The Full Spectrum Blog is rockin’ the red pump in support of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which was held on March 10. This nationwide initiative is celebrated every year during Women’s History Month to raise awareness of the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. March 10th is designated as a day to celebrate progress, but also serve as an annual reminder of the public health crisis facing our nation’s female population.
A few startling facts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
- Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States
- About 1 in 4 Americans living with HIV are women
- HIV incidence rates for black women are nearly 15 times as high as that of white women, and nearly four times that of Hispanic women
- Approximately one in 30 black women will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime
Last week, Spectrum staff attended a few local NWGHAAD events, including the HHS Office on Women’s Health event at the National Press Club. This event brought together some of the biggest names in the nation’s HIV/AIDS arena, including the U.S. Surgeon General. Vice Admiral Regina M. Benjamin reflected on both the nationwide extent of the disease and her personal experience with HIV/AIDS. She shared the distressing story of an HIV positive woman she worked with at a health clinic and the sad account of her own brother’s abrupt death due to the virus. Looking forward, she sees increased sex education in schools paring nicely with the federal government’s recently launched anti-obesity campaign. As funding is increased for physical education classes, more health courses, hopefully including sexual health, will be taught in the public school system. (more…)