Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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Women's HIV and AIDS Awareness Day

Today, March 10th, is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The theme for 2009 is “HIV is Right Here at Home”. You can follow Women’s Health, the lead for this event, on twitter.

The day is meant to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS. To remind women and teach girls the facts. In 2005, 26% of new AIDS diagnoses were women. This was up from only 11% in 1990. Most women are infected with the HIV virus through heterosexual contact and injection drug use.

AIDS has become the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34. This doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn and follow the simple steps to prevent or spread HIV. It can be as simple as ABC.

* A stands for "abstinence" (not having sex of any kind). Abstaining from sexual activities, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex, is the surest way to avoid HIV.

* B is for "be faithful." Having only one sexual partner who is also faithful to you limits the possibility of infection.


* C is for condoms. Using a male latex condom for all types of sexual contact can greatly lower your risk of getting HIV during sex. If you or your partner is allergic to latex, use polyurethane condoms. If your partner can’t or won’t use a condom, you can use a female condom. It may protect against HIV, but it’s not as good as a male latex condom.

The following steps also can help lower your risk of getting HIV:

* Don't share needles.

* Limit your number of sexual partners.

* Know that not all types of birth control will protect you from HIV.

* Get screened for STIs (sexually transmitted infections).

* Don’t abuse alcohol or drugs, which is linked to sexual risk-taking. Drinking too much alcohol or using drugs also puts you at risk of sexual assault and possible exposure to HIV.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service