Today is National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day so I thought I’d take a few minutes and share a few facts. Did you know that:
- Every 47 minutes a woman in the United States tests positive for HIV
- One in 139 women will be diagnosed with HIV in her lifetime
- In 2010, women and girls made up two-thirds of the people who got the disease by having heterosexual sex, with African-American women and girls continuing to be disproportionately affected
How can you help in at least slowing down the rates? Educate others. Tell them that:
- Abstinence from sex or being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and she knows is uninfected is the best way to avoid transmission of the disease.
- Correct and consistent use of the male latex condom can reduce the risk of transmission, BUT no protective method is 100% effective and no condom use can guarantee absolute protection against any STD. The more sex partners a person has, the more she (or he) is at risk of getting HIV or other STDs.
- Condoms used with a lubricant are less likely to break, however, condoms with the spermicide nonoxynol-9 are not recommended for HIV/AIDS prevention.
- Many people have been infected with HIV through the shared use of needles or syringes used to inject drugs, steroids, vitamins or for tattooing and body piercing.
- Transmission of the HIV virus or any other STD can occur with a single act of intercourse.
- Get tested!