AAC of Massachusetts Marks National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

aidsaction_revAgency will host a March 13 lunch discussion about the impact of HIV and AIDS on women

BOSTON, Mass. — Sunday, March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. AIDS Action will mark the occasion with a lunch discussion about the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and girls led by Lisa Cruz, a long-time HIV educator, and Kim Wilson, a senior peer advocate at AIDS Action Committee. The luncheon will take place Wednesday, March 13 at noon at 75 Amory St., Jamaica Plain. The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to Kim Wilson at 617.450.1207.

Boomerangs, AIDS Action’s chain of thrift shops, will also participate in “Live Love Fashion,” a cultural show with African diaspora fashion, spoken word, and music that will commemorate National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. “Live Love Fashion” takes place March 16 at 7 p.m. at the Wonder Bar, 186 Harvard Ave., Allston. Tickets are $10.

“Although women are infected with HIV at much lower rates than men, they are far more likely to be hospitalized than men. Women with HIV are also more likely to postpone routine health care services because they were too sick to go to the doctor or could not arrange for basic transportation to their providers’ offices,” said Rebecca Haag, President & CEO of AIDS Action Committee. “Women are almost always the primary caregivers in their families, which can also complicate their ability to manage their own care. The simple truth is that women face barriers to treatment that are not being fully addressed.”

Facts about HIV/AIDS and women

  •  Approximately one-quarter of those living with HIV/AIDS in the US are women.
  • Approximately 64 percent of them are living on annual incomes of less than $10,00
  • In 2009, more than 6 in 10 new HIV infections among Black women and Latinas in the US were among those ages 13–39—over one third were ages 13–29.
  •  In 2010, Black women in the US accounted for 64% of new AIDS diagnoses among women age 13 and over, but only 13% of the population; Latinas accounted for 17% of new AIDS diagnoses, but only 14% of the population.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 transgender women worldwide are HIV positive.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is coordinated by the Office on Women’s Health, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Its goal is to encourage people to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and raise awareness of its impact on women and girls. Although the day takes place March 10, the Office on Women’s Health encourages activities throughout the month of March to raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women. This year’s theme is “Share Knowledge. Take Action.”

AIDS Action currently provides services to one-in-six people in Massachusetts living with a diagnosis of HIV, and 30% of the agency’s clients are women. Since 1999, working with our partners around the state, AIDS Action has helped reduce new HIV diagnoses in Massachusetts by 53%, which has meant that nearly 6,000 people who might otherwise have become HIV positive have remained negative, and more than $2 billion in health care costs will be saved. AIDS Action has done this by targeting those populations most vulnerable to HIV infection, including US and non-US born Black women and transgender women.

AIDS Action provides outreach, education, and prevention services to women vulnerable to HIV through specialized support groups designed to be safe spaces for women to meet, learn, socialize, and support one another through life challenges.

  • The “Let’s Talk” group for all women, infected, affected, or at risk of HIV/AIDS takes place the fourth Monday of each month from noon-1:30pm at 75 Amory St., Jamaica Plain.
  • The HIV+ Women’s Support Group meets twice a month on Wednesdays from noon-1:30pm at 75 Amory St., Jamaica Plain.
  • The Women’s Support Group meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 11am-noon at 359 Green St., Cambridge.
  • TransCEND hosts a lunch group the third Thursday of the month at 1 p.m. at 75 Amory St, Jamaica Plain.

About AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection. It provides services to one in six people in Massachusetts living with an HIV diagnosis. These services include HIV counseling and testing; needle exchange; mental health counseling; housing assistance; and legal services. AIDS Action works to prevent new HIV infections, support those affected by HIV, and tackle the root causes of HIV/AIDS by educating the public and health professionals about HIV prevention and care; and advocating for fair and effective HIV/AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is New England’s first and largest AIDS service organization. Learn more at www.aac.org.

[From a News Release]

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