Monday, March 10th is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The theme for this year’s event is “Share Knowledge – Take Action”. The goal of the Office on Women’s Health is to “offer support and hope, reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS, and empower women and girls.”
The CDC reports that 25% of people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. are women. African-American women account for close to 64% of all new infections among women, and Latina women have an HIV rate more than four times that of white women. Why the cultural disparity? African-American and Latina women may experience limited access to quality health care, poverty, stigma, fear, and discrimination.
What can women do?
- Be monogamous and use protection.
- Get tested for HIV and know your status.
- Don’t share syringes or needles if you inject drugs.
- If you think you may have an STI, get tested. Having an STI makes you 2-5 times more likely to get HIV.
- If you’re a parent, talk to your kids about HIV testing.
Take advantage of HOPES’ free HIV testing, Monday – Friday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. Drop in at 445 Ralston St. or make an appointment by calling (775) 771-8987