MAY is Lupus Awareness Month and the main aim is to raise awareness and educate people about the disease.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease which causes an overactive immune system to produce auto antibodies which attack healthy body tissue. This can affect most parts of the body, including any organ.
Lupus is a predominantly female disease with 90 per cent of patients being women between the ages of 15 and 44, and a major subset being women of colour. It is difficult to diagnose, a challenge to treat, and there is no cure.
One striking issue is that awareness of the condition is extremely low and nearly two-thirds of the public knows little or nothing about the disease beyond the name.
As a result, lupus foundations across the world are launching awareness campaigns that encourage people to become informed about the disease, donate to charities, and wear purple on May 18, dubbed “Purple Day, to show support for lupus survivors, those fighting the disease and those who have passed.
Lupus survivors locally can access counselling and support group meetings through the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica at 7 Barbados Avenue, Kingston 5. Support group meetings are held every other month on a third Thursday at 6:00 pm. The next meeting is slated for Thursday, June 21.
Remember, this May, make it a point of duty to become informed about lupus.