Category: Awareness

Cervical Health Awareness Information and Resources

January has been observed as Cervical Health Awareness Month since 2010. With cervical cancer being the third most common cancer globally, it’s important to be mindful of the health risks and resources available to those in need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 12,000 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and roughly 4,000 die from it annually. As many as 93% of cervical cancers can be prevented by screening and vaccination.

The main cause of cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed between people through sex or any skin-to-skin genital contact with someone who has the virus. HPV is so common that most people will have it at some point in their lives without ever developing symptoms. Up to 90% of cases are cleared naturally by the immune system within two years. There is no way of knowing who will go on to develop health problems.

Some strains of HPV can cause warts around one’s genitals or in their throat, while others can cause normal cells in the body to turn abnormal — potentially developing into cancer over time. Smoking, having HIV, using

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Get a Flu Shot for National Influenza Vaccination Week

This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week in the United States. Established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2005, this week highlights the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holidays and beyond. Vaccines against the flu are the best defense against the virus and developing flu-related complications.

We have previously explored how vaccines work. The influenza vaccine contains elements of killed or inactivated viruses. The dead virus still contains the antigens they had when active, and a person’s immune response is similar to the immune response from an infection. Despite misconceptions, the flu shot can not cause the flu. Due to the quickly-evolving nature of influenza, annual flu shots are often necessary to protect against the circulating variants. No vaccine is 100% effective at preventing infection but vaccines do reduce disease severity, slow transmission, and protect vulnerable people.

We’ve covered the similarities

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An unhoused man holds a sign that reads "Seeking human kindness" on the MBTA

Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Can Change Lives

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is an annual observance when people and organizations across the country draw attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness. While the problems are broad and causes are varied, the solutions that have been shown to work (but are rarely implemented in the United States) are centered around harm reduction as opposed to criminalization.

Homelessness can take many forms, with people living on the street, in encampments or shelters, in transitional housing programs, or staying with family or friends. While the U.S. government reports 1.5 million people a year experience homelessness, other estimates find up to twice this number of people are actually without housing in any given year. Housing can greatly affect access to healthcare, and lack of access to affordable healthcare can equally affect housing.

Being excluded from access to affordable healthcare can be a barrier in itself to getting a job and escaping poverty. Unhoused people face significant

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Resources for Transgender Awareness Week & Remembrance Day

Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity is different from their sex assigned at birth; ‘gender identity’ is one’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both (gender fluid), or neither (non-binary). Gender expression involves expressing one’s gender identity through their social roles, appearance, and behaviors. Many health concerns that transgender people face are due to minority stress, such as discrimination and social/internalized stigma.

Transgender people experience gender dysphoria, a clinically significant distress recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) caused by a person’s assigned birth gender differing from the one with which they identify. This leads to increased depression, which can be exacerbated by being rejected by family and friends, being the victim of abuse/violence, or experiencing discrimination. Gender-affirming operations have shown to yield long-term mental health benefits for transgender people

Transgender people can face

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Resources for National Diabetes Awareness Month

November has been observed as National Diabetes Awareness Month since 1975. In the United States, more than 100 million people are living with diabetes or prediabetes; that’s nearly 1 out of every 11 people with diabetes, with 1 out of 4 unaware they have the condition. Awareness of the disease cannot only prevent future cases for those at risk, but also help raise funds to develop new treatments for those living with diabetes.

There are different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes presents with the body not making insulin, and those diagnosed must take insulin injections every day. Only 5% of those diagnosed with diabetes have type 1, and there is no known method to cure or prevent type 1 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, one’s body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Type 2 diabetes has a number of risk factors:

  • Being overweight;
  • Being 45 years or older;
  • Having parents or a sibling diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; and
  • Being physically active less than three times per week.

Race and ethnicity can affect one’s risk. Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, Pacific Islander, and some Asian Americans are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes. Preventing type 2 diabetes can be as easy as eating healthy

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About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.