Local health department recognizes National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Dan Suffoletto, Public Information Supervisor at Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County, talks about the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Dayton Conevtion Cener Wednesday morning, Jan. 20, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Dan Suffoletto, Public Information Supervisor at Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County, talks about the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Dayton Conevtion Cener Wednesday morning, Jan. 20, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County said in a release that it is recognizing National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Wednesday, March 10.

The event is meant to highlight the effects of HIV and AIDS on women and girls, the local health department said. This year is themed around “HIV Prevention Starts with Me,” encouraging women to take charge of their health through education, condom use and possibly. taking medicine called pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County offers free, confidential HIV tests, which can be scheduled by calling 937-225-4550.

In Montgomery County, it said, women and girls made up 18% of the new HIV cases in 2019, with African American women making up half of that amount.

Public Health also said that 1 in 9 women with HIV are unaware they have it and might unknowingly pass it on to others.

The department listed a few factors that make a woman more vulnerable to HIV, including:

  • Having other sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea or syphilis
  • Not using condoms or medicines to prevent HIV when the male’s risk of having HIV is unknown
  • Woman having a higher risk of getting HIV during sex than their partners
  • Women who have been sexually abused may be more likely to engage in risky behavior that could put them in danger of catching HIV

In the U.S. in 2018, 88% of men and women who were diagnosed with HIV caught it from heterosexual contact, with a small percentage attributing the diagnosis to injection drug use.

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