24 June 2010

This Week: Get Yourself Tested!

National HIV Testing Day (NHTD): June 27Sunday, June 27th is National HIV Testing Day, and all this week around the country, cities are offering opportunities and events to help people get tested while learning more about the prevalence of HIV in America and its impact on our communities.

If it feels likes HIV/AIDS is a thing of the past, think again. A few facts on the virus:
  • Over one million Americans are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
  • Every 9½ minutes, someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV
  • One out of five Americans living with HIV today doesn’t know it
  • The epidemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations, particularly racial and ethnic minorities, gay and bisexual men -- and women
The degree to which HIV has become a women's issue in the 21st century cannot be understated. Today women account for more than 27 percent of new HIV cases. Women of color are disproportionately affected at alarming rates: while Black women and Latinas compose 25 percent of women in the US, they represent 81 percent of AIDS diagnoses among women. In 2004, the last year for which data is available, HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death among Black women aged 25-34.

These statistics make it clear just how big a stake the women's community has in making HIV/AIDS truly a thing of the past. Learn more about how our National Women and AIDS Collective is working to raise awareness and change attitudes about how the virus affects women. Watch Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's video message below about the importance of knowing your HIV status. And please take the time this week to go and get yourself tested -- because knowledge is power.

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