Take Action on National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

BY HIV Plus Editors

March 10 2011 7:01 PM ET

Think you don’t need to get tested? Think again.

Women across the country and around the world are at risk of contracting HIV, says the U.S. Office of National AIDS Policy. In conjunction with annual National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 10, several state and local governments released information to help women feel more empowered to address the virus, which has increased in women from 7% in 1985 to 25% of all diagnoses in 2009.

The New York City Department of Health reminded residents that any New Yorker can get a free HIV test at one of the Health Department’s STD or TB clinics – for a list of locations, call 311 or click here. And if you don't live in New York, anyone could visit AIDS.gov to find a clinic in their area to take a test.

The city's health department recommends these steps to protect your health:

• If you’ve ever had sex or used intravenous drugs (even once), don’t assume that HIV is someone else’s problem.

• Use a condom every time you have sex. City residents can get free NYC Condoms by calling 311 or visiting one of the thousands of locations that distribute them.

• Reduce your number of sexual partners.

• Avoid using alcohol and drugs before you have sex. You’re less likely to use a condom if your judgment is impaired.

• If you’re HIV-positive, inform your partner(s), always use a condom to protect yourself and others, and seek regular health care.

Tags: Prevention

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