About National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide observance coordinated by the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its goal is to encourage people to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and raise awareness of its impact on women and girls. This National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, OWH is partnering with the Greater Than AIDS campaign and asking, “What’s your deciding moment?” According to Greater Than AIDS, deciding moments are everyday opportunities to take action against HIV, whether it is getting tested, talking with friends and family, using condoms, practicing abstinence, or taking medications as directed.
It is observed on March 10 every year, but OWH encourages organizations to hold events throughout the month of March.
HIV/AIDS is a serious public health issue—more than 290,000 women in the United States are living with HIV (CDC. MMWR, Vol. 60, No. 21; 2011). While men account for most HIV/AIDS cases, the impact on women and girls with HIV/AIDS is no less severe. In addition, research shows that women face larger gaps in access and care than men face.
The new Affordable Care Act and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy will help change that. The new law prohibits all insurance plans from putting lifetime caps on the dollar amount they will spend on benefits. In the past, patients with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or other chronic diseases ran the risk of hitting a lifetime cap and losing access to care. The law also restricts most insurance companies’ use of low annual dollar limits on benefits. In 2014, annual limits will be eliminated. In addition, the Affordable Care Act will help those living with HIV/AIDS to better afford their medications. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy will help:
- Reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV
- Increase access to care and optimize health outcomes for people living with HIV
- Reduce HIV-related health disparities
For more information, visit How does the Affordable Care Act Impact People Living with HIV/AIDS and The National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
The Affordable Care Act and National HIV/AIDS Strategy are two important steps in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but the federal government cannot do it alone. We all have a role to play. On National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, OWH calls on individuals and organizations across the country to take action and bring attention to the impact HIV/AIDS has on women and girls.
There are many ways to observe National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Hold a screening event, work with government officials to issue a proclamation, spread the word through social media, or work with local media to write stories about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. For more ideas, visit our event and planning guides and templates.
Content last updated February 9, 2012.