It’s been said that if you don’t do things for yourself no one else will. But that’s not always true. Although self-advocacy can’t be overstressed—especially where your health is concerned—sometimes your champion may be a loved one or a stranger who steps in to help on your behalf.
As we said before, it’s partly your doctor’s responsibility to be on top of your health, but you have to do your part too. These five simple tips will help you become your own advocate each time you visit a doctor.
Taking medicine can halt the damage HIV does to your immune system, ultimately helping you live longer and healthier. A little science know-how and advocacy savvy can take you a long way—especially when faced with the big questions of when to start treatment and which meds to use.
While docs can recommend when HIV treatment should start, only you can decide when you’re ready to begin. Self-advocacy and communication with your health care provider can help overcome your questions or concerns.
When the Black AIDS Institute looked at the soaring national HIV infection rates among African Americans, the solution seemed clear: No one can save us but us. To start the rescue mission, the institute mobilized an army of black treatment advocates.
Four years ago, Cedric Sturdevant lay in a hospital bed fighting complications from AIDS. The experience profoundly changed his life. When he recovered, he became an HIV/AIDS advocate to help others affected by the virus.
Your willingness to take action as an advocate could greatly influence your life—and those of millions of people living with HIV. You can attend meetings, sign petitions, make donations, call or write elected officials, volunteer at an AIDS service organization or attend rallies and demonstrations. Whatever your choice of action—Real Health encourages you to get involved—know that you can make a big difference. Below are some of the major HIV/AIDS advocacy groups. Visit their websites or give them a call to see how you can get involved.
Naturi Naughton, who stars on the cable TV show Power, talks about why self-love and empowerment is key for women and girls' health.