Central PA's LGBT News Source

LGBT community center receives grant to replicate cancer campaign

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center today announced that it has received a $7,500 grant from the Brandywine Health Foundation's Coatesville Area Youth Philanthropy Program to replicate its leading-edge anal cancer intervention campaign in the Greater Coatesville Area in Chester County, PA.

The campaign, titled "That Ass Tho!" is a model campaign seeking to raise awareness among gay and bisexual men of the importance of an anal Pap test to screen for anal cancer. The campaign also aims to increase clinical access to anal Pap tests through training and conversation with health care professionals.

Prevalence of anal cancer is 34 times as common among men who have sex with men compared to the majority population. The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation identifies several risk factors for Anal Cancer, including HPV, which is widely understood to be sexually transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, including during anal sex with or without condom usage. Receptive partners during anal sex and anyone with a weakened immune system, including people who are HIV+ are at increased risk for anal cancer.

The Coatesville Area Youth Philanthropy Program (CAYPP) is an exciting program for youth, which was developed by the Brandywine Health Foundation (BHF) for teens living in the Coatesville Area School District, to learn more about the needs of their community, learn how to make a difference, experience diversity and teamwork through collaboration, and to become actual philanthropists.

Alyson Ferguson, CAYPP Program Manager stated, "The youth members are wise beyond their years and take their role as stewards of these funds very seriously. They selected 'That Ass Tho!' because of its potential impact at the individual, organizational, and policy levels."

"Raising awareness and promoting anal cancer screenings for the LGBT community is critical to our goal of achieving health equity for LGBT Pennsylvanians. By increasing clinical access to anal Pap tests and promoting screenings to community members, we will be able to address the health disparities affecting LGBT people head on," said Adrian Shanker, Executive Director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. "This is the first grant we have received where the philanthropic decision making was in the hands of youth -- it's so important that youth are given a voice in determining the programs that exist in the communities where they live."

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center provides arts and culture, health promotion, and youth programs as well as supportive services for the LGBT community across the Greater Lehigh Valley.