Thursday, June 20, 2013

Interview with Dr. Kimberly Parker about National HIV Testing Day

National HIV Testing Day is June, 27th. We decided to interview Dr. Kimberly Parker about HIV/AIDS to educate you. Dr. Parker is one of our assistant professors in the Health Studies department. Her main topic of research is HIV/AIDS prevention, promotion and advocacy.

How long have you worked with health promotion and advocacy with HIV/AIDS as your target population?

I have worked in the field of HIV and HIV prevention almost 10 years and HIV advocacy work for two years. Although my experience with prevention is more extensive than my advocacy experience, I do believe both are needed to prevent the spread of HIV and to improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

From your research experience, what are the main barriers that prevent individuals from getting HIV testing?

One of the main barriers is fear of knowing one’s status. Another barrier is stigma. Unfortunately, HIV/AIDS is still bears the scars of being a socially stigmatized disease and many are often fearful of knowing their status or having to reveal their status to others. Another barrier to testing is lack of known or perceived risk. Some still see HIV/AIDS as a gay disease or those who are in a serious committed relationship may not see themselves at risk. Therefore, there a subpopulations that might not get tested based on their lack of perceived risk.

If you could communicate to our audience the importance of getting tested on National HIV Testing Day, what would you say?

Of those living with HIV, approximately 18% are unaware of his or her status. HIV testing is very important because the sooner a person is aware of his or her positive status, the sooner a person can start a recommended regime to preserve his or her quality of life by lowering one’s HIV viral load (the amount of the virus in a measureable amount of blood). Also, research has shown that knowing one’s status can lead to a decrease in behaviors that may put on at risk for contracting HIV.

Are there any local resources that you would recommend to our audience to get HIV tested? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sponsors a website that allows a person to search for a STD and HIV testing resource center by zip code. The website is and can provide testing sites within a 10 to 35 mile radius. One can also find information about HIV testing at their local health department and on the CDC’s main website.

What do you see on the horizon for HIV/AIDS?

Research is currently being conducted on the use of biomedical prevention methods to prevent the spread of HIV. One method is PrEP or the use of an HIV drugs such as Truvada, taken prior to possible exposure to prevent the spread of HIV. With PrEP, an HIV negative person that may be at an increased risk for contracting HIV would take the medication prior to any possible exposure to reduce his or her risk of contracting the disease.  Also, more studies are being done on HIV/AIDS in older adults because people with HIV are living longer and healthier lives and, there seems to be an increase in the number of those how contract the virus at later stages in life.

We want to thank Dr. Parker for her time and the valuable information that she has provided to us about HIV/AIDS testing. If you want more information on local events for National HIV Test Day visit for details.

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Showcase: Dr. Parker and HIV

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why We Love Blackboard IM

New Messages

Did you know that TWU has a new online communication tool? Have you tried Blackboard IM? If not, you should. Why you ask? The short answer is, it’s amazing! It is an instant collaboration system that was developed solely to advance campus learning.

Blackboard IM connects you instantly with classmates and instructors enrolled in your course. Additionally, video chat and screen sharing features allows everyone at TWU to easily communicate, share ideas, and collaborate on projects.

Students are also able to get connect with academic advisors who have a Blackboard IM account. So, say goodbye to waiting in lines or making appointments to ask just one question. Now you can just click, type, and be on your way. Both Mr. David Infante and Mr. Hobert Kilgore III typically maintain some virtual hours throughout the week for students.

How do you get a Blackboard IM account? Well, we are glad you asked. It is quite simple to get one. Just sign into your TWU Blackboard account and download the software from your portal page.

Create a Blackboard IM ID:

After you create your Blackboard IM ID, you can download and install the Blackboard IM client. You may perform this step either immediately after creating your account, or at a later time. You log in to the Blackboard IM client using the Blackboard IM ID and password that
you chose when creating your account. Whenever you launch Blackboard IM, the login window appears.

And, that’s it. Your new Blackboard IM account is setup and ready to use. Now, you can start connecting with classmates or instructors on or off campus. Moreover, this is a great way for our distance education students to feel connected to the Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses.

For more information:
Copy and paste the URL below into your browser bar for a brief tutorial  on all of the Blackboard IM features.

Have you used Blackboard IM? Tell us about your experience? Have other questions about Blackboard? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Guest Post: Do It, Dump It, or Delegate It? Decide! Six Steps to Taking Back Your Schedule! by Coach Susan Bohenko

“I just don’t have the time!”  Isn’t that what everyone is saying these days?  That’s a horrible place to be, don’t you think?  Always feeling like you’re running but can never catch up, that there’s always more to do than hours to do it, that you have absolutely no time for yourself!  I like to take a different approach to time-management.   Instead of figuring how to fit more into a client’s day, we try to figure out how to fit more of what she WANTS into her day.  You see, when someone says they are time-challenged there is something missing in her life.  Ask yourself, “If I had one extra hour in my day, how would I spend it?”  That will be a good indicator of what’s missing for you.  Here are some steps you can take to start addressing your own battles with the clock:

  1. Set your goals- Honestly, if you never determine what is truly important in your life, what you value and hold dear, how do you know what you SHOULD be doing?  I recommend clients spend some time thinking about what they want their lives to look like, who they want to be, how they want to live.  Write down those goals.  This is the compass by which you direct your life.
  2. Examine your current schedule-Are there activities you do that do not reflect the goals in your life?  Are there committees or obligations to which you have committed that just don’t fulfill you?  How are you spending your “free” time?  If TV or internet surfing is taking over these precious hours, determine their value based on your goals.  These are the items that need to get dumped! 
  3.  Can you Delegate anything? – Are you doing things that could be done better by someone else, or that you could get help on, or you could pay someone to do?  If your schedule is littered with work that either you don’t like or that you just aren’t good at, consider outsourcing.
  4. Become PRO-active vs. RE- active- If you’re proactive, you create your day, if you’re reactive, your day creates you.  Now that you know what you SHOULD be doing, fill in your schedule with the actions that support those goals.  Since someone will always be requesting a piece of your day, be sure to plan and schedule those important actions first – and don’t let anyone mess with it!  Our schedules are most often sabotaged by us alone!  
  5. Pick one thing you would really like to be a part of your daily or weekly schedule – obviously this is something that reflects your personal goals.    Put that action item into your planner!  
  6. Today it is just as important to schedule down-time into our calendars.  Taking time to reflect, refresh and renew, whether alone or with the ones we love, keeps us centered and on course.  Take your schedule back, your time is much too precious.  

 What are some of your ideas on managing your schedule? How do you squeeze in studying, exercise, family time, and work?
Susan Bohenko is a Certified Life Coach and Professional Organizer who has been helping busy women develop strategies for bringing more order and peace into their lives for the past 8 years.  You can contact Susan at or visit her blog at

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