Why You Are Zena, Warrior Princess
By Lisa Barr
Executive Director, Lisa Barr
Why is there a National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day every March 10th? For you! You are Zena Warrior Princess and Wonder Woman wrapped into one, you take on your family, friends, and the world’s problems. You are Mom, daughter, sister, wife, girlfriend, confidant, caregiver, counselor, teacher, friend… OMG, you are everything to everyone! But you don’t always take care of yourself.
Ladies, we’ve got your back. I had a woman tell me not long ago that “she didn’t know HIV was still around”. I said, “Yes, ma’am it is, and Florida is #1 in the nation in new infections and new AIDS cases. I went on to ask if she had talked with her granddaughter about HIV.” She looked at me, smiled, and responded, “why no, she’s a good girl”! After my head stopped spinning around, I smiled and said, “I mean no disrespect ma’am, but if she’s your granddaughter, you’ve had sex at least once, right?” I didn’t give her a chance to answer and went on to say, “Once is all it takes to get HIV and we are ALL GOOD GIRLS!” HIV does NOT discriminate, so let’s break down why we raise awareness on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
HIV and AIDS are still around and thriving and you never hear about it anymore. Why? Because it’s no longer a death sentence. It’s surrounded by stigma (no one cares if you are diabetic so what’s the big deal?) There is no cure but it’s a very expensive, long-term chronic disease. The good news is it’s preventable. Hope & Help focuses on preventing new HIV infections every day. We need you, your understanding and your help to stop the spread of HIV! Here’s a quick “Do You Know” with some facts, ways to protect yourself, and ways to help us.
THE FACTS: WOMEN & HIV
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 7,401 women and girls were newly diagnosed in 2017
1 in 4 of all new HIV diagnoses were women
14% were young women between 13 – 24 years old
1 in 9 women with HIV don’t know it!
Zena and Wonder Woman are protectors, so are YOU!
Have incredible, SAFE sex
PROTECT yourself and your loved ones
TALK about Safer Sex and HIV to everyone you know
CONTACT US for education, testing, and free condoms
INVITE US to speak at your work, social group, school, place of worship, you name it, we’ll be there
Use CONDOMS consistently and correctly
Discover if PrEP is right for you
Learn about PEP