New York City Group Promotes Awareness On National HIV/AIDS Day for Women, Girls
The New York City-based HIV/AIDS group Gay Men's Health Crisis on Tuesday will join other advocates, officials, teachers and clergy members outside City Hall to bring attention to what it calls the "alarming" impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls on the occasion of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the AP/USA Today reports. The group plans to call for improved sex education in schools and increased HIV prevention and treatment services (AP/USA Today, 3/9). The 2009 theme for the day is "HIV is Right Here at Home" (HHS Web site, 3/10).
According to New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the city remains at the "epicenter" of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Currently, one in three HIV-positive residents is female, an increase from one in 10 in the early years of the epidemic. In addition, almost 90% of HIV-positive women and 94% of teenage girls who recently contracted the disease are black or Hispanic, the AP/USA Today reports (AP/USA Today, 3/9). In the U.S., women accounted for 26% of new AIDS diagnoses in 2005, an increase from 11% in 1990. In addition, HIV/AIDS currently is the leading cause of death among black women ages 25 to 34. According to HHS, most women contract HIV through heterosexual contact or injection drug use (HHS Web site, 3/10).