National HIV/AIDS Women and Girls Awareness Day 2022


Thursday, March 10 marks National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD), a time to highlight and support HIV testing, treatment and prevention efforts among women and girls. The theme for NWGHAAD 2022 is “Prevention and screening at all ages. Care and treatment at every stage.

The NWGHAAD is led by the Office of Women’s Health, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. For the 17th of this yeare annual observation, the Bureau of Women’s Health writes:

We continue to make progress toward eliminating HIV and AIDS in the United States, but women remain vulnerable to infection, especially black or African American and Hispanic women. Black women accounted for the largest share of new HIV diagnoses among women in the United States in 2018. Poverty, stigma, medical mistrust, and fear of discrimination remain factors that prevent some women from getting tested, to seek care or ask for help.

An estimated 14% of transgender women are HIV positive. According to the new National HIV/AIDS Strategy, an estimated 44% of black transgender women, 26% of Latina transgender women and 7% of white transgender women are HIV positive. Transgender women experience stigma and discrimination and often encounter healthcare providers or clinics that lack knowledge of transgender issues or appropriate inclusive language. All of this poses barriers to HIV testing, prevention and care that can be overcome among transgender women.

Collectively, we can work to eliminate these statistics.

In 2018, approximately 1,173,900 people (almost 1.2 million) were estimated to be living with HIV in the United States; of those, 261,800 were women, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fact sheet. Specifically, there were 37,968 new HIV cases nationwide in 2018, of which 19% (7,190) were female.

The HIV and Women section of the POZ Basics on HIV/AIDS provides additional context to the data:

In the United States, women have lower rates of HIV than gay and bisexual men, but a significant number are at risk – and this risk varies widely by race/ethnicity and geography.

Representing about half of the US population, women accounted for about 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses in 2019, or about 7,000 cases. The incidence of HIV among women has slightly decreased in recent years. Women make up nearly a quarter of all people living with HIV in the United States, but that figure rises to about half worldwide.

Black women are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for nearly 60% of new diagnoses. White women and Latina women each account for about 20% of new cases. The CDC predicts that 1 in 309 black women and 1 in 287 Latina women will acquire HIV in their lifetime, compared to 1 in 874 white women. This means that black women are nearly three times more likely than white women to be diagnosed with HIV. But black women have seen a decline in HIV incidence in recent years, while white women have seen an increase.

Women between the ages of 25 and 34 are most likely to be diagnosed with HIV, slightly above the average age for men. As women in areas such as the Bronx and Washington, DC, are more likely to be living with HIV, new cases are increasingly moving South. Nearly half of women diagnosed with HIV live in areas of high poverty.

Most cisgender women living with HIV were exposed through heterosexual contact (85%), followed by injection drug use (15%). Transgender women are at greater risk of contracting HIV than cisgender women: although they make up less than 1% of the US population, they account for about 2% of new HIV diagnoses.

In describing the prevention challenges women face, the CDC writes that social barriers such as racism, discrimination, and HIV-related stigma have a major impact on health and well-being. Additionally, “because some women may be unaware of their male partner’s risk factors for HIV (such as injection drug use or sex with men), they may not use condoms or medications to prevent HIV infection. HIV,” the CDC notes, adding, “Women who don’t know they’re HIV-positive can’t get the medications they need to stay healthy and avoid passing HIV on to their partners. Therefore, they can transmit HIV to others without knowing it. Other prevention challenges include intimate partner violence, mental health, sexual behaviors, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and lack of knowledge about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pills or injections that can prevent an HIV-negative person from getting HIV.

The CDC’s Awareness Day page has graphics and videos you can download in English and Spanish, as well as sample messages you can share to promote awareness, testing, and prevention among women and men. girls.

To learn more about other HIV Awareness Days, including a calendar you can download and print, visit 2022 HIV/AIDS Awareness Days.

For a collection of HIV-related articles, click on #Women, where you’ll find articles such as “Given a Choice, Young Women Prefer Vaginal Ring for PrEP”, “HIV and Bone Loss at Menopause Go Hand in Hand,“Kia LaBeija, artist and HIV activist, is ready for her first solo exhibition” and “Ending HIV criminalization starts with me”, which explores how HIV criminalization laws target women and how women fight back .

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