Getting the word out…

Tag Archives: Health

It’s absolutely no secret natural hair has been a movement for several years, however, lately a lot more persons have been seen sporting the look. Many thinks what we’re seeing now is a confirmation that this is a lifestyle that is very important to a lot of persons, particular those who once thought they had to straighten their hair to “fit in” or”get ahead” in the workspace.

Local bloggers Island Essence are big supporters of the natural hair movement and will this Sunday host their first Natural hair Meet-Up in Jamaica. Here is a video with the full details of the event which happens this Sunday, June 9.



December 1 is celebrated around the world as World AIDS day. Leading up to, and after the day, there is an increase in the number of messages related to HIV education, diagnosis and treatment that are aired. A lot more persons talk about the virus and people get tested to know their status. Compared to the early stages when many misconceptions were popular being HIV-positive is less frighten; in that more information are available, support groups and medical research to help you live positive.

A few years ago, 2006, I met a young man who was living with HIV and interviewed him for the Sunday Gleaner’s Outlook Magazine. The story published on December 10 was my article of marking World AIDS Day that year, I wish to share the article with you in it entirety or you could read it at its original location by clicking here.

The acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/AIDS) are threatening Jamaica’s future as scores of young people fall victim to these deadly diseases. More frightening are the statistics indicating that scores of young people between the ages of 15 and 29 are contracting the virus.

Today, Outlook Youth has decided to shed some light on HIV/AIDS in the form of an interview with someone living with HIV.

Meet 27 year-old Alan,a normal-looking young man, who lives a relatively normal life except that he is living with HIVfor over three years.

Alan, who is not promiscuous, said he was rather surprised when he learnt that he had the virus. “I’m not the promiscuous type. I had expected that to happen to someone else,” he revealed to us. “But that is just how life is.”

According to Alan, everything started out with some minor health problems which he began to worry about. After several tests returned negative, he was advised to do an HIV test. “At first I refused, as there was no way in this world I thought I could have it because I was a faithful partner,” he told Outlook Youth. “Then I remembered when my girlfriend and I had some problems, I had a fling – so I decided to do the test ’cause there was nothing to lose, I thought.

“When the results returned, I thought they had got the samples mixed up, and then when the second test confirmed the first, I was even more stunned than the first time. At that moment, it was as if I was in another world, I didn’t have time to think and again I said the result was wrong. The doctor assured me that it was right and that I needed to accept the truth as that was the only way in which I was going to move forward.

“What was I to do now? It was the end of the road. I thought that there was no hope in life and all had ended. It was best that I had been run over by a truck,” Alan said.

“I knew I had a close-knit family but what would they think? I asked myself. Life was now filled with a lot of questions and doubt. But somehow I would have to reveal to them that I was HIV positive so it was best to do it now,” recalled Alan.

When he revealed it to his family, they were shocked and had a lot of questions for him, some of which he had no answer to. However, they stood by him through everything. According to him, they were the ones who, perhaps, kept him going when he thought of giving up along the way, either by suicide or other means.

Today, Alan, despite his condition, is working assiduously to promote healthy lifestyles amongst youth and other age groups. He believes that being infected with HIV has opened up doors for him and has allowed him to see things in a different perspective.

His advice to teens is, “having sex is fun, but when you have a death ruling and life is limited, that can be depressing … if you can’t withhold, make up your mind to use a condom always.”

Today, Alan is pursuing his dreams by completing a course in psychology.

Name was changed for confidentiality.


Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

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The challenge today is: Would you rather be super intelligent or extremely good looking?
Bonus: What if you could be both, but not at the same time?

This should have been posted yesterday, but I delayed it because I wanted to know what my Twitter followers were thinking and tweeted it. As expected I got some good conversation just by asking the above question. Majority of the persons opined that they would take super-intelligence over super-beauty, as a matter of fact only one person choose the latter.

I just had a conversation with a friend about this said topic and the question to me was, ‘people still ask those questions’?

I’m afraid they do.

For me it doesn’t takes any amount of brain work to say I’ll take super intelligence over being super beautiful. My answer is grounded in several reasons, chiefly by the adage, “a brain is a terrible thing to waste.” Additionally, beauty fades and as we were taught at school the education we gain through being intelligent “will never decay”. With intelligence you can be concur, do and be whatever you want. Fourthly, I believe brain trumps beauty. I’m drawn to intelligence/brains, I find it sexy. Its like those with intelligence just pulls you in, which is the total opposite of the airheads and often times boring folks considered “beautiful”.

Come to think of it what can you do if you’re extremely beautiful/good looking? Perhaps, sit and look good? Or file my nails and do all sort of beauty treatments?

BONUS -If Could Have Both
Is this where reasoning is test, like in a Maths exam? On a serious not, the bonus part of the challenge makes the question much more interesting to look at.

A blend of both isn’t bad, in fact, that’s what I truly want because beauty without substance personify a lack of true beauty in my eyes. While on the other hand intelligence without a bit of beauty often gets ignored for something superficial, like some beauty competition. A clear example of this, I honestly believe, is seen in the plethora of beauty pageants being developed here in Jamaica for every and any possible thing. From my own experience the problem of being just intelligent could easily become a prison for one.

But if its a compulsory thing and we have to choose one and then the other as part of my daily life. I believe I would have to be super intelligent during the day and transform to be super beautiful in the night, where I’ll be the socialite of the town.

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We’re at topic 37 in the WordPress Blog Challenge, today I’m being asked to: Describe the one who got away.

It could be a person, a thing, an idea, anything.

Oh, no! did not just sent me that as my next challenge troday! Are they crazy? Where did they knock their heads? You, stop grinning away…I said to stop it…[Looks at you with warning eyes] You know what that challenge mean don’t you? I got to, not tell you the person’s name, but describe to you who they are. I can see you edging on your seats already and pulling your smartphones closer to ensure you don’t miss out anything. I think I should disappoint you and talk about an idea or something else other than…okay, okay, y’all go easy with me I’m giving into the pressures.

Whew! Y’all are violent!

Reflecting on the topic for today’s challenge I’m having a difficulty choosing which one to choose! So here is the deal, because I can’t put my finger on which on to choose I’m going to tell it all! I’m feeling dizzy, my heart is racing like the horses in English Horse Racing.

Sixth Form
I’m going way down in the annals of history, and when I say way down I mean as far as six years ago when I was only in Lower Sixth Form at Ardenne High. It was my third time like-liking someone and ended up being my second time attempting a relationship. I was National Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the National Secondary Student Council (NSSC), which is a group representing students and student councils bodies across Jamaica that gain legitimacy by an Act of Parliament 1986. In my capacity as NSSC PRO I was often called up on to do several things, this particular day I had organise students from across the Corporate Area to meet at the Ministry of Health Headquarters on King Street to evaluate its STIs & HIV/AIDS Campaign Strategies by the USAID-sponsored JA-STYLE (Jamaica Solution to Youth Lifestyle & Empowerment) project.

The day before the meeting with the JA-STYLE reps I was given a list of persons with phone numbers to call and remind them about the individual, I dial everyone and I spoke with all…BUT there was just one person who’s voice captured my attention. That person was also a little bit iffy about, and because of the voice I told myself I wanted to see them in person. They came the meeting and from that meeting we all were invited to a drama serial workshop to be trained in the Miguel Sabido Methodology, which was accepted by all.

I had seen who I had heard on the phone and I liked who and what I saw. But am a shy dude so you won’t find me taking any gamble. Anyway we ended up getting close, closer and more closer eventually over our training period. We professed our liking for each other, we even started going Maths extra lesson for CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Examination Council), commonly refer to as CXC or Caribbean Examination Council, even though I was in Sixth Form.

Let’s put it that I was doing Maths again. The discussion of sex came up, perhaps I think it was fast, but I was inexperience in that department and as such it was an awkward thing which I tried to avoid. And which perhaps cost me this cool completion, nice personality, matured and experienced person; not long after I was being told we needed time off. Following this they migrated without telling me and I was most hurt…they had gotten away ripping my heart with them. No more would they have been the late night chats, the illegal calls and text during school time and other moments.

First Year at University
First Year at University proved a different experience, even though something similar happen. I like two persons, one was my immediate senior, in that they were a year ahead of me, and the other came in the said year I did. However, I had eyes more for the senior who was Barbadian by nationality, brown, very involved in activities on hall, average height, a conversationalist, respectful, well-mannered, and was fairly easy going.

Being the shy person I’m, I observed, admire, befriended and all possible things I could from a distant for my bajan babe. As it became closer and closer to the end of the academic year I said I had to intensified or at least say “I like you” or something. I wanted to say this more when we were doing this activity on hall and I was lucky to have as my guest in my room…you’re right changing. Following this I did some MSN Stalking, while covering my identity, but when I finally reveal my identity it was too late and my beloved crush was out of the country.

My junior, who I had previously confessed to liking and had told me they saw me as a brother, jeered me. But because I loved them I never felt bad; I guess we’ve grown to have that kind of sibling love.

My final year living on hall was perhaps the most fiery. I had imagine get down with all of three persons; come to think of it some friends of mine would say they known me better than that and it was more ‘imagine’ but that I was ‘fantasising’. Yeah, I guess they might be right about all three, especially since I had stripe all three and do what I had want! And no I’m not committing imagination/fantasy infidelity. Three different characters, three different personality, three different skin tone, occupation…all with one thing in common they were older than I was. I seem to like older persons as my good friend Jhanell Graham would say; so don’t be surprise that I like maturity.

Now I was drawn to all three for different season: one had an entire package and would often subtle (or I thought) flirt with me; one I was exactly sure, I guess sex-deprivation got the most of me; and the final, I was admiring from an event I had went to two years before. The one I subtle flirt with was just too hard a nut to crack, I had invited them out several times and they just wrap me around the finger and eventual turn me down. I just couldn’t learn, even though I said I would never do it again, and then they initiate flirting again. It was a good medicine for the heart and so I play along until they eventual left to complete their Masters.

The second, I laugh every time I think about it, because I still can’t see how this one unfold. It all happen while I was in my last semester living on hall and perhaps following a dream I had of making out with…yeah you got that right. From that dream I had a new target. Yeah, my skin was on fire with curiosity. I wanted to know if all of what my sexually excited dream had reveal to me was what was there. So you know I wanted to see, feel, touch and stripped my target. It took a while before it came around and when it did, damn! Damn, damn!!

Let’s say I got a little overpower, and for me nothing is wrong with that, in fact I find it flirtatious. Losing complete control isn’t my thing and I got to strip, feel, see, but not to have sex has I refuse to engage in intercourse without proper protection and that was the last. The final one I have been admiring from an event I had attended in 2007 really got away when I later discovered a friend of mine had been with and that at the time I was acting on my feeling was courting someone else. Back off was exactly what I did, and am still doing that even though I was asked in a recent phone conversation “why weren’t we together”. Should I pursue?

Now, I go by the title “eternally single” because they all usually “get away” as the Challenge would put it. While I have already initiate conversation to break the “eternally single” bond distance seem to be getting its way. Its okay being single, even though I get pretty annoyed with relatives asking me almost every chance they get, “who are you seeing”.

So that’s how they all got away…

Here are some quotes to end with:

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” — Jim Rohn, (American Speaker and Author. He is famous for motivational audio programs for Business and Life.)

“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.” –Jonathan Larson

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” — Alexander Graham Bell quotes (Scottish born American Inventor and Educator, best known for the invention of the telephone in 1876. 1847-1922)

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A 24-year-old man was acquitted of sexually assaulting a woman who accused him of molesting her because the defense states that he was “sleepwalking” during the crime.

Mathew Nelson of Bloomington was acquitted after about 90 minutes of deliberation Thursday by a McLean County jury. The alleged victim, now 21, testified that she saw Nelson come into her room from the living room where he was sleeping on the couch, after a night of Nelson and herself drinking with friends.

The defense argued that Nelson did not commit the assault but if he did, he was not responsible for his actions because of the sleepwalking condition.
Nelson testified that he recalled falling asleep at the apartment and awakened to punching and yelling by the boyfriend of the alleged victim’s sister. The alleged victim contacted her sister after the alleged assault, and she and her boyfriend came over.

A defense expert, Dr. Neil Feldman, testified sleepwalking is triggered by several factors, including sleep deprivation, alcohol and sleep apnea. He said there is a genetic link to the condition and that sleepwalkers have no memory after the fact.

Defense lawyer Stephanie Wong commented after the trial that

“What is so unfortunate is that this young man suffered under a cloud of suspicion and unrelenting stress for a year before he was acquitted in 90 minutes. The shortness of the deliberations should send a clear message that the State should have carefully evaluated this case before subjecting this young man and his family to this kind of pain.”