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Over Age 50? You Can Still Get HIV



HealthyWomen, the nation’s leading independent nonprofit health resource for women, recently conducted a national survey of more than 4,000 respondents in partnership with the National Caucus and Center of Black Aging (NCBA). The survey assessed people’s understanding of HIV and aging, including diagnosis, treatment, testing, stigma and barriers to care, specifically for those 50 years or older in the United States. Surprisingly, nearly one-third of the respondents incorrectly believe women do not have to worry about getting HIV after going through menopause.

Almost half of those surveyed (46%) also believe older adults who are sexually active with new partners are not at risk of contracting HIV. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018, over half of the people in the United States diagnosed with HIV were 50 and older. 

As the advancement of HIV drugs and treatments continue to become more readily available, the number of people with HIV are living longer and healthier lives. However, despite the fact that life expectancy for those with HIV increased dramatically, 44% of the people surveyed believe that there is little that can be done to treat them once someone has HIV.  

As with other chronic diseases, the success rate for living with HIV includes an emphasis on early diagnosis and access to equitable treatment and care. The majority of respondents (73%) reported being asked by their healthcare provider if they wanted to be tested for HIV; however, only 44% believe they are knowledgeable about transmission, prevention and treatment.  

“Despite the tremendous improvements in HIV drugs that enable most people to live long and healthy lives and manage their symptoms, those living with HIV still age differently than those who are HIV-negative,” said Beth Battaglino, RN-C, CEO of HealthyWomen. “We want to ensure that women understand their risks of contracting HIV and the importance of testing, prevention and treatment.”  

Black Life Texas

Hidden Sugars Served Up to Kids



To reduce childhood obesity, the USDA recently held a comment request this past February for feedback on its proposal to revise long-term school nutrition standards, which includes less added sugars in school lunch and breakfast programs.

They proposed two alternatives: Beginning in the school year 2025-26, allow flavored milk (fat-free and low-fat) at school lunch and breakfast for high school children (grades 9-12) only. Elementary and middle school children (K-8) would be limited to fat-free and/or low-fat unflavored milk. The other alternative is to maintain the current standard, which allows all schools to offer fat-free and low-fat milk, flavored and unflavored, at school lunch and breakfast. 

With over 14 million kids considered obese in the U.S., every little bit helps. For example, most elementary and middle schools offer fat-free chocolate milk. The 8-ounce carton contains about 18 grams of sugar. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children ages 2-18 should have a maximum of 6 teaspoons or 25 grams of sugar daily.

A recent analysis of USDA’s School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study data found that flavored milk is the leading source of added sugars in the school lunch and breakfast programs, contributing almost half of the added sugars in lunches and about 30% of the added sugars in breakfasts.

The proposal states, “This approach would reduce exposure to added sugars and promote the more nutrient-dense choice of unflavored milk for young children when their tastes are being formed.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics says there are so many foods often marketed as “healthy” for kids and families that are unfortunately not great for maintaining a healthy weight or overall health.

Top Foods with Hidden Sugars:

  • Sports drinks and energy drinks
  • 100% juice drinks 
  • Breads and cereals
  • Yogurts and flavored milks
  • Most breakfast foods (cereals, pancakes, waffles, croissants)
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Black Life Texas

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month



Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States. According to the latest research from scientists at the American Cancer Society (ACS), more than 288,000 men will be diagnosed with the disease this year, with close to 35,000 deaths. Black men are two times more likely to die from the disease than white men and have the highest death rate for prostate cancer of any racial and ethnic group. However, when prostate cancer is detected early, the odds of survival are high. More than 3.5 million men diagnosed with the disease in the U.S. are still alive today.

What are the warning signs of prostate cancer?
For some men, prostate cancer may lead to urinary problems, such as having difficulty starting urination or urinating frequently, or pain during ejaculation. These symptoms and signs also occur with non-cancer conditions, so it’s important to follow up with a physician to find out what’s causing these symptoms. If a cancer has already grown beyond the prostate, there may be pain in the hips, back, or other areas. For most people, however, no symptoms indicate prostate cancer and the cancer is diagnosed with a biopsy following an abnormal blood test.

What is the treatment for prostate cancer? This is an exciting time in prostate cancer, with substantial progress in new therapies over the past ten years. When the cancer is still confined to the prostate (localized), surgery (radical prostatectomy) and certain forms of radiation are useful to treat and cure prostate cancer. For men who have a low risk of their prostate cancer metastasizing, active surveillance – in which a patient is closely monitored for signs of cancer progression – can also be an important treatment to consider. When the cancer is more aggressive, other therapies include targeted hormonal pathways, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiopharmaceuticals. 

Is there a screening test for prostate cancer? 

The primary screening test for prostate cancer involves taking a blood sample and testing it for the level of a marker called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Higher levels of PSA in the blood can indicate prostate cancer, but also may be higher in benign conditions such as an enlarged prostate. While regular PSA screening can reduce prostate cancer mortality, there is some controversy since the test can pick up slower-growing cancers that will never lead to harm. An area of active research now aims to make more effective screening approaches, targeting the men at the highest risk of prostate cancer and then safely letting people know they can screen less regularly. 

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Places to Stay Cool



When temperatures rise to potentially dangerous levels, it is important to stay inside an air-conditioned space whenever possible. There are currently over 30 San Antonio locations for the public to use to stay cool. These include:

  • City Libraries
  • Senior Centers
  • Community Centers

NOTE: Via’s Personal Trip Planner can help you find a bus route to a location near you.


Additional opportunities to stay cool include the City’s following free facilities:

  • Splash Pads
  • Swimming Pools

For locations, visitor information, and hours of operation, please visit the Parks & Recreation Department.


Adults over 65, children under 4, and people with existing medical conditions such as heart disease and those without access to air conditioning are at highest risk on days with high temperatures.

Drinking plenty of water and protecting oneself from the sun are critical precautions. Additionally, people should call and check on their neighbors who may be at high risk and ensure access to heat relief and hydration. 

Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are possible health effects. Warning signs of heat stroke include: red, hot, and moist or dry skin, no sweating, a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse, nausea, confusion or acting strangely. If a child exhibits any of these signs, cool the child rapidly with cool water (not an ice bath) and call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles. If you see a child or pet locked in a hot car or in the back of a truck, take action immediately. Jot down the car’s description (including a license plate number). Call the Police Department immediately. If regarding a pet, call Animal Care Services at 311. Per city ordinance, both Police and Animal Care Officers have the right to break a car’s window if a child or animal is endangered inside a vehicle.

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