National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed nationally every year on March 10. The purpose is to spread awareness about the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls, and to encourage people to take action. Organizations across the country are encouraged to unite to offer support, promote discussion, and teach women and girls about prevention of HIV, the importance of getting tested, and how to live with and manage HIV/AIDS.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV/AIDS is a serious public health issue that affects nearly 280,000 women in the United States. In 2009, almost a quarter of HIV infection that was diagnosed in the United States were among women and girls aged 13 years and older. Since the beginning of the epidemic, over 101,000 women and girls with AIDS have lost their lives.
Although men account for most of the HIV/AIDS cases, the impact on women has been growing. Research has shown that women face gaps in access and care, compared to men. 85% of newly diagnosed HIV infections in American women and girls result from sex with an infected male partner. Getting tested for HIV is the first step to protecting yourself and others. Practicing safe sex, such as always using a condom, is another important way to protect yourself.
Let’s take action and make National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day a day to learn how HIV is spread, if you are at risk, and how to protect yourself and your loved ones. Even though National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is on March 10 every year, organizations are encouraged to hold events throughout the month of March to raise awareness and offer support. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS.