National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is annually marked on 10th March to raise awareness among girls and women on how they can protect themselves and their partners from HIV.
|2022||10th March||Thursday||United States|
|2023||10th March||Friday||United States|
|2024||10th March||Saturday||United States|
Why National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?
HIV can only be transmitted by means of body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal fluids, etc.; it is also a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) or Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). It means it can be transmitted through any sexual activity with the infected person. Anyone having sex is at risk of HIV. Using a condom properly and avoiding contact with the partner’s body fluids can protect the person from possible transmission. Also, never share any used syringes, needles, or injections to avoid getting HIV.
A person living with HIV can show no symptoms for years. And get their immune system damaged all the while. The only way to know if you are HIV positive is by getting tested. Thus, people with HIV need to get tested as early as possible. So, the treatment can begin as soon as they get detected.
An HIV diagnosed pregnant woman can take proper HIV medicines and work according to the doctor’s consultation to stay healthy. This will lower the risk of passing HIV to the baby to less than 1%. Most insurance covers the HIV test without any cost to the user. A person can also find a location on gettested.cdc.gov to get the free and confidential HIV test done. Each person has a role to play in HIV prevention. Spreading awareness and educating people can save them from the possible risk of getting HIV.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medicine that you can take days if you have a partner who is HIV positive and you are not. This will lower your risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. People who have had one-time exposure to HIV can take post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This anti-HIV medicine will lower the risk of getting HIV if taken within 72 hours of exposure. If both the partners live with HIV, they can take proper medicines together as guided by the doctor to lead a healthy life.
HIV does not transfer by a simple touch, hugs, air, toilet seat, etc. And the patients who have HIV need support from family, partners, friends, and community. Educating people and spreading awareness on such a topic is essential. Thus, to break the stigma attached to the disease and to prevent women and girls from getting infected, the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was designed.
How to Observe National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?
A few ways in which we can observe this important day are given below-
- Watch a documentary that highlights the realities and truths of HIV with your community/family/friends.
- If your organization offers HIV testing, try to waving the fee on this day.
- Hold an assembly at the school or in the school’s restroom to interact with the girls and educate them on the subject.
- Talk about this subject on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc., and share information.
- Record a podcast or a video on youtube to raise awareness among women.
- Write a blog or host a webinar about NWGHAAD.
- Volunteer in NGOs, churches, and other institutions to organize events like HIV screening or guest speakers on the topic.
- Organizations can provide material and help to HIV affected girls and women.
- They can also promote the day by issuing a press release, arranging radio interviews, displaying posters/flyers, etc.
- Share pictures of your activities on this day on social media with the hashtag #NWGHAAD and #StopHIVTogether.
Interesting Facts on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?
Here are some informative facts and figures on National Women and Girls HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day –
- Total 235,000 women and girls in the United States itself are affected by HIV.
- In 2017, 1 out of every 5 new HIV diagnoses was found to be a female.
- Heterosexual sexual contact (87%) or injection drug use (12%) is the primary diagnosis among women.
- Black women are affected more as compared to women of other races/ ethnicities. In 2016, nearly 2/3rd of women who received HIV diagnoses were black.
- Of all the women who received HIV diagnosis, 61 percent were African American, 19 percent were white, 16 percent were Hispanic/Latina, and 5 percent were other.
- In the year 2020, the theme for NWGHAAD was “HIV Prevention Starts with Me: Ending the HIV Epidemic Together.”
History of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day:
It was founded in 2005, and this year will mark the sixteenth annual observance of NWGHAAD. Office on Women’s Health (OWH) sponsors the awareness day to bring communities and organizations together to protect women and girls from HIV through prevention, tests, and treatment. The campaign’s main focus is to reduce HIV stigma and promote testing and treatment among girls and women.