3/10: National Women & Girls HIV Awareness Day

Why is National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day (March 10th) important?

In the United States, many people hold the misconception that HIV only impacts men, and in particular sexual minority men. However, about 23% of people living with HIV in the United States are cisgender women and, in 2021, cisgender women made up 19 percent of new diagnoses. Advances in testing, treatment, and prevention have resulted in progress towards the nation’s goal to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, and there’s still more work to be done.

How does ATN research support cisgender women?

ATN 168: HIV and Pregnancy Prevention for Youth (HAPPY) aims to help prevent HIV in cisgender women, transgender men, and gender diverse people with childbearing potential. Currently, the only licensed multipurpose prevention products for pregnancy and HIV prevention are condoms but use among adolescents is low because adolescents may experience multiple social and structural barriers to accessing and effectively using them. HAPPY is examining the key features and considerations for a new long-acting prevention product that would prevent both HIV and pregnancy and may have menstrual suppression benefits. HAPPY is conducting in-depth interviews to understand preferences around multipurpose prevention products and then piloting and administering a discrete choice experiment survey.

“Often times the concerns of HIV prevention and STIs run tangential to contraception. I like that the HAPPY study merges two important needs when it comes to sexual and reproductive health. I’m hoping that HAPPY helps shed light on making a comprehensive prevention product and change the landscape of reproductive health. This study is a pretty big deal in that regard!”

 – Zoë Njemanze, MPH (she/her), Subject Matter Research Consultant.

The official theme for NWHAAD 2024 is: Prevention and Testing at Every Age. Care and Treatment at Every Stage, focusing efforts on three of the target populations outlined in the NHAS: lack women, transgender women ,and youth ages 13-24. Learn about how more ATN research studies support populations like transgender women here, and learn more about National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day here.