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Monica Endometriosis

What Monica Wants You to Know About Endometriosis

A couple months ago singer-songwriter Monica opened up about a disorder she had been battling in silence. Endometriosis. This health disorder--which uniquely affects Black women--occurs when uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus. This tissue can settle on places like the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and even the intestines. Common symptoms are cramp-like pelvic pain, irregular periods, and infertility. Treatment for endometriosis can vary, but for Monica, it was recommended for her to undergo an “almost 8 hour” long surgery to remove the uterine tissue, cysts, and fibroids that developed as a result of battling endometriosis. Since then, she has been committed to sharing her story in hopes to encourage other women who may be living with the condition, educate those who are unaware, and empower all...

Get Tested for HIV

5 Reasons Why You Should Get Tested for HIV

When it comes to HIV, the only way to be certain of your status is to get tested. And while getting tested can feel like an intimidating or downright scary experience, not getting tested isn’t an option. If you’ve never been tested for HIV or are still deciding here are 5 reason you should: It’s always better to know. Finding out that you have been infected with HIV is a scary prospect to think about. Especially when you’re uninformed and aren’t sure what a diagnosis like that means. Fear stops many people from taking the steps to get tested but the truth is, it’s always better to know whether you have been infected so that you can take the necessary course of action to...

Advocate for Uterine Fibroids

3 Ways to Be an Advocate for Uterine Fibroids

July is Uterine Fibroids Awareness Month. A condition that affects between 80-90%% of black women by the time they reach the age of 50! And while uterine fibroids is a condition that is so common in our community, it is one that isn’t talked about enough and one that many of us suffer in silence. This month, take control of the narrative surrounding uterine fibroids and become an advocate for yourself, your sisters, and your friends. 3 Ways to Be an Advocate for Fibroids Become Aware. So many of us have heard of uterine fibroids but we don’t know much about them. Uterine fibroids are treatable, non-cancerous growths that develop on or around the uterus. They can be painful or painless and are treatable. Simply...

National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Join us in bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS testing in Caribbean-American communities on June 8, 2017 for National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Held during Caribbean Heritage Month, this day is dedicated empowering Caribbean American communities in preventative health and beyond. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Caribbean region has the highest instances of HIV and AIDS infections outside of the Sub-Saharan Africa. And these statistics reach beyond the region to millions of Caribbean-Americans living in the United States. The National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was established to share information, resources, HIV education, and opportunities to the Caribbean-American community. On June 8, 2017, cities across the United States in partnership with the CDC will lead diverse initiatives and activities to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS along with...

HIV Testing

A Complete Guide to HIV Testing

HIV testing is the cornerstone of the conversation around HIV/Aids. We are huge advocates of getting tested regularly and immediately if you think you may have been exposed to the virus. Here's everything you need to know about HIV testing so you can stay prepared and informed. WHO should get tested for HIV? According to the CDC, it is recommended that anyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested in their lifetime. However, if you are a high risk for HIV infection, you should be getting tested annually. People who are high risk include those who have unprotected sex without knowing their partner's HIV status, sharing needles, having an STD, or having intercourse with someone who practices any of the mentioned risk behaviors. Pregnant women, and...

Women and HIV

Women and HIV

We've discussed at length the various symptoms and how HIV affects the lives of those who have become infected with the virus. What we haven't talked about is how women, in particular, are affected by HIV and the unique complications that come along with a diagnosis. Here are a few issues that may affect the health of women in the event of an HIV infection. STI's & STD's  When it comes to women and HIV, there are a few sexually transmitted infections/diseases that affect women who have been diagnosed differently than those who haven't. Those infections and diseases are genital herpes, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease. For each of these infections/diseases, women who have been infected with HIV may take longer to recover, sores make be slower...

HIV Stats

Let’s Talk Numbers: HIV Stats & Data You Should Know

Over the past couple of months we have been sharing all basic information about HIV, prevention, medications, what to do in the event of exposure and much more. Now, we're going to dig a little deeper and take a look at the numbers. Here're the main HIV stats and data that you should know. Although the United States has been making major strides over the years, when it comes to HIV infections, treatments, and quality of life for those who have been infected, it still remains a big medical issue, especially in communities of color. We hear about these things often, but rarely do we get a chance to see the big picture to really understand where we stand when it comes to HIV and AIDS. HIV...

HIV infection

The Basics: Understanding HIV

We've been discussing HIV every week here on Black Girl Health and we understand it can be a lot of information to take in. For those who are just beginning to get informed about HIV, here is some basic info to get started. What is HIV? HIV stands for "human immunodeficiency virus". As its name suggests, HIV is technically a virus that leads to an HIV infection. The term HIV itself is often used interchangeably to discuss both the virus and the infection. It is a virus that attacks the body's immune system making it difficult to fight infections and disease. At the worst stage of an HIV infection is AIDS. How is HIV Spread? HIV is spread through bodily fluids. This can include blood, breast milk, semen, and...

Preventive HIV vaccine

What You Should Know About the Preventative HIV Vaccine

Did you know: a way to proactively prevent HIV is with a preventive HIV vaccine? This vaccine is for people who are not infected and who would like to prevent a future infection. Although this preventive HIV vaccine is currently available, there's a few things you should know before deciding if this prevention method is right for you. If you've done any research on HIV prevention, you may have come across the relatively new option of a preventative HIV vaccine. This HIV vaccine works to train a person's immune system to fight the HIV infection in the case of exposure. Like any vaccine, the preventive HIV vaccine comes with a lot of questions. The main one being, can you actually get HIV from taking the vaccine. Currently,...

African Americans

How HIV Affects African Americans

According a CDC report, African Americans that are living with HIV are less likely than their white or Latino counterparts to receive medical care and treatment. Even though HIV diagnoses have been on the decline, this statistic brings to light how far we have to go when it comes to bridging the gap between medical care and HIV in our communities. The fact that HIV diagnosis rates are steadily declining across demographics is a promising sign of progress. In the Black community specifically there has been a 42% decrease in HIV diagnosis amongst African American women since 2005. However, there are still disparities between African Americans and other ethnicities that remain. For starters, even though Black people make up just 12% of the United States population, they...