Raising Awareness of HIV/AIDS in Women and Girls
March 7, 2016
HIV/AIDS FACTS: Did you know?
- In the United States, there are more than 1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, and 25 percent of them are women.1
- Each year the number of people infected with HIV ranges between 47,000 to 56,300,2 and 27 percent of them are women.1
- A staggering 21 percent of those infected in the U.S. are unaware they have HIV.2
These statistics highlight the importance of HIV screening as part of routine medical care. "We offer HIV testing to everyone who comes to our health centers," said ACCESS HIV Medical Director Nancy Glick, M.D. "I believe it is important for patients to know their HIV status and know we are available to answer any questions or refer them for HIV treatment at our offices in the Chicagoland area."
As we recently recognized National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on March 10, it is important to remember that awareness of HIV status allows for behavioral changes that can reduce the risks of being infected or infecting others. And, early diagnosis is beneficial for obtaining treatment quicker, even without insurance.
Awareness also is about knowing how to protect yourself and your partners from HIV. Here are some tips from ACCESS:
- Get screened and know your status.
- Use a latex or polyurethane condom.
- Reduce the number of sexual partners you have.
- Know the HIV status of your sexual partners.
- Avoid sharing any needles or syringes. Purchase new syringes from a pharmacy or visit your local syringe exchange.
- If you cannot obtain a clean needle or syringe, limit the number of people with whom you share equipment and know their HIV and Hepatitis status.
- Make sure your tattoo artist or piercing professional takes new, unused needles out of sealed packages in front of you.
- CDC. HIV in the United States Fact Sheet.
- Prejean J, et al. Estimated HIV incidence in the United States, 2006–2009.