Thursday, July 2, 2015

World Hepatitis Day

The World Health Organization (WHO) has marked July 28th as World Hepatitis Day, a day dedicated to spreading awareness about the various hepatitis viruses and prevention programs that can reduce people's risk of getting infected (World Hepatitis Alliance, 2015). For this particular blog post, I wanted to include some information about how Hepatitis C impacts men in the United States and in other parts of the world.

Basic Information about Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that causes liver damage such as fibrosis or cirrhosis (WHO, 2014); the virus is usually transmitted from person to person through unprotected sex, sharing needles, blood transfusions using HCV infected blood, and blood transference between a mother and her baby (WHO, 2014). Individuals with acute HCV can carry the virus from 2 weeks to 6 months; whereas people with chronic HCV can carry the virus for a prolonged period of time (WHO, 2014). Also people with acute Hepatitis C may not exhibit any symptoms while people with chronic Hepatitis C may experience pain around the joints, fever, and vomiting (WHO, 2014). Though there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, people can decrease their risk of contracting Hepatitis C by using condoms during sex and not sharing needles; additionally taking antiviral drugs can decrease the severity of the disease (WHO, 2014).     

Men and Hepatitis C in the United States
Men are at risk of contracting Hepatitis C. In 2013 approximately 29, 718 cases of Hepatitis C were reported in the U.S. (CDC, 2015). Of that number, about 0.7 cases per 100,000 men were diagnosed with Hepatitis C from 2010 to 2012 (CDC, 2013b, p.43). Among the male community, homosexual and bisexual men have a higher propensity to contract HCV (Roth, 2014). Also men with Hepatitis C are at risk of contracting other infections such as HIV (CDC, 2013a).

Men and Hepatitis C in Other Nations
Globally, about 130-150 million people are diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis C (WHO, 2014). Though there are no statistics as to how many men are globally infected with HCV, individual countries have done their own studies as to how HCV have impacted men. The following articles are examples of some studies that have been previously done.

-Switzerland: "Prevalence of Hepatitis C in a Swiss sample of men who have sex with men: Whom to screen for HCV infection?" (

-England: "Hepatitis C in men who have sex with men in London-a community survey" (

-Thailand: "Prevalence and Risk Factors for Hepatitis C Virus Infection among Young Thai Men" ( 

In celebration of World Hepatitis Day, men are encouraged to get tested for various hepatitis viruses including Hepatitis C. Since men with acute HCV may not exhibit any symptoms, they may not be aware that they are carrying the virus (WHO, 2014). Men should speak with their physicians about their risk of contracting HCV and whether they should be tested for Hepatitis C. Additionally, men should discuss with their physician whether they should get vaccinated for other hepatitis viruses such as Hepatitis A or B (WHO, 2014). 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2013a). Viral hepatitis: Information for gay and bisexual men. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2013b). Viral hepatitis surveillance: United States, 2012. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC). (2015). Hepatitis C FAQs for the public. Retrieved from
Roth, E. (2014). Hepatitis C in men: Symptoms, treatments, and more. Retrieved from
World Health Organization (WHO). (2014). Hepatitis C. Retrieved from
World Hepatitis Alliance. (2015). World hepatitis day. Retrieved from 

By: Tyler Moses
Tyler Moses is in the dual library science/ health studies master's program at Texas Woman's University.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Safety First

June is National Safety Month, and it is just in time for the summer! As Health Studies Students, the focus on safety is important in reducing preventable deaths and injuries during all seasons of the month, but the summertime holds certain risks of its own due to activities popular during this time and, of course, the extreme summer heat.

Many students fill their summer weekends with time at the lake, grill outs, and other fun summertime activities. Boating is a common activity in the summer, especially during the upcoming holiday weekends. These activities are enjoyable, but without proper safety behaviors, they may lead to death or injury. Did you know that there are approximately 4,000 accidents and 400 deaths due to boating each year in the United States (CDC, 2012)?  Thankfully, June is National Safety Month and a great reminder to always practice safe behaviors throughout the summer months.

Practicing proper boating safety guidelines are easy and will reduce the risk of injury or death.

 Wear your lifejacket! In 2009, 7 out of 10 boating accident deaths were due to drowning. Almost 90 percent were not wearing a lifejacket at the time (CDC, 2009). Always wear your lifejacket when in a boat.

 Don’t drink and boat! Not only is operating a boat under the influence of alcohol and drugs illegal, it is also as deadly as drinking and driving. Alcohol use is involved in almost a third of all recreational boating deaths (CDC, 2009). Always have a designated driver inside and outside the boat.

 Wear sunscreen! Sun safety is a vital part of boating and summer safety. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes (CDC, 2014). Lather up to prevent skin cancer.

          Hydrate! Dehydration can be dangerous during the hot summer months. Be sure to drink plenty of hydrating fluids while boating to reduce risk of dehydration. The general rule is to drink 6 to 12 ounces for every 10 to 15 minutes of activity in the heat (Cleveland Clinic, 2012). Continue to hydrate after the activity, as well.

Boating safety courses are available online and are recommended to every passenger and operator of a boat. You can find more information about boating safety and safety courses through the National Safe Boating Council website:
Practice these guidelines all year long to reduce your risk of boating death or injury while boating. Play it safe; play it smart.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2009). Stay safe while boating. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Sun safety. Retrieved from
Cleveland Clinic (2012). Avoiding dehydration, proper hydration. Retrieved from

By: Kristi Case. 

Ms. Case is a student in the Texas Woman’s University Master’s in Health Studies program.

Take the test. Take control.

June 27th was established as the National HIV Testing Day. The annual observance is to promote HIV testing across the nation. Every year the theme is “Take the Test. Take Control" (AIDS, 2015).

There are many viruses that affect humans and their health. Our body’s immune system can usually fight off the virus until it is eliminated from our body. Unfortunately the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus our bodies cannot get rid of (HIV/AIDS, 2015). HIV and AIDS was first recognized in the United States in 1981 (Averting HIV and AIDS, 2014).

The most common ways HIV is spread is having sex with someone who has the virus or by sharing needles and syringes with someone who has HIV (HIV/AIDS, 2015). Educating yourself and others on ways to prevent contracting HIV can help decrease the spread of the virus.

The most recent data says there are 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States. Approximately 86% of these individuals have been diagnosed, leaving 14% (1 in 7) of these individuals unaware that they have HIV (Aids, 2015). There are approximately 50,000 people who get infected with HIV every year (HIV/AIDS, 2015).

People think they are not at a high risk for contracting HIV therefore they don’t get tested. CDC recommends healthcare providers make HIV testing part of routine care for people between the ages of 13 and 64 (HIV/AIDS, 2015).
There are several tests that can be administered to check for HIV, most are done at healthcare facilities but there are two options available for use in your home. The tests use an oral fluid sample or a blood sample to check for certain antibodies and antigens produced by your body (HIV/AIDS, 2015).

If an individual finds out they have HIV there are treatment options available. Although HIV cannot be cured, the use of antiretroviral drugs will help in protecting the immune system. The drugs can help you live longer, lower the risk of developing non-HIV related illnesses, and reduce the chances of passing along HIV to other people (AIDS, 2015).

In 2010, President Obama issued the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The vision stated in the strategy is for the United States to be a place where HIV infections are rare, and if it does occur the individual will have the best care available (National HIV/AIDS Strategy, 2013). There were three HIV health outcome goals: reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV, and reducing HIV-related health disparities (National HIV/AIDS Strategy, 2013).

To find locations near you to get tested for HIV please visit:


Averting HIV and AIDS. (December 12, 2014). Retrieved from

HIV/AIDS. (April 29, 2015). Retrieved from

National HIV/AIDS Strategy. (December, 2013). Retrieved from

By: Ashley Taylor, RDH, BSDH

Ms. Taylor is a dental hygienist, who graduated from the Dental Hygiene Program at Texas Woman's University. To further her education, she is working towards a Master's in Health Studies with a focus in dental hygiene.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

We need your help!

We need the help from our faculty, staff and students. TWU Health Studies is conducting a survey to find out what you want to see or have included on the TWU’s Health Studies social media. This is your chance to let your voice be heard. Please click on the link provided and tell us what you think. The survey closes on July 1st. We appreciate your participation.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

TSOPHE Fall 2015 Call For Abstracts

Texas Society for Public Health Education

Fall 2015 Conference

Health Education: Building Partnerships for Prevention and Empowering Communities

Friday, October 23, 2015
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
University of Texas at Austin, Austin Texas
SUBMISSION DEADLINE –Monday, June 15 by 12pm CST

The Texas Society for Public Health Education (TSOPHE) invites you to submit a proposal for a concurrent session or a poster presentation at the TSOPHE Fall 2015Conference.  The conference will be held at J.J. Pickle Research Campus, The University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas on October 23, 2015.

Abstract Sub-Themes:• Advancing Health Education through Technology and Innovations • Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults: Health Needs of the Future Generation • Culture, Diversity, and Health: Local and Global Perspectives • Disparities and Inequity: Health Education and Promotion for Social Justice • Systems, Policies, Research, and Practices: Current Trends and the Future of Health Education

Goal: By the end of the conference, participants will gain an understanding of current trends in health education and upcoming changes impacting the field of public health education including healthcare reform, new policies, innovative technology, advocacy, research and health coaching.

Conference Objectives:
§ Identify emerging trends and challenges surrounding health promotion and disease prevention across the lifespan.
§ Explore evidence-based methods and strategies for improving health through community engagement and empowerment.
§ Examine cross-sector collaborations in public health education that promote health equity in minority or under-represented populations.
§ Incorporate innovative health communications and technology to improve health promotion outreach, research, teaching, and practice.
§ Advocate for public health education by fostering improvements in individual and population health in order to advance the profession.

Audiences: Health educators, public health professionals, health communicators, researchers, academicians, students and other professions who provide health education

You will be notified by email when your proposal has been received and whether your proposal was accepted or declined.  All accepted proposal recipients will receive a letter of acceptance from TSOPHE along with conference registration information.

Abstract Types:

§  Concurrent/Plenary Session -This type of presentation is 20 minutes for each presenter panelist.  This single session may include a panel of up to three speakers.  Proposals must include:
Title, 1-2 learning objectives, 300 word limit abstract, audio/visual needs, and a brief biosketch (one paragraph) for each presenting author.
§  Poster Session - Poster sessions will illustrate research findings/projects during lunch/breaks. Poster abstract must include: Title, 1-2 learning objectives, 300 word limit abstract, and a brief biosketch (one paragraph) for each presenting author.

In order to help the review committee better understand and appreciate the purpose and value of your proposed sharing session, please complete the abstract form on the next page.  If additional space is needed, attach additional pages.  SUBMISSION DEADLINE – Monday, June 15 by 12pm CST

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Valentino or Patricia Horace at email: or

Link to full document coming soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Repost - Career Search Web Resources

With graduation just around the corner as well as many of you looking to change jobs or shift directions, we thought we would share this previous post on career resources on the web. Happy job hunting!

Career Search Web Resources

Education is essential. With education we are getting a glimpse of what our fields entail. From our academic tasks and course seminars we are building a foundation of knowledge of the careers we wish to take part in. Education means gaining knowledge and building credentials and is a crucial in meeting vocational goals. Still, when it comes to establishing oneself in the workforce, earning a degree is only one step in the right direction. Many people, especially students, find that searching for a career and making preparations outside of academia are quests within themselves. When encountered with this reality, several questions come to mind. What are the necessary steps that I need to take to start preparing for a career? When and where should I start looking? Who can I ask for advice the job search and gaining vocational experience? Thanks to the technology of the Digital Age, namely the Internet, we have access to several career-oriented sources. Regardless of the treasure trove of sources, being inundated with information can still make the job search overwhelming. To tackle the issue of wading through the Internet for career resources, a list below gives a brief review of websites that can serve as starting points.

Big Interview - Interactive website designed to help you with interviews. Some features of the website include learning modules that address commonly asked questions within interviews and provide information on the most effective way to gain opportunities for interviews. A practical feature of the website is the audio and visual recording of your performance as you engage in interview questions. This feature of the website is perhaps the most useful in that it allows you not only to practice interviews, but to analyze your performance for improvement. Although there is a cost to register as a user of Big Interview, the website is sure to provide those on the job hunt with the skills and confidence needed to make a great impression for potential employers.

Web Link: - As freelance consultant and site founder Scott Boyd states, the website has “information and lots of it” (, 2013). Jobseekers Advice is an online forum for people on the job hunt. For frequently asked questions about cover letters, resumes and interviews, the website contains articles that provide the answers. Knowledge of the workplace doesn’t stop at gaining entry into the job, but extends to matters such as job promotion and social etiquette amongst bosses and fellow colleagues. In addition to articles, Jobseekers Advice offer guidance through blog posts which also makes a good online podium for career seekers and professional recruiters alike. Granted that the website’s founder warns that the forum is not recruiting agency or a business designed to find careers, Jobseekers Advice is an online source for free advice that can point its visitors in the right direction.

Web Link:

Eddins Counseling Group - The mission of the Eddins Counseling website centers on both the personal and vocational wellbeing of its users. Just as the site offers assistance to improve mental health, it is also dedicated to providing career counseling services. Along with blog posts, website gives links to resources designed to help job seekers search and prepare for their chosen vocation. For web browsers who are looking for more than links to help them on their job search, appointments can be made either online or by phone to schedule a meeting with certified career counselors stationed in Houston, Texas.

Web Link: - Dr. Janet Scarborough Civitelli is a vocational psychologist and career coach. Through the Vocation Village website, she shares her insight on finding a career and achieves both professional and personal success. For those starting out in their search for a career, Dr. Civitelli gives advice concerning education and work experience. Even veterans of the workplace and individuals holding executive positions can benefit from the career coach’s consultation about strategies that can help them reach career goals. In addition to receiving online counseling through the Vocation Village page, Dr. Civitelli welcomes all visitors of the website to ask for guidance by phone as well.

Web Link:

The weLEAD - Want to be a better supervisor? Are you interested in building the foundations to take on any leadership role? If so, the weLEAD might be the right place for job seekers who are willing to take charge and motivate. The website is all about honing the skills necessary to the courier of positive leadership. Discussion forums and articles are available for those who wish to share their inquiries about leadership as well as to gain knowledge from professionals experienced in management. Additionally, the website provides information for seminars and workshops schedules for those who are interested in interacting with leaders, including the website founder, face to face. Though there might be varying costs to the seminars and workshops, the weLEAD website may be a source well worth the time of prospective leaders.

Web Link:

The Internet can be a convenient resource for people on the lookout for jobs. At the same time, one can become flustered sifting through endless links, trying to pick out the trustworthy from the unreliable. In spite of the overwhelming task of career searching through the Internet, the journey to find and prepare for a profession is not impossible. Hopefully, the brief review of the five websites listed above can ensure a successful beginning to finding your place in the workforce.

What Internet sites have you found to be helpful in your job search and why? We'd love to hear from you!

This post was originally written by Whitnee Lowe.

Interested in becoming a health educator? Check out our website and contact us to discuss which program might be the best for you. 

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