Thursday, December 5, 2013

World Aids Day

Monday, December 1 was World Aids Day.  The attention AIDS has gotten in the past week has been impressive. While it is important that HIV and AIDS is getting the attention that it needs and deserves, it is imperative to remember that in the United States, the proportion of AIDS diagnoses among women have more than tripled since 1985.

In Massachusetts, 175 out of every 100,000 women are living with HIV. That means that Massachusetts women are more likely to contract HIV than they are to die in a fire accident, and yet almost everybody has a smoke alarm in their home.  Although women are twice as likely to contract HIV from men during sex than the other way around, one in six people living with HIV are unaware that they have it; women are often not diagnosed until later stages of the infection, and thus are more susceptible to infections.  World wide, women constitute more than half of those affected by HIV and from ages 15-24 the prevalence of HIV is twice that of women than it is among men.

In a political climate where healthcare is always up for debate, keep in mind that access to care is equally as important as knowledge of the infection. even states "Women often must be stronger advocates for themselves and their treatment when engaged in HIV care.  Many times women face multiple barriers to care."

Moral of the story?  Get tested.  Be responsible.  Help shine the global spotlight, but don't forget that it happens here too, and women in your backyard might be struggling with access to the treatment they need for HIV/AIDS.

At the MWPC, we would like to applaud the politicians fighting for sex education and reasonable healthcare, and more politically involved women can only help.

Stats from: