National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
March 10, 2011 by Paul Guequierre
The following post is from HRC Senior Public Policy Advocate, Andria Levario:
Today, March 10th is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It is a time to consider the toll the epidemic has taken and continues to take on women across the nation.
More than a quarter of all new HIV infections in the U.S. are among women and AIDS is the third leading cause of death, behind cancer and heart disease, for all women in the U.S. It is also a time to take action for ourselves, our loved ones and our community. If you don’t know your HIV status, make an appointment to be tested. What about your partner? Encourage her to do the same. As for our community, it is imperative that women and girls have ready access to family planning and reproductive health services.
In recent weeks, the House of Representatives voted to strip funding to clinics that are at the forefront of delivering necessary primary care, health education, and HIV testing, to millions of American women. Family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood are the medical home for many women, and place an emphasis on delivering culturally competent care. Even the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy recognizes the importance of the services provided by reproductive health care providers and calls for their inclusion in the efforts to reduce incidence of HIV/AIDS and expand access to care. Combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic requires using all available means, to educate and prevent new infections. To protect women’s health, we must ensure all women have access to reproductive health and family planning services.
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