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National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Posted Mar 10 2010 12:08pm

By, Vanessa
OurHealth Staff Writer

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness day.

I saw this posted and forwarded several places online and I was happy that people were trying to spread awareness. Then I saw on Twitter that Sean Combs/P.Diddy sent a Twitter out about this saying that we need to spread awareness. Good, right? Maybe. But, when it comes to life and death matters of black womens health I think we need to keep it REAL.

A man who has five children with three different women is clearly not practicing safe sex. A man who has had three children (a set of twins and a daughter) with two different women within a year of each other is not only not practicing safe sex, but he is having unprotected sex with multiple sex partners - THIS - is how HIV is spread within our community. That's 'real talk' as the kids like to say. I'm glad that he is acknowledging the importance of this day, but we all need to be very aware of how our own personal choices and behaviors leads to these type of things.

From the CDC

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2010

Photo: Three womenMarch 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It is a day to recognize the special risks HIV/AIDS poses for women and girls, and to raise awareness of the disease's increasing impact on them. We encourage women and girls to know their HIV status and get tested for HIV.

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 www.hivtest.org External Web Site Policy 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.

  • Photo: A pregnant woman. Get tested for HIV External Web Site Policy . To find a testing site center near you, text your ZIP Code to KNOW IT (566948).
  • Talk with your health care provider about your risks for HIV.
  • Get the facts about HIV/AIDS by visiting the Act Against AIDS web site External Web Site Policy including:
  • Talk about HIV prevention with family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Volunteer at a local organization that serves people living with HIV.
  • Attend an event near you.
  • Learn more about the impact of HIV/AIDS among women in the United States.
  • Stand up against stigma, racism, and other forms of discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.
  • Donate time and money to HIV/AIDS organizations.
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