Saturday, March 10, marks the 13th annual National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2018 (NWGHAAD). Through various events and social media campaigns, the day helps bring attention to the ways HIV affects women and girls. NWGHAAD is sponsored by the Office on Women’s Health, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
This year’s theme is “HIV Prevention Starts With Me.” On social media, it’s promoted with the hashtags #NWGHAAD and #ICanStopHIV.
“About one in four people living with HIV in the United States is female,” according to statistics on WomensHealth.org. “This means that more than 230,000 women are HIV positive.” The site goes on to list 12 facts every woman needs to know. These include:
- Women are more likely to get HIV during vaginal sex because the vagina has a larger area that can be exposed to HIV-infected semen. Also, semen can stay in the vagina for days after sex, which means a longer exposure time for women. And having untreated sexually transmitted infections (STIs) makes it more likely that a person will get HIV if they’re exposed to it.
- If you are pregnant and HIV positive, take HIV medicine and work with a doctor to stay healthy. If you take medicine, the risk of passing HIV to your baby is less than 1 percent.
- If you are HIV negative and your partner has HIV, talk to your doctor about taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is a daily pill that can block HIV and prevent it from infecting you.
- A woman with HIV or AIDS needs support, family, friends and fun. Help fight stigma by making sure people know you can’t get HIV from things like the air, toilet seats or hugs.
Visit the website for the complete fact sheet, ideas on observing NWGHAAD and a social media tool kit that includes graphics you can share on social media.
For a collection of news and information in POZ about women and HIV, click on #Women. Below are a few inspiring articles and blogs:
- “An Interview With Nancy Duncan: Amazing advice and memories from an AIDS Activist, Planned Parenthood peer advocator, long-term survivor and mom”