BROUGHT TO AN END: WILL WE EVENTUALLY DEFEAT THE AIDS VIRUS

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“Living with it is better than the past, but ending it would be better.”


WHAT IS IT?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is what we call a lentivirus that causes and HIV infection, which over time becomes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The immune system is viciously attacked, which allows for infections to set in causing cancers and other sicknesses that the immune system generally thwarts off. Now, HIV doesn’t kill you, and neither does AIDS, it’s usually pneumonia or a serious cold flu. AIDS brings your T-Cell count below a certain number then you can get seriously ill. But if you are not able to still follow, look below at the pictorial explanation.

ILLUSTRATION

The video above is how HIV becomes AIDS. ©Created by Mitchell Moffit (twitter @mitchellmoffit) and Gregory Brown (twitter @whalewatchmeplz).

LOOK AT THE NUMBERS

Let’s observe the statistics below to better understand the HIV lentivirus that leads to AIDS.

Ethnicity
  • African Americans are the highest proportion of cases in America compared to other groups. African Americans account for 45% of AIDS in America, though African Americans make up on 12% of the country. → CDC

  • Deaths for African Americans as stated by the CDC account for 53% of all deaths that year. (The closest year of accurate data.)

AGE
  • When observing the age of people, we know that the higher group are those in their mid to late twenties. Information is based most accurate from year 2015. The graph below shows the ages of people at a high risk. CLICK CDC

GENDER
  • Some of the most recent data on women living with HIV/AIDS, that only 19% of the cases that were new were women. (2015) CLICK CDC.

IS THERE A CURE

Right now, there is no cure for the HIV virus leading to AIDS. But in the future hopefully there will be something that can turn around the virus. It’s almost as if the virus is learning it’s surroundings at a higher rate than ourselves as people. As ell as the idea that this virus is actually a virus which has been around for a much longer time than we know. Who knows, we may never cure the disease. But as for now, the majority of cases are contracted through sexual intercourse without protection. So the goal has always been the same for years, make sure you wear protection.


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HEALTH FOR THE SOUL: WHY IT’S SO HARD TO EAT RIGHT

abundance, agriculture, bananas

“What’s good for you does not always taste good.”


GOOD EATIN’

One of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do in life is eat right. It’s so hard because all the bad stuff taste so good. How come they can’t figure out how to make good for the soul food taste just as good as soul food? For me, growing up in the family I grew up in, it was always festive to have the family come together for dinners. There would be so much food, you were literally asked to take it home otherwise it would have to be thrown away. But we’re not talking about healthy eating like fruits and vegetables, yet if there were, they even had a nice touch of salt, pepper, or even a sugar additive.

ETHIC CONNECTIONS

Image result for soul foodI come from a predominantly African American family, and we eat a lot. As a matter of fact we eat so much, that as an ethnic group we are more genetically predisposed to sicknesses sometimes stemming from the food we eat. And who can blame us: catfish, meatballs, fried chicken, baked chicken, pork chops, pig feet, rib tips, turkey, ham slices, ham hocks, and that’s just the meat. The vegetables are cabbage, cornbread, yams, sweet potatoes, corn, stuffing, collard greens, and black eyed peas. And if you thinkImage result for soul food desserts that’s a lot, well how about our dessert menus: sweet potato pie, egg pie, chocolate pie, banana pudding, peach cobbler and German chocolate cake.

HEALTH RISK

The health risk stemming from this type of good eating can have long lasting effects on the human body. As a matter of fact African Americans at a much higher risk of illnesses already, but it increases once you observe the food we eat. According to an article on WebMD entitled, “Why 7 Deadly Diseases Strikes Black Most,” it explains the disparities with sicknesses in Black people as oppose to their White counterparts. We are at higher risk of Diabetes, Strokes, Heart Disease, and high blood pressure. So being already susceptible, on top of the food doesn’t make the situation better.

NOW WHAT?

So making sure you not only eat right but also exercise is beneficial in the long run. Because there has to be a fine blend of the two. And yes, even a guy as healthy as myself, I hate having to eat right, but it’s a must that we take care of ourselves. Because the last thing we want is to be a burden on ourselves, or others around us who have to care for us when we get ill.


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FOOD, A TRUE ROMANCE!

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“EAT UP!”

Growing up in my house we always had a lot of food in the refrigerator. Sometimes the door would have a hard time closing because of the food. Yet the only person of my three sisters and I it affected was my mother. Why, well she had to work all day and come home to sleep. We were young and active so the weight didn’t stick. So how do you deal with this; eating is such a natural action. We need food to live, so it can be an addiction that’s tough to kick. Now, as for me, I’ve always had this true romance with food. But, unlike some guys who eat and are couch potatoes, I am active. I have always been since childhood, so the weight doesn’t stick.

But, what about the people who have had so many issues with their weight. Some people are genetically predisposed to gaining weight unlike others. For them, they have to look from afar at all the goodness. Because I’ll eat from a buffet and i’m fine tomorrow. The other guy will need to hire a personal trainer to drop the pounds. Now does that mean I’m a special case, no. It could mean I don’t put on weight as easy. Or, it could also mean that my weight gain could happen later on in life. Now, with all the goodness that food brings, there are just so many sicknesses, even with a guy like me. That’s right a guy that doesn’t gain weight as easy.

It’s not all about how much you eat. It could be what you’re eating as well. As a child even though I didn’t put on the weight, I ate a lot of non-healthy food. Now that I am close 30 years of age, I think more about it. Some people don’t think about their health until later on life. So for me, observing my lifestyle at such a young age is more responsible that not. Another reason for me not eating a certain way is because being African American, we’re already inclined to getting sicknesses outside of food related. So for that reason alone we must watch what we eat as a group. So, in addition to the food you eat, it’s very important to exercise in your daily life. For me, I perform a lot of walking around the city of New York.

In the end, there is nothing wrong with eating good food, just in moderation. See, for me it’s tough because of the family I grew up in and the region of the country. Growing up in the Midwest, there are restaurants everywhere. But I also have Southern roots as well. So for me, I’ll go back home and see people, young people, struggling with weight due to food consumption. Even with so much love for something tasty and delicious, I’ll always have the idea of health in the back of my mind.