March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Public invited to March 11 observance at The Center

The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) is commemorating National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Sunday, March 10, a day to support women and girls who are living with HIV while encouraging others to be tested for HIV. Locally, an observance of the day, in collaboration with the Southern Nevada Health Consortium, is scheduled for Monday, March 11, from 1 – 4:30 p.m. at The Center, 401 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89101. During “It’s Tea Time,” attendees can access information and resources about women and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). In addition, there will be discussions about the following topics:

  • Women and PrEP.
  • Sex, Pleasure, and Hygiene.
  • Personal experiences of living with HIV and being on PrEP.

In Clark County, 77 women and girls had new HIV diagnoses in 2022, compared to 57 in 2021. This reflects a rate of 6.5 new diagnoses per 100,000 in 2022, which was a slight increase from the rate of 4.8 new diagnoses per 100,000 in 2021. On a national level, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that women accounted for 19 percent (6,999) of the 36,801 new HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2019. Women ages 25 to 34 had the highest number of new HIV diagnoses, and Black/African American women continued to be disproportionately impacted by HIV.

HIV testing gives women and girls an opportunity to learn their status so they can take steps to protect their health and help prevent infection in others. Routine testing is recommended for women who are at a high risk of infection. Free HIV testing is available in the Arlene Cooper Clinic at The Center, Monday through Thursday from 1 – 6 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted.

Additionally, Express HIV Testing is available Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Southern Nevada Community Health Center Sexual Health Clinic, 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107. Appointments are not required, but clients must be asymptomatic. Additional testing can be done for syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Visit the Sexual Health Clinic page on the SNHD website for more information.

SNHD also offers free, at-home HIV tests through its Collect2Protect program. At-home tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea are available for a fee. The kits are available on SNHD’S Collect2Protect page and provide a convenient and private testing option.

Early diagnosis is critical for people with HIV so that they can benefit from antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART reduces HIV levels in the bloodstream, reduces HIV-related illnesses, and lowers the risk of transmitting HIV to intimate partners. With ART, HIV-positive people can remain healthy for many years.

According to the CDC, only 10 percent of women who could benefit from PrEP were prescribed the medication in 2019. PrEP is a medication that can be provided to people who do not have HIV but are at a high risk of infection. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV. For more information about women and PrEP, visit the CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together web page. For additional  information about National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, visit the CDC’s website at National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day | Awareness Days | Resource Library | HIV/AIDS | CDC.

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.