National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Fact Sheet

One in four people in the United States living with HIV is a woman. 1

More than 226,000 women in the United States – 80% of whom are of childbearing age (15 to 44) – are HIV-positive. 2


What is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an annual, nationwide observance that sheds light on the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and girls. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women's Health (OWH) leads National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Every year on March 10, and throughout the month of March, federal, national, and community organizations come together to show support for women and girls impacted by HIV and AIDS. This year marks the 11th observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Why is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day important?

Today, one in four people living with HIV in the United States is a woman 13 or older. 3 About half of women living with HIV are in care, and only four in 10 have the virus under control. 4 Women face unique HIV risks and challenges that can prevent them from getting needed care and treatment. Addressing these issues remains critical to achieving an HIV- and AIDS-free generation.

Prevention is also critical to achieving an HIV- and AIDS-free generation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • African-American women made up more than 60% of new HIV infections among women in 2013, but are only 14% of the female population in the United States. 5,6
  • Hispanic women made up 16% of new HIV infections among women in 2013 and 17% of the women living with HIV in 2012. 7
  • Youth 13 to 24 years old accounted for an estimated 26% of all new HIV infections in the United States in 2010. 8

These groups face serious prevention challenges related to low rates of testing, low condom use, and high rates of sexually transmitted infections.

With this year’s theme, “The Best Defense is a Good Offense,” OWH is encouraging women and girls who are having sex to protect themselves from HIV infection (as well as prevent the transmission of HIV to their partners). Regardless of the type of relationship you are in, HIV prevention is key. Love yourself and put your best defense into play. OWH encourages women and girls to follow these tips:

Who should participate in National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?

Any individual or organization can observe National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. OWH invites public and private organizations at the local, state, and national levels to participate.

How do I observe National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?

You can plan a National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day walk or an HIV testing event; spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr about the day; and get inspired by our ambassadors. You can also share our infocards on Pinterest. Use these materials to get started.