Shining A Spotlight On HIV/AIDS Awareness Days
Did you know 36.7 million people across the world are living with HIV or AIDS? And, in the U.S. alone, 1.1 million people currently have HIV. Shockingly, about 1 in 7 don’t even know they are infected.
If you’re unsure what exactly HIV and AIDS are, how you contract them, and the risks associated with both, check out our previous blog for What You Need to Know About HIV/AIDS. But, for a quick refresher, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a sexually transmitted disease and is the virus that can lead to AIDS – if left untreated. HIV attacks the body’s immune system, and once you are infected, you have it for life. There is currently no cure for HIV, but medicine referred to as antiretroviral therapy (ART) can control the symptoms and make it possible for those with HIV to live a relatively normal life. AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the “most severe phase of HIV infection.” Those with AIDS have immune systems that are severely damaged and compromised, which leads to opportunistic infections, or severe illnesses. Since the AIDS epidemic first began in the 1980s, over 1.2 million people have been diagnosed with AIDS.
The statistics are sobering and make it clear that HIV and AIDS awareness and education is critical. We’ve all heard of HIV and AIDS, but a shocking amount of people don’t really know very much about the STD and its advanced stage at all.
That’s why besafemeds is shining a spotlight on 3 HIV/AIDS Awareness Days coming up this Spring.
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Saturday, March 10th is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD). Each year, local, state, federal, and national organizations, as well as health care professionals, advocate for the support of women and girls across the U.S. who are living with HIV and AIDS. National Women and Girls HIV/Aids Awareness Day 2018 is the thirteenth year observing this important day that helps to shed a light on the way HIV and AIDS effects women across the country. This year’s theme is “HIV Prevention Starts with Me,” and aims to highlight the fact that everyone should play a role in HIV prevention. Educating yourself is the first step towards protecting yourself and those around you from HIV.
Fast Facts: HIV/AIDS Among Women and Girls
- About 1 in 4 people living with HIV in the U.S. is a woman.
- Currently 23% of those living with HIV in the U.S. are women. That’s approximately 230,000 women.
- African American women and Hispanic women are especially vulnerable to HIV infection.
- Any female who has sex can contract HIV, no matter their race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.
- Only half of the women and girls living with HIV have achieved viral suppression.
If you’re interested in learning more about NWGHAAD and how you can show your support, visit Womenshealth.gov and use the hashtags #NWGHAAD and #ICanStopHIV on social media!
National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Tuesday, March 20th is National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD). It is held on the first day of Spring each year because in many Native cultures, the four seasons closely represent the cycle of life and are very highly regarded. Spring is considered a time of change, new beginnings, and a celebration of life. This is a day for shedding light on the high rate of HIV and AIDS among the Native communities, including American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. It is also a national effort “to encourage Natives across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get involved in prevention and get treated for HIV and AIDS.” Although they only make up 1.2% of the population in the United States, HIV is a major public health issue among American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
Fast Facts: HIV/AIDS Among Native Americans
- HIV in gay and bisexual American Indian and Alaskan Native men has increased 63% in the past 10 years.
- In 2013, 3,600 natives were estimated to be living with HIV. 18% of those were not diagnosed.
- An estimated 1 in 5 American Indians and Alaska Natives living with HIV are not aware they are infected.
- Due to poverty, high rates of STIs, stigma, and a lack of sexual health education, Natives face many HIV prevention challenges.
To learn more about how you can support National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, visit nnhaad.org and be sure to use the hashtag #NNHAAD on social media to spread awareness!
National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day
Tuesday, April 10th is National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD). A day to educate the public on the impact of HIV and AIDS amongst our youth. It is also a time for showcasing the incredible work young people are doing across the U.S. to fight HIV & AIDS and spread awareness. According to the NYHAAD website, it is such an important day and cause because “today’s young people are the first generation who have ever known a world without HIV and AIDS.” The only way to fight and eventually end the HIV/AIDS epidemic is to educate our youth and ensure they have all the information and tools necessary to protect themselves from infection.
Fast Facts: HIV/AIDS Among Children and Teens
- In 2015, 22% of new HIV diagnoses were among those ages 13-24.
- 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses in 2015 were among youth ages 13-24. Among them, 44% didn’t know they were infected.
- 2.1 million children are living with HIV worldwide.
- Over 76,4000 children, teens, and young adults are living with HIV in the U.S.
If you’re interested in learning more about National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, visit the Advocates for Youth NYHAAD website and be sure to use the hashtag #NYHAAD on all social media platforms!
Now that you know more about all the HIV/AIDS awareness days coming up, you can do your part to spread the word and educate your friends and family on HIV and AIDS. If you suspect you or someone you know may have HIV, besafemeds can help. We’re here to provide safe and private online STD treatment. Visit our How it Works page to learn more.‹ Back to Blog