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For Release:  March 10, 2011 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601

March Activities Target Girls, Women, and Native Americans About  HIV/AIDS Prevention Efforts

During March, numerous organizations will be highlighting the importance of HIV/AIDS prevention not only for the general population but specifically on the growing impact for girls, women and Native Americans. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced several community activities scheduled this month to promote HIV/AIDS awareness in the state.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness is a nationwide event to offer support, encourage discussion, and teach women and girls about prevention of HIV, the importance of getting tested for HIV, and how to live with and manage HIV/AIDS.  This is a serious public health issue affecting nearly 280,000 women in the United States.   While men account for most HIV/AIDS cases, the impact on women is growing and women face gaps in access and health care. Activities in observance of this event include the following:

  • Guiding Right, Inc., located in Oklahoma City, will be hosting HIV/AIDS awareness and educational activities at two hair salons in the Oklahoma City metro area on Saturday, March 12, throughout the day.  The chosen sites are Mane Results at 4333 S. E. 44th Street, Del City, and Shear Perfections, 2231 N.E. 23rd Street, Oklahoma City.  Guiding Right, Inc. staff along with volunteers from the OSDH and other community partners will be on hand at the two shops to present basic information and facts about HIV/AIDS.  For additional information, please contact Nina Johnson at (405) 733-0771.
  • In Ardmore, Kayla Walker, founder of MAMA Knows, Inc. has organized an event called “The Gift of Encouragement to be held Friday, March 11.  Free HIV testing will be offered.  For additional information visit http://www.ardmoreite.com/features/x1643897482/MAMA-Knows-Inc-to-sponsor-The-Gift-of-Encouragement or contact Walker at kayla@mamaknowsinc.org, or call (580) 277-0367. 

Sunday, March 20, is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  This day is set aside for Native people (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians) throughout the United States to mobilize, learn more and educate others about HIV/AIDS prevention and testing.  Although American Indians and Alaska Natives only make up about one percent of the U.S. population, they have historically suffered high rates of health disparities, including HIV/AIDS.  According to the OSDH’s 2009 HIV/STD Epidemiologic Profile, American Indians and Alaska Natives had an HIV/AIDS rate of 6.1 cases per 100,000 population in Oklahoma.  The Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education & Training Center (TX/OK AETC) in collaboration with the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC) will be hosting a web-based training to commemorate National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  This training will be made available from Friday, March 18, through June 30.  Four training modules are available: Social Media & HIV, HIV 101, State of the Epidemic in Texas and Oklahoma for the Native American Population, and Cultural Competency. Some trainings are focused toward patients/general public and others are clinician focused.  Please view this web site for details: http://www.aidseducation.org/NatlNativeAwarenessDay-NNAAPCCollaboration.php.  You can login at your convenience and view a few or all training modules.

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