Celebs are lining up for HIV testing
On National HIV Testing Awareness Day, Hollywood celebrities and activists are lining up to touch 1 million lives. That’s the number of people Hollywood’s Black elite hope to encourage to take an HIV test so they know their status. Led by the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, The Sentinel newspaper, the NAACP, SCLC and other groups and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, “Test 1 Million” campaign participants also include, Jimmy Jean-Louis (“Heroes”), Tasha Smith (“Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married”), rapper Coolio, Harold Perrineau (“Lost”), Al Reynolds, Darius McCrary (“Family Matters”), Erica Hubbard (“Lincoln Heights”), Oren Williams (“Lincoln Heights”), Zachary Williams (“Roswell,” “The Parkers”), Nicki Micheaux (“Lincoln Heights”), Tequan Richmond (“Everybody Hates Chris”), Landon Brown (“Rock the Cradle”), Nicole Lyons (first female to race professionally in the NHRA Pro Stock and NASCAR Busch Series), recording artist Bobby Tinsley, Brian White (“The Family Stone”, “Stomp the Yard” and “The Game Plan”), NBA veteran Doug Christie & his wife Jackie, Terrel Tilford, Victoria Platt-Tilford, singer Jody Watley, Tasha Smith (“Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married”), Jazmin Lewis (“Barber Shop,” “Good News”), Trenyce (“American Idol” Season 2), Melvin Jackson Jr. Frantz St. Louis (“The Shield,” “Law & Order”), comedian Geoff Brown and : “Eric “Lil E” Wright.” The group will call on 1 million Black Americans to get tested for HIV in the next year. So, what will you do to stamp out HIV/AIDS? And, can you really tell if someone has the disease? Read more at Vital Signs.
Men, Especially Blacks, more often miss their own hypertension
Sure, you think you’re in good health, and that you’ve got it going on. But American men are much more likely than women to be unaware that they suffer from high blood pressure, a new study suggests. And African-American men with the condition are at the highest risk, with only one in seven aware of their illness and able to control it through medication. “The explanation of the disparity, while not clear, isn’t closely associated with perceived discrimination at the doctor’s office, which is a good thing,” said study lead author Ronald Victor, M.D. “The differences also don’t appear to be associated with lack of knowledge about the disease.” Instead, other factors appear to be at work, reports HealthDay.com. Both Whites and Blacks who think they are in good health are especially likely to fail to treat their high blood pressure or even realize they have it, said Victor, chief of the hypertension division at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Researchers have long known that African Americans are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, Victor said. The condition can lead to a variety of ills, including heart attacks, stroke and kidney failure. Still, many have long referred to high blood pressure as the “silent killer” because it often has no outward symptoms. In the new study, designed to examine the causes of the racial disparity, researchers interviewed 1,194 African-American and 320 White adults from the Dallas area between 2000 and 2002 and took consecutive measurements of their blood pressures. No Latinos or members of other racial groups took part in the study. Compared to those without regular doctors, study participants who had a regular physician were almost four times more likely to be aware of their high blood pressure, eight times more likely to undergo related treatment and five times more likely to have the condition under control. Among people with high blood pressure, those who believed they were healthy were “one-third as likely to know they’ve got the condition, half as likely to be treated and two-thirds as likely to have their blood pressure controlled” compared to those who did not believe they were healthy, Victor said. Among both sexes and races, African-American women with hypertension were the most likely to know they had the condition, Victor said. Eighty percent of them were aware, and a third had their condition under control. The findings make sense to Dawn Wilson, a professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina who studies hypertension. Ethnic minorities and the poor often have misperceptions about the health-care system and might actually be aware that they are unhealthy, but deny it because they do not have enough money, she said. Study author Victor suggested doing more to educate men about the importance of regular health checkups. “There’s no such thing as a ‘well-man’ exam, and maybe that’s the issue,” he said. “In our society, women learn to become health conscious in terms of preventive health care, and men don’t have that kind of emphasis from a young age.” The study appears in the June 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.