World AIDS Day 

World AIDS Day is held on the 1st 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, held for the first time in 1988.
Too many people are thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, when they need just to water the grass they are standing on and know their status. To date, more than 30 million people have died from AIDS, and some 34 million are currently infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. 1 in 5 people with HIV doesn’t know they have it. Get tested & know your status! #WorldAIDSDay
Currently, only 30% of Americans who are infected are virologically suppressed. Identifying HIV-positive persons and improving the administration of care will increase the number of persons retained in care. Someday soon, we may be able to welcome a new generation into an AIDS-free world.
Make a goal to educate everyone on the importance of getting tested for HIV.
 Educate your family, friends, students, children, and patients and reduce stigma. Stigma and discrimination prevent people from getting tested and receiving treatment. Educate individuals about the disease, risk factors, and available treatments, and explain what it means to be infected.

 Keep negatives negative. Even after someone has tested negative for HIV, ensure that they understand how to maintain a healthy, low-risk lifestyle.

To find out more about HIV/AIDS, visit

If you are need of HIV and mental health training to your staff (social workers, psychiatrists, medical doctors, nurses, school counselors), and students, please contact Michael D. Gatson, (318) 663-1068 (C), or (240) 706-7187 (H)

Love & Finances

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if money really did grow on trees? Money is a common source of friction in relationships, particularly in today’s difficult financial times. When left untreated, money problems may damage the trust and understanding necessary to maintain a healthy relationship. In some cases, financial disagreements may even lead to separation or divorce. Some examples of money matters that can cause a couple to fight:

  1. When there is a financial crisis and you are not sure which bills are priorities over the other bills.
  2. Some couples argue over how money should be spent. Do you want to save for a house? Are you in a relationship with someone who is content with renting forever?
  3. One of the individuals in the relationship continues to spend money without thinking about it and the other person wants to save for a rainy day. Are you a spender or a saver? If you’re in a relationship with a person whose money style is your opposite, you will continue to have problems in the future.
  4. One of the individuals in the relationship is not truthful about their finances. Does one partner make more money? Substantially more? Oftentimes, when one partner earns substantially more money, that partner feels entitled to control the money. And the other partner often feels undeserving of control, or less worthy due to lower income.

My advice to solve your relationship problems is this:

Communication: First, you must both agree to talk over all money issues in a positive way.  Be willing to listen and keep an open mind. There’s no place for judgment, name-calling, and anger. At times, our emotions about other issues manifest around money. Our financial behaviors are so deeply ingrained, they can be hard to explain, much less change, but you have to try if you want your relationship to work.

Plan: How are you going to manage your finances and your relationship going forward? Create a plan so that you both agree how often you will handle money in the future. Make a plan and then follow through.

Action: If necessary, set up separate bank accounts so that you each can handle money your own way. Many couples set up a joint account to which each contributes, along with accounts that each person funds and controls separately. Some couples dispense with the joint account and make arrangements to split expenses. If one of you is a saver and the other a spender, find the mid-point where you’re both happy. Do whatever works for you. If you are still struggling, then get some help from a financial planner.

Prior to marriage, many of us had to answer only to ourselves. A major shift occurs as we began our married life—we are now accountable to each other. You can decide to defuse the drama and make money just another thing you share with your partner. Money can secure happiness, but it can’t create it.

How do you work through financial problems with your significant other? Share your comments below!