HIV/AIDS affects millions of women and girls in the United States, and many more across the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one-quarter of the teens and adults diagnosed with HIV in the United States each year are women — yet many women and girls may not be aware of their risk of getting HIV.
That’s why the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health will sponsor the eighth annual National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on March 10, 2013. This year, participants are invited to “Share Knowledge. Take Action.”
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day seeks to galvanize the women, public health advocates, and communities fighting this disease. By hosting the observance with partners across the country, the Office on Women’s Health aims to offer support and hope, reduce the stigma of HIV, and empower women and girls to take positive actions like getting tested, seeking treatment, educating their peers, and preventing new infections.
Below are a few ways that you can participate and make your voice heard.
Four facts about women and HIV:
- Women make up 24 percent of HIV diagnoses among adults and adolescents in the United States.
- Eighty-four percent of young women newly infected with HIV got it by having unprotected heterosexual sex, and 16 percent got it by injecting drugs.
- At some point in her lifetime, 1 in every 32 black women and 1 in every 106 Latina women will be diagnosed with HIV.
- Latina women are four times more likely to be infected by HIV than are white women.
Five things that put women and girls at risk for getting HIV:
- Having unprotected sex
- Experiencing sexual abuse
- Injecting drugs and abusing any kind of drugs or alcohol
- Having another sexually transmitted infection
- Not having access to good health care
Attend a National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event in your community to learn more about how HIV/AIDS is affecting women and girls.
By participating in National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, you will unite with others in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Although the observance is March 10, the Office on Women’s Health encourages organizations to hold events and activities throughout the month of March.
Getting involved is easy.
Here are six ways you can take action:
- Get tested for HIV at a local National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event.
- Invite a friend to attend an event with you.
- Contact your local government and ask them to sign a proclamation to declare National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day an official day in your community.
- Send an e-card to family, friends, and coworkers to encourage them to get involved and get tested.
- Update your Facebook profile and your Twitter account with the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Facebook cover photo and Twibbon.
- Post some of the suggested Tweets or Facebook posts using the #NWGHAAD hashtag.
Visit the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day website for more information.