Today Is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects Black people around the world, with Black women in particular becoming infected at an alarmingly increasing rate. For our community to withstand this epidemic, it’s absolutely crucial that we all know the risks and take all necessary precautions to avoid infection. See below for more information from the Centers for Disease Control. – NewsOne Staff

From the CDC:

In 2007, more than a quarter of diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States were among women and girls aged 13 years and older. The numbers are unsettling: More than 278,000 women and adolescent girls in this country are living with HIV; and almost 94,000 American women and girls with AIDS have died since the epidemic began. Women and girls of color—especially black women and girls—bear a disproportionately heavy burden of HIV/AIDS. In 2007, for female adults and adolescents, the rate of HIV/AIDS diagnoses for black females was nearly 20 times as high as the rate for white females and nearly 4 times as high as the rate for Hispanic/Latino females. Relatively few cases were diagnosed among Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander females, although the rates for these groups were higher than the rate for white females.

Photo: A man and woman sitting in grass.CDC estimates that 1 in five people living with HIV infection in the United States do not know they are infected. Getting tested for HIV is the first step to protecting yourself and others. Knowing your own HIV status and that of your male sexual partners is critical because 80% of new HIV infections in American women and girls result from sex with an infected male partner. Early diagnosis of HIV allows for counseling and prompt treatment. HIV treatment prolongs life and reduces the risk of further HIV transmission. If you are a pregnant woman, it is especially important that you get tested early to help ensure, that if you are HIV-positive, you do not transmit the virus to your unborn child.

Make National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day a day to get the facts about HIV—to learn how HIV is spread, if you are at risk, and how to protect yourself and your loved ones. And, if you are a parent, talk with your kids about HIV. Every 35 minutes a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States. It’s time to get tested.

To find an HIV testing location near you, go to http://www.hivtest.org or text your ZIP Code to KNOW IT (566948). For more information on this day, theme, and events please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, which is leading activities for this observance.

Click here to read more.

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