teens. Known as Memphis Teen Vision (MemTV) the group meets monthly to share information on programs and resources, and to develop a coordinated community response to the high rate of teen pregnancies in Memphis and Shelby County. A working group of the Shelby County Early Success Coalition, MemTV was awarded funds last year by the National Institute for Reproductive Health that resulted in a local listing of medical clinics and practices that offer reproductive health and prenatal care to teens. Their unique website also includes resources for teen parents, advice for parents of teens, and links to sites where teens can get honest, thorough information on sexual topics, preventing pregnancy, and staying healthy. For more information, check out their website.
CHOICES joins the MidSouth AIDS Fund (MAF), Healthy & Free Tennessee, the Red Door Foundation, SisterReach, and Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region in urging the University of Tennessee, Knoxville administration to reinstate funds for sexual health and justice initiatives. On March 20th, UTK Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and President Joe DiPietro announced that $11,145 of previously committed state funds will be withdrawn from the student-run organization, Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee (SEAT).
This announcement came after UTK officials succumbed to pressure from Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville and Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville to defund SEAT programming or face an inquiry by the Senate Education Committee. SEAT is hosting the first annual Sex Week at UTK from April 7-12, with events designed to address comprehensive issues surrounding gender, sex, and sexuality. This week-long event will foster ongoing, open, and productive dialogue and will add to the value of student life and the co-curricular education at UTK. The week-long event will be composed of a variety of activities focusing on education, including basic tabling, free HIV testing, a sexual assault prevention workshop, seminars, keynote speakers, and a film series.
Our organizations believe is imprudent to discourage education-based programs that are designed to encourage responsible decisions regarding sexual and reproductive health, and promote constructive dialogue about issues of gender, sex, and sexuality. This imprudence by university officials is especially troubling when it affects a state that has some of the most appalling STD and teen pregnancy rates in the country; a state where LGBT students report levels of verbal abuse higher than the national average.
To support UT Sex Week directly go to: http://sexweekut.org/
Choices has been working with partners across Tennessee to build a new statewide coalition of progressive agencies, organizations, networks and individuals committed to promoting sexual health and protecting reproductive freedom.
The goal of “Healthy & Free Tennessee” is to harness grassroots support for statewide policies that promote sexual health and protect reproductive rights and justice for all Tennesseans.
This kind of policy advocacy and coalition-building will be crucial to successfully opposing the proposed constitutional amendment scheduled to be on the ballot in 2014 that seeks to weaken our right to privacy and threaten our access to comprehensive reproductive health care.
For more information, or to get involved in this new initiative, sign up here.