Tag: health facts Friday

Flu Season

We’re heading into flu season, and October is a great time to get that vaccination. Though the flu is a relatively normal part of human life, it is important to remember that many people are hospitalized and die every year due to the influenza virus. The flu vaccine helps not only to reduce your chance of catching the virus, but also protects more vulnerable members of our communities. Children and infants, older adults, people who are immunocompromised, and people who are pregnant are all people we are helping to protect when we get a flu vaccine.

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IPV

IPV, or Intimate Partner Violence affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men. Even higher rates of IPV are true for certain populations of people. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the National Organization for Women report that LGBT people and women of color experience higher rates of intimate partner violence, yet those cases are underreported and the people involved do not receive supportive services. Over half of women living with HIV have experienced intimate partner violence.

This month, the Lutheran Settlement House is putting on a rally titled “Men Can Prevent Violence“

October 16, 2019

11:00am – 1:00pm

Thomas Paine Plaza

Learn how to get involved, hear inspiring stories of men’s work to end DV, and enjoy snacks, resources, and entertainment.

The Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-866-723-3014

TTY: 215-456-1529

It is 24-hour, free, confidential, and anonymous

For more information the CDC and The Office of Justice have some reports:

(https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/index.html)

(https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw2018/info_flyers/fact_sheets/2018NCVRW_IPV_508_QC.pdf)

 

 

 

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Mental Illness Awareness Month

The National Alliance on Mental Illness celebrates the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Month. About 1 in 4 adults experience mental illness in a year, and 1 in 17 adults lives with a serious mental illness. Some common symptoms to pay attention to for yourself or people you care about are:

  • Excessive emotions (worry, fear, sadness) including  extreme mood swings
  • Changes in sleeping, eating, or sexual habits
  • Difficulty perceiving reality, or changes in one’s own feelings, thoughts, or personality
  • Multiple physical ailments with no apparent cause (headaches, stomachaches, etc)
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Inability to complete daily tasks, or handle daily stress and emotion

For more information, and specifics on different mental health concerns, a wealth of resources is available at https://www.nami.org/. There are also mental health services at places like the Diana Baldwin Mental Health Center, PHMC Health Connection, The Family Practice and Counseling Network, and other Federally Qualified Health Centers around the city.

CALL THE NAMI HELPLINE: 800-950-NAMI

info@nami.org

FIND HELP IN A CRISIS OR TEXT “NAMI” TO 741-741

 

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Heart Attack Symptoms Vary

The Center for Disease Control cites heart disease as the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Men have a greater risk of heart attack, and tend to experience one at an earlier age. Regardless of gender, prevention through primary care, testing, and heart-healthy activities and diets are important.  Knowing the warning signs of a heart attack can be crucial. People have various warning signs of a heart attack, and in many cases men and women notice different symptoms. Nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, and chest, neck, or back pain are common symptoms. Others can include upper back pain, fainting, indigestion, and extreme fatigue.

Philadelphia Fight’s Men and Boys Health fair is this Saturday, come out and learn about important resources to stay healthy!

https://www.facebook.com/events/556518551554065/

 

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Watch Your Blood Pressure

The CDC puts the prevalence of hypertension, or high blood pressure, at 1 in 3 adults worldwide. That figure is true in the United States as well, according to the American Heart Association. Hypertension increases risk of strokes and heart attacks. The CDC warns that hypertension does not always have warning signs, so it is important to monitor your blood pressure regularly. You can do this at a doctor’s office, a pharmacy, or at home.

Head over to the Critical Path Learning Center on September 26 for a workshop for men on recognizing symptoms and treating hypertension. Register by calling 267-428-7352 or online at critpath.org/community-workshops

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Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month and we want to recognize the work people have done and continue to do to recover from substance use disorders. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.7 million adults struggled with a substance use disorder in 2017. Substance use, treatment, and recovery are impacted by many factors and there are different programs working to address the complicated reality of treatment and recovery.  Collecting and analyzing data related to these complexities helps health professionals to develop and spread specific ways of intervening and supporting people who have more than one medical need. An example is the interaction of drug and alcohol use with HIV on possible transmission risk factors. Another overlap is that the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 24% of people living with HIV also need substance abuse treatment. Having data on the need for overlapping services helps to create a net of care for the people impacted by complex needs.

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Helping Those In Pain

In recognition of World Suicide Prevention day, today we have some information on how to help those we care about. The National Institute for Mental Health suggests these five ways of helping someone experiencing emotional pain. Ask how they are feeling; if they are considering suicide or self-harm. Keep them safe as is appropriate for your relationship and ability. Often this looks like the next three actions: be there for them, help them connect with professional support, and stay connected with your loved one.

The Diana Baldwin Mental Health Clinic (https://fight.org/programs/diana-baldwin-clinic/) at Philadelphia Fight! is one example of a professional resource for someone in need.

Non-crisis support like the Mental Health Partnership’s Peer Chat Line (https://www.mentalhealthpartnerships.org/program-objects/hmp-peerchatline) is confidential and a way to receive support and resources related to your mental health.

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Injection Drug Use and HCV

Injection drug use accounts for most of the incident infections with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the United States. HCV infection is a complex and challenging medical condition in injection drug users. Caring for patients who use illicits drugs presents challenges to the health-care world that require cultural competence, patience, and an understanding of the dynamics of substance use and addiction. Many programs and non-profit agencies are successfully integrating HCV care into health-care settings, however, there are still barriers to proper care for those impacted individuals. Join us next Friday, June 7th, 2019 for our webinar ‘Overcoming Barriers To HCV Care for People Who Inject Drugs’; register here at https://bit.ly/2GsfqcN today!

 

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An Apple a Day

Everybody knows the importance of fruit as a part of a well-balanced diet, but most people do not know just how good fruit is for health physical and mental health. Studies show that increases in the consumption of fruit (and veggies) are linked to increases in mental well-being and life satisfaction. Eating the suggested amount of fruit daily improves the ability for the body to lose weight and heightens brain functions. In addition, a diet rich in fruit reduces the risk of stroke, certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases, and type-2 diabetes. 

 

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HIV Cure Research, part II

In an earlier health fact, we discussed the advances in technology that led us to having effective treatment for HIV however, the search for a cure is important even if we have effective treatment. Significant discoveries about the body’s immune system have been made on the road to finding a cure with some promising attempts to create a vaccine, antibodies, or effective gene therapy. Join us for part II of our HIV Cure Research Update webinars: A Day in the Life of a Cure Research Participant (fight.org/chta). This webinar will explain what volunteers can expect in a cure-focused clinical trial and gain insight from a recent participant of a trial.

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Better Sleep Month

Refreshing sleep is important in staying healthy. May is recognized as Better Sleep Month, which aims to raise awareness about the benefits of sleep and how poor sleep can disruptive our day to day activities. Better sleep does not refer to just the length of time we sleep, but the quality of sleep, environment (uninterrupted, dark room, turning off your electronics and worries)  and a consistent schedule are important as well. Visit bettersleep.org to learn about the implications of the most common sleeping positions, a breakdown of the amount of sleep needed per age group, and more ways to create a better sleep environment.

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HIV Cure Research

Advances in treatment for HIV has made it possible for people with HIV to live long and healthy lives. We now have more tools and technology than ever to navigate the epidemic through treatment, prevention, and education. Many organizations and researchers are pushing for the development of a functional cure. Connect with FIGHT Research if you are interested in a clinical trial to test potential treatments for HIV/AIDS and its complications. Also, join us next Friday for our webinar “HIV Cure Research Update” to learn more about current updates in cure research and the research being conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and The Wistar Institute; register today at fight.org/chta

 

Nutrition for Optimal Living

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Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.

Learn More about Spotlight On
Dr. Karam Mounzer

Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr. Mario CruzDr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.


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