At Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (OCD), celebrating National Minority Health Month in April was an opportunity to shine a light on the health disparities affecting our country. While we are all at risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and in some instances HIV, these diseases can affect minorities at a much higher rate. As a company and as part of the broader healthcare community, we encourage everyone to take control of your own health and Know Your Numbers; so we can stand together by preventing, diagnosing and managing chronic disease. We're proud to say that our cause recently benefited from some star power. Jamar Rogers, known for his incredible performances on NBC's The Voice, visited OCD to share how a blood test result helped him decide to live with purpose. We were so inspired by his talk that we asked him to submit a blog so that everyone could benefit from his message. Here is Jamar's story: Ever since I was a little boy, I loved singing and dreamed of doing it professionally some day. However, by the time I was a teenager, those dreams were becoming out of reach. My life had spiraled out of control, and I was turning to drugs to escape a troubled childhood. It got to the point where my body literally fell apart. One day, I got extremely sick and was rushed to the emergency room. The doctors performed blood tests on me and found that I had a T-cell count of 5, and I was diagnosed with HIV. I was also told that had I not had the test there and then, I would have died. The blood test was a wake up call, and it saved my life. I made two decisions on the day I was diagnosed with HIV. The first was that I would never pass my HIV on to anyone and the second was that I would not only survive but live. I’ve been drug-free for seven years now, and I’m so proud of how far I’ve come since my diagnosis. Before I was diagnosed with HIV, I lacked the knowledge to bring myself back to life. Since then, I‘ve educated myself on my condition and continue to take regular blood tests to keep my health on track so that I can focus on pursuing my dreams. I’ll do anything I can to help others avoid the pain and suffering I went through. Knowledge is power. That’s why I’ve embarked on a partnership with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (OCD) to raise awareness for all my brothers and sisters that diagnostic test results matter. They play a vital role in maintaining your health and preventing, diagnosing and managing heart, kidney and many other chronic diseases.
Eric Compton is the Worldwide President for Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc. He is responsible for leading the OCD business which delivers high-quality in vitro diagnostic products that give healthcare professionals around the world the knowledge they need to enable people to be healthier, feel better and live longer.