As National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS approach, we want people to realize that women are a big part of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and we ought to know how the disease is affecting us directly and indirectly. There are many reasons why it’s important for women to know the facts when it comes to HIV. Biologically, we’re more susceptible to infection during sex. We’re also more likely to get infected through heterosexual sex.
Statistics used are from the Center for Disease Control’s website. Although these stats are only taking the United States into account, globally, HIV/AIDS is no less of a problem, especially for women.
Key Snapshot of the U.S. Epidemic Today
- Number of new HIV infections, 2006: 56,300
- Number of people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.1 million, including more than 468,000 with AIDS
- Number of AIDS deaths since beginning of epidemic: 583,298, including 14,561 in 2007
- Percent of people infected with HIV who don’t know it: 21%
HIV/AIDS & Women in the United States
- There are approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. & almost 280,000 are women
- In 2006, there were 15,000 new HIV infections and 9,801 AIDS cases diagnosed among women
- There were 3,784 deaths among women with AIDS in 2006
- Among those who are HIV positive, 35% of women were tested for HIV late in their illness (diagnosed with AIDS within one year of testing positive)
- HIV is the 5th leading cause of death in women in the United States, ages 25-44
- High-risk heterosexual contact is the source of 80% of these newly diagnosed infections in women
- According to a CDC study of more than 19,500 patients with HIV in 10 US cities, women were slightly less likely than men to receive prescriptions for the most effective treatments for HIV infection
- Women with AIDS made up an increasing part of the epidemic. In 1992, women accounted for an estimated 14% of adults and adolescents living with AIDS in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. By the end of 2005, this proportion had grown to 23%
- From the beginning of the epidemic through 2005, almost 86,000 women have died of AIDS and AIDS-related complications.
- The largest number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses during recent years was for women aged 15–39
- New York has the highest number of women living with AIDS – 22,532
- Seven of the 10 states with the highest case rates among women are in the South.
- The rate of women in D.C. infected with HIV/AIDS is nearly 12 times the national average
HIV/AIDS & Minority Women
HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects minority women in the United States. According to the 2005 census, Black and Latina women represent 24% of all US women combined, but account for 82% of the estimated total of AIDS diagnoses for women in 2005.
HIV is the:
- Leading cause of death for Black women (including African American women) aged 25–34 years.
- 3rd leading cause of death for Black women aged 35–44 years.
- 4th leading cause of death for Black women aged 45–54 years.
- 4th leading cause of death for Latina women aged 35–44 years.
- The only diseases causing more deaths of women are cancer and heart disease
- The rate of AIDS diagnosis for Black women was approximately 23 times the rate for white women and 4 times the rate for Latina women
- In 2006, teen girls represented 39% of AIDS cases reported among 13–19 year-olds. Black teens represented 69% of cases reported among 13–19 year-olds; Latino teens represented 19%.
These statistics were pulled from The Center for Disease Control‘s website and the Kaiser Family Foundation‘s Fact Sheets (which cited the CDC). Get more information about the effect of the epidemic from these sites.