[Question #5] HIV Awareness

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108 months ago

I just visited your website (it’s great, by the way!) and saw your notice about an HIV Awareness Day for Women and Girls. As a woman I never really thought of myself as being at great risk for HIV, but the fact there’s a “National Day” for it makes me wonder. How big a problem is this for females?

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moderator1 moderator1
108 months ago

You are almost certainly not alone in thinking you might not be at great risk, so the awareness campaign for women and girls is probably even more important than we thought!

Here’s the deal: females are absolutely at risk for HIV. According to the CDC, nearly 25% of those diagnosed with HIV in the U.S are female. Among those who get HIV through heterosexual (“straight”) contact, two-thirds are girls and women.

When women think about sexual health, HIV testing and prevention should certainly be part of it.

  • Condoms, used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in reducing the risk of acquiring HIV

  • CDC recommends HIV testing for everyone ages 13-64. HIV testing is especially important for pregnant women (the earlier in the pregnancy, the better): pregnant women who have HIV and are treated early and appropriately have a small risk of transmitting the virus to their babies

For more on HIV testing (and to find a clinic near you), visit the HIV.gov.

—The STI Resource Center Staff