March 10, 2019 marks the 14th annual observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day!
In 2017, the CDC found that more than 7,000 women received an HIV diagnoses. Of those 7,000, nearly two-thirds were black women. Women and girls make up 23% of all people living with HIV in the United States. For this reason, National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide event that promotes the need for HIV testing and treatment for women.
Here are ways you can help take control of your sexual health:
1. Talk about it!
Learn the facts about HIV by talking with a healthcare professional or from reliable sources like the CDC. And don’t just leave it at the doctor’s office, share your information with your friends and family. Education is one of our most important tools when it comes to HIV prevention and treatment
2. Get tested!
Knowing your status helps keep you and your partner(s) healthy. Many people might live with HIV for years before knowing they have it. CDC recommends that everyone get tested for HIV at least once. Those who are at high risk for contracting the virus should be tested at least once a year (Click here to find out what is considered “high risk behavior”).
Knowing your status means you also know if you need to seek treatment. HIV medicine helps keep those with HIV healthy and prevents them from transmitting the disease to others.
3. Protect yourself and your partner(s)!
Today we have many ways to prevent HIV transmission and help those living with HIV stay healthy. To reduce your risk of contracting HIV, you can do multiple things including: using condoms correctly every time you have sex, reducing your number of sexual partners, refraining from sharing needles or other injection drug equipment, and choosing less risky behavior.
If you are currently HIV negative but at high risk for HIV, you can talk to your doctor about a daily medicine called PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). The CDC has more information on the benefits of using PrEP.
Don’t forget: Caring Communities offers free and
confidential HIV testing at all of our office locations! We provide PrEP
services for those at high risk of contracting HIV, as well as free and
confidential Case Management services for those currently living with HIV. If
you have any questions about or services, or would like to schedule an
appointment for your own HIV test, please feel free to contact us at
570-829-2700, option 2.