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GMHC Statement: National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

3.6.2019

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Media Contact:
Cub Barrett: VP, Communications and Public Affairs, GMHC
212-367-1561 | CubB@GMHC.org

 

GMHC Statement on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (March 10)

March 8, 2019 (New York, NY)—The following is a statement from Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) CEO Kelsey Louie about National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which falls on March 10 every year. The 2019 theme of the awareness day is “HIV Prevention Starts with Me.”

STATEMENT BY GMHC CEO KELSEY LOUIE:

GMHC recognizes National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day by calling for increased outreach to cisgender and transgender women and girls to promote HIV testing, prevention education (including usage of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP), and access to care. The New York City Health Department recently reported that, in 2017, 61% of women living with HIV in New York City were Black and 27% were Latina/Hispanic. The HIV diagnosis rate among Black females was 2.7 times higher than the rate among Latina/Hispanic females, and over 10 times higher than the rate among White females. Clearly, we have much more work to do to focus specifically on women’s treatment and prevention—especially for women of color.

Many factors contribute to these higher rates of infection among certain demographics. According to the Office of Women’s Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, poverty, stigma, immigration status, and fear of discrimination may prevent Black and Latina/Hispanic women from seeking testing, counseling, or treatment if infected.

We will continue to encourage women to learn more about PrEP, a proven prevention tool that has already helped the city reduce new infection rates among men who have sex with men (MSM), and will work with the city, other community-based organizations, and partners to raise awareness about the benefits of PrEP. We also pledge to continue our work to empower and stand with women and girls and all communities affected by HIV/AIDS to end this epidemic once and for all.

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About Gay Men's Health Crisis
Gay Men's Health Crisis
(GMHC) is the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization. GMHC is on the front lines providing services to more than 13,000 people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Programs include testing, prevention, nutrition, legal, supportive housing, mental health, and substance use services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state, and federal levels with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic. For more information, visit www.gmhc.org

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