Several local residents travelled to Durham recently to help raise awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Apex-based Partners Against Sexually Transmitted Diseases and So AttracTiff Hair Studio were among the organizations that visited with women in Cornwallis Road Apartments in honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
Durham County has the fourth highest rate of HIV in the state.
The event was organized by the Office on Women’s Health, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
So AttracTiff Hair with Beauty and the Bull Spa donated their time and services for the worthy cause.
Beauty and the Bull Spa representatives spoke to the young ladies on the importance of healthy skincare and self-esteem. High self-esteem can keep women from behaving in risky sexual behavior.
Tiffany Bagley, the owner of So Attract Tiff Hair located on Perry Street in Apex, provided the goodie bags for the event.
“Oh my, the ladies were so excited about the goodie bags, they were packed with jewelry, hair products, and make up products. The women were so thankful, their eyes lit up like it was Christmas,” said Dr. Tasha H. Kornegay, executive director of PASTD.
Hoping to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among teens, Green Hope High School freshman Kyree Holland also participated in this important day.
Holland, who is a member of the Apex Youth Council, spoke with young people about the “Teen Safe Sex Pledge.” The pledge is part of dosomething.org campaign.
“I really just wanted teens to understand the seriousness surrounding HIV/AIDS and teens,” said Holland. “I became interested in learning more when my mom shared a study conducted by the (Center Disease Control) that said 46 percent of North Carolina high school students did not use a condom during their last sexual act.
“My pledge may be difficult for some, but doable with dedication. I want others to join me in setting an example for others by not engaging in sex until married.”
Holland’s pledge can be found at PASTD.org.
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide observance held on March 10 designed to raise awareness of the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls.
On this National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the eighth annual observance, OWH is encouraging individuals and communities to embrace the theme “Share Knowledge. Take Action.”
“We are really excited about this campaign,” said Kornegay, an Apex resident. “According to the CDC, one in five people living with HIV are unaware of their status. We hope this campaign inspires women to get tested, and talk with their daughters about sexual health.”
For more information on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and how you can support, visit womenshealth.gov/nwghaad. To find county and state data about HIV/AIDS, please visit womenshealth.gov/quickhealthdata. To learn more about Partners Against Sexually Transmitted Diseases, please visit www.pastd.org or www.facebook.com/pastd.org