Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Let's empower communities and organizations to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS

Far too many people think that HIV/AIDS is only a crisis in developing countries. Unfortunately, this is untrue. In March 2009, the state of Washington D.C reported an HIV prevalence of at least 3% among residents over 12 years old, a rate similar to those found in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.1 Today’s National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the US is a nationwide observance to raise awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls and encourage them to get tested. This is especially important in low-income communities where access to healthcare based education and prevention measures are typically inadequate. It is also a day therefore aimed at empowering communities and organizations to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Since the 1980s when HIV/AIDS first came onto our horizon, more than 500,000 Americans have died as a result of developing AIDS.2 Initially, the highest concentrations of HIV/AIDS were on the East and West coasts, primarily in the gay populations. Today, half of all Americans living with HIV/AIDS live in the South.3 In recent years, HIV/AIDS has been increasingly found in African American communities. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), AIDS-related deaths were one of the leading contributors of mortality amongst African Americans between the ages of 25-34.4 Rates among women are also high, as a woman in the U.S tests positive for HIV almost every 35 minutes. Over one million Americans are currently infected with HIV/AIDS, and as many as one in five are unaware that they are infected.5 Across the US, varying by region, between 20%-40% of these are women.

On November 9th, 2009, the WHO (World Health Organization) announced that HIV/AIDS was one of the top killers of girls and women between the ages of 15-44. Sadly, the highest rate of new infections were young women between the ages of 18-25.It is therefore critical to highlight the issue and ensure that adequate measures and strategies are undertaken to advance awareness and prevention for women of all ages in our own countries as well is in the developing ones.

VitalwaveTM is dedicated to bringing awareness of HIV/AIDS related issues and supports the efforts of America’s national HIV/AIDS strategy by encouraging everyone to get behind National Women and Girls HIV/AIDs Awareness Day. To find data about HIV/AIDS by county and state, please visit .

  3. Meditz et al. Journal of Infectious Diseases (2011, February) ‘Sex, Race, and Geographic Region Influence Clinical Outcomes Following Primary HIV-1 Infection
  4. Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation HIV/AIDS Policy Fact Sheet Feb 2006.
  5. CDC ‘HIV Prevalence Estimates — United States, 2006’ MMWR 57(39), 3 October 2008
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