How You Can Help Make HIV History

Thank you Johnson & Johnson for sponsoring this post. Help make HIV history by clicking here.

Every 2 minutes a young woman contracts HIV. In 2016 1 million people died of HIV-related illnesses globally. Are you ready to #MakeHIVHistory too? #JNJ #ad

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard about HIV.

I was in my 6th grade classroom with my amazing teacher. This was the early 90’s and people were scared and more uncertain. I’m not saying that fear has dissipated but the initial mystery had us all frightened. My teacher gave us a lesson on what it is and how you can catch it, and mainly – all the ways you can’t catch it. I remember that conversation distinctly and how it helped alleviate some of my fear. Little did I know, I’d remember and need my teacher’s words not long after.

When I was 13, a few years later, someone VERY close to me pulled me aside and told me had contracted HIV. I was crushed and heartbroken. This was a family member, and one of the most important people in my life. I feared the unknown in general, but this was a HUGE unknown to me. Over 20 years later, this is still an important cause to me. Every week, over 7,000 young women around the world contract HIV – according to UNAIDS. That means that there’s a new young woman impacted every two minutes. Young women aged 10-24 are twice as likely to contract HIV as males the same age. Today, young people make up over 20% of HIV/AIDS cases in the US, and according to the CDC, young people between the ages of 13 and 24 account for just over one in five HIV diagnoses. This is staggering to me after all this time with what I have learned.

It’s over 30 years later, and HIV is still here. Not only that, 30% of people globally who are HIV positive don’t know that they are. The vast majority of people living with HIV are located in low and middle income countries. There’s an estimated 25.5 million living in sub-Saharan Africa and among this group, 19.4 million are living in East and Southern Africa. This group saw 44% of new HIV infections globally in 2016. 1 million peple died of HIV-related illnesses in 2016, according to the World Health Organization, and almost half of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. Every day, 400 children newly contract HIV, with 290 children dying of AIDS related illnesses, according to UNAIDS – Children and HIV Fact Sheet July 2016.

I made a video at www.MakeHIVHistory.com and you can too:

For more information, you can check out Johnson & Johnson’s Make HIV History page here. Treatments for HIV have improved, including a promising possible HIV vaccine being developed by Johnson & Johnson which they announced at this year’s Global Citizen Festival. For more info:
https://www.jnj.com/innovation/6-surprising-things-you-may-not-know-about-hiv-aids-today
www.jnj.com/progress
http://www.amfar.org/About-HIV-and-AIDS/Facts-and-Stats

Every 2 minutes a young woman contracts HIV. In 2016 1 million people died of HIV-related illnesses globally. Are you ready to #MakeHIVHistory too? #JNJ #ad

Will you join us to make HIV history?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

5 Better Decisions to Make Daily With Tom’s of Maine

Thank you Tom’s of Maine for sponsoring this post.

Why did YOU switch? For me it was my marriage, my kids, my job and my overall sense of feeling good. Here's 5 better things to do daily.#WhyISwitched #ad

I’ve been on an empowering journey for the last year, and I have to tell you why I made the switch to Tom’s of Maine.

Whenever people ask me why I made/am making the switch, it’s always a complicated answer. It’s about being the best ME. It’s for my marriage, it’s for my kids, it’s for my job, it’s for my social life, and it’s for my overall self-satisfaction. There’s a larger answer, though, and it’s because last year I turned the age my father had been when he passed away. Now I’m a year older, but the better decisions and habits haven’t faded, luckily. I love the idea of larger picture decisions and lifestyle changes, but I also recognize that to get there, sometimes it’s a series of baby steps – or small changes. Daily decisions.

Here are five better decisions I make daily, and you can too:

1 – Make the switch from conventional products to more natural products. That’s why I made the switch to start using Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Natural Deodorant. This is the #1 natural deodorant brand with a number of award-winning products. Their Long Lasting deodorants give me confidence by providing odor control in an aluminum-free formula.

Tom’s of Maine has more than 15 deodorants that are free from petrochemicals, artificial fragrances and preservatives.

They never test on animals. Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Natural Deodorant has clinically proven 24-hour odor protection. The ingredients are derived entirely from nature along with hops – to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

It’s available in Lavender, Apricot, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Natural Powder, Unscented, and many other natural scents too! I gave it about 3-7 days for my body to adjust to using deodorant, and I tried out a few scents. Ultimately, it was important to me to make the switch to using more natural products. I’m so glad I made the switch and I feel better than ever.

2 – I drink water, like we all know we’re supposed to drink water, but I do it like I really mean it! And that’s because I do. I probably can’t count the number of ways this is beneficial, but it helps me on every level because it helps every part of our bodies! I have more energy when I drink more water. My skin glows, my sinuses don’t ache, and I feel all around better.

3 – I enjoy my lunch and I eat without distractions. Breakfast is messy and crowded in our house. Dinner is more of the same, but with a bit of an edge! Lunch is a solo act, for the most part, and that’s my time of day to be screen-free. I do read a book while I eat, or I just sit in silence. This change of pace is vital for my well-being to tackle the rest of the day.

4 – Get fresh air as much as you can. I’m lucky in that I have a flexible schedule, but you don’t need one to find ways to get fresh air. It’s important to take those ten minutes every now and then to get outside, no matter the temperature.

5 – Find little ways to be active every day, yes, and if you have the chance – PLAY. There are so many things you probably remember to do every day – like get enough sleep and eat your vegetables, but do you find time to be playful? I’m lucky that I have kids, a dog, and a cat, but it’s a state of mind you can achieve on your own too. And it’s a great way to be active.

To learn more about Tom’s of Maine, visit them online here.

Why did YOU switch? For me it was my marriage, my kids, my job and my overall sense of feeling good. Here's 5 better things to do daily.#WhyISwitched #ad

What do you do to be better every day?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.