HIV/AIDS Among Women

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Revised August 2008

Early in the epidemic, HIV infection and AIDS were diagnosed for relatively few women and female adolescents (although we know now that many women were infected with HIV through injection drug use but that their infections were not diagnosed) [1]. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Women of color are especially affected by HIV infection and AIDS. In 2004 (the most recent year for which data are available), HIV infection was

* the leading cause of death for black women (including African American women) aged 25-34 years.

* the 3rd leading cause of death for black women aged 35-44 years.

* the 4th leading cause of death for black women aged 45-54 years.

* the 4th leading cause of death for Hispanic women aged 35-44 years.

In the same year, HIV infection was the 5th leading cause of death among all women aged 35-44 years and the 6th leading cause of death among all women aged 25-34 years. The only diseases causing more deaths of women were cancer and heart disease [2].


HIV/AIDS in 2005

(The following bullets, except for the last one, are based on data from 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting.*)

* HIV/AIDS was diagnosed for an estimated 9,708 women [3].

* High-risk heterosexual contact was the source of 80% of these newly diagnosed infections [3].

* Women accounted for 26% of the estimated 37,163 diagnoses for adults and adolescents [3].

* Of the 126,964 women living with HIV/AIDS, 64% were black, 19% were white, 15% were Hispanic, 1% were Asian or Pacific Islander, and less than 1% were American Indian or Alaska Native [3].

* The estimated number of HIV/AIDS in female adults or adolescents decreased from 11,941 in 2001 to 9,708 in 2005 [3].

* According to a recent 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 [4].


Race/ethnicity of women with HIV/AIDS diagnosed during 2005.


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