11 Facts About Women and HIV/AIDS

March 10th is National Women HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Together, we recognizes the impact of HIV on women and girls. Here are some facts on how HIV/AIDS affects women in the United States and across the globe.

  • Women account for one in five new HIV diagnoses and deaths caused by AIDS.
  • The proportion of AIDS diagnoses reported among women has more than tripled since 1985.
  • The vast majority of women diagnosed with HIV contracted the virus through heterosexual sex.
  • African Americans constituted 64 percent of women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2011.
  • African Americans and Hispanics represent 27 percent of all women in the U.S. but they account for 79 percent of AIDS cases among women.
  • Worldwide, women constitute more than half of all people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • For women in their reproductive years (15–49), HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death.
  • Women are at least twice more likely to acquire HIV from men during sexual intercourse than vice versa.
  • A study in South Africa recently suggested that nearly one in seven cases of young women acquiring HIV could have been prevented if the women had not been subjected to intimate partner violence.
  • In 2012, 62 percent of pregnant women living with HIV in low and middle income countries received effective drug regimens to prevent new HIV infections among children.
  • Among young people aged 15-24, the HIV prevalence rate for young women is twice that of young men.

Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States. More and more women have become infected with HIV since it was first reported in the early 1980s. Always know your status and speak up so others know the facts about HIV/AIDS. To find a free testing center near you, please click here .


The foundation for AIDS Research

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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