OPINION: From Cameroon to South Los Angeles—Get tested on National HIV Testing Day

HIV testingby Marcel Fomotar, M.A., MSN

A few years ago, I traveled from my home country of Cameroon to South Los Angeles to pursue a career in nursing as my contribution to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. My dear aunt fought a long and hard battle with AIDS and in her last moments, she told me that her remaining days were filled with light and happiness because of the kindness of her nurses.

It is with that overpowering memory that I changed my original career path and ventured to the United States to pursue a career in nursing.  I chose Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU), a health professions school dedicated to transforming the lives of underserved communities. They train health professionals who promote wellness and provide care with excellence and compassion – exactly the kind of health care leader I wanted to become. I wanted health to become a means of empowerment for the community and improve the overall health of a home, whether that be in CDU’s community of South Los Angeles or abroad in Cameroon. [Read more…]