National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed annually on March 10. It is a day set aside to empower people globally, with knowledge and information regarding HIV/AIDS, with particular emphasis on the significant impact it has on women and girls. In recognition, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County will host a FREE Rapid HIV Testing Event on Friday, March 11, from 10am - 3pm at the Dr. Charles R. Drew Health Center, 1323 W. Third Street, Dayton, OH 45402. No appointment is needed and there will be a free $10 gift card for everyone 13 years and older who is tested (must have picture ID). Women and girls who take the test and have on red shoes will receive an extra gift! The red shoe represents empowerment and shows support for women who are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

HIV and AIDS are still common public health issues, and women remain prone to infection. In fact, any woman who has sex can get HIV, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation. Today, over 1 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with HIV, and nearly 1 in 4 are women.

In Ohio in 2020, women accounted for 18% (160 of 897) of new HIV infections. Most new female infections were attributed to heterosexual contact (69%) followed by injection drug use (IDU) (13%). In Montgomery County, of the new HIV infections in 2020, 14% were women. Montgomery County Black women are disproportionally affected by HIV, accounting for more than half (59%) of new female infections over the past 5 years.

Montgomery County Health Commissioner, Jennifer Wentzel explains, “Women who don’t know they have HIV can’t get the care and treatment they need to stay healthy. Getting tested is so important because diagnosing HIV quickly and linking people to treatment are essential to reducing new HIV infections.”

All women can get HIV, but the risk is higher if you:

  • Have unprotected sex
  • Have injected illegal drugs, either now or in the past
  • Had sex with someone to get money or drugs in return or with someone who has traded sex for money or drugs
  • Had sex with someone who
    • Has HIV
    • Has sex with both men and women
    • Injects drugs
  • Have another sexually transmitted infection (STI)

Whether actively dating or in a committed relationship, you can take these simple steps to prevent HIV infection for you and your partner.

  • Use condoms the right way, every time you have sex
  • Have only one partner
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs
  • Learn about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
  • Get a HIV test

Free Rapid HIV Testing!

Friday, March 11 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Dr. Charles R. Drew Health Center (conference room 800)
1323 W. Third Street, Dayton, OH 45402
Free $10 gift card for anyone who takes the test (must have picture ID)

Women and girls 13 years and older who take the test and have on red shoes will receive an extra gift!

The red shoe represents empowerment and shows support for women who are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

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