All for the cause

Despite heightened awareness of the disease, women are being infected with HIV at an alarming rate. Consider this troubling statistic: women account for 1 out of every 4 new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the U.S.

Observed on March 10 every year, National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day encourages people to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and raise awareness of its impact on women and girls. The event serves a dual purpose: prevention of HIV and education about HIV testing.

In its outreach efforts, Vanderbilt University has demonstrated a consistent commitment to stemming the tide. For the first time, they will take part in this national movement that educates the public about the worldwide epidemic.

Co-sponsors Vanderbilt University HIV Vaccine Program and the Vanderbilt University Margaret Cuninggim Women's Center will host a series of activities in honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Due to spring break, the observance has been pushed back to March 24.

"In the United States, a woman tests positive for HIV every 35 minutes," says Casey Braddy, community educator and outreach coordinator for Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Trials. "I think some people think it's just an African disease or a disease affecting the LGBT community, but women make up a disproportionate load of HIV infections. We encourage women to test and know their status. Women really are the educators in their community. They can go out into the community and share (these messages) with their children."

Free HIV testing will be offered by Nashville CARES and Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Sarratt Promenade.

"We'll be giving them (participants) information about HIV and kind of taking out the mystery behind HIV testing," Braddy says. "They will see that it's something that's not so scary."

An evening panel discussion, "HIV, AIDS and Women: A 360º Perspective," is planned for 6:30-8 p.m. in the Commons All-Purpose Room to further educate participants and offer a forum for questions.

"There will be a panel discussion of women who will talk about HIV and AIDS both globally and locally," Braddy says. "We'll also have current and former HIV vaccine participants and people doing research outside the country. We want to provide a place to give people answers."

For posters, fact sheets, the theme and more at For more information on Vanderbilt's observance of Women's & Children's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, contact Casey Braddy at

National Margarita Day

A lot of us have really picked up an interest in tequila and it's no wonder. Its popularity is soaring in the U.S. and doesn't look like it'll be slowing down any time soon. The only contender would probably be whiskey. Meh, but they have their own day. Now, it's National Margarita Day and we put together some of the best margarita recipes around so you can pick one or maybe even all of them to try.

We have a few surprises in there too. Maybe it's not all about tequila but it certainly has a theme going on. Take a look at some of these great tequila brands and start making some amazing margaritas today!

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

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For many students, attending university is a profound, often life-changing, transition. It is often the student’s first time living on their own without parental supervision. This lifestyle is also accompanied by a period of self-discovery, of defining and redefining a sense of personal identity largely independent of the influence of family and friends from home.

For students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, this rite of passage can also be a deeply empowering one. Indeed, attending university may be the student’s first real opportunity to explore their gender identity in a safe, comfortable, and accepting college.

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José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia agave fields

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I had the opportunity to visit Mexico for an event José Cuervo was putting on, the unveiling of their premium tequila brand, Reserva de la Familia. The trip was all about tequila, how to drink it properly, how to pair it with food, and of course, visiting various points of interest in Guadalajara while tasting tequila along the way.

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