March 10, 2012
State Health Department Urges Greater Education, Awareness for Women & Girls Regarding HIV/AIDS
CHICAGO – Every 47 minutes in the United States, a woman tests positive for HIV. In Illinois, more than 7,000 women and adolescent girls are living with HIV. Today, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) joins healthcare advocates nationwide in remembrance and awareness on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
Coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day has been observed every March 10th since 2006.
“We pause today to recognize the particular risks HIV/AIDS poses for women and girls, and to raise awareness of the increasing impact of the disease on them,” said IDPH Acting Director Arthur Kohrman. “Increasing awareness and knowledge is key so that women and girls can empower themselves about this disease. Get tested, and tell your friends to get tested for HIV.”
In Illinois, 18 percent of diagnoses of HIV infection were among women and girls aged 13 years and older in 2010. More than 3,300 women and girls with AIDS have died since the epidemic began. Women and girls of color—particularly black women and girls—are disproportionately affected.
In 2010, the rate of HIV diagnoses for black women and girls in Illinois was nearly 21 times higher than the rate for white women and girls and approximately six times higher than the rate for Latinas.
IDPH continues to foster community engagement and resources promoting HIV testing and educational programs through BASUAH (Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS, www.basuah.org), which is geared toward communities of color in Illinois.
IDPH also facilitates access to free HIV testing locations through Text2Survive. Text IL and a ZIP Code to 36363 in English, or text “centro” plus the ZIP Code to 36363 to receive the information in Spanish. Also visit idph.riproad.com for a full list of HIV/AIDS education and awareness events being held statewide.
HIV testing and counseling sites statewide can also be found at this link: http://www.idph.state.il.us/aids/test_serve_sites.htm. For more information, please call the IDPH HIV/AIDS and STD hotline at 1-800-243-2437 and visit the IDPH website at http://www.idph.state.il.us/aids/default.htm.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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