Ideas for observing National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is held every year on March 10.  

NWGHAAD is a day to mobilize partners, supporters, and communities across the United States to share information and empower women and girls to learn more about the importance of HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment.

Organizing an activity in your community shows that you support all women and girls impacted by HIV and AIDS!

Event ideas

Art gallery or art show

Organize an event that features art focused on HIV and AIDS education and prevention among women and girls.

What you'll need: a venue, artists

This is a great activity for students, so if you're not part of an academic organization, consider partnering with a high school or college for this type of event. Encourage artists on campus and in the community to create artwork focused on HIV and AIDS. Preview the artwork before the show and ask several artists to discuss their artwork at the show. They can discuss why they were inspired to create the piece and how HIV and AIDS has affected them or their community.

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Candlelight vigil

Hold a candlelight vigil to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and to recognize women and girls who have been impacted by the disease.

What you'll need: a venue, candles and lighters or battery-powered candles

Gather the community to honor the local women and girls who have been impacted by HIV and AIDS. A large outdoor location like a school football field would work well. Light your candles and take a moment of silence while they burn. Your event can also include a speaker to help start a discussion about how to take action against HIV and AIDS or to share their personal story. You can also invite local artists to share their work related to HIV and AIDS or ask artists to create something for the event.

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Documentary night

Hold a screening of a documentary that highlights the reality of HIV and AIDS.

What you'll need: a venue, a copy of a film about HIV and AIDS, a discussion guide, a DVD player or laptop with a DVD player, a TV/projector, a screen or wall to show the movie, handouts

Ask local movie theaters, independent theaters, community centers, or schools to donate space/equipment for your event and select a movie. Engage the audience in a discussion about HIV and AIDS after the screening. Be prepared with some discussion questions to help the audience reflect on how the movie affected them, changed their thinking, or educated them. It is a good idea to engage a health care provider from your local hospital or health clinic to help lead the discussion.

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HIV testing

Offer free HIV testing at your clinic, college, or other location.

If your organization offers HIV testing, consider waiving the fee in honor of NWGHAAD and offering counseling. If you already offer free testing, you could offer extended hours or other giveaways in support of NWGHAAD. If you don't offer HIV testing, partner with someone in your community who does. Enter your zip code into the HIV testing location finder.

Also, consider a "Test Together" day where women can bring a friend and get tested for HIV on the same day. If you are part of the health care field, you could also offer education and training about HIV and AIDS for health care professionals who work with women and girls.

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Interactive school assembly

Host an assembly at your school or find a local school to partner with to hold an interactive assembly or a program for a health class in honor of NWGHAAD.

What you'll need: a school venue or a partner school

This is a great way to share knowledge with young women and girls about HIV and AIDS. Listed below are a few options for your event:

  • Screen a movie about HIV and AIDS and hold a discussion with students after the film.
  • Ask students to create a poster, tabletop display, or other artwork that focuses on topics related to how HIV and AIDS affect women and girls. Display designs during the assembly for other students to view and learn from.
  • Play a game. Look online for interactive games that teach teenage students about how HIV is spread and the importance of protection/prevention.
  • Provide educational materials on HIV and AIDS and how it affects women and girls in particular or have a guest speaker discuss how HIV and AIDS have affected her life and ways to prevent the disease.

Talk to administrators about the best type of interactive assembly. You can even adapt other ideas from this page for your school assembly.

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Open mic, comedy act, or poetry slam

Invite local artists to share their work and discuss in a safe space how HIV and AIDS affects women and girls.

What you'll need: a venue, rules (act length, topic, etc.), a sign-up sheet, an emcee, judges (if appropriate)

Check with local schools or community centers when looking for venues. Invite a female emcee and judges. Encourage creativity!

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Restroom campaign

Everyone uses the restroom, so a restroom campaign is an opportunity to provide women and girls with important reading material on HIV and AIDS for their bathroom breaks. This is an easy way to educate women and girls in your community about HIV prevention and the impact of HIV and AIDS.

What you'll need: paper for flyers, tape, a printer, some creativity

Design a flyer that will grab the reader's attention, using graphics and images from the NWGHAAD social media toolkit. Try coming up with a catchy title or use this year's theme! Next, include some statistics about HIV and AIDS and women. You can find helpful statistics in the NWGHAAD fact sheet or use the tips listed on the What every woman needs to know about HIV and AIDS or What every girl needs to know about HIV and AIDS pages. You may also want to include a picture of women and girls, the NWGHAAD logo, or a picture of a red ribbon; try to choose something that will resonate with your community. Finally, include information about HIV services in your area, such as where people can find free testing locations. After obtaining permission from each facility, post flyers in women's restrooms on college campuses, in restaurants, local businesses, bars, high schools, and state agencies, such as welfare or unemployment offices.

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Online promotion ideas

You can use social media to raise awareness about how women and girls are impacted by HIV and AIDS. Social media networks provide a great space for people to share their experiences, encourage discussion, and educate one another. Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, or blogs to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in honor of NWGHAAD March 10 or anytime throughout the month of March.

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Use your LinkedIn status update to share an article about HIV and AIDS, what this year’s theme HIV Prevention Starts with Me means to you, your NWGHAAD event, or the NWGHAAD website on your profile, company, or group page.

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Flickr or Instagram

Take pictures or videos of what you are doing in honor of NWGHAAD and tag them with #NWGHAAD and #ICanStopHIV. Share the photos and videos with others to help raise awareness. You can also share these photos on Facebook, Twitter, or any other photo-sharing website.

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Take videos of what you or your organization are doing in honor of NWGHAAD. Post your videos to YouTube. Share your own videos through Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. Tag them with #NWGHAAD and #ICanStopHIV and include in the video description to help your viewers find more information.

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Record a podcast discussing HIV and AIDS to educate others and inspire people to take action. Share the podcast on your organization's website, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking site.

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Write and publish a blog post

Write a blog post about NWGHAAD or what HIV prevention means to you. The blog post could be about any topic that focuses on HIV and AIDS among women and girls in honor of NWGHAAD. Share your blog on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking site.

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Create a video blog

Create a video blog sharing what HIV prevention means to you, how HIV and AIDS have affected you, and why or how you are raising awareness about HIV and AIDS. You can also use your video blog to feature your experience at a NWGHAAD event. Share your videos on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social networking site.

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Host a webinar

Present a free webinar that discusses some of the myths and facts about HIV and AIDS or provide general information about the disease and prevention. Encourage discussion and inspire participants to take action. Promote the webinar on your organization's website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

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Share local stats on HIV and AIDS among women and girls in your community

Create a data visualization graphic on HIV and AIDS with a focus on statistics or facts relevant to your community or state (for state-based information, see Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or Pinterest to help raise awareness.

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Tips for building partnerships for National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Consider forming partnerships with organizations in your community to help support your NWGHAAD events and activities. Developing partnerships allows you to:

  • Share resources
  • Reduce stigma of HIV and AIDS
  • Increase visibility of your event/activity and your organization
  • Generate more media attention for HIV and AIDS among women and girls
  • Reach more women and girls in your community
  • Have a greater impact on women's and girls' health

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Who should I reach out to?

You may want to reach out to the following types of organizations for the observance:

  • Women- and family-focused support groups
  • Churches and faith-based institutions
  • Colleges and universities, especially if they have medical schools or public health programs
  • Health centers, clinics, and hospitals
  • Businesses, including fitness centers, drug stores, and grocery stores
  • Nonprofit organizations, such as local sorority chapters or local fraternity chapters
  • Private organizations

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What should I ask organizations to do?

Organizations often look for causes to support their community and can:

  • Help organize and staff an event
  • Provide a venue to hold the event
  • Donate materials, including HIV and AIDS information or supplies for women and girls
  • Offer volunteers, including health care professionals to administer screenings, or guest speakers who have knowledge of HIV and AIDS or work to educate women and girls
  • Promote the event by displaying posters, posting information to their websites, or sending information through their social media channels
  • Issue press releases and conduct other media outreach

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How do I find partner organizations in my community?

A quick online search can provide you with a list of relevant organizations in your community working to address HIV and AIDS and empower women and girls. Talk with your coworkers to see whether they have contacts outside your organization who may be interested.

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How do I reach out to other organizations?

Find contact information for each organization on its website and send a letter or email explaining why the organization should be a part of the nationwide observance. Follow up with a phone call.

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Promoting your event

Here are a few suggestions for getting the word out about your NWGHAAD event.

  • Social Media. Post a series of messages on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to introduce the event, get people excited about it, and provide updates when necessary. You can also send a Facebook event invitation to Facebook friends or send a series of emails, beginning with a save-the-date message, to contacts or listservs. Consider using these outlets to show pictures, video, and comments about the event after it is done. Be sure to tag your social media posts with the #NWGHAAD and #ICanStopHIV hashtags.
  • Flyers. Display flyers around your community in community centers, places of worship, coffee shops, and other places with high visibility to promote your event.
  • Website. Dedicate a website or a section of your website to the event. Include the date, time, location, directions, and other essential information.
  • Radio. Contact the public service director at your local radio stations that target the same audience as your event. Ask them to share information about your event. You will need to provide them with a media advisory.
  • Community Sponsors. Reach out to local businesses, clinics, hospitals, and schools to help promote and support your event.

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Resources from our federal partners

Explore other resources and websites from some of our federal partners:

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