Thursday, February 09, 2012

More Hillbilly Mischief in Tennessee - This Time Cutting HIV Testing Funds!

The Republican Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam has managed to cut off state funds to Planned Parenthood. Now you wouldn't think that would affect LGBT people unless they were trying to get pregnant or needed family planning services, but it does.  You see Planned Parenthood funded after-hours HIV testing at the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center.  Without these funds the center can no longer afford the program, which means no after-hours testing.

In the words of center director Will Batts,
"Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) will be unable to offer Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) testing tonight and for the foreseeable future. For more than three years, MGLCC has collaborated with Planned Parenthood to provide the only regularly-scheduled, after-hours HIV testing in the Mid-South. This afternoon, Planned Parenthood representatives informed MGLCC that they do not have the funds necessary to provide the HIV testing for the foreseeable future because the State of Tennessee has denied Planned Parenthood access to grants for HIV prevention. The cut in funding for Planned Parenthood has put MGLCC’s model HIV testing program in jeopardy."
 This addle brained move is either fallout from an ideological war against Planned Parenthood, or a direct assault on the health of LGBT people in Memphis.  Either way it's short sighted and just plain mean.

Seems the politicians in the Volunteer state are hell-bent on making LGBT people's lives as frigging miserable as possible.  Really sad in when the rate of new infections for HIV in the southern states, including Tennessee is the fastest growing rate in the nation.

So if you have the the and inclination please contribute to the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center and help them fill this shortfall.

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