Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Women and Girl’s HIV Awareness March 10, 2016

By Ceasar Montoya

This HIV/AIDS awareness day is of particular importance as we strive for equality and a safe living environment for all there is an African proverb that says: “If you educate a man, you educate an individual; if you educate a woman you educate a family (and a nation).” Reflect on that for yourself.

Women may not be the face of the disease of HIV/AIDS, but women, especially minority women, are disproportionately impacted by it.  There’s something significant that I discovered working in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Every single woman I have worked with and found to be positive has shared one common factor. They have all experienced relationship violence/trauma.  No matter what socio-economic status they belonged to, they had this one common factor. For some, it was in the past, for some, they were still in the middle of living a life of partner violence.    

Considering that one in three women will experience some type of violence in her lifetime, I am concerned. It is important to me that we join together to change this statistic for the better. This is important to me because I am raising a daughter.  She came into a world where she will face many challenges. Therefore, it is imperative that we all do our part and contribute toward the creation of a world free of HIV/AIDS, where young women live life free of fear of violence. 

I encourage all to continue to spread knowledge, information, and resources with the women and girls in your life.  Tell them they are a precious and important resource. Do your part to ensure each is provided with the same opportunity given to men. While equality may not necessarily be the immediate outcome, justice should be. A fair and just opportunity to flourish in a healthy environment is worth building.  By supporting our sisters, mothers, wives, aunts, and partners, they become a resource for helping to educate the family and the nation.

For more information on Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016 please see the link below:

http://www.womenshealth.gov/nwghaad/