Friday kicked off the first day of spring, so we’re supposed to be thinking about new beginnings, fresh starts and de-cluttering. For the TJMS, one way we try to freshen up every year is with our annual Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day, which encourages everyone to persuade a loved one to visit a health professional.
I really can’t think of a better thing to dedicate or re-dedicate ourselves to than our health or the health of the people we love. So I encourage you to take the pledge to help those you care about live a longer, healthier life.
It’s no secret that African-Americans suffer disproportionately from a variety of diseases that can be prevented, or at least managed if detected in time, including HIV and AIDS. In fact, African-Americans face the most severe rates of HIV infection in the nation. One in 16 black males will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime, and for black women, that number is one in 30. And the sad fact is that many people living with HIV are unaware that they are infected, so unless they are taking preventive measures, they stand to pass the disease on to many more people.
Everyone reading this knows someone who is being sexually irresponsible, and if that person is you or someone you love, this would be a great time to turn that behavior around – because although the statistics I shared with you are frightening, the good news is there are some things we can do to make a difference, starting with participating in Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day. If you get tested for HIV, only good can come of it. If you don’t have it, you can make sure you never get it by practicing safe sex, and if you do have it, you can begin to do whatever it takes to begin to get healthier and to begin to practice responsible sexual behavior.
Visiting the doctor on a regular or at least a yearly basis is important to everyone, but it’s even more crucial to our community. Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day was designed to reduce the gap in health care between African-Americans and other populations, improve access to health care information, provide information to the African-American community and take an active role in helping the special people you love find health care.
We’ve set the date for Tuesday, April 7th, but it doesn’t have to start or end on that date. In fact, we need to take responsibility for our loved ones by setting up an appointment for our family and friends today. If they do not have a regular doctor or lack health insurance, contact their local community health center or health department to find out about free or low-cost care.
And listen, don’t just show up on April 7th and say, “Tom Joyner told me to bring my loved one to the doctor!” Go through the proper channels; make sure you and your loved one are wearing clean underwear, and don’t complain about the old People magazines in the waiting room. Just pretend like you didn’t now that Star Jones had left “The View.”
It’s time for us to become accountable for the things in life that are important to us, and that means taking charge of our health and making sure the people we care about are doing the same. Make the pledge today to enhance and extend the lives of those you love. And take a loved one to the doctor.
For more information about HIV testing in your area, visit http://www.HIVtest.org.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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