Public Housing Health Centers Day August 14 2018

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Housing is Health Care and Charles Drew is doing their part!

Charles Drew Health Centers Inc. (CDHC) has been serving the Omaha area since 1983 and continues providing needed, affordable and accessible health care to people in the greater Omaha community.

Charles Drew is an excellent choice for health care of all kinds and health screenings including, Diabetes, Heart disease, STI testing, and treatment, HIV testing and referral, Cancer and much more along with case management and counseling. They have a sliding fee scale and serve insured as well as un or under insured clients.

Charles Drew has several health care satellite locations scattered through-out the Omaha area with many being right were their clients and prospective patients live and work so access is easy and painless!

An appointment at Charles Drew is the only thing needed, it’s that simple.

Conveniently Charles Drew is located in four Omaha Public Housing sites and has hours that allow for greater access and with little or no transportation concerns involved.

By decreasing or removing barriers altogether patients remain in better health and seek medical attention quicker lessening the long-term effects illness and chronic disease can cause. This also reduces the overall cost in treating patients.

Patients stay healthier when someone cares and Charles Drew is just that, a neighbor, a friend someone who wants health care for all who need it, affordably and with compassion. They continue through their programming to provide services to many in the community who simply wouldn’t have it otherwise.

By the way they have a patient portal so the patient can print records or results. Keep track of appointments and update personal, and communication information like email or text. Excellent for busy or forgetful patients!

What Health Care is Provided at Charles Drew Public Housing Health Centers?

Charles Drew and their staff have brought health care right to where it makes sense, where one lives!

Many wellness health care issues along with any chronic illnesses can be monitored and managed in this environment including regular blood pressure testing and referrals to the Dentist or mental health professionals when and if needed.

Having a presence in the community strengthens the bonds between the client and those providing services.

      "One goes where one knows and trusts to go!"

Once a provider is trusted the patient and provider become allies in promoting healthy behaviors and practices thus increasing the wellness of the entire community.

ON-SITE healthcare services offered at each location:

  • Pediatric medical care
  • Adolescent medical care
  • Adult medical care
  • Geriatric medical care
  • Behavioral health support services
  • STD and HIV/AIDS testing, counseling and treatment
  • Interpreter services
  • Limited transportation services

Referral to the Main Health Center at 2915 Grant Street When Needed

Where the following services are provided:

  • Dental care
  • Pharmacy services
  • Medication assistance
  • Fitness and nutrition services
  • Disabilities assistance
  • WIC (Women Infants Children nutritional support) services
  • Nurse and social work case management
  • Father involvement programs
  • Health education and training classes

You can contact the main Charles Drew location at 402-451-3553, or go to Charles Drew home page for more information or to make an appointment.

Public Housing Health Care Locations

Through their years of dedication Charles Drew has continued to expand their services and offer them to those who live in public housing. Any families that live in the area surrounding one of these facilities are also welcome.

Health care is a community effort and Charles Drew is dedicated to realizing this crucial need for all people in the Omaha area.

CROWN TOWER

5904 Henninger Avenue
(402) 457-1240

FLORENCE TOWER

5100 Florence Boulevard
(402) 457-1241

EVANS TOWER

3600 N. 24th Street
(402) 457-1242

JACKSON TOWER

600 South 27th Street
(402) 457-1243

To get an appointment with Charles Drew please use the following:

  • Medical Services (402) 451-3553
  • Dental Services (402) 453-1433
  • Behavioral Health Services (402) 810-9758
  • Pharmacy Services (402) 451-3244
  • Administration (402) 457-1200

Lily&Q’s say…Public housing is a valuable asset to communities across the United States.
Atlanta built the first public housing units in 1937 and so it began. If it weren’t for these federally funded facilities many people would simply be homeless and left with no recourse.
For people living below the poverty level or are disabled and can’t work public housing meets an important need everyone deserves, a safe, affordable, decent place to live. Especially if one has no or lower income.
When Charles Drew made it part of their mission to get health care to anyone and everyone because each human deserves to have access to affordable, comprehensive, from birth to death health care, the idea grew into becoming a provider in the Public Housing Health Care arena.
Their patients and those who seek testing or screening from their clinics thank them.
The people who found good health care too far away from them to get there on a regular basis thanks them.
The teenager who feels they slipped up and put themselves at risk for an STI or HIV and needs a test NOW, thanks them!
The Mom who has a two-year-old and a new baby accessing cheese and milk from the WIC program really, really thanks them!
And the list goes on and on.
Basically, it comes down to Charles Drew fills the health care niche in a community that since 1983 has been its focus. They continue to offer needed services and referrals to clinics like dentistry, mental health or WIC which can provide other types of “wellness-centered” care through their main location at Grant Street.
The slogan: “Housing is Health Care”, was used to get Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS (HOPWA) to Nebraska around 2002-03 and we were one of the very last states to get these federally offered funds. This also shows what an “uphill” climb this issue has been for Nebraskans living with HIV/AIDS, and how much more there is to do.
It is proven that when a person is in stable housing, has clean water and toilet facilities, along with a place to cook and eat food they maintain a low to no viral load, managing sleep and eating with more regularity help a patient keep appointments with health care providers. All of these contribute to a “lower community viral load”.
The funding from HUD administered through HOPWA along with additional housing funds available through the Ryan White Program people living with HIV are able to access stable housing for the long-run.

When there’s a place to put pills, prepare hot food when needed and a place to poop or puke, we can maintain our own wellness and need less shoring-up from case management or other social services.
It puts US back into control, gives us peace of mind and so we need less mental or physical care, too!

Housing is a Win Win situation – The community wins when a chronically ill person isn’t stressing an already overloaded system with their needs that a dwelling can provide like a fridge or shower and the individual wins because they become a valued, confident member of their community, possibly being the one able to give back someday!
Know your status with STIs and HIV and YOU decrease the probability of becoming a statistic and keep the community you live in healthier too! Do it today YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Healthcare for the Homeless Day August 15 2018

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Charles Drew Homeless Services Provide Care!

Charles Drew Health Care INC. (CDHC) has continued to be a leader in offering health care services to those who are in desperate need of it no matter where they are in the city of Omaha.

Many people but especially those who are homeless never think about the implications of not seeing a doctor when necessary so, chronic illnesses like Diabetes, Heart disease and lung, kidney and liver disease are left unchecked and unmanaged. This is where Charles Drew uses its expertise to offer health care to this population and meet then where they are.

CDHC Mission:

Dedicated to providing quality comprehensive health care in a manner that acknowledges the dignity of the individual, the strength of the family, and the supportive network of the community.

Providing regular hours at two clinic locations as well as a mobile unit Charles Drew’s staff can respond to a population that is vastly under-served when it comes to comprehensive health care. They also seem to find their patients when there is no “known address”. That along with several others being one of the most complex issues for the homeless population, being able to find them.

Charles Drew Health Center Homeless services patients at two clinics

Campus of Hope 1490 N 16th Street

Siena Francis House – 1702 Nicholas.

Services, call (402) 345-9860
Clinics hours:Monday through Friday, 8 – 11:45am and 1-5pm.
The Outreach Mobile Van Program operates on Tuesday and Thursday from 1 – 5pm in the east and south east quadrant of Douglas County servicing patients who are chronically Homeless.
Transportation Program currently services four shelters and rehabs in the Douglas County area.
In-house Patient Advocate assists patients with Medicaid and Disability applications and links to programs and services.
Mental Health services Tuesday and Friday, 8-11:45am and 1-5pm.
Women’s Clinic operates every Wednesday morning from 9am – 12:00pm (noon)

The dedicated Charles Drew staff serving the homeless population in Omaha is a natural fit since they know the needs of the patients in the Homeless clinics as well as in the other clinics they serve and are able to communicate in a way that makes sense for the population.

They offer transportation to and from 4 other homeless facilities and rehab locations to the 2 CDHC health care clinics.

Twice a week their mobile unit goes where the clients are, and offer to the best of their ability, valuable screenings and testing, as well as monitoring illness and chronic disease.

The opening of the two Homeless Clinics give homeless people options when it comes to accessing health care. They can make an appointment at one of the clinics and receive examinations and testing as well as referrals to dentistry or on to another clinic that is able to do more comprehensive diagnosis when needed.

Charles Drew Health Center Homeless – National Health Care for the Homeless Council Needs YOU!

Charles Drew needs the community’s support in both spirit and monetary donations in order to support the work already being done and help to expand services when necessary.

To get involved, give a donation, or to get more information please go to Charles Drew Homeless where you can also find CDHC Homeless staff contact information, too.

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council

Quality. Access. Justice. Community.
The Council is a National membership organization that connects one with peers, specialists, and resources to eliminate homelessness through health care and housing. Join us if you believe that no one deserves to be homeless, and that we can do something about it. Learn More

HCH Day

Please join the Council in recognizing HCH Day on August 15, and celebrate your #HCHValue! Part of National Health Center Week, HCH Day is a time to celebrate the vital work of HCH to meet the basic health care needs of people without homes, eliminate health disparities, and end homelessness.

Lily says…What else can be said?
For those of us who have been really, really close to homelessness at some point in our lives, we still don’t fully understand what really being homeless would mean.
It would be one thing if it were just me, but a partner/husband/wife plus a few kiddos would make the burden of homelessness even heavier.
The first thing to go would be health care.
How would we get to the clinic? Suffer the shame of having no address, phone number or income? Let alone no insurance!
If it were me, an ache or pain would be negligible up against my lover or child in pain, but reacting to it immediately might not even be possible.
Here’s where Charles Drew is a “knight in shining armor” which could easily be a Knight in the Night’s shining armor! Not only do they have open clinics at two locations but twice a week Charles Drew uses a mobile unit that goes into the community to get to their clients, not the other way around. This population is admittedly sicker than most of the community around it so, even though they might require more monitoring and care they usually don’t receive it.
I suppose compliance with meds, or adherence to a regular schedule or even having a way to get water to take pills might be non-existent or limited for a homeless person. What about needing a fridge for meds? Forget it!
Health care in the homeless population is a complicated social, psychological and community issue which doesn’t look like it’s magically going away any time in the near future either.
Chronic disease in the homeless population exacerbates the situation too. Finding a person to give them an HIV diagnosis is hard enough when a name and address are attached to the test, but when only a name is available the DIS (Disease Intervention Specialist) has to use other means to track a person down.
The DIS works with others in the community to find these people when necessary but retention in care is a whole different kettle of fish! What about regular HIV visits to the doctor for a viral load test, HIV drug monitoring and tweaking, or a physical examination? This blog isn’t long enough to even get started!
The work is not done because we’ve yet to get to a ZERO VIRAL LOAD in any community I know of…We must continue to advocate for comprehensive HIV testing, different ways to access health care and most of all we need to support all people in our communities who are struggling and possibly homeless as a result of factors outside their choosing.
You can be the one to give your time, money or by some other means assist Charles Drew in its dedication to help end homelessness in OUR COMMUNITY! They need us to make it work.
And don’t forget getting a test for HIV isn’t painful, cost anything or need to be studied for! Knowing your HIV status empowers you for the future! Do it today YOU COUNT!

A Few HIV related News Updates for July 2018

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CartoonNurseSyringeHIV vaccine elicits antibodies in animals that neutralize dozens of HIV strains

Source: NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary: An experimental vaccine regimen based on the structure of a vulnerable site on HIV elicited antibodies in mice, guinea pigs and monkeys that neutralize dozens of HIV strains from around the world.
Here’s a noteworthy quote: “NIH scientists have used their detailed knowledge of the structure of HIV to find an unusual site of vulnerability on the virus and design a novel and potentially powerful vaccine,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “This elegant study is a potentially important step forward in the ongoing quest to develop a safe and effective HIV vaccine.”
Go here for the entire article
HIV vaccine elicits antibodies in animals that neutralize dozens of HIV strains
Lily says…This article might be a bit over most of our heads scientifically, but there is a great explanation of the two different approaches to developing human vaccine for HIV near the beginning of the article…Before it gets way too clinical for most of us! The NIH (National Institute of Health) is exploring both “schools of thought” as it were, and each of the two research “forks” currently has studies close to enrolling larger human participants in their trials by 2019. We have to stay tuned to what’s on the horizon so now is the time to get some of the basic education under our belt!

Promising therapy’ for alcohol abuse

Source: University of Rhode Island
Summary: Alcohol abuse is among the leading causes of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 88,000 people a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That total is higher than the combined death tolls of HIV/AIDS, gun violence and car crashes. Despite this, current medications are not highly effective in addressing alcohol abuse. A professor is working to change that, and a new clinical trial is right around the corner. Here’s an interesting quote from this article: “Addictions share similar pathways in the brain — food addiction, alcohol addiction, drug addiction. If this drug can block the ghrelin receptor, even if you have high ghrelin level, your ghrelin receptors become numb, and do not respond to the hunger signal,” said Akhlaghi, co-principal investigator on the study. “In 12 patients, there was a statistically significant reduction in alcohol craving and food craving. The main outcome was that the drug was safe and well-tolerated, did not affect alcohol pharmacokinetics, and that there was a significant dampening of the effect of ghrelin.”
Lily says…Interesting but there is more to study here. I do think that one approach might work for one or some like these pills, but not all, and so this pervasive addiction to alcohol continues to challenge health care providers and medical professionals as well as the family members and friends a person with alcohol addiction relies on.
My opinion is this is the World’s biggest addiction substance and the easiest to get including in mouthwash. We can’t ever get rid of alcohol all together and I don’t believe we should have to either but giving humans with various backgrounds and beliefs around alcohol should hear what my Great Grandmother used to say, “Everything in moderation.” which included her shot of vodka and Mogen David Elderberry Wine each night before she went to bed…At least I think it was most nights, and only one shot of each mind you…LOL! Maybe it was her way of a sleeping remedy! All I’m saying is that the habits we perpetuate are the habits we saw perpetuated! Communities have to do their part in alcohol addiction reduction and support research like this which is trying to get to the “bottom of it” and help Communities live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives!

Top 10 Reasons to Participate in a Research Study

  1. You will contribute to the wellbeing of society, and the advancement of medical research
  2. Your quality of health and life may improve
  3. You have an opportunity to learn more about your illness or condition and options for treatment
  4. You may have access to currently approved medications and testing supplies…
    These are just a few considerations when enrolling in a drug trial or any kind of research study for that matter. It’ll make you think and think some more! Go to the full article: Top 10 Reasons to Participate in a Research Study to read the other (6) six reasons and sincerely think about what role you might play in a research study if one interests you in the near future. It’s a question anyone with any chronic illness might need to be aware of especially once they read this entire article!
    Lily says…Well I was on a few drug trials back in my day in the 1990’s. Actually a few of the little lovelies bombed big time like one called Hivid, how fitting of a name huh, and I’m glad of it , too. It deserved a special place in well, hell!
    In about 2000-something or so I did a painful year in order to finally fail the protocol on lopinavir/ritonavir called Kaletra because after starting it within about 2 weeks immediately got one of the most severe side effects but had to continue for the rest of the year anyway. Back then if you started a drug and then you failed it you could never ever try it again. In the case of this lovely Kaletra who’d want to EVER try it again! I AIN’T STUPID! LOL! It made my bones hurt so bad I hate to start or stop walking because that’s when the intense pain came in waves…Until I sat down. Talking about another reason for poor eating habits, this one fit the bill!
    If you can’t get to the food you lose weight granted. If or when you do finally get there, you still have no appetite because of the excruciating trip, several steps from where you started to where the food is, mading you so nauseated you ended up turning around and trying to head back to where you started from or to the toilet to barf if you were lucky enough to have time to make a decision before it was made for you!
    Plus, back then when you were changed from one combo to another pill regime you could only go off it immediately if it was life threatening (I sure thought I’d be better off dead, but that wasn’t enough to quit it…) so I continued for the rest of that year hating my body! Glad those days are over!
    There are a few others like Norvir and Lamivudine, known as (brand name) Epivir, wwhich are still mainstream drugs and since they are both “older” like 1997 & 1994 FDA approved respectively they are cheaper but can cause more side effects as a result, compared to the “one or two pills a-day” regimes most people with HIV take today.
    Yet Norvir saved my life, pure and simple! I was on the test study and received my first pills in the hospital 6 horse pills twice a day. Talk about puking big time in 1995! It came in a plain prescription bottle with an old-fashioned snap on top and had the typed label saying something like “Take as directed with Food. May cause nausea, vomiting and trunkal obesity.”
    What the hell is trunkal obesity anyway? Obviously I could put the pieces together and sure enough I gained 25+ pounds by the time I had been on the drug just a few months, gaining plenty more before it leveled off. I was alive though, and that seemed to me like a miracle, so on I went. I just discontinued Norvir about 2 years ago now. 25+ years or so made a believer out of me for sure…Side effects or not, I am not complaining about the lasting effects of it either…I’m a grandparent for pete’s sake!
    When I originally said yes to drug studies it was to advance treatments for people with HIV because I was passionate and still am about living long enough to possibly see a cure.
    Consider being a test “dummy” yourself if the right study and circumstances present themselves. You don’t have to be the sickest or the youngest or the one with the perfect blood work anymore either. Do what’s right for you and know every little bit helps!

May FLOWERS With Health Awareness Themes May 2018

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AlpineMeadow

Okay “MAY” you win so far this year for Awareness Days, Weeks, Partial-Weeks, Semi-Weeks, Only One DATE in the Month, Monthly Observances, Fixed Days in the Month regardless of any of those days falling on a weekend day, and must I go on? If you want more than one something on a day May is your Month.

There are some very serious awareness themes this month like the debilitating and deadly Huntington’s Disease with links to the disease, it’s progression research directions, and more. It is also
Hepatitis Awareness Month which has helped make curative break-throughs in the last several years possible.

Despite these sobering Awareness themes there are several this month that will make you smile when in context with other Health Awareness themes for May.

Keep up your part in being proactive when it comes to being aware of your own health and the health of others around you…No matter what their size or shape!

Food Allergy Action Month from Consumer Health Digest

Definition: Allergic food hypersensitivity is the adverse immunological reaction triggered when the body mistakenly identifies a food component as a hazardous substance and therefore attacks it. The food constituents that incite such adverse immunological reactions from the body are termed as allergens. Basically if it causes you to react in any way after ingesting something it could be something to stay away from in the future! Wink! Beware…You can instantly get an allergy to something even if it’s like the thousandth time you ate it.
It is estimated that approximately 4% of Americans live with a food allergy and it is also believed this number is low.
What about YOU? Some reactions to allergens will kill a person. What a great way to start out a MONTH for pete’s sake! In fact, the following is one of “those”…

National Celiac Disease Awareness Month from BeyondCeliac.Org

Celiac disease is serious and affects an estimated 3 million Americans, but many still don’t know about it. This month is the time to get educated.
This one SUCKS! We all could use a good understanding of how gluten-free food would greatly benefit the health of EVERYONE’S guts! And I mean EVERYONE! We are WHAT WE EAT! Oh EXCELLENT! The next awareness theme is ONE ANSWER! Just like that in the same month and ALL!

International Mediterranean Diet Month from Oldways.org

One thing you can do is take this Quiz on Mediterranean foods and see if you know a little or a lot on the subject! Then you can start making healthier food choices and give your health a boost!
It’s estimated that in the next 10 years our Primary Care Doc will be able to prescribe a diet that is perfect for, and unique to our own gut bacterium. It’s also predicted that such a diet would dramatically decrease inflammation and disease individually as a result. Sign me UP! By Knowing what I have allergies to, and by eating right I might manage to live longer! Whew!

Now if more teens observed the following month awareness ALL MONTH they’d have no time to worry about the theme following it…

Bike Month from the League of American Bicyclists

Get involved: “From the halls of Congress to the streets of your community, the League is working to make biking better for you. We are the voice of the nation’s 57 million bicyclists, promoting and protecting your right to ride.” Know your local rights and encourage more biking in your community! It not only increases healthier humans it greatly decreases noise and air pollution!
And with your butt in the seat, it can’t be somewhere else…If you know what I mean…Teenagers use bikes and other wheeled means of transportation, so this makes sense that more biking reduces teen pregnancy rates, right? Wink!

National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month from Child Welfare League of America CWLA

U.S. teen pregnancy and birth rates declined over the past two decades and remain at historic lows. Since 1991, the teen birth rate declined by 61%. Teens often use condoms for birth control because they are accessible and inexpensive if not provided free at STI testing locations.
See if we keep them busy they can’t get “Jiggy With IT”! Wink Wink! OH, and the next awareness theme is great for adults and teens alike, especially those of us with teenagers still living under our roofs…!

Better Sleep Month from What Health.Com

Refreshing sleep is of huge importance when staying healthy. As with diet and exercise, sleep is crucial to our physical, emotional and mental health. Inadequate sleep can lead to an increase in blood pressure and stress hormone production; the body can become stressed when it does not get enough sleep. The consequences of poor sleep include reduced concentration, mood swings, irritability, stress, and a weakened immune system. The release of stress hormones can also make it harder to sleep, perpetuating an unhealthy sleep cycle.
See you are screwed if you don’t allow yourself enough sleep! If couldn’t be any simpler than that! You don’t need anything but willingness to get better sleep, either. Sleep has a direct impact on your health body-mind-spirit and is found in many of the other awareness themes highlighted this month. Along with getting Better Sleep, your Boss agrees with the next few awareness themes, too because a healthy employee is a productive employee! Imagine that!

Employee Health and Fitness Month from National Association for Health and Fitness

The goal of GEHFM is to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and their employees through worksite health promotion activities and environments.
’Nuff said. Wait a minute, don’t you wish you had a boss who had fresh juice squeezed every morning, and nutritious catered in food for lunch and snacks throughout the day? A boss who builds a gym on the premises, so everyone could get adequate exercise every day? Dare to dream bosses think of employee’s health but it just might be the “game-changer” for the future generations of workers. This would also decrease the need for the following health awareness theme…Tell that to a Boss and keep your head down and an open path directly to a door when you do, though…They don’t want to believe they cause stroke and heart-attack directly!

National Stroke Month and High Blood Pressure Education Month from the American Heart Association

80% of strokes are preventable! High blood pressure is the most important controllable risk factor. Controlling one directly impacts the possibility of getting the other. Neither of these are anything to mess around with either. Most don’t die of stroke but live disabled for the remainder of their lives. Why would anyone choose it? YOU don’t it comes on one slowly…And then you must live out the consequences.
Stress is controllable and knowing how to reduce it especially in the workplace is within our reach. Is your stressful job going to kill you, might not be a question your boss wants you to answer, but YOU should decide when and if it’s getting to you-Impacting your health in some way-Big ways or small they all count! Do the math for yourself and prevent STROKE! Quit if it will greatly prolong your lifespan! Wink! Oh, and don’t let your boss say that sitting dutifully at your desk will decrease your chances of skin cancer either but read on for how to protect yourself from skin cancers once your de-stress and check your blood pressure!

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month from SkinCancer.Org

If you can SPOT it you can STOP it! With over 5 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 85 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. By raising awareness of the dangers of unprotected exposure and encouraging sun-safe habits, we can change behaviors and save lives.
So don’t be afraid of taking a walk when you get stressed or feel your blood pressure starting to rise, just remember to sun-protect. Walking does NOT cause skin cancer and is low-impact, reduces blood pressure and anxiety, and you can do it solo or in a group. Noticing that something on your skin has changed is a signal to head off to the Dermatologist for a good overall skin check-up, though. With a high rate of cure, this cancer is nothing to mess around with-The sooner the better! It’s another thing it’s nice to have a partner around for too…They see all of us even the parts we’d rather they wouldn’t! Pick a day each month and carefully cancer screen every inch of the largest organ you have, your SKIN! It should only take about 10 minutes or so once you get the hang of it and is PRICELESS when it comes to prolonging your LIFE!

These last few awareness themes for May fit together nicely too. Paying attention to our physical and spiritual health are important to our overall health, but everything affects us mentally more than we realize, so having this awareness theme to keep in mind is crucial to the success of whatever we set out to do for ourselves this year, and into the next.

Good mental health “commands the ship” so keep yours on the right course and help other “ships find port” when need be! Friends notice what’s going on with us sometimes more than family. A sure sign of needing to let someone in is when you’ve done a fantastic job of keeping everyone away! …Just say’in…!

Mental Health Month from NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

For 2018, NAMI will promote the theme of “Cure Stigma” throughout all awareness events, including the dedicated Mental Health Month each May.
This cause is especially important because “One in 5 Americans is affected by mental health conditions. Stigma is toxic to their mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.”
Nothing but the truth here and knowing 1 in 5 is impacted with mental illness means STIGMA must STOP! It is killing US, our kids and people around the world just looking for answers in a time of need. Reach out and touch someone today.

The Lighter Side…

Chip Your Pets Month from The Humane Society of the United States.
It’s worth it when Lulu gets out and ends up in the next county! Far, far away from home, alone, without food or friend…Need I go on? Save yourself the grief and just DO IT!

Lyme disease Prevention Month from LymeDisease.Org
This is a chance for Lyme patients, activists and educators to spread information on how to prevent Lyme and tick-borne diseases, and how to know where and when Lyme disease carrying insects are most prevalent. This is for Humans and their furry pets, alike!

And don’t forget on…
May 17 it’s Pack-Rat Day. That is if you can seriously find your favorite pack-rat. Look carefully under that pile over there…Watch out it’s an avalanche!
May 21 it’s Talk Like Yoda Day. Yes, for the entire day! 24 hours, from dawn to dusk one must, “Talk like Yoda you do!”
May 30: it’s International Hug Your Cat Day. If you don’t have a cat of your own, and no, that fuzzy Miss Kitty looking stuffed pet thingy won’t do here…Find a Friend’s cat to borrow and squeeze on or visit your local Humane Society. A cat “petter” will never be denied, I don’t believe…! Never tried it though since I’m not big on cats myself. Hug one for me while you’re at it, K?

Douglas County Sees Progress In Fight Against STDs, but plenty of work remains

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By Julie Anderson / World-Herald staff writer
Mar 28, 2018

Douglas County Ranks High in STI Transmission

“Adi Pour, director of the Douglas County Health Department, attributed the slowing of the county’s STD rates to local efforts to address the problem early on. While national data for 2017 isn’t yet available, the county’s STD rates in the past have ranked among the highest in the nation.”

Douglas County’s “…Efforts include campaigns to educate young people about sexual health and to increase STD testing and treatment. Leading the way, she said, has been the Adolescent Health Project, launched by the Women’s Fund of Omaha in January 2014.

 Funding from the health project has allowed the county to extend hours at its STD clinic at 41st and Pacific Streets and to conduct testing and education at outreach centers such as city libraries and Metropolitan Community College sites. 

Last year, the county educated more than 22,000 people about STDs and distributed more than 373,000 condoms. Visits to the STD clinic have increased steadily since 2013.

Brenda Council, coordinator of the health project, said the numbers are encouraging. “This is a situation that has existed in this community for nearly 20 years,” she said. “We still rank high per capita in the nation, but we’re seeing our work is having an impact.”

The health project also has sponsored several public health campaigns aimed at reducing STD and teen pregnancy rates over the past several years, including educating young people and teaching parents how to talk to them.

More information about STDs, testing locations and related topics including ways to talk to your kids about protecting themselves are available at Get Checked Omaha from Adolescent Health Project and do it TODAY!

Testing Now!

  • Find a testing location closest to you by going to Service Directory of HIV resources.
  • Locate the “Testing” category and you’ll find the list in alphabetical order.
  • Testing is easy and painless unless you get stage-fright and can’t pee in a cup or it hurts too bad when you get a finger prick…
  • Knowing your status makes you more confident in the moment when you need to choose to protect or…Wonder tomorrow and the next day and the next…Should I or…When should I get tested…And for which STI’s?
  • Take the guesswork out of your life and use a condom EVERYTIME and make protection fun!

Lily says…Kids usually don’t think before they do, or there would be no reason for the words “grounded”, “restriction”, or “Lock-down”! Maybe none of these were words used when you were growing up and got in trouble, the kind of trouble that netted something more severe than just a stern talking-to or yelling-at by your parents, but whatever the word(s) were it was the feeling you felt about it all that you remember most. True? I was grounded a few times but like most kids I remember my Mom yelling at me more than the actual grounding itself. The yelling hurt my feelers and the grounding just meant I could hang out in the confines of my room and pretend to be remorseful if a parent popped their head into the room. As I got older restricting me wasn’t the answer, and I know at some point they knew I was on my own. If I chose something that ultimately would get me in to trouble I’d pay the price.
Then came HIV, and I learned another look in my parent’s eyes, disappointment, which was way worse than getting yelled at or restricted ever could be.
I talked to a group the other day and when I said, “I got HIV the “old-fashioned way”. I thought I was in Love like all of you have maybe thought and then broke-up with the voice that provided the words, “But I love YOU…”.
Some took in an uneasy breath. Some stopped breathing all together. They should be nervous. Thinking I was not at risk put me most at RISK!
Getting tested is admitting you errored in reading a situation or person but that’s it.
There is no shame in testing, unless you make it up.
Knowing your status helps you make better decisions and empowers you.
And look it’s like the first time you rode a bike without the help of anyone or anything else-It’s FREEING, and you wondered why it took you so long!
Testing is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, so DO IT TODAY!

April Showers Bring Reasons for HIV/STI Awareness April 2018

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STD Awareness Month

  • As always, the CDC has some useful resources to help kick-start each month and April does this with a BANG…No pun intended! This year’s theme: PATIENTS: YOU MATTER. YOUR HEALTH MATTERS. PROVIDERS: WHAT YOU DO MATTERS. Find plenty of links to valuable CDC resources for Patients who need to know it’s within their power to get the health care they deserve. Knowing what that means starts here with the perfect theme which empowers patients and holds providers accountable. Bookmark this and all other pages in this April 2018 STI Awareness Month Resources article and use it often and when in doubt-Check it out! Use YOUR Voice don’t let “Theirs” be the only one YOU HEAR!
  • The awareness color for STDs and STIs is Light Green. In case you were burning to know! Find more from Personalized Causes and Awareness information. Believe me there’s a color for EVERYTHING, True ‘dat!

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  • This is the 17th year of the promotion of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is: “Embrace Your Voice” to inform individuals on how they can use their words to promote safety, respect, and equality to stop sexual violence…Here is more from
    No More who say, Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault. Take ACTION and start with a SOUND EDUCATION!
  • Get the LOW-DOWN on Misdemeanor Assault in Nebraska from CriminalDefenseLawyer.com. Someone must find their voice in partner violence situations. Be knowledgeable in case you see it or hear someone “near & dear” to you showing signs or hint it’s happening to them. If it’s YOU, PROTECT yourself the best you can, create a plan, get help, figure out how to escape and trust someone-It’s up to you to break the chain of violence!

Couples Appreciation Month

  1. Seems righteous that appreciating your partner should come within the same month as partner violence does just to provide a little levity to the month!
    Couple Appreciation Month was founded in 2010 by Blissful Escapes to, in the words of the company, “encourage couples to do something special to re-enforce and celebrate their relationship.” Since then, the idea has caught on among both couples and singles who want to show their couple friends how much they enjoy their company.
    And yet another reason to buy someone a card, gift or chocolate (Hint, Hint)!
  2. Diamonds are EVERYONE’S BFF so why not consider a good hunk of rock for your SwoopiePoopie? Shop like Warren Buffet and check out
    Borsheim’s who
    proudly partner with world-renowned jewelry designers and artisans to deliver customers the best in design and quality.
  3. And after you spend most all your hard-earned bucks on jewelry from Borsheim’s, you then need to check out the 10 Best Cheap Romantic Getaways from U.S. News & Travel. These less expensive options won’t seem or look like you didn’t spend “Warren Buffet Bucks” either!

National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day April 10 2018

  • Youth between 15 – 24 years of age or so continue to be in the fastest growing age group of people getting STIs and HIV. Since it takes one to give it to another we have to help decrease stigma around testing and encourage anyone at risk to simply get the hardest part over with…WALK into a TEST SITE and TEST! It’s painless unless a little finger prick or peeing in a cup is too much for you! Seriously, take control and be part of the CURE for STIs! Find STDs Facts Statistics from Get Checked Omaha and compares Omaha/Douglas county STI rates to the entire state of Nebraska STI rates. The snapshot isn’t pretty. Look for yourself.
  • Teens use the most condoms of any other age group, and mostly with pregnancy prevention in mind. Find the right condom and lube for you no matter what your age is, here at
    The Ultimate Guide to Condoms and Lube from our friends at NYU Local. It will be an enlightening experience to say the least…Promise!

National Transgender HIV Testing Day – April 18 2018

  • About 1.4 million U.S. adults identify as transgender. Trans women, especially those of color, are at high risk of HIV. Find much more from POZ hoping to educate and activate those at risk for HIV/STI transmission in the trans community. To each their own unless one has an STI or HIV. Don’t be a statistic become part of the CURE! Get tested and treated if need be and take charge of your life!
  • Here is an article on The Importance of National Transgender HIV Testing Day from our friends at NMAC.
    Be there for friends who are at risk, remember that holding hands directly causes FRIENDSHIP!

Nebraska Knows How to HIV/STI TEST-Let Us Show YOU TODAY

Go to our HIV Resources Service Directory and search for the test site closest to you…Or maybe one a little way down the road, so no one else needs to know, until you know.
There is NO SHAME IN TESTING but not knowing might just kill you a lil’bit Everyday…

Lily&Q’s Say…Know your STI status and find out TODAY! Every day is a great time to get tested and since it’s usually FREE and always painless, there is no reason to NOT KNOW where you stand in the “STI transmission tree” (Wink!).
Be a part of the CURE by knowing your own status with HIV & STIs. When you know where you stand with STIs an entire Community around you benefits!
Take condoms with you on your date, into your relationship etc. so you don’t have to have the embarrassing conversation later about who had what, and when…? Know what I mean?
Test, Treat, Educate, Repeat…ONLY when and If Necessary.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 10 2018

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2018 HIV Prevention Starts with Me

Tremendous progress has been made against HIV and AIDS in the U.S., but women remain vulnerable to infection, especially African-American and Hispanic women.

Any woman who has sex can get HIV, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.

Currently, there are 1.1 million people in the U.S. living with HIV, and nearly 1/4 of them are women (23%).

The 2018 National Women and Girls HIV AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) theme “HIV Prevention Starts with Me”, emphasizes the role everyone — women, men, community organizations, health care professionals, those who are HIV-negative, and those who are HIV-positive — play in HIV prevention

There are steps you can take to protect yourself, your partner, family, and neighbors from HIV infection, and it STARTS WITH EACH OF US!

Now Is The Time: 2018

Know your HIV status by getting tested! It’s the first step in taking control of your life and reducing the HIV transmission in your Community.

Do it today. Find a test site near you in Nebraska by visiting our Service Directory for more information and test site search.

Then heed the advice and get into care…

The five stages of the HIV Care Continuum

  1. KNOW YOUR STATUS
  2. CONNECT TO CARE
  3. START HIV TREATMENT
  4. STAY IN CARE
  5. KEEP THE VIRUS UNDER CONTROL

Quick and Dirty: Women and HIV

  • New HIV diagnoses among women and teen girls by race/ethnicity: Blacks/African Americans accounted for 61% of new HIV diagnoses among women, whites accounted for 19%, Hispanics/Latinas accounted for 16%, and other races/ethnicities accounted for 5%.
  • Care data for women living with HIV: Among women living with HIV, 88% received an HIV diagnosis, 64% received care, 50% were retained in care, and 48% were virally suppressed.
  • Care data for women living with HIV: Only about half of the women living with HIV have achieved viral suppression.

Women & HIV Stats from amfAR

These statistics are from amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) and give a snapshot of HIV in the US as well as Globally. The stats show some positive steps forward in the fight against HIV transmission, and what an uphill battle it remains in 2018.

In the United States

  • Women accounted for 19% of new HIV diagnoses in 2015. Of these, 86% were attributed to heterosexual sex and 13% to injection drug use. But among white women, 32% of new HIV diagnoses were attributed to injection drug use.
  • The proportion of AIDS diagnoses reported among women has more than tripled since the early days of the epidemic, from 7% in 1985 to 24% in 2015.
  • Approximately one in four people living with HIV are women.
  • Of the total estimated number of women living with diagnosed HIV at the end of 2014, 60% were African American, 17% were white, and 17% were Hispanic/Latina.
  • African Americans and Hispanics represent 31% of people in the U.S. but they account for approximately 77% of women living with HIV.

Around the Globe

  • In 2016, there were an estimated 17.8 million women living with HIV (aged 15 and older), constituting 51% of all adults living with HIV.
  • HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age (aged 15–44).
  • In 2016, of the total estimated 1.8 million new HIV infections globally, almost 43% were among women.
  • In 2016, new infections among young women (aged 15–24 years) were 44% higher than they were among men in the same age group.
  • In 2016, 11,655 teenagers and young women between the ages of 15 and 24 were infected with HIV every week, the majority in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In some regions, women who are exposed to intimate partner violence are 50% more likely to acquire HIV than women who are not exposed.
  • In 2016, around 76% of pregnant women living with HIV received antiretroviral medicines to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children.

What can you do on March 10?

  1. Talk about HIV and AIDS in your community.
  2. Show your support for women and girls affected by HIV and AIDS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr; and use the hashtags #NWGHAAD and #ICanStopHIV.
  3. Read the Facebook posts and tweets on HIV Prevention Starts With ME campaign from women living with HIV at womenshealth.gov.

Take 2 Women & HIV

In 2016, more than 7,000 women received an HIV diagnosis. Black women are still disproportionately affected by HIV, compared with women of other races/ethnicities.
Nearly two-thirds of women who received an HIV diagnosis in 2016 were black.

Most women who get HIV get it from heterosexual sex. HIV diagnoses attributed to injection drug use (IDU) declined 20% among women overall from 2011 to
2015. But white women experienced a 21% increase in HIV diagnoses attributed to IDU during that time. More than a quarter of HIV diagnoses among white
women in 2016 were attributed to IDU.

Today, there are more options than ever to prevent HIV. Join us in taking action to help all women have the knowledge and tools they need to protect themselves and their partners.

Update: HIV Diagnoses in the United States for the Most-Affected Subpopulations, 2016

Just to give you some perspective, here are some stats that should make you take notice of what the state of HIV is in the United States!

  • Black male-to-male sexual contact = 10,223
  • Hispanic/Latino male-to-male sexual contact = 7,425
  • White male-to-male sexual contact = 7,390
  • Black women, heterosexual contact = 4,189
  • Black men, heterosexual contact = 1,926
  • White women, heterosexual contact = 1,032
  • Hispanic/Latina women, heterosexual contact = 1,025

Source: CDC.

US Dept of Health and Human Services Office on Womens Health History

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH) was established in 1991 to improve the health of U.S. women by advancing and coordinating a comprehensive women’s health agenda.

During the early 1990s, OWH focused on developing women’s health as a specialized issue for government action and attention alongside efforts by partner organizations. These issues included research, health care prevention and service delivery, public and health care professional education, and career advancement for women in health and scientific careers.

Thanks to OWH’s leadership, women’s health is now firmly rooted in the national health landscape and many great achievements have been made in women’s health. Today, OWH focuses on emerging women’s health priorities to meet the needs of women and girls.

Working collaboratively with federal agencies and partners, OWH supports a variety of campaigns, programs, and policies around health disparities, violence against women, HIV and AIDS, trauma-informed care, health across the lifespan, and the provision of health care for women and girls in the United States.

Lily&Q’s say…It was late Fall of 1990 when I got my HIV diagnosis but reading the sobering statistics from 2016 makes me wonder what the 2017, 2018 and so on will look like. Will anything change for the better for Women and Girls having to live with HIV?
Will transmission rates change in the most effected sub populations? Will some of those sub-populations continue on their current trend?
Will time tell or is the damage already done?
Stats only give us a glimpse of the epidemic at any one given moment in time, and that’s the problem.
We know too late by the numbers what population we should and should have been concentrating our “Stop HIV Transmission…” messages toward, so how can we really make a difference for 2018?
We can start with this year’s campaign targeted to all of us!
HIV PREVENTION STARTS WITH ME says it all.
One person gets tested for HIV and knows their status, gets into care or treated for other STIs they might have, and an entire community benefits.
BE THE ONE Today! Know your HIV status, and make the difference for your daughter, sister, friend or…
The hardest thing I have ever, ever done is have to tell my lover I was HIV positive.
A sickening silence hung in the air after I said the words, “I have it…HIV.”
Trust me it sucks to say, and I can only assume hear from someone.
HIV Prevention Starts With YOU…So get off your butt and get tested TODAY!

World Kidney Day March 8 2018

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What is World Kidney Day?

World Kidney Day is an annual global awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and at reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated problems worldwide.

In Short: Kidneys…

  • They get rid of waste products carried in the blood. …
  • They balance the volume of fluid in the body. …
  • They can change blood pressure. …
  • They help in making red blood cells. …
  • They produce active vitamin D.

2018 World Kidney Day Theme

World Kidney Day was first celebrated in 2006 and has gained momentum over the years.

Each year, the campaign highlights a theme. This year the theme is “Women & Kidney Disease”.

Women and chronic Kidney disease (CKD)

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide public health problem with adverse outcomes of kidney failure and premature death. CKD affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and it is currently the 8th leading cause of death in women, with close to 600,000 deaths each year.

According to some studies, CKD is more likely to develop in women compared with men, with an average 14% prevalence in women and 12% in men. However, the number of women on dialysis is lower than the number of men.

Three major reasons:

  1. CKD progression is slower in women compared to men
  2. psycho-socioeconomic barriers such as lower disease awareness lead to late or no start of dialysis among women
  3. uneven access to care is a major issue in countries with no universal access to healthcare

Kidney transplantation is also unequally spread, mostly due to social, cultural and psychological aspects: even in some countries that provide kidney transplantation and equitable treatment for men and women, women tend more often to donate kidneys and are less likely to receive them.

Lupus Nephropathy & Kidney Infection

Some kidney diseases, such as lupus nephropathy or kidney infection (acute or chronic pyelonephritis) typically affect women. Lupus nephritis is a kidney disease caused by an autoimmune disease, which is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and organs.
Pyelonephritis is a potentially severe infection that involves one or both kidneys. Kidney infections (as most urinary tract infections) are more common in women and the risk increases in pregnancy. To ensure good results, as most renal diseases, diagnosis and treatment should be acted on ASAP… Please read on for more on World Kidney Day Women and Kidney Disease

Global Facts: About Kidney Disease

From The National Kidney Foundation with facts from around the world and was originally published in March, 2015. Each item is noted with a reference number and the resources are found after the article.
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  • 10% of the population worldwide is affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD), and millions die each year because they do not have access to affordable treatment.(1)
  • According to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study, chronic kidney disease was ranked 27th in the list of causes of total number of deaths worldwide in 1990, but rose to 18th in 2010. This degree of movement up the list was second only to that for HIV and AIDS.(2)
  • Over 2 million people worldwide currently receive treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive, yet this number may only represent 10% of people who actually need treatment to live. (3)
  • Of the 2 million people who receive treatment for kidney failure, the majority are treated in only five countries – the United States, Japan, Germany, Brazil, and Italy. These five countries represent only 12% of the world population. Only 20% are treated in about 100 developing countries that make up over 50% of the world population. (3)
  • More than 80% of all patients who receive treatment for kidney failure are in affluent countries with universal access to health care and large elderly populations. (2)
  • ŸIt is estimated that the number of cases of kidney failure will increase disproportionately in developing countries, such as China and India, where the number of elderly people are increasing. (2)
  • In middle-income countries, treatment with dialysis or kidney transplantation creates a huge financial burden for most of the people who need it. In another 112 countries, many people cannot afford treatment at all, resulting in the death of over 1 million people annually from untreated kidney failure. (3)
  • In the US, treatment of chronic kidney disease is likely to exceed $48 billion dollars per year. Treatment for kidney failure consumes 6.7% of the total Medicare budget to care for less than 1% of the covered population. (1)
  • In China, the economy will lose US$558 billion over the next decade due to effects on death and disability attributable to heart disease and kidney disease. (1)
  • In Uruguay, the annual cost of dialysis is close to $ US 23 million, representing 30% of the budget of the National Resources Fund for specialized therapies. (1)
  • In England, according to a recent report published by NHS Kidney Care, chronic kidney disease costs more than breast, lung, colon and skin cancer combined. (1)
  • In Australia, treatment for all current and new cases of kidney failure through 2020 will cost an estimated $12 billion. (1)
  • In people aged 65 through 74 worldwide, it is estimated that one in five men, and one in four women, have CKD. (1)
  • Noncommunicable diseases (such as heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease) have replaced communicable diseases (such as influence, malaria, or AIDs) as the most common causes of premature death worldwide. An estimated 80% of this burden occurs in low- or middle-income countries, and 25% is in people younger than 60 years. (3)
  • Chronic kidney disease is a worldwide health crisis. For example, in the year 2005, there were approximately 58 million deaths worldwide, with 35 million attributed to chronic disease, according to the World Health Organization. (4)
  • Chronic kidney disease can be treated. With early diagnosis and treatment, it’s possible to slow or stop the progression of kidney disease.
  • References:

    1] World Kidney Day: Chronic Kidney Disease. 2015; <a href=”http://www.worldkidneyday.org/faqs/chronic-kidney-disease/” rel=nofollow”>World Kidney Day
    2] Jha V, Garcia-Garcia G, Iseki K, et al. Chronic kidney disease: global dimension and perspectives. Lancet. Jul 20 2013;382(9888):260-272.
    3] Couser WG, Remuzzi G, Mendis S, Tonelli M. The contribution of chronic kidney disease to the global burden of major noncommunicable diseases. Kidney Int. Dec 2011;80(12):1258-1270.
    4] Levey AS, Atkins R, Coresh J, et al. Chronic kidney disease as a global public health problem: approaches and initiatives – a position statement from Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes. Kidney Int. Aug 2007;72(3):247-259.

    Kidneys: Facts

    Did you know you don’t need both kidneys to live? Here are 20 interesting facts about your kidneys from the Facts Site:

    1. Kidneys love their blood flow. They reabsorb and redistribute 99% of the blood volume throughout the body, leaving the 1% of the filtered blood to become urine.
    2. Because they love the flow of blood, kidneys have a higher blood flow compared to the brain and liver.
    3. About 25% of all blood from the heart goes into the kidneys.
    4. A baby’s kidney is huge compared to its body weight. Even though it weighs less than an ounce (28 grams), an average baby weighs 7.5 pounds, or 120 ounces (3.4 kilograms).
    5. An adult’s kidney weighs about 5 ounces (142 grams) and is the size of a fist.
    6. Make sure you hydrate: the most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough liquids, especially water. Drink up! Your kidneys will thank you later.
    7. The largest kidney stone ever recorded was the size of a coconut. It weighed a whopping 2.5 pounds (1.1 kilograms).
    8. The right kidney is usually smaller and placed lower in the body than the left kidney. The right kidney sits under the liver, the body’s largest internal organ, which explains why it’s smaller and placed lower in the body.
    9. You don’t need both kidneys. One-half of a kidney can do the work of two, and 75% of one kidney can sustain life comfortably.
    10. If a child is born without a kidney, the other one will grow and weigh the same as two kidneys put together.
    11. Our filtration system should thank these tiny filtering units called nephrons. They remove harmful toxins and excess fluids from the blood to keep you alive.
    12. There are about 1.15 million nephrons in your body. Stretched out from end to end, they are about 5 miles (8 kilometers) long.
    13. You can hold anywhere between 50 and 500 milliliters (1.7-17 ounces) of urine in your bladder.
    14. What’s cooler is that your body waits until your bladder is half-full before you go to the bathroom. Once it reaches the halfway point, your body sends signals to your brain telling you that it’s time to expel the yellow stuff from your system.
    15. Kidneys also activate vitamin D in your body – but only as a last resort. If your skin cells can’t receive vitamin D from the Sun, then your liver takes over. And if your liver can’t produce vitamin D, your kidneys get the job done.
    16. You pee between one and two liters of urine every day.
    17. Your kidneys update your blood very regularly. All the blood in your body goes through your kidneys and is filtered every 30 minutes, which is about 50 times every day.
    18. Kidneys also pump around 400 gallons of blood every day.
    19. The first human kidney transplant happened in Ukraine in 1933 by Yuri Voronoy. Sadly, it failed.
    20. The first successful kidney transplant was done by Joseph E. Smith and his team in Boston in 1954.

    Leaky Links to Help You…!

    And you thought the “Golden Rule” was how you treat others…Here is 8 Golden Rules on World Kidney Day with 8 ways to keep your kidneys healthy.

    Guess what? Apparently, it can whiten your teeth. Ewww!
    Facts About Urine health
    and more interesting facts about pee from our friends at Good Housekeeping-Who would have thought those “Nice People” would come up with this Pee list!

    Here’s a question we are all dying to have an answer to, How long can you go without peeing Really? from Business Insider. Make sense this article is posted in a business mag, too, huh!

    Learn more about the main structures of the kidneys and how they function from MedLine:
    Kidney Maps and Diagrams to bring your kidneys into better focus.

    Lily&Q’s say…Kidneys are the seemingly “last resort” organ in our bodies. Not only are they constantly busy being a “master filter” for our blood, but they also help regulate our blood pressure and release vitamin D if our skin can’t absorb enough for our daily needs.
    Kidneys are like no other organ in our bodies, but usually we don’t know something is wrong with them until it’s way wrong, unfortunately.
    Since they are an organ that “keeps giving” until they are about to totally shut down interventions don’t always give us the best outcomes. Waiting for 3 or more years for a suitable kidney donor match has helped stimulate living donor donations.
    HIV meds are super hard on the liver and kidneys. Medicines are becoming kinder and gentler to our organs while still giving us suppression of HIV, but in some cases the damage is done.
    Now we have to learn to manage the damage, and try and protect them from future assult.
    The most recent loss in my HIV community was someone dying of renal failure. What a painful and crappy way to die. Actually “heart failure” was listed as the 1st cause of his death after HIV/AIDS of course.
    Hey it’s a fact that some of us were doing more than just having unprotected sex when we got HIV like…I don’t know…Drinking or drugging, perhaps, and that sure hasn’t helped!
    Chronic disease conveniently coincides with Chronic Kidney Disease, too…Double Damn!
    Know your HIV status, Protect your Kidneys, and Help reduce the stigma of Addiction Treatment and STI testing. Do it TODAY!

    International Women’s Day March 8 2018

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    What is the point of International Women’s Day?

    International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

    Here is more on the History of Women’s Day

    Each year International Women’s Day gathers momentum. Why? Because women are becoming more empowered than ever before to stand up for their rights and be heard.
    Quotes and memes to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018 from LondonTimes.

    Purple is the official color of International Women’s Day , founded more than a century ago after some 15,000 women marched in New York City to demand
    better working conditions and wages. Why You Should Wear Purple on March 8, 2018 from fortune.com

    Lily says…We could go on and on here, but with the current political climate and the “Me Too” Women’s Movement, I say…’Nuff said!
    Keep up the Good Work for Women, their rights, their space and their bodies.

    National Kidney Month March 2018

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    The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S, dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, as well as tens of millions of Americans at risk.

    Free Screening

    On March 8th 2018 World Kidney Day and throughout the month of March 2018

    National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is offering free screenings to those most at risk for kidney disease, anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney failure.

    Testing locations and information can be found on the calendar at The National Kidney Foundation web site.

    Share your family health history!

    If you’re planning a family reunion, print or download a copy of the Family Reunion Health Guide and watch this YouTube Share your Family History on why it is so important. It provides three ways you can get family medical history, so you ask the questions that will help get the right information.

    With the African American community being at significantly greater risk for kidney disease it makes sense that we use every available time and place to gather information that will be valuable long after we are gone.

    Start filling in the gaps today!

    Kidney Disease Statistics for the United States

    From the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases NIDDK.

    • The overall prevalence of chronic Kidney Disease CKD in the general population is approximately 14 percent.
    • High blood pressure and diabetes are the main causes of CKD. Almost half of individuals with CKD also have diabetes and/or self-reported cardiovascular disease (CVD).
    • More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure. Of these, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis, and roughly 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant.
    • Kidney disease often has no symptoms in its early stages and can go undetected until it is very advanced. (For this reason, kidney disease is often referred to as a “silent disease.”)
    • The incidence rate of End Stage Renal Disease ESRD in the United States rose sharply in the 1980s and 1990s, leveled off in the early 2000s, and has declined slightly since its peak in 2006.
    • Compared to Caucasians, ESRD prevalence is about 3.7 times greater in African Americans, 1.4 times greater in Native Americans, and 1.5 times greater in Asian Americans.
    • Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer. In 2013, more than 47,000 Americans died from kidney disease.

    Understanding All-Things-Kidney!

    A diagnosis of kidney disease means that a person’s kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood the way they should. This damage can cause wastes to build up in the body.

    Kidney disease can cause other health problems, such as heart disease.

    If you have kidney disease, it increases your chances of having a stroke or heart attack.

    Major risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, and family history of kidney failure.

    A Few Fast Facts

    1. The overall prevalence of CKD in the general population is approximately 14 percent.
    2. High blood pressure and diabetes are the main causes of CKD. Almost half of individuals with CKD also have diabetes and/or self-reported cardiovascular disease (CVD).
    3. More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure. Of these, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis, and roughly 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant.
    4. Kidney disease often has no symptoms in its early stages and can go undetected until it is very advanced. (For this reason, kidney disease is often referred to as a “silent disease.”) • The adjusted incidence rate of ESRD in the United States rose sharply in the 1980s and 1990s, leveled off in the early 2000s, and has declined slightly since its peak in 2006.
    5. Compared to Caucasians, ESRD prevalence is about 3.7 times greater in African Americans, 1.4 times greater in Native Americans, and 1.5 times greater in Asian Americans.
    6. Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer. In 2013, more than 47,000 Americans died from kidney disease.

    Reminder on Abbreviations:

    • CKD, chronic kidney disease
    • CVD, cardiovascular disease
    • DM, diabetes mellitus

    The five stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are:

    • Stage 1: Kidney damage with normal kidney function (estimated GFR ≥90 mL/min per 1.73 m2) and persistent (≥3 months) proteinuria.
    • Stage 2: Kidney damage with mild loss of kidney function (estimated GFR 60-89 mL/min per 1.73 m 2) and persistent (≥3 months) proteinuria.
    • Stage 3: Mild-to-severe loss of kidney function (estimated GFR 30-59 mL/min per 1.73 m2).
    • Stage 4: Severe loss of kidney function (estimated GFR 15-29 mL/min per 1.73 m2).
    • Stage 5: Kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant for survival. Also known as ESRD (estimated GFR <15 mL/min per 1.73 m2).

    A deeper Kidney Understanding

    Use the “Reminder on Abbreviations” and the “The five stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)” from above, to help you understand the following Kidney disease factoid list.

    Chronic Kidney Disease

    • Patient awareness is less than 10 percent for those with stages 1 to 3 CKD.
    • Awareness is higher among people with Stage 4 CKD, who often experience obvious symptoms.

    cardiovascular Disease CVD and Chronic Kidney Disease CKD

    1. People with CKD are at high risk for CVD, and the presence of CKD often complicates CVD treatment and prognosis.
    2. The prevalence of CVD is 69.6 percent among persons ages 66 and older who have CKD, compared to 34.7 percent among those who do not have CKD.
    3. Atherosclerotic heart disease is the most frequent CVD linked to CKD; its prevalence is more than 40 percent among people ages 66 and older.
    4. The percentage of people who undergo cardiovascular procedures is higher among those with CKD than among those without CKD.

    Kidney Primer

    • Acute Kidney Injury (AKI): Sudden and temporary loss of kidney function.
    • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Any condition that causes reduced kidney function over a period of time. Chronic kidney disease may develop over many years and lead to end-stage kidney (or renal) disease (ESRD).
    Dialysis:
    Treatment to filter wastes and water from the blood. When their kidneys fail, people need dialysis to filter their blood artificially. The two main forms of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
    End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD):

    Total and permanent kidney failure treated with a kidney transplant or dialysis.

    Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR):
    The rate at which the kidneys filter wastes and extra fluid from the blood; measured in milliliters per minute.
    Proteinuria:
    Condition in which the urine has more-than-normal amounts of a protein called albumin.

    Kidney Transplants – Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)

    1. Less than one-third of the transplanted kidneys were from living donors in 2013.
    2. From 2012 to 2013, there was a 3.1 percent increase in the cumulative number of recipients with a functioning kidney transplant.
    3. Among candidates newly wait-listed for either a first-time or repeat kidney-alone transplant in 2009, the median waiting time to transplant was 3.6 years.
    4. The number of deceased donors increased significantly since 2003, reaching 8,021 in 2013.
    5. The rate of deceased donors among African Americans more than doubled from 1999 to 2013.
    6. In 2012, the probability of 1-year graft survival was 92 percent and 97 percent for deceased and living donor kidney transplant recipients, respectively.
    7. The probability of patient survival within 1-year post-transplant was 95 percent and 98 percent in deceased and living donor kidney transplant recipients, respectively, in 2012.
    8. Since 1996, the probabilities of graft survival and patient survival have steadily improved among recipients of both living and deceased donor kidney transplants.
    Article Source: National Institutes of Health Kidney stats

    Facts About Human Kidneys:

    1. The blood flow in kidneys is higher than the blood flow in heart , liver and brain .
    2. Kidneys measure around 4.5 inches in length.
    3. Kidneys are no bigger than a standard computer mouse or a cell phone .
    4. Each individual kidney weighs around 4-6 ounces.
    5. In case of new born human babies, the kidney to body weight ratio is 3 times the kidney to body weight ratio in adults.
    6. For the adults, kidneys form only 0.5% of the entire body weight.
    7. Exactly half of one single kidney is capable of doing the job that is performed by two kidneys together.
    8. Each individual kidney consists of at least 1 million and up to 2 million nephrons. Nephrons are nothing but very tiny filters that are capable of filtering blood and eliminating waste materials.
    9. In a single hour, kidneys receive around 120 pints of blood.

    Lily&Q’s say…The early days of treating HIV usually involved serious medicines which often left us with other side effects than just barfing a few times or losing our hair.
    Many early drug therapies like most all medicines are eliminated from the body through the liver or kidneys, but the HIV meds were unusually hard to clear and most were given in close to toxic quantities making things worse.
    it was all they knew how to do back then.
    If we were lucky enough to make it through the 1990’s without kidney damage that lead to dialysis we are “knocking on wood”…Not to be confused with the “Wood”…LOL!
    Most people won’t have a symptom of illness with kidney disease until the damage is done, and transplant is the last stage option that isn’t easy to wait around for.
    A couple of things: Encourage your friends, family, etc. to be organ donors. Granted they don’t want people with HIV to donate their organs, but organ donation is painless for the donator…Think about it and it might save one or more lives. A true gift that keeps on GIVING!
    Living organ transplants are possible in some cases as well, and kidneys have a good chance of not being rejected like other organs. Plus Uncle Bob only needs 1/2 of a kidney so…Pleeeaassssee?

    Secondly, try and do the right thing for your kidneys. Take good medical care of yourself. Being on powerful antiretrovirals for years or decades haven’t helped our kidneys at all…let alone if we have any other bad “body-wasting” habits like drinking or drugging. Seek professionals that can help with addiction and the behaviors that make it easy for us to be in bad habits maybe a little more than we should-Wink! For those who have successfully beat back an addiction-MORE POWER TO YOU! Keep your Kidneys happy with kinder & gentler behaviors!

    Lastly know your HIV/STI status. Get prompt and sound medical intervention when an STI shows up and remember if you have any “flavor of an STI” then you are at much greater risk of contracting HIV.
    Make your life about you and TEST for HIV & STIs TODAY – Know Your STATUS!