National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide observance that encourages people to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and raise awareness of its impact on women and girls. It is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH). It helps organizations across the country come together to offer support, encourage discussion, and teach women and girls about prevention of HIV, the importance of getting tested for HIV, and how to live with and manage HIV/AIDS.
It is observed specifically on March 10 every year, but OWH encourages organizations to hold events throughout the month of March.
HIV/AIDS is a serious public health issue affecting nearly 280,000 women in the United States.1 While men account for most HIV/AIDS cases, the impact on women is growing. In addition, research shows that, when compared to men, women face gaps in access and care.
The new Affordable Care Act and National HIV/AIDS Strategy will help change that. The new law prohibits all insurance plans from putting lifetime caps on the dollar amount that they will spend on benefits. In the past, patients with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or other chronic diseases ran the risk of hitting a lifetime cap and losing access to care. The law also restricts most insurance companies’ use of low annual dollar limits on benefits. In 2014, annual limits will be eliminated. In addition, the Affordable Care Act will help those living with HIV/AIDS be better able to afford their medications. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy will help:
- Reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV
- Increase access to care and optimize health outcomes for people living with HIV
- Reduce HIV-related health disparities
Get more information from AIDS.gov:
- How Does the Affordable Care Act Impact People Living with HIV/AIDS? (PDF, 450 KB)
- National HIV/AIDS Strategy
The Affordable Care Act and National HIV/AIDS Strategy are two important steps in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but the federal government cannot do it alone. We all have a role to play. On National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, OWH calls on individuals and organizations across the country to take action and bring attention to the impact HIV/AIDS has on women and girls.