Maryland: State Observes Women's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
March 8, 2011
Ahead of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, March 10, state health officials on Saturday participated in a gathering of state agencies and health and community groups in Baltimore. The second annual conference, targeting public school students and their parents, included workshops and activities related to body image, sexual health, HIV/AIDS, relationships and communication.
Of Maryland's new female HIV diagnoses in people over age 13 in 2008, the most common exposure categories were heterosexual sex (76.6 percent) and injection drug use (23.4 percent), state data show. The majority of women with HIV/AIDS were ages 30-49.
"The proportion of new HIV diagnoses among women in Maryland has more than doubled from 15 percent in 1985 to 35.3 percent in 2008," said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "It is critical to advance strategies that help all women, young and old, to protect themselves."
Organizations involved in the conference included the health department's Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Administration, Sisters Together and Reaching, Baltimore City Public School System, Maryland State Department of Education, Head Start, LIGHT Health and Wellness, and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
For more about HIV education, testing, treatment, and support services and local National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day events, telephone 410-767-5132 or visit http://eh.dhmh.md.gov/ideah. For events across the nation, visit www.womenshealth.gov/nwghaad/index.cfm.
03.04.2011; Meredith Cohn
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