Another concern for women’s health – stigma

In an article by Peter Hotez, “Stigma: The stealth weapon of NTD,” he discusses the social implications of many NTDs.

For instance, Jorge Alvar and his colleagues at the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently pointed out that women have a higher disease burden from leishmaniasis than men because of reduced health care access, and because of their heightened social isolation from the disfigurement caused by the cutaneous form of the disease, which can prevent a young woman from being permitted to touch her children, enter into marriage, or remain married [3],[9]. Similarly, a team from Groningen University Hospital in the Netherlands has eloquently described how the disfiguring wounds of Buruli ulcer in Africa cause affected individuals to attempt to hide their disease because of the belief that it results from witchcraft or the “evil eye,” and as a result such individuals seek neither medical attention nor employment [3],[9].

During my time studying in South Africa, HIV was, and still is, very stigmatized to the point that men and women did not want to get HIV tests. There are also practical reasons for their reluctance to get tested for HIV, since drug access is not yet universal in R.S.A. the positive diagnosis would only tell them that they are going to die. The diagnosis of HIV could help prevent the spread of HIV, but the individual has little incentive to know that they are living with such a highly stigmatized disease.

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Mentoring

I just signed up for a mentor on Mentornet. The forum discussion had some very pertinent topics, such as work/life balance and how to make yourself heard in a room of men! I found out about it through AWIS, the Association of Women in Science.
Mentorship is something I really want to start promoting here (on this website), so I’m going to try out this whole mentornet thing, see how it goes and get an idea of what the mentoring process is like. Basically I’ve, under the guise of adding content to this site, been scaning the internet this week and found a wealth of stories of women making it in science. There are the blogs where they tell stories, previous post, or the associations where there are magazine articles writen about it.

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Sciencewomen

Science women, sounds kind of like superwomen – I like it! Just found a great blog at Scienceblogs called, you guessed it, Sciencewomen. So please, go and enjoy. Not that I want to direct anyone away from this site, but I want this site to be more of a resource in blog format and a place for discussion, rather than a reflection on my life – that would get boring quickly!

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THE most stylish bag

I was looking for some “cool mosquito” pictures for the header and came across The Mosquito Bag. This is THE bag for the girl in the tropics, or just for the girl missing the tropics, missing sleeping under a mosquito net…umm, so I don’t quite know what the creators were thinking with this one but I love all the colors it comes in.

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Another young woman in grad school


I really enjoyed the stories of Micella’s journey through grad school and now a post doc. She is in engineering, which is some what different, but her experiences still seem very apropriate.

http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_development/previous_issues/articles/1400/educated_woman_the_grad_school_adventures_of_micella_phoenix_dewhyse_chapter_1_why_am_i_here

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Dengue and other viruses in Africa

This is a fascinating paper I came across, measuring the seropositivity for Flaviviridae, Togaviridae and Bunyaviridae in Cameroon.  It might be that I really want to go back to Africa, but I found the study full of leads for future research.  For example, they discover one village where the % of seropositive adults to DENV-2 is 58%!  What is going on with that?  Shadow of malaria?  Less virulent strains of viruses?  Yellow Fever virus is also very high in these villages, as is Chikungunya virus.

This is one reason I would love to get some researchers in malaria and other diseases as contributors to the site, other wise I will be entirely too virus focused. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16760524?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

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Welcome again

As you can all see, I have been trying to beef-up the website before you got here with a little information.  I haven’t decided what other kind of stuff we want to post, such as news, research, etc.  So that is really up to all of you!

Please contact be for a user account!  I need help coming up with interesting posts about the world of medical entomology. I mean, it is infinitely fascinating, obviously, I just should be doing some work related to my thesis too.  Right?

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