Valentine’s Day – It’s Infectious!

Jordan is currently a Fall 2012 intern with the ACTION Secretariat where he is supporting TB advocacy efforts.

As a public health nerd with a biology-crazed girlfriend, our conversations are unique to say the least.

In the middle of a recent texting conversation, she out of the blue sent me a link to all the locations in Washington, D.C. where I could get my flu shot. Naturally, I returned the favor the next week by interjecting our chat with random facts about the status of polio eradication efforts in the world.  If we don’t advocate to our significant others, how can we advocate to our policy makers?

This Valentine’s Day, get your partner turned on to global health. Here are five ways to make global health romantic and sexy. You never know, it might be the booster shot your relationship needs!

1. Show your partner you’re not afraid of commitment by sending a Valentine’s Day card to President Obama encouraging him to keep the U.S. commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

2.  Before you kiss your lover, tell them about the 760,000 miners in South Africa who will contract tuberculosis this year and can’t give that same kiss to their loved ones without making them sick. Together, sign a petition to end TB in Southern Africa’s mines.

3. Take your significant other to a relaxing coffeehouse and hold hands while reading. Tell them that for the same price as your two coffees, a child could have been vaccinated against polio and measles.  Instead of buying a second cup, give a child a second shot at life. 

4. Enjoy quality time with your partner in a tropical location under an insecticide-treated bed net. Explain the Global Fund’s progress to stop the spread of malaria by supporting bed net distribution.

5. And finally, for the extra committed, go somewhere meaningful to both of you and make sure ‘your song’ is playing. At the conclusion of the song, get down on one knee, look your partner in the eyes, and say: “Will you eradicate polio with me?”