I'm Rocking The Red Pump!

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Here are some facts about HIV/AIDS and how it affects women and girls:

*There are approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. & almost 280,000 are women

*In 2006, there were 15,000 new HIV infections and 9,801 AIDS cases diagnosed among women

*There were 3,784 deaths among women with AIDS in 2006

*Among those who are HIV positive, 35% of women were tested for HIV late in their illness (diagnosed with AIDS within one year of testing positive)

*HIV is the 5th leading cause of death in women in the United States, ages 25-44

*High-risk heterosexual contact is the source of 80% of these newly diagnosed infections in women

*According to a CDC study of more than 19,500 patients with HIV in 10 US cities, women were slightly less likely than men to receive prescriptions for the most effective treatments for HIV infection

*Women with AIDS made up an increasing part of the epidemic. In 1992, women accounted for an estimated 14% of adults and adolescents living with AIDS in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. By the end of 2005, this proportion had grown to 23%*From the beginning of the epidemic through 2005, almost 86,000 women have died of AIDS and AIDS-related complications.

*The largest number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses during recent years was for women aged 15–39

And the stats are even more startling when you look at minority women and girls:

HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects minority women in the United States. According to the 2005 census, Black and Latina women represent 24% of all US women combined, but account for 82% of the estimated total of AIDS diagnoses for women in 2005.

HIV is: *the leading cause of death for black women (including African American women) aged 25–34 years. *the 3rd leading cause of death for black women aged 35–44 years. *the 4th leading cause of death for black women aged 45–54 years. *the 4th leading cause of death for Latina women aged 35–44 years. *The only diseases causing more deaths of women were cancer and heart disease *The rate of AIDS diagnosis for black women was approximately 23 times the rate for white women and 4 times the rate for Latina women *In 2006, teen girls represented 39% of AIDS cases reported among 13–19 year-olds. Black teens represented 69% of cases reported among 13–19 year-olds; Latino teens represented 19%

These statistics were pulled from The Center for Disease Control's website and the Kaiser Family Foundation's Fact Sheets (which cited the CDC). Get more information about the effect of the epidemic from these sites.

I'd like to thank the Red Pump Project blog for making these stats available.

Today, I and 100 other female bloggers are proudly displaying the Red Pump on our blogs, to educate our communities about HIV/AIDS and how it disproportionately affects women and girls.

I encourage EVERYONE, male and female, to get tested and know their status. Knowledge is power folks. I myself have not been tested in over a year, but I resolve to rectify that situation soon. There are many testing locations that are confidential, anonymous, or both, and many use the rapid HIV test which can give you results in just 20 minutes.

Please spread the word, please encourage others to both know their status AND use condoms EVERY SINGLE TIME, and please visit the Red Pump Project blog for more information and links to other resources.