HRSA observes National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Each year on March 10, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of HIV/AIDS recognizes National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of HIV on women and girls and to encourage discussions about HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment. This year’s theme is Prevention and screening at any age. Care and treatment at every stage.
Prevention and screening at any age
We encourage women and girls across the United States to get tested for HIV so they know their status and can access HIV care and treatment, if they test positive. While the rate of HIV diagnoses among women in the United States has declined in recent years, approximately 23% of people living with HIV are women, and in 2018 women accounted for 19% of new HIV diagnoses.
Black women remain disproportionately affected by HIV; in 2018, 58% women who were diagnosed with HIV were Black/African American. Social barriers, such as racism, discrimination and HIV-related stigma that negatively impact health and well-being, may prevent some women from seeking HIV testing, treatment and prevention services. HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) is committed to breaking down these barriers, fostering safe and supportive communities for women and girls living with HIV, and providing access to healthcare providers. and support services that address the whole person and can help improve health outcomes. .
Care and treatment at every stage
HRSA’s RWHAP helps women diagnosed with HIV get the care, treatment, medications and support services they need. In 2020, 89.4% of women receiving medical care for HIV from RWHAP were virally suppressed, more than 20% more than a decade ago. We are incredibly proud of this progress, which we could not have achieved without the dedication of our RWHAP grantees, subrecipients and stakeholders.
But there is still work to be done, especially when it comes to addressing the disparities among women living with HIV. In 2020, 88.4% of black women and 84.2% of transgender women in RWHAP were virally suppressed. Although these rates have increased in recent years, they are lower than the national RWHAP average for women.
We must break down the barriers that prevent black and transgender women from accessing HIV care and treatment to end the HIV epidemic in the United States. care and treatment for black and transgender women living with HIV, as well as an initiative focused on addressing HIV-related stigma.
Just a few months ago, we also reaffirmed the importance of providing gender-sensitive health care and services in the RWHAP. Our advice supports HRSA’s efforts to reduce health disparities and improve access to HIV care, medications and support services for transgender people living with HIV.
In honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we encourage you to learn more about the RWHAP and the resources available to improve HIV outcomes for women and girls. Follow HRSA on Facebook and Twitter and join the conversations using #NWGHAAD.