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March 10, 2008

Honoring our Sisters: Women Living with HIV/AIDS

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which is an annual day to raise awareness of the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls and encourage women and girls to take action.

These year's theme is "Honoring our Sisters: Women Living with HIV/AIDS".



In 2005, women represented 27 percent of new AIDS diagnoses. This number has more than tripled since 1985 when it was 8 percent. More men than women are infected with HIV each year, but that gap is slowly closing and if HIV infections continue at their current rate worldwide, women with HIV will soon outnumber men. The only diseases causing more deaths of women are cancer and heart disease.

In 2008, women of color accounted for 80% of all women estimated to be living with AIDS, with black women making up 62% of that total. AIDS is now the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34.


Women and girls can take action today (and every day) by:


  • getting tested for HIV


  • practicing safe methods of HIV-prevention


  • not engaging in high risk behaviors


  • talking about HIV prevention with family, friends and colleagues


  • providing support to people living with HIV/AIDS


  • donating or volunteering for one of the many HIV/AIDS organizations


  • participating in an HIV/AIDS awareness event


  • learning from the stories of women living with HIV/AIDS


  • speaking out about your own HIV/AIDS status

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