Women and Girls Taking Action in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

hivaids-banner_originalWomen and Girls are Taking Action in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Now it’s time for you to decide: What can you do?

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide observance that encourages people to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and raise awareness of its impact on women and girls. It is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesOffice on Women’s Health (OWH). It helps organizations across the country come together to offer support, encourage discussion, and teach women and girls about prevention of HIV, the importance of getting tested for HIV, and how to live with and manage HIV/AIDS.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed specifically on March 10 every year, but OWH encourages organizations to hold events throughout the month of March.

Find out what you can do! Read the OWH Director’s Dear Colleague letter (PDF, 166 KB).

Learn more about National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.


Health Tip: What Triggers Your Migraines?

(HealthDay News) — The exact cause of migraines isn’t fully understood, but experts have identified certain “triggers” that seem to bring on these headaches in many people.

The Womenshealth.gov website says common migraine triggers include:

  • Too much or too little sleep.
  • Missing meals.
  • Changes in weather.
  • Exposure to loud noise, strong smells or bright light.
  • Menstruation-related hormonal changes.
  • Anxiety and/or stress.
  • Certain foods or ingredients, such as caffeine, alcohol, nitrates, MSG, tyramine or artificial sweeteners.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay External link. All rights reserved.

End Violence Against Women

Violence does not hurt only the person who has experienced it. It hurts the whole community. Learn ways you can work to help end violence against women. Here are some suggestions:

  • Call the police if you see or hear evidence of domestic violence.
  • Support a friend or family member who may be in an abusive relationship. Learn more about how to help.
  • Volunteer at a local domestic violence shelter or other organization that helps survivors or works to prevent violence.
  • Raise children to respect others. Teach children to treat others as they would like to be treated.
  • Lead by example. Work to create a culture that rejects violence as a way to deal with problems. Speak up against messages that say violence or mistreating women is okay.
  • Become an activist. Participate in an anti-violence event like a local Take Back the Night march. Tell your congressional representatives that you want them to support domestic violence services and violence prevention programs.
  • Volunteer in youth programs. Become a mentor. Get involved in programs that teach young people to solve problems without violence. Get involved with Choose Respect External link or other programs that teach teens about healthy relationships.
  • Ask about anti-violence policies and programs at work and school. At work, ask about policies that deal with sexual harassment, for example. On campus, ask about services to escort students to dorms safely at night and other safety measures.

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More information on helping end violence against women

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Content last updated May 18, 2011.

Resources last updated May 18, 2011.

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Living A Healthy Lifestyle – Interview With Jane Sutton

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Jane Sutton
Jane Sutton Inside the interview

Jane Sutton is the Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). NPC is an advocacy and support organization for the advancement of the sorority experience. (A sorority is a club for women, usually at a college or university.) Jane chose a career in health care after being inspired by her sister, who had a serious heart condition. Jane helped establish one of the first artificial heart programs at a Humana hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. She will remain chairman of NPC through 2013.Related information

Please read our disclaimer regarding this interview.

An Interview About Living a Healthy Lifestyle: Jane Sutton

In May, the Office on Women’s Health celebrates National Women’s Health Week. This important week reminds women to make their health a top priority. Many women find it hard to take care of themselves because they are busy working and taking care of others. Jane Sutton, a successful professional, wife, and mother, learned early on that healthy eating and exercise would help her achieve all of the things she set her mind to. Read on for tips and suggestions to help you make the most of all the years ahead of you. Learn more about balancing your career and your health in this interview.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a wife, mother, professional, and volunteer. I have been married to my husband, Bob, for 32 years. We have a daughter who is a TV writer in Hollywood. My professional background is in the healthcare industry. Currently, I am the Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference, the umbrella organization for the 26 women’s sororities.

We understand that staying healthy is important to you. When did you first realize that it’s important for busy women to prioritize their health?

In my mid 20s, as a young wife, mother, and professional, I realized that I could not take care of my family and my career without first taking care of myself.

What kinds of exercise tips do you have for working mothers?

Finding time to exercise as a working mother takes commitment, dedication, and the support of your family. You have to determine if it fits better into your lifestyle to exercise early in the morning, during your lunch break, or in the evening. When our daughter was small, I got up early and rode my bike in the neighborhood before the family got up. A lot of women I knew brought their tennis shoes to work and walked with co-workers during their lunch break. I tried going to the gym before going home at night, but that didn’t work for me even though it does work for a lot of women. You have to find what fits for you and stick with it. Now my husband and I get up at 5:00 in the morning and are at the gym by 5:30. It took a while to adjust our ‘internal clocks’ to get up that early, but it fits our lifestyle and the benefits far outweigh the early rise.

In addition to hosting National Women’s Health Week, the month of May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Did you know that being physically active is one of the most important steps that Americans of all ages can take to improve their health? According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans External link, children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Adults should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition External link offers lots of tips for staying active.

What kinds of healthy eating tips do you have for working mothers?

Plan ahead! If you don’t, you’ll eat at a fast food restaurant and we all know what that does for you. On the weekend, I would make a menu for the week and go to the grocery store and buy all the ingredients. Dinners were simple, but healthy. Also, we ate together as a family and shared what happened during the day…an added bonus!

Do you have any tips on how to order healthy when dining out?

Order one meal and split it. Just last night my husband and I had dinner out and split the salad, entrée, and side. Portions are much larger than you need, so this is a great way to keep it in check. Obviously you should avoid fried foods, heavy sauces, and too many sweets.

When you’re overwhelmed with work responsibilities, how do you find a better work/life balance?

I live in central Florida, but we have a weekend retreat in Homosassa, a small town in ‘old Florida.’ Sitting on the dock and watching the boats go by, or going fishing with my husband, puts everything back into perspective for me. It takes away my stress. You have to find what centers you and realize when you need time to regain your balance. If you take care of yourself, everything else will fall into place.

Content last updated May 16, 2012.

Interview contents copyright © 2012, Jane Sutton.

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National Women’s Health Week


National Women's Health Week - May 13–19, 2012

Save the Date!

National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. It brings together communities, businesses, government, health organizations, and other groups in an effort to promote women’s health. The theme for 2012 is “It’s Your Time.” National Women’s Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority. It also encourages women to take the following steps to improve their physical and mental health and lower their risks of certain diseases:
  • Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
  • Get active.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.
Find events in your area!
To learn more about National Women’s Health Week, visit womenshealth.gov/whw.
To send your own personalized e-card, visit womenshealth.gov/whw/activity-planning/e-card.cfm.
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The Sassy MC

Written By, Sassy Shirtz Co-Owner/Co-Creator, The Sassy MC

Depending on your source, the word “reflection” can be defined in many ways.  This 14th century word originates from the Latin word “reflectere” or the act of bending back. The word is also commonly defined as “a thought occurring as a result of meditation”.

Lately, I’ve been exploring both definitions. I’ve been meditating on what I bend back toward others. If what’s received from others is pleasurable this is less difficult, but it can become more challenging when what’s received is perceived negatively. This is when the test begins…

We are powerless over the thoughts and actions of others. We are only in total and complete control of our own. Just because someone acts in an undesirable manner, doesn’t mean you have to “bend back” the same behavior. After all, we really have no idea what’s driving their behavior and more times than not it has absolutely nothing to do with us anyway.

Now, I’m not advocating allowing yourself to be mistreated by others but I am encouraging you to consider your response to their behavior. Just because someone is “cold” toward you, doesn’t mean you have to alter your body temperature. If someone becomes distant, you’re not required to back up too. Consider just standing still instead.

Throughout our lives, we will be confronted with challenging situations. It is at these times that our ability to stay connected to who we are and what we’re about becomes critical. I’ve been using visualization techniques to assist me in staying connected to myself. One technique involves me picturing myself standing in front of a mirror. This serves as a reminder that who and what I see before me is me not the other person, so I am always accountable for my response. The other technique involves picturing myself holding a huge pitcher and “pouring love all over” the situation and/or person. It immediately cleanses the situation.

I would be dishonest if I said I consistently apply these techniques, but having the desire to brings me great joy. Gandhi encouraged us to “be the change you want to see in the world”. I interpret that to mean; the change in all circumstances start and end with me.


Some Folks Just Can’t Help Being Nice, Study Suggests

Kindness may be in your genetic makeup, researchers say.

WEDNESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) — Being nice may be in your genes.

That’s according to a new study that found that genes are at least part of the reason why some people are kind and generous.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Irvine assessed the behavior of people with different versions of receptor genes for two hormones — oxytocin and vasopressin — believed to make people nicer.

“The study found that these genes combined with people’s perceptions of the world as a more- or less-threatening place, to predict generosity,” principal author Micheal Poulin, an assistant professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, said in a university news release. “Specifically, study participants who found the world threatening were less likely to help others — unless they had versions of the receptor genes that are generally associated with niceness.”

Poulin explained that the “nicer” versions of the receptor genes “allow you to overcome feelings of the world being threatening and help other people in spite of those fears.”

The study was released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Psychological Science.

“The fact that the genes predicted behavior only in combination with people’s experiences and feelings about the world isn’t surprising because most connections between DNA and social behavior are complex,” Poulin said.

“So if one of your neighbors seems [to be a] really generous, caring, civic-minded kind of person, while another seems more selfish, tight-fisted and not as interested in pitching in, their DNA may help explain why one of them is nicer than the other,” he noted.

“We aren’t saying we’ve found the niceness gene,” Poulin added. “But we have found a gene that makes a contribution. What I find so interesting is the fact that it only makes a contribution in the presence of certain feelings people have about the world around them.”

More information

The American Psychological Association explains how parents can teach their children to be kind External link.

(SOURCE: University at Buffalo, news release, April 10, 2012)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay External link. All rights reserved.

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