Men, testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases is important

June 12-18 was National Men’s Health Week, and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England encourages men to take charge of their sexual health with regular checkups, screenings, and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Regular checkups can keep a person healthy and can find health problems before they become serious. Free HIV testing will be available at PPSNE health centers in Connecticut on Tuesday, June 27, and in Rhode Island on Wednesday, June 28.

Doing better for all Connecticut Learners

Learning a new language could be daunting and especially more challenging for new immigrants that not only come face to face with a new culture, but to a totally different environment. Most times children adapt easily, but in the case of English Language Learners, the assimilating process may take longer than most, particularly when the primary language spoken at home is not English.

Focus educational help on improving minority high school graduation

Government funding for underprivileged students to attend college is not an effective way to close the education gap because it does not address the core problem, which is that many low-income students never make it to graduation in the first place. The government should be providing students with the resources they need in order to graduate from high school and be successful when they go to college, instead of providing a donation toward a college fund for students who made it to graduation.

CT opioid crisis more deadly than guns, auto accidents combined

There were over 2,000 drug overdoses in Connecticut in a four-year span: 2012-2015. In just 2016 alone, opioids claimed the lives of 917 people from Connecticut. These alarming numbers constitute a full-blown epidemic. In Connecticut, opioid drugs and addiction are now more deadly than gunshots and car accidents combined.

More must be done to humanize Connecticut criminal justice

After months of tireless work to bring awareness to state legislators about the harm associated with solitary confinement, a bill was passed that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what must happen to humanize criminal justice in this state. When states as notorious for prisoner abuse as California and Texas are making changes in prisoner treatment, one must wonder why Connecticut is lagging behind.

A call to alternative action on health care

It is incumbent for the Democratic Caucus to act as urgently as possible to advance an alternative health care bill that has better chance of covering 23 million more of our fellow Americans than the current AHCA regardless of their emotional attachment and political allegiance to the Affordable Care Act. We must repudiate the secretive process that is being pursued by the Senate leadership and prevent the AHCA from becoming the law of the land. We must take the initiative away from the majority leader of the Senate to enact an affordable, sustainable, innovative and equitable Health Care law based on the Patient Freedom Act.