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A project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health
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Empowering women to live healthier lives!

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Could I Have Lupus? website screenshot

Visit Could I Have Lupus?
to learn more.

Could I Have Lupus?

What is Lupus?

Lupus (LOO-puhss) is a chronic, autoimmune (aw-toh-ih-MYOON) disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and other germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self"). In lupus, your immune system creates autoantibodies (AW-toh-AN-teye-bah-deez), which attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body. Learn more about lupus.

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More information on lupus

Read more from womenshealth.gov

  • Lupus Fact Sheet — This fact sheet provides information on lupus, a disease that affects your immune system. It explains who is at risk for lupus, the different types of lupus, its signs and symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated. It also provides information on how to cope with the pain and stress of having lupus and whom to contact for more information.

Explore other publications and websites

  • Eliminate Disparities in Lupus — This resource talks about the different types of lupus. It also discusses the higher rate of lupus in minority women and has links to information on lupus.
  • Lupus Guide — These patient information sheets are excerpts from Lupus: A Patient Guide for Nurses and Other Health Professionals. The patient information sheets in this chapter cover a range of topics about lupus and lupus medications and can help with this aspect of patient care. It includes a total of 20 patient information sheets.
  • Lupus: Basics for Better Living (Copyright © Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.) — Although lupus has no cure, you can make lifestyle changes that help fight the disease and give you an improved sense of well-being. Learn more about how you can live better with lupus.
  • Lupus: Pregnancy and Family Planning (Copyright © S.L.E. Lupus Foundation) — Because complications can arise during pregnancy, women living with lupus need to plan early if they are thinking of having children. This publication provides questions and answers for women who have lupus and are considering pregnancy.

Connect with other organizations

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About the Campaign

Project leader: Frances E. Ashe-Goins, R.N., M.P.H.

The Could I Have Lupus? campaign is designed to heighten awareness and create a sense of urgency about lupus. With the help of women who are actually living with lupus, we are sending a message to women who are suffering from lupus symptoms — that they can find support, hope and, most of all, answers. They just have to start by asking the right question: "Could I have lupus?"

Learn more

To learn more about the National Lupus Awareness Campaign, visit http://www.couldIhavelupus.gov. To obtain campaign materials, visit the Ad Council Lupus Awareness page.

Collaborating partners

Federal partners

Janet S. Austin, Ph.D.
Director of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
31 Center Drive, Mail Stop Code 2350, Room 4C02
Bethesda, MD 20892-2359
Phone: 301-496-8190
Fax: 301-480-2814
Email: austinj@mail.nih.gov

Mirtha R. Beadle, M.P.A.
Deputy Director
Office of Minority Health
Office of Public Health and Science
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1101 Wootton Parkway, Tower Building, Suite 600
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: 240-453-2882
Fax: 240-453-2883
Email: mirtha.beadle@hhs.gov
Website: http://www.omhrc.gov

Lisa Begg, Ph.D., R.N.
Director of Research Programs
Office of Research on Women's Health Office of the NIH
Director National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Phone: 301-496-7853
Fax: 301-402-1798
Email: beggl@od.nih.gov

Charles G. Helmick, M.D. Captain
U.S. Public Health Service
Medical Epidemiologist
Arthritis Program Division of Adult and Community Health
Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4770 Buford Hwy, K51
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
Phone: 770-488-5464
Fax: 770-488-5486
Email: CHelmick@cdc.gov
Physical address for private carriers:
3005 Chamblee-Tucker Road
Atlanta, GA 30341

Morrisa Rice
Public Health Analyst
Health Resources and Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 18A-44
Rockville, MD 20857
Phone: 301-443-6838
Email: morrisa.rice@hrsa.hhs.gov

Non-federal partners

James Albino
Director of Advocacy
Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez
Hispanic Federation, Inc.
1522 K Street NW, Suite 1130
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-842-0232
Fax: 202-887-0812
Email: jalbino@hispanicfederation.org
Website: http://www.hispanicfederation.org

Monika Carey-Green
Executive Director
D.I.V.A. Incorporated
Dedicated Individually to Valiantly Assist
1111 Belleview Street, Suite 101
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-223-9539
Email: mcareygreen@sc.rr.com
Website: http://www.divainternational.org

Amelia J. Cobb
The Wright Group
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-904-6824
Fax: 800-886-9698
Email: acobb@twgstrategies.com
Website: http://www.twgstrategies.com

Mary T. Crimmings
Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Advocacy
Lupus Foundation of America, Inc., National Office
2000 L Street, NW, Suite 710
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-349-1149
Fax: 202-349-1156
Email: crimmings@lupus.org
Website: http://www.lupus.org

Anna Danadelakis
Lupus Support Network
1108-C Airport Blvd.
Pensacola, FL 32504
Phone: 850-478-8107
Cell: (850-255-0864
Toll Free: (800-458-8211
Fax: 850-478-0451
Email: a.dandelakis@att.net
Website: http://www.lsnflorida.org

Ptosha Davis
Chief Operating Officer and Associate Group Publisher
Girlfriends Health Guide for Women of Color
1818 North Hubbard Street, Upper Suite
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-372-5000
Fax: 414-372-5006
Email: pdavis@girlfriendshealthguide.com
Website: http://www.girlfriendshealthguide.com

Margaret G. Dowd
Lupus Research Institute
330 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1701
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-812-9881
Fax: 212-545-1843
Email: dowd@lupusny.org
Website: http://www.lupusny.org

S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, Inc.
330 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1701
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-685-4118
Fax: 212-545-1843
Toll Free: (800-745-8787
Email: lupus@lupusny.org
Website: http://www.lupusny.org

Andrea Dudley
Media and Communications
Alliance for Lupus Research
28 West 44th Street, Suite 501
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-218-2840
Fax: 212-218-2848
Email: adudley@lupusresearch.org
Website: http://www.lupusresearch.org

Rev. Anthony Evans
National Black Church Initiative
Baby Fund Project
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 65177
Washington, DC 20035
Physical address:
4021 7th Street, Suite 4
Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202-744-0184
Email: dcbci2002@yahoo.com

Yolanda Fleming, B.S.
Project Director
Mission and Community Services
National Medical Association
1012 10th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-347-1895
Fax: 202-371-1162
Email: yfleming@nmanet.org
Website: http://www.nmanet.org

Millicent Gorham
Executive Director
National Black Nurses Association, Inc.
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 330
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3803
Phone: 301-589-3200
Toll free: (800-575-6298
Fax: 301-589-3223
Email: nbna@erols.com
Website: http://www.nbna.org

Patrica Guidice
Lupus Alliance of America, Inc.
Hudson Valley NY Affiliate
100 South Bedford Road, Suite 340
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
Phone: 914-681-1249
Fax: 914-220-8297
Email: pguidice@wphospital.org
Website: http://www.lupusalliance.org

Roberta Horton, L.C.S.W., A.C.S.W.
Director, Social Work Programs
Hospital for Special Surgery
535 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
Phone: 212-606-1033
Fax: 212-774-2333
Email: Hortonr@hss.edu
Website: http://www.hss.edu

Honi A. Kurzeja
President Lupus Alliance of America
3871 Harlem Road
Buffalo, NY 14215
Toll Free: (866-415-8787
Email: info@lupusalliance.org
Website: http://www.lupusalliance.org

Elisabeth E. Lanjuin
Lupus Foundation of New England
40 Speen Street, Suite 205
Framingham, MA 01701
Phone: 508-872-5200 ext. 11
Email: elanjuin@lupusne.org
Website: http://www.lupusne.org

Kendra Lee
Executive Editor
K. Lee Editorial Consultants, Heart & Soul
189 White Pine Circle, Unit 301
Stafford, Virginia 22554
Phone: 540-659.0958
Fax: 810-958-7337
Email: klee4766@aol.com
Website: http://www.heartandsoul.com

S. Sam Lim, M.D., M.P.H.
Division of Rheumatology
Emory University
49 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 404-616-3640
Fax: 404-688-6024
Alt. Phone: 404-686-5500 Id# 16493
Email: sslim@emory.edu
Website: http://www.medicine.emory.edu/rheum

Kenya Logan
Mia Barron
Pharmozon, LLC
1006 Friar Tuck Trail
Ladson, SC 29456
Phone: 888-433-2125
Email: barronm@musc.edu
Website: http://www.pharmozon.com

Marisol Morales
Senior Communications Manager
National Latina Health Network
2201 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 340
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-965-9633
Fax: 202-965-9636
Email: marisol.morales@nlhn.net
Website: http://www.nlhn.net

Elena Rios
President and CEO
National Hispanic Medical Association
1411 K Street, Suite 1100
Washington DC 20005
Phone: 202-628-5895
Fax: 202-628-5898
Email: erios@nhmamd.org
Website: http://www.nhmamd.org

Valerie L. Rochester
Director of Programs and Training
Black Women's Health Imperative
1726 M Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-548-4000 ext. 150
Fax: 202-543-9743
Email: vrochester@blackwomenshealth.org
Website: http://www.blackwomenshealth.org

Victoria Sanders
Sanders for Women's Health
2204 Buckner Street
Petersburg, VA 23805
Phone: 804-255-8425
Email: sanders4womenshealth@yahoo.com

Liz Shaw-Stabler
Executive Director
Center for Lupus Care, Inc.
100 North Hillcrest Bvld.
Inglewood, CA 90301
Phone: 310-674-0080
Fax: 310-674-0040
Email: lupuscare@aol.com

Tammy Tilley
American College of Rheumatology
1800 Century Place Suite 250
Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404-633-3777 ext. 805
Email: tilley@rheumatology.org
Website: http://www.rheumatology.org

Content last updated March 31, 2009.

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