Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Wonder where the $$$ went?? #TBT

Around this time last year, all of your news and social media feeds were probably covered with people doing or talking about the ALS ice bucket challenge (Throwback Thursday to CauseScience challenges). What ever happened to the hundreds of millions raised for ALS awareness and research?? CNN.com reports this week on what at least one ALS charity, ALS Association, has done with its millions of dollars.

One summer later, the ALS Association says about 40% of the ice bucket money, $47.1 million, has been spent or budgeted toward specific purposes. In time, it says the plan is to pour all $115 million back into five main spending buckets.

Bucket #1: $77 million for ‘research’

Bucket #2: $23 million for ‘patient and community services’

Bucket #3: $10 million for ‘public and professional education’

Bucket #4: $3 million for ‘fund-raising’

Bucket #5: $2 million for ‘external processing fees’

Check out the CNN article for more of a description for each spending category, especially the research section! Overall, it is truly amazing how much money was raised, not to mention the awareness of having this tragic disease all over news, media, and social sites!

Check out this ALSA video while you’re at it!

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Feeling Blue?? Today is World Autism Awareness Day!! #LIUB – light it up blue

Today is World Autism Awareness Day! More info here.

Being a little blue never felt so good. You may have noticed there are a lot of people out there wearing blue today and tweeting selfies with the hashtag #LIUB for “light it up blue.”

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, and even global landmarks like the Empire State Buildingand the Prince’s Palace of Monaco are celebrating with special blue lights for the occasion. TheUnited Nations declared April 2 World Autism Awareness Day in 2007, and we’ve been celebrating it ever since.

It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week!! #NISAW2015

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Check out NISAW website for national and local events, webinars, and tons of info! News article about NISAW here.

Participate in events across the nation to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional and national scales. Locate an invasive species event in your state or county.

Nine Ways You Can Help

  1. Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension officeand the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
  2. Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at PlayCleanGo.org
  3. Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at Habitattitude.org
  4. Don’t move firewood – instead, buy it where you’ll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at DontMoveFirewood.org
  5. Use forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as “weed free.”
  6. Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invaders.
  7. Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks to authorities. Here is a state-by-state list of contacts
  8. Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.
  9. Ask your political representatives at the state, local and national level to support invasive species control efforts.
[tweet https://twitter.com/WYWeedPest/status/570360580168511490]

Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day!! #WAD2014

December 1st, 2014 is World AIDS Day. The theme this year is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.” Visit here for more info on World AIDS day.

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

For a lot more info, events, and lifestream of the Whitehouse Event, visit AIDS.gov. Also check out CDC.gov for much more info on AIDS care and treatment, including the CDC initiative Vital Signs.

Learn Vital Information about HIV Medical Care

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November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month!!

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Credit: Alz.org

Check out the Alzheimer’s Association page for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Also check out the President Obama’s Proclamation, which mentions the Brain Initiative and the governments Alzheimer’s Disease webpage!

Alzheimer’s Association Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures 2014 – Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease. Learn the facts. Help wipe out Alzheimer’s disease. http://www.alz.org/facts

HIV Treatment Works: CDC campaign encourages people with HIV to get and stay in care! #science #HIV

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This saturday is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day! Yesterday CauseScience posted the CDC report finding that half of HIV positive gay men are not receiving adequate treatment. The CDC has recently launched an awareness campaign for all people living with HIV, HIV Treatment Works.

The HIV Treatment Works campaign encourages people living with HIV to Get in CareStay in Care and Live Well. Today, you can live a longer, healthier life by being in medical care and on HIV treatment. People featured in these videos share how they live well with HIV and how you can, too.

The treatments we have for HIV are extremely effective, and are one of the biggest biomedical research success stories in the last few decades. However, these breakthrough treatments are only effective if they are taken. While there are barriers to access treatment, this CDC campaign shows people how to get and maintain care and treatment.

More than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV. This campaign features people from across the United States who are living with HIV talking about how sticking with care and treatment helps them stay healthy, protect others, and live longer, healthier lives.

This campaign shows how people living with HIV have overcome barriers to get in care and stay on treatment.

Check out the HIV Treatment Works website for informative videos, info graphics, and posters and banners to get the word out about this campaign!

CDC report: ~half of HIV+ gay men are not getting proper treatment

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Just a few days ahead of the National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the CDC has issued a report detailing the lack of effective HIV treatment/care among gay men. The report was published in the CDC’s Morbity and Mortality Weekly ReportThe major finding of the report is that about half of gay men living with HIV are not getting adequate treatment. WebMd has a great summary article of the report here.

The research shows that while 77.5 percent did initially get HIV medical care within three months of their diagnosis, only about 51 percent continued getting care on an ongoing basis.

Worse, the report shows that the percent of men getting treatment and achieving healthy ‘viral supression’ is even lower. This is extremely concerning, given that the treatment for HIV is very effective and is one of the great biomedical breakthroughs of this century. Also, it appears that there is an age and race bias, with younger men and Black/African American men having lower levels of care compared with older men and those of all other race/ethnicities. The authors discuss potential reasons for these issues, and conclude that contributing factors likely include lack of health insurance, stigma, and discrimination. This report highlights the need for outreach to increase awareness of testing, treatment, and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS.

All of these numbers fall short of targets from the CDC’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which aims to have 80 percent of infected gay and bisexual men retained in ongoing medical care by 2015.

According to the CDC, gay or bisexual males make up 2 percent of the U.S. population but comprise 52 percent of Americans infected with HIV. Many are unaware they are infected.

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