Latinx LGBTQ+ Mental Health


Each Mind Matters1(EMM) recently collaborated with a group of LGBTQ+ community leaders and stakeholders to come together and create informational materials on mental health issues faced by Latinx LGBTQ+. The materials focus on three key segments: young adults, older adults, and providers working with Latinx youth.

Latinx LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health Provider Fact Sheet2

This fact sheet helps providers working with Latinx LGBTQ+ youth address the complex connections that can have an impact on a young person’s life, such as sexual orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity, and immigration status. The fact sheet provides relevant resources and best practices within a culturally responsive framework.

EMM also created a fully bilingual in Spanish and English resource online, which covers key terms for providers working with Latinx LGBTQ+ youth, things to consider as mental health professionals serving Latinx LGBTQ+ immigrant youth, and seeking benefits. At this time there are no printed copies available; however, the pamphlet is available free to download3.

EMM website is a resource for mental health and LGBTQ+ topics:



It is tax time again.


2018With all the recent tax reform changes, many people have many questions. Intuit has created a nice article that explains how the changes affect 2017 taxes (taxes you actually file in 2018) and changes that take effect next year during the 2018-tax filing season (taxes you file in 2019).  Below are some highlights, important dates, and resources to help you file your taxes.

Tax Penalty for Not Having Health Insurance

Individuals without qualifying health coverage for all or part of 2017 may still have to pay a tax penalty for the tax year 2017. A tax preparer or tax prep software may assist in calculating any penalty for not having health insurance.

For the tax year 2017, the penalty is the greater of 1) 2.5% of total household adjusted gross income, OR 2) $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, up to a maximum of $2,085 per family. The penalty amounts have not been set for the 2018 tax year and beyond.

In limited situations, some individuals may be exempt from the tax penalty.

Medical Expenses

If you itemize deductions in 2017, you may be able to deduct qualifying medical expenses to the extent they exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income. See the IRS Publication for a full list of qualified medical expenses.

Deadline to File 2017 Taxes is April 7, 2018

The deadline to file your personal tax return for the tax year 2017 is Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (Why the change? Because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Monday is Emancipation Day, observed in Washington D.C., the home of the IRS.) If you are not ready to prepare and file your return by the deadline, you may request a six-month extension with the IRS.

Free Tax Filing Assistance in San Francisco

Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

Provides free tax services in English and Spanish. Call 2-1-1 (available 24/7 in 150 languages) to make an appointment.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Provides free tax return preparation for qualifying taxpayers. Visit the hyperlink above to locate a VITA or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program near you.

Earn it! Keep it! Save it! A program of the United Way

Provides free tax services to qualifying taxpayers. Visit the hyperlink to find out about eligibility, what to bring to your meeting and the program sites near you.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

Offers free, individualized tax preparation for low to moderate-income taxpayers – especially those 50 and older – at more than 5,000 locations nationwide. Find a location near you by searching the link.

HEALTH TIP:   U = U Got Questions?


Copy of Instagram Post – Untitled DesignU = U means undetectable equals untransmittable. This slogan refers to the fact that there is effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV when the virus is reduced to undetectable levels.

An undetectable viral load for people living with HIV means they will not transmit HIV to their partners. Active engagement in treatment as prevention is a key to maintaining an undetectable viral load and preventing HIV transmission. ‘Treatment as Prevention’ (TasP) is defined as any HIV prevention method that uses antiretroviral therapy (ART) to decrease the risk of HIV transmission to a sexual or needle-sharing partner. ART reduces HIV in blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and rectal fluid to very low levels, and as a result, lowers HIV transmission. ART can even lower viral load to undetectable levels.

Evidence from real-world studies including PARTNER and Opposites Attract shows the affect TasP and ART have on preventing HIV transmission in the PARTNER study that there were ZERO transmissions out of 58,000 condomless sex acts between people with undetectable HIV viral loads and their HIV-negative partners. In the Opposites Attract study, there were no transmissions out of 17,000 condomless sex acts between men. Since the advent of combination therapy, there have been no confirmed reports of anyone with an undetectable viral load sexually transmitting HIV.

An important aspect to TasP is regular viral load testing. Testing is recommended about 2-4 times a year for people who have a stable undetectable viral load. More frequent testing may be necessary and it is recommended that people speak with their doctors about appropriate care, treatment, and testing.

Evidence shows that with regular testing and continued treatment, people living with undetectable HIV viral loads may let go of fears about transmitting HIV to their partners. Instead, we can all focus on the fact undetectable does equal untransmitable.


Cohen MS, Chen YQ, McCauley M, et al. Antiretroviral therapy for the prevention of HIV-1 Transmission. New England Journal of Medicine. 2016;0(July 18):1-10.

Del Romero J, Castilla J, Hernando V, Rodríguez C, García S. Combined antiretroviral treatment and heterosexual transmission of HIV-1: cross sectional and prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal. 2010;340:c2205.

Frieden TR, Foti KE, Mermin J. Applying Public Health Principles to the HIV Epidemic—How Are We Doing? New England Journal of Medicine. 2015;373(23):2281-2287.

i-Base. Q&A on the PARTNER study: how to interpret the zero transmission results. 2016; Accessed 07/18/2016.

Loutfy M, Tyndall M, Baril J-G, Montaner JS, Kaul R, Hankins C. Canadian consensus statement on HIV and its transmission in the context of criminal law. Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology. 2014;25(3):135-140.

Loutfy MR, Wu W, Letchumanan M, et al. Systematic review of HIV transmission between heterosexual serodiscordant couples where the HIV-positive partner is fully suppressed on antiretroviral therapy. PloS one. 2013;8(2):e55747.

Rodger AJ, Cambiano V, Bruun T, et al. Sexual activity without condoms and risk of HIV transmission in serodifferent couples when the HIV-positive partner is using suppressive antiretroviral therapy. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2016;316(2):171-181.

Vernazza P. HIV-infizierte Menschen ohne andere STD sind unter wirksamer antiretroviraler Therapie sexuell nicht infektiös. 2008.

Vernazza PL, Bernard EJ. HIV is not transmitted under fully suppressive therapy: The Swiss Statement – eight years later Swiss Med Weekly 2016;  Accessed Sept. 4, 2016, 146.


Stay the Course, the Fight is Not Over! – – National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day


Across the United States on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, there will be individuals and organizations participating in National Black HIV/Aids Awareness Day to promote HIV education, testing, community involvement and treatment in black communities. This year’s theme is “Stay the Course, the Fight is Not Over!”


The statistics show there is a need for this day of awareness. In the United States, there were 972,813 individuals living with HIV, 42 percent of which are African American. Of the 40,040 newly diagnosed cases, 44 percent are African American. In 2016, there were 16,010 individuals living with HIV in San Francisco. Twelve percent of this population was African American. In the same year, there were 223 newly diagnosed HIV cases in San Francisco, 15 percent were African American individuals. Good news—there was a small percentage drop in newly diagnosed HIV cases between 2015 and 2016 in San Francisco.*


San Francisco Aids Foundation offers free, confidential HIV testing. You can find other testing sites in San Francisco here.  If you live outside of San Francisco, find a testing site near you.

 Community Involvement

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March & Vigil the Black Brothers Esteem, a prevention and support program of San Francisco AIDS Foundation has planned a march, which starts at 5:00 pm on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, and ends with the vigil at 6:00 pm at the African-American Arts and Cultural Center (726 Fulton Street).

Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition is planning an event on Wednesday, February 7 at 9:00 am based on a Facebook Event.

In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Black Brothers Esteem (BBE) invite you to an open soirée celebrating black excellence and resilience in the gay community. The Royal Affair!  For a night of elegance, live entertainment, live music, food, and drinks. The event is entirely free and attendees are encouraged (but not required) to dress up and/ or wear a splash of purple. We will also be offering free on-site HIV testing. All attendees must be 21+

Friday, February 9, 2018, between 6:00 pm-9:00pm @ Mr. Smith’s, 34 Seventh Street, San Francisco


HIV Treatment works! The CDC says more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and that staying in care and engaged in treatment helps people stay healthy, protect others, and live healthier lives.

*based on data HIV Epidemiology San Francisco 2106 Annual Report & 2015 Annual Report


HEALTH CARE TIP: Adult Dental Benefits


Adult dental benefits were fully restored to Midi-Cal recipients effective January 1, 2018, as part of the 2017-2018 Budget Act. Now major services such as partial dentures, root canals on back teeth and gum treatment are covered. Along with an array of general maintenance services such as cleanings, x-rays and fillings and more, Western Center on Law & Poverty has a one-page fact sheet on the restored adult dental benefits.

Still, ongoing access to Denti-Cal services and providers is an issue in California. In 2015, the state appointed a State Dental Director to address Denti-Cal access. To access Denti-Cal and take advantage of these adult dental benefits enroll in Medi-Cal through Covered CA.

Reminder: Covered CA open enrollment ends Wednesday, January 31, 2018.


Importance of the First Premium Payment for 2018 Health Coverage


First, the deadline to enroll for 2018 health coverage is Wednesday, January 31, 2018, so enroll now.

Once signed up for a 2018 health plan through the marketplace, it is very important to pay the first month’s premium on time to activate coverage. If there are issues paying the first month’s premium payment in full, the Health Insurance Premium Payment Program may be able to provide financial assistance. Also, consider reaching out to the insurance company to understand payment options and/or grace periods. Once again, the first premium payment needs to be paid, or there is a chance of losing 2018 coverage.

If enrollment is not complete by January 31, 2018, there will not be another opportunity to enroll unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you or someone you know is HIV+ and a San Francisco resident, PRC may be able to help with problems accessing health coverage.



By Chuan Teng, Esq.

Managing Legal Director

CA Office of AIDS’s Health Insurance Premium Payment program (OA-HIPP) now pays the first month’s premium (“binder payment”) for eligible health insurance plans (Management Memo 2016-18). Individuals must enroll in OA-HIPP within 48 hours of enrolling in a health insurance plan to access the binder payment benefit via OA-HIPP.

Individuals who miss the 48 hour deadline for binder payment may be eligible for limited special funding through AIDS Emergency Fund. See below.


The following health insurance plans sold through Covered CA are eligible for OA-HIPP binder payment.

  • Blue Shield
  • Kaiser
  • Anthem Blue Cross (non-Covered CA plans also eligible)
  • Health Net


New clients must enroll in OA-HIPP with a certified ADAP/OA-HIPP enrollment worker within 48 hours of enrolling in an eligible health insurance plan to access binder payment.

NEW CLIENTS: Immediately after health insurance plan enrollment, submit to an enrollment worker a Covered California Enrollment History or Current Enrollment summary page which includes the following information:

      • Premium amount
      • Health plan name and medal tier
      • Advanced Premium Tax Credit taken
      • Health plan billing address (if available)

(*A screenshot or screen-print(s) from the Covered California account is permissible.)

ENROLLMENT WORKERS: Submit enrollment documentation through the A.J. Boggs portal by creating an Update Form using the People Picker tool and inform your ADAP Advisor of a new pending OA-HIPP application within 48 hours of the client’s health insurance enrollment.

[1] Existing OA-HIPP clients must update their health insurance information in the A.J. Boggs portal as soon as possible to ensure ongoing premium payments.

    • STEP 1: Create an Update Form by using the People Picker tool to upload the enrollment documentation in the “most recent Covered California medical plan billing statement[2] field under the “Insurance Assistance” tab in the A.J. Boggs portal.
    • STEP 2: Enter the Covered California enrollment confirmation number located in the top left corner of all summaries into the “Member or Subscriber ID” field.
    • STEP 3: Promptly notify ADAP Advisor that a new OA-HIPP application has been submitted and requires initial payment so the application is prioritized for review/approval.
    • STEP 4 (Follow-Up Steps Required AFTER Enrollment): Upload client’s billing statement with the client’s health plan member ID/policy number to the A.J. Boggs portal by creating an Update Form. The client will receive a health plan billing statement from his/her health plan once initial payment is made by OA-HIPP.

If the client misses the 48-hour deadline to enroll in OA-HIPP for binder payment, the client will need to make the initial premium payment out-of-pocket to secure health insurance. See below for special funding.


Limited special funding through AIDS Emergency Fund is available for individuals who miss the 48-hour deadline to enroll in OA-HIPP to access a binder payment. HIV-positive San Francisco residents may be eligible for special funding. For more information, contact AIDS Emergency Fund (415-558-6999 x 228).

[1] Existing OA-HIPP clients must update their health insurance information in the A.J. Boggs portal as soon as possible to ensure ongoing premium payments.

[2] A billing statement is not required at the initial OA-HIPP enrollment. However, a billing statement must be uploaded in the A.J. Boggs portal after the binder payment is made and the health plan issues a billing statement to the client. See Step 4.