Here in the United states, March 10th has been designated as National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD). In recognition of the day, we are proud to be part of the Rock the Red Pump Project. This year’s campaign goal was to get 500 blogs to sign up and join in spreading awareness of the day in just 50 days. The actual number was double that, with over a thousand blogs participating. NWGHAAD focuses on the effect of HIV and Aids on women and girls. The 2011 campaign is focusing on the statistic “Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States.”
The facts are that 27% of all new patients diagnosed with AIDS are women and girls. African-American women account for 66% of that group.
Women and girls are the one of the fastest growing segments of newly diagnosed HIV patients. It is vitally important that women and girls particularly know what the risks are, how to minimize them and where they can get tested.
The CDC has a brief podcast available about AIDS, HIV and the facts that women need to know about the disease.
According to the CDC:
[The] 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 85% of newly diagnosed 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. Encouraging your partner to wear a condom every time you engage in sexual activity is another important way to protect yourself.
There is much more information available about AIDS in women on the CDC website. You can also jump to a form to find a testing facility near you.