HEALTH PRO TIPS FOR A FEARLESS FEBRUARY
The best science, stories, and strategies related to this month’s national health themes. Check back throughout the month for new additions.
In February, the Network Celebrates...
American Heart Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 314,186 women in 2020—or about 1 in every 5 female* deaths. Lower your risk for the number one killer of women with the latest info:
- Action Alert! Wear red on February 3 to raise awareness about heart disease as a leading cause of death for Americans. Learn more about National Wear Red Day and what you can do to spread the word here.
- Heart Health 101 – Check out this fact sheet developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to learn what you need to know to keep your heart healthy. They’ve even developed a calendar plan for 28 days towards a healthy heart.
- Heart Disease by the Numbers – Who exactly suffers from heart disease in the U.S.? What do we mean when we say “heart disease?” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has broken it all down for us, and even provides an interactive map of heart disease and stroke by state. And don’t miss their fact sheet about heart disease in older adults.
- Stories from the Heart – Hear from a woman who went into cardiac arrest at a Halloween party, an ER worker who turned blue when her heart stopped, a heart transplant recipient, and more in this inspiring lived experience series.
- *A note on language - When directly quoting or referencing source material, the Network uses the language in that material for clarity and alignment purposes. We recognize language usage is always changing and strive to embody this descriptivist approach, which is why you will often see uses of common synonyms (like "female" and "woman") used interchangeably in our materials.
- 6 ways to support women’s heart health this February
Approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. have HIV. About 13% of them don’t know it and need testing. By sex at birth, the annual number of new HIV infections in 2019, as compared to 2015, decreased among men, but remained stable among women. Learn where we are with HIV/AIDS in 2023:
- Action Alert! February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – Black communities have made great progress in reducing HIV. Yet, issues such as racism, discrimination, and mistrust of the health care system may affect whether Black people seek or receive HIV prevention services. Click here to learn more about the day and get a full social media toolkit to help spark conversations about HIV and highlight recent progress.
- HIV/AIDS 101 – Learn the basics about HIV/AIDS prevention, transmission, symptoms, and more from HIV.gov, a federal website dedicated to educating the public about HIV/AIDS.
- HIV/AIDS by the Numbers – Who exactly is diagnosed with HIV in the U.S.? How is HIV acquired, and what sort of prognosis is realistic today? HIV.gov breaks down the most recent diagnosis, demographic, care, and death data here.
- You or Someone you Know Got an HIV Diagnosis – Now What? You can still live a long, healthy life with HIV! Get expert tips on finding a provider, what to expect at your first HIV provider visit, and how to stay healthy with HIV.
- HIV Patient Stories – Hear directly from women living with HIV in moving video testimonies thanks to the Women’s HIV program at UCSF.
Consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. Condoms are also 87% effective at preventing pregnancy when used on their own. Learn more about one of the world’s oldest sexual & reproductive health protection tools:
- Action Alert! February 14 – 21 is National Condom Week – National Condom Week was initiated to raise awareness about the importance of practicing safe and protected sex. Learn more about the history of condoms, their effectiveness, little-known facts, common condom questions, and how to get involved in the week here.
- How to Properly Use Condoms – The CDC has put together how-to guides for external or “male” condom use, as well as internal or “female” condom use.
- Condom Use and Effectiveness by the Numbers – What Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) do condoms protect against? How effective are condoms as a birth control method? Who uses (and doesn’t use) condoms? All the data you could possibly want is at your fingertips.
- The Mind-Blowing History of Condoms – Linen. Pig’s bladder. Rubber as “thick as a bicycle tube.” These are just some of the things condoms were made of throughout history. (And if you don’t believe us, the Condom Collector Corner of the Internet has the receipts.)
- Why It’s so Hard for Women to Speak up About Condom Use – Learn how social conditioning and issues of consent intersect with condom use amongst women in this article from InsideHook.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness
Teen dating violence (TDV) is a type of intimate partner violence that can be physical, sexual, or psychological in nature. According to the CDC, approximately one out of twelve high school students experience teen dating violence before graduation; women and LGBTQAI+ students are at greater risk. Learn about the short- and long-term health effects of teen dating violence and how to help prevent it from national experts:
- Action Alert! Show up strong for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) this February – The theme this year is “Be About It.” We’re calling on all of you to be unapologetically about education, engagement, and empowerment, and to help uplift the voices of teens and young adults on this important issue. Learn more and get calendars, action guides, and social media resources at loveisrespect.org/get-involved/tdvam.
- Domestic Violence (AKA Intimate Partner Violence) 101 – Check out Episode 9 of the Network’s Your Health Unlocked podcast for an information-packed primer on domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence.
- A Teen Dating Violence Prevention Toolkit by Teens, for Teens – What are some examples of teen dating violence? What should you do if a friend confides in you about abuse? Do abusive relationships always stay abusive? Get these answers and more in this toolkit developed with survivor input.