National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is an annual observance that takes place on March 10.
By Barrett White
Did you know that a woman in Texas is diagnosed with HIV every 12 hours? Though the HIV epidemic may not get as many headlines, HIV infections are still on the rise. This is especially true for women of color. In fact, women of color have a disproportionately higher lifetime risk of HIV infection. According to research compiled by Merck, the disparities among race and gender identity are stark: In their most recent data, women accounted for 19% of all new HIV infections. Among those women, Black women carried the largest burden, making up 57% of all new cases, followed by white women at 21% and Latine women at 18%.
Additionally, among transgender women interviewed across seven different major U.S. cities, 62% of Black trans women were living with HIV, compared to 35% of Latine trans women and 17% of white trans women.
Shockingly, despite the statistics listed above, Merck found that only 7% of women at risk for HIV infection were prescribed PrEP.
It doesn’t have to continue to be this way. Texans can take back their health with the help of health care providers like Legacy.
Legacy is committed to ending the HIV epidemic with our comprehensive list of HIV-specific services, like free walk-in HIV testing – no appointment needed. Legacy also offers same-day PrEP. PrEP is a once-daily pill or infrequent injection you can take that prevents HIV by over 90% when taken as directed, per the CDC.
“National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an annual reminder that female-presenting individuals are at just as high a risk for HIV as male-presenting individuals are,” says Ashley Minkeu, Public Health Director at Legacy. “The day also serves as a reminder that prevention and treatment are for everyone, regardless of gender identity. Managing your HIV to achieve undetectable status with ART or utilizing PrEP to prevent transmission are cornerstones of ending the HIV epidemic.”
Legacy has been providing HIV care for nearly 40 years. Our expert staff can answer all your questions about HIV testing, prevention with PrEP, and treatment, including how to make your HIV care affordable – you may even qualify for a free at-home HIV test kit.
“With the additions of Cabenuva and Apretude injectables to our toolkit, the options for treatment and prevention have become easier and more manageable,” Minkeu says.
Get involved! Share what you want all women to know on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day by posting on social media using the hashtags #NWGHAAD and #StopHIVTogether.
Everyone has an HIV status. Know yours. Visit LegacyCommunityHealth.org/GetTested, or call (832) 548-5221 in the greater Houston area or (409) 242-2613 in Beaumont to learn more.