Tuesday, November 29, 2011

World AIDS Day 2011

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. Furthermore it is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today - you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding. You can also show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness. World AIDS Day is also a great opportunity to raise money for NAT and show your support for people living with HIV.

Each year there is a theme attached to World AIDS Day. In 1988, the theme was Communication. Communication is a necessary medicine in maintaining health and being the theme during the first year of inception speaks volumes about the importance of being able to communicate freely. In 2002-2003 the theme was Stigma and Discrimination. These are of importance because stigma and discrimination act as secondary illness that greatly affect persons living with HIV/AIDS. The theme for 2011 through 2015 is "Getting to Zero". Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. “Zero New HIV Infections” and “Zero Discrimination” are likely to spark high impact events from small scale community vigils to nation wide events using the power of  voice and light to get life and death issues the attention they deserve. Many of the organizations that come together to put events to create awareness of the AIDS/HIV epidemic come with their own sub-theme. A notable event in Houston is the upcoming T.R.U.T.H Project. The T.R.U.T.H. Project targets the GLBT community and Allies, focusing on creating self awareness and healing through the use of performance arts and social engagement. Addressing issues important to our community and society, this project highlights national and local artist creating original works that will be presented to the community in an Out Of the Box healing experience. Healing through the ARTS. This installment's theme is addressing the issues of HIV Awareness and Stigma.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

The data regarding Americans living with HIV are alarming. ‎1.2 million Americans who have HIV - the infection that causes AIDS - 20 percent don't know they're infected. That's 240,000 people. People can have the infection for years without developing symptoms. Another reason for the low success rate, only about 40 percent of people with HIV are getting HIV-fighting medications regularly. Worse, only 28 percent have gotten the virus to low levels in their blood. That translates to roughly 850,000 Americans who don't have the virus controlled, Frieden said. Success rates were lowest in blacks and women, he said. ‎"The fact that nearly three quarters of Americans living with HIV still have the virus circulating in their bodies, damaging their brains and immune systems and putting their sexual partner at risk is something we think we can do a lot about," Frieden told Reuters. The report - published Tuesday on the CDC's website - was based on surveys and surveillance reports from 2010 and a study that focused on medical care for people with HIV.

There are several reasons why more people aren't faring better, the CDC said. Some were still early in their treatment before medication took effect. Some dropped routine care because of money or other reasons. For a small percentage of cases, the treatment may not have worked. The key to Getting To Zero, is getting tested! KNOW your STATUS, Get Tested!!!!

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Singledom and the Holidays: What do the Singles DO?

Its Officially the Holiday season, and families are preparing feasts, parents are starting to Christmas shop, newlyweds are beginning their own traditions and you.... you are single, and trying to figure out, how this holiday season can be a little better than last year. After all, you were the family's target, because you are single, and besides your family are celebrating the holidays alone. They call you "lonely". All the while you are thinking, "What the hell is their problem...you arent lonely, you are single and perfectly ok with that notion, why in the hell arent they?" This holiday season, Sweet Tooth Media is pleased to bring you a little humor and insight on exactly what to do to deal with these inquisitive folks we call family.

According to Lemon Drop.com, There are roughly 55 million single women in the U.S. Many of them are with-it, smokin' and smart -- and many with their finger on the pulse of life. But when that certain finger is ringless, even the most self-assured single can dread the shame and rebuke of facing disappointed family during the holidays -- especially when the really hostile ones who found the unlocked liquor cabinet constantly undermine you, demanding to know why you can't scare up a date. It can be downright soul-crushing when you come home empty-handed --– literally! -- no ring on that finger, watching family members' faces crumble in disappointment that you're back another year without any engagement bling.

Traditionally, holiday time is the most ego-eroding of seasons for singles – but it doesn't have to be. If you're armed with a few simple coping strategies when heading home (to the hostile) for the holidays, major blowups can be avoided. (Like when loving parents can suddenly morph into unrelenting interrogators.) These people are presumably the people who gave you life -- now they're the ones essentially draining you of it. Some holiday survival tips for singles:

Get Over It Already

If you have recently broke up with your mate (3 or more months prior to the holiday season) I am certain that you will feel the sting of being alone and wonder what the other person is doing, who they are with and what are they buying their date, mother, or dog for Christmas. You may even wonder if they will call you and say "hi". The best thing to do is get over it. If you were close to the family, send a card with a picture of yourself attached. Certainly, you would want to get all dolled up and make them understand exactly what they are missing. If you want to be really festive, buy your ex a small Christmas gift, symbolizing the breakup, progress since the break up or the future you plan to enjoy without them. Dont dwell on the fact that you two arent together, spend the extra money on yourself. Travel Abroad.  

Take the Heat Off Yourself

When Aunt Mary overzealously tries to foist her single drummer from church onto you, try to extricate yourself from this sticky situation by taking the heat off yourself. Suggest that Mary set him up with her own daughter, who's recently divorced. Tell them firmly to table their crusade to get you hitched until a more appropriate time. Don't let overzealous -- and, yes, well-meaning -- family members crush your otherwise cheery holiday mood or project that pressure onto you to find someone.... Basically, tell Aunt Mary to date her drummer from church herself, and that you have no problem getting a date, you just refuse to be miserable like so many other of your family relatives.

Ditch the Family

If you really just arent in the mood for your family's bullshit and empty opinions...Ditch em'. Instead of eating grandma's dressing straight from her stove have her make you a pan of your own and tell her that you are choosing to celebrate with friends. She will understand that the family can be a pain at times and will quickly oblige. If you dont have many friends to celebrate with, split your time and volunteer. There are several organizations and establishments that would love to have you there, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Have a plan to end the night perfectly doing exactly what you want to do. The next day as you reflect, you will find that you have done something worthwhile, without all the drama that your family brings to holiday festivities.

Confront Your Family, Once and for All

Confront the familial offenders head on and explain that their projected pressure onto you is compounding your insecurities and crushing your self-esteem -- all the while putting undue stress on your relationship with them. Reinforce that although you appreciate their concern, you don't need them to belabor the fact that you're single -- and that their outbursts are backfiring and undercutting you with each insensitive jab.....No NOT really, dont do that. Tell them that if they had a life worth living, they wouldnt be so concerned with yours and that once they live life as free and peaceful as you then and only then will you take advantage of their undying advice.

If none of these things work, over indulge in egg nog and other alcoholic beverages. I hear Kahul;a is great this time of year.
Information obtained from http://www.lemondrop.com/2010/12/13/how-to-survive-the-holidays-single/

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"