• Creating Change

    If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.

  • What does SNAPIQS Policy Advocacy Committee do?

    Being queer and transgender while being Asian and Pacific Islander in an American society that doesn’t care or doesn’t really know what to do with either makes living our lives inherently Political. So instead of others defining our place, we have made the stride to do that for ourselves.

    Why is this important?

    Nevada is one of the four states that have biennial legislative sessions (meet every two years). Nevada Legislature sessions are held in odd-numbered years and meet for 120 consecutive days beginning the first Monday in February.

    SNAPIQS Policy Advocacy Committee

    SNAPIQS Policy Advocacy Committee speaks up loud and clear when we have to, like decrying the latest attacks on the transgender and immigrant communities. We mobilize our members to come out and vote, knock door to door, whatever we can do to help advocates for our community and influence laws affecting our well-being.

  • SNAPIQS is supporting the following bills during the 81st (2021) Session of the Nevada Legislature

    BDR 40-563

    Revises provisions relating to the testing of certain communicable diseases.

    Nevada Bill Draft Request (BDR) 40-563 is requiring medical providers of any settings to ask patients if they would like an HIV and/or STD Test.

     

    Why SNAPIQS supports this bill?

    The CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) show that among all racial groups in the U.S., Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) had the only statistically significant increases in HIV/AIDS diagnosis rates in the most recent four-year period.

     

    Prevention Challenges

    There are some behaviors that put everyone at risk for HIV. These include having anal or vaginal sex without protection (like a condom or medicine to prevent or treat HIV) or sharing injection drug equipment with someone who has HIV. Other factors that affect Asians particularly include:

    • Cultural factors. Some Asians may avoid seeking testing, counseling, or treatment because of language barriers or fear of discrimination, the stigma of homosexuality, immigration issues, or fear of bringing shame to their families. 
    • Undiagnosed HIV. People with undiagnosed HIV cannot obtain the care they need to stay healthy and may unknowingly transmit HIV to others. A lower percentage of Asians with HIV have received a diagnosis, compared to other races/ethnicities. 
    • Limited research about Asian health and HIV infection means there are few targeted prevention programs and behavioral interventions for this population. 
    • The objective is to eliminate barriers to HIV/STD testing and make HIV/STD testing comparable to the manner in which other important laboratory tests are conducted. 
      • HIV testing remains voluntary and patients have the right to refuse an HIV test. Patients must be advised orally that an HIV test is going to be performed. If the patient objects to the HIV test, this should be noted in the patient’s medical record.
    • Requiring medical providers to ask patients regarding testing of communicable diseases would remove the stigma of HIV/STD testing and normalize the conversation regarding testing of communicable diseases. 

    BDR 40-220

    Revises laws relating to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

    Nevada Bill Draft Request (BDR) 40-220 updates current legislation(s) that modernize Nevada's laws that currently criminalize people who are infected with HIV.
    • These laws unfairly target people because of their HIV status — rather than their actions. Nevada’s laws don’t require a person to actually transmit HIV or have any intent to transmit HIV. In fact, the laws don’t even require that there be any chance of transmission — only that the person be living with HIV.
    • The laws treat HIV differently from every other communicable disease — it’s the only one listed in Nevada’s penal code. And the laws disproportionately impact certain communities who are more likely to be living with HIV, including LGBTQ+ people, Black and Latinx people, and transgender women — populations who already face significant discrimination in our justice system.
    • Science has proven people living with HIV cannot transmit the virus through biting, spitting, and having sex while taking medications that make a person “undetectable,” meaning the viral load in their body is so low that there is a 0% chance of transmission. 
     
    Why SNAPIQS support this bill?
    • Laws that criminalize people living with HIV discourage testing, treatment, and disclosure, which are all key to preventing the spread of HIV and ending the epidemic. 
    • Instead of protecting people from HIV exposure, Nevada’s HIV criminal laws hurt public health by discouraging those at risk from getting tested. 
    • They also discourage people who test positive from seeking treatment and disclosing their status to sexual partners out of fear of being prosecuted. 
    • It's already challenging for API seeking testing, counseling, or treatment because of language barriers or fear of discrimination, the stigma of homosexuality, immigration issues, or fear of bringing shame to their families. 
  • Nevada's Ranking

    • HIV/AIDS
      • Nevada ranks 5th in rates of new HIV diagnoses in 2018.
      • Nevada ranks 8th for new HIV Stage 3 (AIDS) diagnoses in 2018.
      • Clark County (Southern Nevada aka Las Vegas) was one of the 57 areas identified by the CDC that account for more than half of new HIV diagnoses - Ending the HIV Epidemic Plan
    • STDs
      • Nevada ranks first in rates of primary and secondary syphilis in 2018.
      • Nevada ranking second in rates of congenital syphilis, a disease passed from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy in 2018.
      • Nevada ranks 17th in rates of Chlamydia in 2018.
      • Nevada ranks 12th in rates of Gonorrhea in 2018.
    • Nevada ranks #2 for STD index score, which indicates a higher likelihood of contracting an STD in a particular state.
     
    Citation:
  • Together we can End HIV Nevada

    We are all affected by HIV. You can stop HIV stigma by learning the facts, speaking up, and sharing our stories.
     
    Can you see yourself in this cycle?
     
    Our silence makes you misinformed.
     
    When you don’t understand how you get HIV, you become afraid of people living with it.
     
    When you are afraid, you shame and judge, excluding people from your community.
     
    If you are afraid of discrimination, you’ll also be afraid of talking about HIV.
     
    The cycle then repeats itself.
     
    Let's work together to Ending the HIV Epidemic in Nevada.
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