St. Louis County encouraged increased awareness and testing on Women and Girl’s HIV/Aids Awareness Day on Saturday.
The day is celebrated annually on March 10 to give people an opportunity to reflect on the impact that HIV and AIDS has had on women and girls, and the unique challenges they face.
The day also serves as an opportunity to unify in response to the epidemic, increase awareness, celebrate the great strides made in prevention, care, and treatment, support people living with AIDS, and honor those that have been lost to AIDS with the goal of having an AIDS-free populace.
Dr. Faisal Khan, director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, stressed that it was important that everyone should know their status and that screen is key.
“Saint Louis County Department of Public Health wants to create a favorable environment for residents and visitors who need access to HIV education, prevention, care, and treatment services,” Khan said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), AIDS affects over 280,000 women aged 13 and older in the United States. Often, those who have contracted HIV/AIDS are unaware of it. To stop its spread, it is recommended that anyone who is sexually active get tested regularly.
The county also said those who are interested in obtaining free HIV testing and screening for other sexually transmitted infections should visit www.GetTestedSTL.org or www.STLCondoms.com, as free STI and HIV screening is regularly offered by both the City and County health departments. This website serves as a comprehensive resource for finding free educational materials, safer sex resources, and local resources for sexual health testing, treatment, and support.
In addition to regular testing, the county also recommended other actions to take against the spread of HIV and STIs are:
- Use condoms the right way every time you have sex.
- Learn the right way to use a male condom or a female condom.
- Know your partner’s STI and HIV status.
- Choose less risky sexual behaviors(https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/transmission.html).
- Limit your number of sexual partners.
- Never share needles.