National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Fact Sheet
In 2020, 1.1 million people aged 13 and older were living with HIV in the United States. During that year, an estimated 30,635 people received a new HIV diagnosis.1
In 2019, out of the almost 35,000 new HIV diagnoses, women accounted for 18% of these cases. Most of the diagnoses were among women ages 25 to 44.2
Although HIV diagnoses decreased among women overall from 2015 to 2019, disparities in HIV continue as Black or African American women continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. In 2019, Black or African American women accounted for 54% of the new HIV diagnoses.1
Diagnoses among women were primarily attributed to heterosexual sexual contact (84%) or injection drug use (16%).
Out of the new HIV diagnoses in 2019, 2% were among transgender women. The highest number of diagnoses were among Black or African American transgender women and Hispanic/Latino transgender women.
What is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is an annual, nationwide observance, led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health (OWH). Every year on March 10 — and throughout the month of March — local, state, federal, and national organizations come together to shed light on the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and girls and show support for those at risk of and living with HIV. This year marks the 18th annual observance of NWGHAAD.
Why is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day important?
HIV and AIDS are still widespread public health issues, and women continue to remain vulnerable to infection — especially African-American and Hispanic women2 In fact, any woman who has sex can get HIV, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.
The theme for NWGHAAD 2023 is: Prevention and Testing at Every Age. Care and Treatment at Every Stage. The theme reemphasizes the need to further prevention efforts and ensure equity in HIV care and treatment. It also reinforces the first 3 goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, that focus on the prevention of new HIV infections, improving HIV-related health outcomes of people living with HIV and reducing HIV-related disparities. By working together, we can help eliminate HIV and improve the quality of treatment and care for people currently living with HIV.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself, your partner, patients, your family, and your neighbors.
- Get an HIV test, which is free and confidential. To find a location, visit gettested.cdc.gov.
- Prevent HIV by using a latex condom every time you have sex.
- If you are HIV-negative and your partner has HIV, 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%. In 2019, only 10% of women who could benefit from PrEP were prescribed it in the US.3
Find a provider near you at PrEPlocator.org.
- 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. It can help prevent spreading HIV to your sexual partner or if you are pregnant, to your baby.
- If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, visit a doctor or nurse right away. The doctor may decide that you should get post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is an anti-HIV medicine that you take within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV to lower your chances of getting HIV.
- 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 hashtag #NWGHAAD on social media. Use these materials to get started.