Author: Catherine Vo, Guest Blogger
This is this year’s theme for National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This annual day of awareness, which falls on March 10th, is headed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH).
Prevention starts with education and understanding. The OWH and the CDC have taken initiative to create resources that you can easily share on social media with family and friends to spread the word.
What can you do this National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day? Here are some tips from the OWH:
- Get an HIV test, which is free and confidential. To find a location, visit gettested.cdc.gov.
- Prevent HIV by using a latex condom every time you have sex.
- If you are HIV-negative and your partner has HIV, talk to a doctor about taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill that can reduce your risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. Find a provider near you at PrEPlocator.org(link is external).
- If you are living with HIV, talk to your doctor about ways to stay healthy and take your medication as prescribed to achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load. It can help prevent spreading HIV to your sexual partner or if you are pregnant, to your baby.
- If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, visit a doctor or nurse right away. The doctor may decide that you should get post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is an anti-HIV medicine that you take within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV to lower your chances of getting HIV.
- If you are a health care professional, you should know the screening guidelines, talk to patients about their risk, and encourage patients living with HIV to adhere to treatment.
Lastly, educate your family and friends. Share the images below from the CDC and this social media toolkit from the OWH, and use the hashtag #NWGHAAD on social media.