public health


The Masked Syndrome: HIV, Health Disparities, and the Two-Pronged Approach

Maral Aghvinian, Ph.D. student, Fordham University, , UCS

“I have to tell you something” he said to my father on the phone. My father could sense immediately the conversation would be pivotal. “Cancer?” my father asked, to which he quietly responded, “Much worse.” He was my mother’s uncle; he was hilarious, hardworking, and passionate. He was also a gay Armenian man, and his sexual orientation was a subject of shame, criticism, and volatility in many cultures like my own. It was 1989, and the public, including my father, knew little about human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. Within days of this phone call, my parents flew to see him. I often think about this moment and my mother’s uncle considering his diagnosis the worst news he could possibly share. I think about the shame he felt and the vulnerability he displayed in sharing his status. This moment of sheer vulnerability and honesty has been shared by over 36 million individuals and their families worldwide. Read more >

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Under Our Noses: PFAS Contamination in Southern Colorado

Rev. Ryan K. Nelson, , UCS

I was born an only child in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1979. My father, who is a retired military officer, moved us from coast-to-coast and across the country until we finally returned home in 1989. By the time I was 20, I had traveled and seen parts of the Western world that continue to enrich my life. However, Colorado has always held me safe, secure, and nestled in the Rocky Mountains as I continued to mature into adulthood. The quiet solitude the outdoors here provided me just as much ecological insight as scuba diving in the Grand Caymans or walking along the coasts of Hawaii. Now I’ve seen the delicate balance of nature in Colorado disrupted by devastating wildfires and operations from fracking plus other continued operations of big oil and gas.   Read more >

Photo: FEMA
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Deadly Shooting at California Synagogue—Where is the Gun Violence Research, CDC?

, Research Analyst

This weekend I learned that my hometown of Poway, California, a sleepy suburban city just north of San Diego, was the location of a violent shooting at a Jewish synagogue. A 19-year old walked into a synagogue armed with an AR-type assault rifle and began firing on Jewish people who were gathered to observe the last day of Passover. Read more >

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Nine Reasons to Oppose the Trump Administration’s Proposed SNAP Changes

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

Spoiler: it could leave hundreds of thousands of unemployed and underemployed adults unable to meet their basic needs. Read more >

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Photo: US Air Force

Illinois’ Energy Future: Less Coal, More Renewables

, lead Midwest energy analyst

Yesterday the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency submitted a proposal to set stricter air pollution limits in the ongoing state rulemaking over Dynegy-Vistra’s fleet of coal-fired power plants in Illinois.

The proposal is a good thing for lowering harmful air pollution. Dynegy-Vistra has also discussed the possibility of retiring some of its remaining coal-fired units in the near future.

Read more >

Photo: US Air Force
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