Sunday, June 04, 2023

Lupus Awareness Campaign Empowers Black/African American and Hispanic/Latina Women to Stop Ignoring Symptoms That Could Be Lupus-Related

The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) launched the rebranded Be Fierce. Take Control.™ campaign during Lupus Awareness Month with rebranded imagery to connect with young Black/African American and Hispanic/Latina Women at greater risk of developing lupus in their lifetime. The campaign empowers women to take control of their health, highlights common lupus symptoms and encourages those that may be experiencing symptoms to talk to their healthcare providers.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease where the immune system can’t tell the difference between healthy tissues and foreign invaders. This can cause pain, inflammation and tissue damage to any organ in the body, and it impacts each person differently making it difficult to diagnose.

Be Fierce. Take Control.™ is a digital awareness campaign that aims to reach young, undiagnosed, Black/African American and Hispanic/Latina women who may be experiencing common lupus symptoms such as:

  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • A rash across the face
  • Recurring sores in the mouth

The primary goal of the Be Fierce. Take Control. campaign, which is funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is to ultimately reduce the average time for diagnosis of six years from when a person first notices symptoms. Lupus is two-to-three times more prevalent in Black/African American and Hispanic/Latina women. Because of these disparities and the impact of lupus on the body, the LFA encourages women experiencing these symptoms to stop ignoring them and talk to their healthcare provider. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to preventing long-term consequences of the disease and improving quality of life.

“Six months prior to my diagnosis, I had recurring skin infections and a rash across my cheeks that I mistook for sunburn. I was also experiencing hair loss and body swelling. I was finally diagnosed with lupus nephritis after an ER visit, three doctors visits and a kidney biopsy,” said Selena Colon, lupus warrior and Be Fierce. Take Control. campaign ambassador. “Not knowing what my future holds worries me sometimes, but I prioritize my health and take control of the condition and the effects it has on me. ‘Be Fierce. Take Control.’ is my personal slogan as well.”

The campaign website and digital advertising has been rebranded with powerful imagery of real women with lupus and women who have a personal connection to lupus. Like Selena, these women also share details of their personal lupus journey, providing a sense of connection for women learning more about common lupus symptoms and wondering if they have lupus.

The LFA encourages women experiencing symptoms to visit and learn more about lupus, what questions to ask yourself, and how to have a conversation with your healthcare provider.

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