National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

The one thing that I have noticed working in the field of HIV prevention and education is that there are so many different programs for men who have sex with men. There are incentivized groups and workshops, community events, and HIV testing promotional campaigns. Ever since the beginning of my career in public health, all the outreach and recruitment were specifically for men who have sex with men.

I always remember how highlighted this demographic is around this time because we soon are approaching National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Around this time, I realize that this demographic does not have much awareness other than this specific day.

Importance for women and girls to know their status

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is recognized on March 10 and is a day to show support for women and girls living with HIV. It is a day to highlight awareness about the impact HIV still has on women. I have noticed that as an agency, we are getting funded to work with men who have sex with men but not much funding to work with women.

I always love to spread light and awareness on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day because according to the CDC, in 2018, women accounted for 19 percent of newly diagnosed in the United States.1

This upcoming awareness day we will be implementing an HIV testing event at our site which will be highlighting the importance of women and girls knowing their status.

Recognizing women and girls

We are currently trying to make partnerships in the surrounding area with organizations that target women, especially women of color. We want a surplus of services throughout the day that the community can utilize. We will also be trying to get donations, especially hygiene kits and female condoms.

We will continue to have our pantry services on the same day, giving the community another push to come out and enjoy the event. We give out over one hundred dry food boxes and one hundred fresh produce bags.

Why I promote National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

I continue to push this awareness day, especially over social media because HIV is still impacting my community. Regardless of sexual orientation, gender, age, or demographic, HIV is still prevalent in all communities.

During the times of the pandemic, we have had to switch most in-person activities into virtual so pushing out this day via social media is what the community is used to. We take advantage of tagging partner organizations within these posts to do a social media takeover.

I have been very fortunate to work for an organization that pushes me to highlight HIV awareness days throughout the year. National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a day that I really love doing events for specifically because throughout the year the events and programs that I supervise are catered towards men who have sex with men.

I hope that across Los Angeles County, this amazing awareness day will shed light on the impact that HIV still has on women and girls.

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