National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Fact Sheet

There are 287,400 women in the United States who are HIV-positive.1

In 2016, women accounted for 1 in 5 HIV diagnoses.2

Diagnoses among women are primarily attributed to heterosexual sexual contact (87%) or injection drug use (12%).2


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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 13th observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

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

HIV and AIDS are still widespread public health issues, and women remain vulnerable to infection — especially African-American and Hispanic women.3 In fact, any woman who has sex can get HIV, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation. Today, 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV,2 and nearly a quarter of them are women (23%).1

The 2018 NWGHAAD theme, "HIV Prevention Starts With Me," emphasizes the role everyone plays in HIV prevention—community organizations, health care professionals, and women and men, including those living with HIV. There are steps you can take to protect yourself, partner, patients, family, and neighbors.

  • Get an HIV test, which is free and confidential. To find a location, visit gettested.cdc.gov.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • If you do not have HIV your partner does, talk to a doctor about taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill that can reduce your risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%.
  • If you are living with HIV, talk to your doctor about ways to stay healthy and take your medication as prescribed to achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load
  • If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, visit a doctor right away. The doctor may decide that you should get post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is an anti-HIV medicine that may lower your chances of getting HIV after you have been exposed to the virus.
  • If you are a health care professional, you should know the screening guidelines, talk to patients about their risk, and encourage patients living with HIV to adhere to treatment.

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 event; spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr about the day; and use the hashtags #NWGHAAD and #ICanStopHIV on social media. Use these materials to get started.

Sources

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). HIV Among Women.
  2. HIV.gov. (2017). Overview: Data & Trends: U.S. Statistics.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). HIV Among Women.