National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Ladies, PrEP Is for You!
March 3 2023
March 10 is National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day to address the impact of HIV on women and girls, as well as the importance of reducing HIV stigma and promote testing, prevention, and treatment for women.
In New York City, as in the rest of the country, Black and Latina women have disproportionately high rates of HIV. Here are some facts, according to NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and AIDSVu:
- Black women accounted for 63% of new HIV diagnoses among all women in New York City in 2018; Latina women made up 27% new diagnoses among all women.
- The rate of Black women in NYC living with HIV is 14.8 times that of white women (2020).
- The rate of Latina women in NYC living with HIV is 7.5 times that of white women (2020).
There are many reasons for these disparities, according to Sandrine Blake, Amida Care’s Assistant Director of Member Events: “Women of color and women of trans experience face barriers to access the care they need and deserve to remain HIV-negative. Those factors include stigma, discrimination, lack of targeted resources, socioeconomic challenges, and poverty.”
What can we do?
According to Sylvia Cowan, Amida Care’s Vice President of Customer Experience, Growth and Retention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is key: “For those who are HIV negative, prevention can be easy. Many women engage in unprotected sex, but don’t know about PrEP or don’t think it’s for them. If we’re talking about PrEP to men, we must extend that same conversation to women. If they’ve heard of PrEP, most women think it’s for guys and many older women in the community mistakenly think that they’re not impacted by HIV. Ladies, PrEP is also for you! Let’s make it a thing!”
Click here for more information and resources about PrEP.