December: AIDS Awareness Month

world aids day 2012_logo2AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) has become a prominent health issue not only in the United States but around the globe. Finding a cure would be ideal, however the best way to combat AIDS is to arm people with knowledge about the disease. To spread awareness about AIDS, the month of December has been dedicated to educating people on the disease, how to prevent it, and how to live with it.

AIDS is caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) which is a virus that attacks the immune system by destroying cells that help you to fight off diseases. HIV is transmitted from human to human through bodily fluids. These fluids include, but are not limited to, blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluids. HIV can be spread by sexual contact, needle sharing, or any other transfusion with infected blood.

Although there is no cure for AIDS, it can be treated and prevented. Some ways to prevent the contraction of HIV includes practicing safe sex, using new/clean needles, and knowing your HIV status along with the status of your partner(s). Getting tested for HIV is simple and often time includes getting a blood sample drawn via a needle or a mouth swab. The arrival of test results range anywhere from 20 minutes to a few days.

The theme this year for World’s AIDS Day is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.” The Getting To Zero Campaign continues until 2015 with a goal of Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination, and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. World Aids Campaign is encouraging AIDS/HIV organizations to select one of the three zeroes as their focus for the next two years.

Knowledge is power, so this month gain awareness about AIDS/HIV and decrease your chances of contracting a disease that is preventable.  For more information about AIDS awareness visit AIDS.gov.

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May – Mental Health Month

MHM2013_Pathways_to_Wellness_BUTTON_webMay is Mental Health Month. Mental Health America (MHA) theme this year is Pathways to Wellness. MHA created a Mental Health Month Calendar which has a wellness tip for each day of May. We will be sharing these daily tips on our social network pages and hope to encourage our fans/followers to find and maintain their pathway to wellness. For more information about mental health wellness visit MHA website at www.mentalhealthamerica.net.

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Chat Cafe – My Sister’s Keeper Part 2

The Vine Events Chat CafeYesterday, we hosted our first The Vine Events Chat Cafe. Focusing on “trust”, we continued our discussion about why some women can’t get along with one another. We addressed three areas shared by our Facebook Fan Discussion that have the potential to shape our perspectives and therefore influence our trust.

1. Traditional Teachings – One of our Facebook Fans, kicked off our online discussion by challenging women to evaluate their ideologies. Her challenge introduced our first trust influence “traditional teachings”. Our Chat attendee, Kay Wright, shared her experience of growing up in the Christian Church and witnessing first hand how women were not allowed to serve in certain capacities. The double standard between men and women reflected for her that women could not be trusted to perform various duties.

2. Society – Another Facebook Fan made known the influence of “society”. She presented that women at an early age have to deal with cliques and social pressures. Chat guest, Michael Cross, took it a step further and explained how just recently more athletic opportunities are available for young ladies to work together as a team. Previously, most opportunities were only individual activities where they had to compete against each other. He believes the team concept encourages individuals to work together for shared success; teaching them skills needed to positively interact with one another. Other guest also shared examples of personal experiences with societal divides (cliques) and how it impacted their level of trust for others.

3. Baggage – Several Facebook Fans revealed that insecurities cause some women not to trust each other because they don’t value themselves. Our Chat guest, Rita Massey, agreed with our Facebook Fans and affirmed that baggage (insecurities) prevent us from allowing people to start out with a clean slate. Being cautious is warranted however, baggage should not become a wall that prevents us from initiating relations.

We wrapped up the discussion by allowing each guest to share take home points. Chat participant, Brenda Clifton, disclosed that the conversation exposed some trust influences that she had not even considered. Discovering self worth, not succumbing to societal pressures, and dispelling false ideologies are the beginnings to improving bonds in any relationship. All attendees were on one accord about the necessity to daily renew our minds. We must change our negative thought processes that cause us not to trust one another without just cause.

Now, we want to hear from you!

Which trust influence listed has the greatest impact?

What is another trust influence that can be added as #4?

Please join our conversation and leave your reply below.

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Our specialty is informative events such as, Q&A parties, screening dialogues, interpersonal workshops, and community forums. We offer both face-to-face and online event designs. Contact us today for a “free” consultation for your next meeting/event.

December – AIDS Awareness Month

world aids day 2012_logo2In 2001, I was diagnosed with HIV which I contracted from my ex-husband who knowingly infected me. I was devastated as well as shocked! I knew HIV was not a death sentence but, I sure did not know how I was going to cope after getting this unexpected diagnosis. Well, I did more than cope, I actually took a stand on HIV by becoming an educator and activist in my community.

No it was not very easy being transparent and allowing others into my personal space but, then I began to realize that it is not about me and there are many others who need to be empowered by someone else’s experience. In 2004, I made the decision to speak out publicly and educate others on prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs as well as, how to live healthy productive and fulfilled lives despite adversities.

My desire is to help others understand the importance of avoiding risky behaviors that would result in an HIV positive diagnosis. My goal as an activist is to press the importance of knowing your status by getting tested, empower those who have received a positive diagnosis to love yourself and know that you are not alone, help others get connected with those who are a good support system, and influence communities to get educated to become more aware of prevention measures to avoid a diagnosis of HIV. There are many websites and organizations that provide resources, educational information, and even support. I have listed a few websites below as well as information on how to contact myself. Be encouraged and know that you are never alone.

Alicia HealedLee Diggs

http://iwilllive-healedlee.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Aliciahealedleediggs?ref=h

Resources:

http://www.avert.org/

http://www.triadhealthproject.com/

http://aidsmeds.com/

http://poz.com/

http://www.cateincba.com/womenlivingwithhiv/

http://hivtest.cdc.gov/

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January: National Staying Healthy Month

Happy New Year! Have you decided what your New Year resolution will be? Since January is National Staying Healthy Month, how about striving for overall wellness? When we think of health, often we instantly think of physical health but, according to http://www.definitionofwellness.com there are ten (10) dimensions of wellness: social, occupational, spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, environmental, financial, mental, and medical.

You are your greatest asset and your goal for 2012 should be to become a better and healthier you. We encourage you to choose one of the dimensions of wellness to start improving on today. Check out this link to the National Wellness Institute site which offers a free online wellness assessment http://www.nationalwellness.org/index.php?id_tier=91&id_c=55. After you review your assessment results, you’ll have a better idea of which wellness dimension you should target.

For steps to reach some of the dimensions of wellness, check out the video below.

This year be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to health and wellness; think preventive. Allow your thought process to be, what can I do in the dimension I choose to stay healthy, prevent illness, and prolong my life? Start the new year off on the right foot, and embrace the idea of improving your health and wellness during National Staying Healthy Month.

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