Southern Nevada Health District to hold observances

 National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is Friday, March 10, a day to support women and girls who are living with HIV and to encourage others to be tested for HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women accounted for 19 percent (6,999) of the 36,801 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas 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.

In observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) will offer the following activities March 10 at The Center, 401 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89101:

  • “It’s Tea Time” will provide education and resources about women and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Scheduled for 1 – 3:30 p.m., the program will also provide updated guidelines on breastfeeding as well as discuss sex work vs. human trafficking.
  • “A Celebration of Words and Song,” honoring women and girls, will be presented by 3:16 Degrees of Soul at 6 p.m. The concert will feature acclaimed poet Vogue Robinson and award-winning poet and vocalist Brittany Soul, with a special presentation by Ciara Owens.

Testing is an opportunity for women and girls to learn their HIV status so they can take steps to protect their health as well as help prevent infection to others. Routine testing is recommended for women who are at a high risk of infection.   Free HIV testing is available in the Arleen 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 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 SNHD’s website for more information.

SNHD also offers free, at-home HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea testing through its Collect2Protect program. 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 webpage.

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.