The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Women at disproportionately high risk for HIV, speaker says

By Jessica Whitman/reporter

Prevention is key when it comes to stopping the spread of HIV and AIDS among women, a women’s studies professor at Texas Woman’s University told a NE Campus audience recently.

“There are five to 10 girls and women being infected a day,” La Cisha Crear said. “We need some sort of awareness brought to attention.”

As part of Women’s History Month, students and teachers filled the Student Center to hear the professor and co-founder of the Afiya Center in Dallas. The center focuses on HIV and AIDS education for women of color, who Crear said are more vulnerable to the disease than women of other races and ethnicities.

Of the 1.2 million people still living with HIV in the United States, 280,000 are women, Crear said. The number of women infected rose from 8 percent in 2006 to 27 percent in 2010, she added.

Crear said in 2006 there were 15,000 new infections, and of that number, 66 percent were African-American.

“African-American women are affected 22 times the amount of other women,” Crear said.

Crear also discussed the number of infections in Texas, a state that ranks fourth in the number of women infected with HIV or AIDS.

Crear said 56 percent of African-Americans live in the South, where poverty levels are high and a lack of housing leads to vulnerability.

“One in three women lack health insurance,” she said. “Women are lost to care because they do not adhere to medicine, and [there is] the lack of private insurance in the state.”

Women of color are prone to HIV and AIDS because they put the needs of their family before their own, Crear said.

Everything comes back to the question of what we can do, she said.

“Don’t make the same mistakes as in the ’80s. It is about all of us, and we need to identify the risks,” she said. “Get tested and know your status, stay educated around the issues, volunteer and fight stigma.”

Alicia Herring, NE Campus education student, said the seminar helped her understand the need to be educated about HIV and AIDS.

“There is more than what we keep being told, more knowledge to be gained than we know,” she said.

Janjura Williams, NE Campus student assistant with student activities, wants people to remember how important it is to just keep talking.

“We don’t see everything that’s going on in the community,” she said. “We see the aftereffects.”

Crear said people would rather die in secrecy than have people know their struggles. But that needs to change.

“Use their stories to be empowered,” she said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian