Thursday, March 10, 2011
March 10th is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day in which people worldwide are encouraged to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and specifically raise awareness of its impact on women and girls. While this disease affects both men and women alike, it is the leading cause of death for women of childbearing age.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women account for over a quarter of all new HIV infections every year and make up 25 percent of those living with HIV. Women of color are even more disproportionately affected by this disease. The rate of new infections among African-American women is nearly 15 times higher than that among white women, and among Latinas it is four times higher than among white women.
For biological reasons, women are more susceptible than men to HIV infection through heterosexual sex. Factors such as discrimination and poverty also affect women at a much higher percentage than men placing them at an even greater risk because they will often have less access to treatment, medical care and awareness programs. This is a very serious public health issue that needs to be addressed and we all have a role to play in it.
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day provides community groups, individuals and healthcare providers the opportunity to take action and raise awareness of women’s vulnerability to HIV and the challenges faced by women living with this virus. Get tested, encourage all of the women in your life to get tested and get educated on how to avoid becoming a part of this pandemic.
For more information and event listings, visit http://www.womenshealth.gov/nwghaad/.
Also, check out Healthier Atlanta magazine for more articles on HIV/AIDS awareness, love and relationships, and other health topics.