Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 6, 2008

CONTACTS
Ann Chambers, Infectious Disease Prevention, (402) 471-0362, ann.chambers@dhhs.ne.gov
Bill Wiley, Communications and Legislative Services Division (402) 471-6585, bill.wiley@dhhs.ne.gov

 

DHHS Promotes Nebraska Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Lincoln - Nebraska Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, March 10, is a time to take note of the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on the lives of women and girls. This year’s theme is "Take control of your life. Get tested for HIV." HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the virus that causes AIDS.

"Our goal is to educate women and girls about the risks of HIV/AIDS and encourage counseling and testing for those at risk of infection," said Heather Younger, HIV Counseling and Testing Program Manager for the Nebraska Department Health and Human Services. "HIV/AIDS has increasingly become a significant health concern to young women and women of color in the United States, especially to African-American and Hispanic women."

Women and girls can take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS by:

  • Getting tested for HIV
  • Practicing appropriate safety measures to prevent exposure to HIV
  • Deciding not to engage in high risk behaviors
  • Talking about HIV prevention with family, friends and colleagues
  • Empowering oneself
  • Providing support to those living with HIV/AIDS

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2005 Surveillance Report of Cases of HIV Infection and AIDS in the United States, 45,699 new AIDS cases were reported in 2005. Of those new AIDS cases, 11,710 (26%) were in women. In 2005, of all estimated cases of AIDS in American women, an estimated 82 percent of these new cases were in African-American (66%) and Hispanic (16%) women.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) encourages all Nebraskans to observe National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on March 10 th. To find a testing location, call the Nebraska HIV Hotline: 1-800-782-2437 or visit www.nebraskaHIVtesting.org

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