Tag Archives: AIDS

Tobacco and Queer People

by Blake Montgomery, ’14

Gay MarlboroAIDS kills 17,000 queer people in America per year. Tobacco-related diseases kill 30,000. I’d call both epidemics.

In 2009, the American Cancer Society found that 59% of queer youth smoke, as compared with 35% of heterosexual youth. Gurl, what?

As young people, we are at the forefront of anti-tobacco efforts. The peak ages of smoking, as measured by the CDC, is 23 to 25. Our choices matter more than any others to the tobacco industry because most of us are first-time smokers, “learners” as we are referred to in industry documents. We’re also known as “replacers” in industry-speak because we take the place of older smokers who are dying of lung diseases.

Tobacco marketers have cast the hazards of cigarettes as old news for our demographic. They’re not. They’re the biggest cause of preventable death in queer populations and in America at large. Why are we at such high risk?

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Rachel Maddow returns to Stanford: Activism, Arguments and the American Military

by Leslie Wu, PhD candidate

Rachel Maddow came to the Stanford campus today, almost twenty years after graduating with an undergraduate degree in public policy (BS ’94). At Memorial Auditorium, speaking to a sold out audience who invited her warmly with standing applause, Maddow told of growing up in Castro Valley. Jokingly, she reported that this was the first time she received applause for being from Castro Valley in the East Bay.

At high school’s end, Maddow was shocked when she found out she had been accepted to Stanford. Shortly before that, at the age of 16, she had been coming out to herself as a lesbian. A teenager at the tail end of the 1980’s, Rachel started to see her gay friends and community suffer from the AIDS crisis. She began her work on AIDS before coming to the Farm, volunteering and later believing that she would focus on health policy as a Stanford student. Continue reading

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Transcending Global Frameworks: How Gendered HIV Policies May Be Too Narrow

This piece originally published in the Winter 2012 issue of the Stanford Journal of Public Health, a student-run journal “dedicated to connecting different players in the public health community in a forum for engaged scholarship.”

by Emily Rains, ’11


Previous research on incorporating gender into HIV prevention education policies in sub-Saharan Africa has focused on reducing gender-based violence in the context of HIV. However, many deeply rooted inequalities exist that exacerbate the disparity in prevalence rates between men and women in this region, and these cultural barriers have not been addressed by previous campaigns. This paper uses qualitative document analysis of various HIV prevention organizations working in Tanzania in order to ascertain how gender is incorporated in prevention education. This paper argues that focusing on women-centered responses to the crisis is too narrow. Expanding focus to engage majority groups such as heterosexual men may be a critical step towards ensuring gender equality and fighting the further gender-disparate spread of HIV in East Africa. Continue reading

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