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SU set for Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Southern University female students are invited to celebrate National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Wednesday, March 17 in the lobby and Baton Rouge room of the Smith-Brown Memorial Union.

The event, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is being hosted by the Sisters Informing Healing Living Empowering (SiHLE) program, the university's HIV/AIDS Prevention Program for Young Women.

There will be free, confidential HIV testing and counseling, free gift bags containing safe-sex information and educational literature on HIV/AIDS.

"We are hosting this event to promote healthy lifestyles and raise awareness of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among African Americans, especially African American women," said Sylvia Scott, assistant program coordinator of the SiHLE program.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, women of color are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. AIDS is now the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34.

Women represented 26 percent of new AIDS diagnoses in 2005.  That is compared to only 11 percent of new AIDS cases reported in 1990. Most women are infected with HIV through heterosexual contact and injection drug use.

Southern's HIV/AIDS Prevention program is funded through a grant from the Office on Women's Health in Washington D. C., and implemented through the Southern University Center for Social Research.

This event is free and open to all Southern female students.

SiHLE will also host workshops April 12-21, in Boley, Totty and Shade Halls, on safe sex practices, STDS and relationships.

For more information about SiHLE, contact Sylvia Scott at 225.771.5450 ext. 231.