March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The 2009 theme is “HIV is Right Here at Home.” 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.
Citizens are encouraged to get educated, get tested, get treated and get involved with HIV/AIDS as it continues to devastate communities.
In 2005, women represented 26 percent of new AIDS diagnoses in the U.S., compared to only 11 percent of new AIDS cases reported in 1990. 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.
Initiatives planned in recognition of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Kansas includes:
· Douglas County AIDS Project, Lawrence will be partnering with GaDuGi Center (victims of domestic violence) Women and Girl’s Garden Club. The purpose of this group is to educate women and girls about HIV/AIDS prevention and provide comprehensive sex education. The group meets every second and fourth Saturday of the month until June 27. For more information, call 785-843-0040.
· Hunter Health Clinic, Wichita An African American women’s group focusing on HIV prevention will meet from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10 at the McAdams Recreation Center, 1329 E.16th St. Food will be provided. Please call 316-262-3611, ext. 1112 for more information.
A session for Latina women is scheduled to meet from 6-7 p.m. on March 19 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 925 N. Waco. Register by calling 316-262-3611, ext. 1171.
· Topeka AIDS Project, Topeka will offer free, rapid HIV testing starting at 3:30 p.m. on March 16 at the Topeka and Shawnee County Library. The testing will be provided immediately following a health seminar for TAP community partners. For more information, please contact Amy Wethington at 785-232-3100.
· Good Samaritan Project, Kansas City, Kansas will be hosting two educational sessions on March 10 at the KCK Community College. Sessions and refreshments will be offered from 10 - 11 a.m. and from noon -1 p.m. HIV testing will also be available for students. For more information, please contact Elnora Powell, Community Prevention Specialist, at 816-561-8784.
· Johnson County Health Department, Olathe Kansas A community outreach worker with the Johnson County Health Education Division will answer questions and provide information at the health department from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on March 10. For more information, contact Vicki Hanley at 913-894-2525.
· United Methodist Kansas Mexican American Ministries, Garden City will offer HIV testing and health education information on March 10 and also routinely provides these services. Call 620-275-1766 for more information.