Observed annually on March 10th, National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day empowers people everywhere with knowledge and information regarding HIV/AIDS. It also focuses on the often overlooked impact it has on women and girls.
According to the CDC, HIV diagnoses in women are down 21%. However, in 2017, over 7,000 new cases were reported. When it comes to HIV, abstinence is the only way to prevent HIV. Other important facts to know:
- Condom use is known to reduce the risk of infection. Use a new condom every time you have sex.
- Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have HIV
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) offers hope for couples in relationships where one partner has HIV and the other doesn’t. Speak to your doctor about taking daily PrEP.
- Don’t put off medical care. Even if you already know your HIV status, putting off needed care may compromise your health in unnecessary ways. If you or someone you know isn’t seeking help out of fear of violence or rejection please call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
- Medicine has come a long way baby. If you’re pregnant with HIV, the risk of passing it to your baby is less than .1% but it’s important that you work with a healthcare professional. Don’t wait.
- HIV is spread through sharing needles, syringes or other equipment. Never share needs. It increases your risk of infections.
- Do you live with HIV? Take your medication as prescribed daily. It reduces your viral load and lowers the chance of transmitting HIV during sex to an HIV-negative partner.