May 13, 2010 | by Kevin Naff
Health news in brief

Ross to headline benefit for LGBT health center

A well-known Philadelphia LGBT medical center is celebrating its 30th anniversary later this month with a benefit performance by iconic singer Diana Ross.

The Mazzoni Center, which debuted in 1979 as a subcommittee of the Gay Community Center, underwent several name changes over the years, according to the Philadelphia Gay News.

The Mazzoni Center will host a fundraiser May 21-22 at Caesars Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, which will include a concert by Diana Ross, the paper reported.

“As Mazzoni Center … we can offer a full gamut of services for people with HIV, which is still rampant in the gay community,” executive director Nurit Shein told PGN. “We now provide a lot more services like medical care, mental-health care and legal services because we realize that in order to create a healthy community, we need to treat the individual in a holistic way.”

Shein said the Atlantic City event will honor Mazzoni’s three decades of service to the Philadelphia community.

“This is a way for the community to show their support and have fun at the same time. We want to show the entire region how strong the Philadelphia LGBT community is, and have that community come together to support an organization that day in and day out provides crucial services.”

New British P.M. supports NHS, gay rights

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown resigned this week, clearing the way for Tory leader David Cameron to take up residence at No. 10 Downing St. But he’s no Thatcherite. In fact, Cameron made support for the U.K.’s National Health Service a central platform of his campaign, which many credit to the death of his disabled 6-year-old son in 2009.

“One of the wonderful things about living in this country is that the moment you’re injured or fall ill — no matter who you are, where you are from, or how much money you’ve got — you know that the NHS will look after you,” Cameron said during the campaign.

In addition to supporting NHS, Cameron has also pledged support for gay rights. He has praised the Labor government for equalizing age of consent laws, introducing civil partnerships and allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, according to CNN.

Australia targets gay men with new health strategies

Australia has announced a new plan to address health concerns among gay and bisexual men.

National LGBT Health Alliance chair Paul Martin told the Star Observer newspaper that it was pleasing to see the community’s needs “recognized so clearly.”

“The evidence is clear that GBT men and those from intersex groups have higher health risk factors,” he told the paper. “The policy recognizes the needs of different population groups of males, including gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex groups, and outlines actions to promote health equity and reduce preventable health differences between populations of Australian males.”

The plan reportedly focuses on preventative health measures and encourages gay and bi men to access health care more regularly. The government will spend $7.3 million over the next four years, including $6.9 million on developing a national study on male health. A further $400,000 will fund statistical updates.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

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