HRSA Recognizes National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Content From: Laura Cheever, MD, ScM, Physician and Associate Administrator, HIV/AIDS Bureau, Health Resources and Services AdministrationPublished: March 11, 20242 min read



On March 10, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) observes National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This year’s theme, "Prevention and Testing at Every Age. Care and Treatment at Every Stage." is an important reminder about the impact of HIV on women and girls and why we must come together to encourage HIV testing, prevention, and whole-person care to this priority population.

Today, many women with HIV continue to face barriers to accessing care and treatment, including living in poverty, unstable housing, and intimate partner violence. These factors, along with lack of social support, stigma, discrimination, medical mistrust, and limited access to health care, often prevent women with HIV from seeking, obtaining, and maintaining routine healthcare.

Despite these challenges, I am proud of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and its vital role in providing life-saving treatment and support services to women and girls with HIV. In 2022, more than 25 percent of the half a million program clients with HIV were women, and nearly 60 percent of those clients were Black/African American women. And among women receiving medical care through the program, nearly 90 percent were virally suppressed. This means they cannot sexually transmit HIV to their partners and can live longer and healthier lives.

We know more work remains to continue breaking down barriers for women with HIV, especially among Black women and transgender women, who are particularly impacted by HIV. That’s why we are funding programs and initiatives to address these issues, including initiatives that support interventions for women at high risk or are disproportionately affected by HIV, such as Black womenExit Disclaimer with HIV, transgender womenExit Disclaimer with HIV, and low-income women, infants, children, and youth (PDF, 212KB) with HIV.

Please join us in promoting awareness and education about HIV among women and girls. By initiating conversations about HIV testing, sharing information about available resources, and supporting those affected by HIV, we can significantly impact the lives of women and girls nationwide.

Together, let's strive for a future where all women and girls have access to the HIV care and support they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Thank you for your unwavering dedication to the mission of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and for your continuous commitment to serving our communities.

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