Riley Heruska
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Image provided by the CDC

This weekend, the Office of Women's Health of the Department of Health and Human Services is sponsoring an event to raise awareness for the need for all women, especially pregnant women, to be tested and treated for HIV. The organization hopes to promote better choices when it comes to women protecting their own health, as well as that of their children. 

Although it seems as though there is little the average woman can do to prevent the spread of HIV, according to experts, everyone can do their part to prevent the spread of the disease by shielding themselves, spreading awareness, and opening discussions about the dangers of HIV infection. In fact, the event's theme this year is "HIV Prevention Starts With Me." 

For the thirteen time, the month of March will host the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Local, state, federal, and national organizations are all coming together to shed light on one of the big problems in American: HIV and AIDS. Currently, more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and roughly 23 percent of them are women. 

What You Can Do to Support This Event 

  • Talk about HIV and AIDS with others. Connect your community members with the resources they need to learn about the disease, how to prevent it, and more. 

  • Take to social media to open discussions. The event organizers encourage people to use #NWGHAAD and #ICanStopHIV to spread awareness about March 10. 

  • Get tested if you might need to. This website can help you find the nearest HIV testing locations so that you can start protecting yourself and others if necessary. Unfortunately, many people live with HIV for years without knowing they have it, which means they cannot benefit from early treatment and prevent transmission effectively. 

  • Combat the stigma around HIV. Talking about the disease, encouraging treatment, and implementing preventative methods are all great things, so don't let anyone talk badly about them. 

Although the overall number of HIV diagnoses has been falling in recent years, diagnoses among women remain stable. This indicates that we must continue educating the public about HIV and AIDs, as well as prevention methods. 

To learn more about National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day or the disease itself, click here

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