For Immediate Release
March 2, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  Communities and organizations across the U.S. will sponsor programs on or around this date to call attention to the ever-rising numbers of women diagnosed with HIV and seek solutions to reduce the spread of the virus. 

“Kansans are encouraged to take the opportunity to learn about how they can protect themselves from acquiring and spreading the virus,” said Roderick Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

HIV/AIDS deeply impacts women globally, nationally and here in Kansas   Worldwide it is the leading cause of death and disease in women aged 15-44.  In Kansas in 2008, women accounted for 16.5 percent of the AIDS cases in the state and 20 percent of the HIV cases.  Nationally, women account for about one quarter of new HIV cases, with a new infection occurring every 35 minutes.

Most women are infected with HIV through heterosexual contact and injection drug use.  Women of color are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. AIDS is now the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34. 

The following events offering education and testing are planned in recognition of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness.