HIV Among Women

Center for Disease Control, July 3, 2013

At the end of 2010, an estimated 25% of adults and adolescents aged 13 years or older living with a diagnosis of HIV in the United States were women. But not all women are equally at risk for HIV infection. Women of color, especially black/African American women, are disproportionately affected by HIV infection compared with women of other races/ethnicities.

The Numbers

While black/African American women continue to be far more affected by HIV than women of other races/ethnicities, recent data show early signs of an encouraging decrease in new HIV infections. CDC is cautiously optimistic that this is the beginning of a longer-term trend. CDC recommends that all people aged 13 to 64 get tested for HIV. Yet, 15% of women who are HIV-positive are unaware of their status.

New HIV Infections

  • In 2010, women accounted for an estimated 9,500, or 20%, of the estimated 47,500 new HIV infections in the United States. Most of these (8,000, or 84%) were from heterosexual contact with a person known to have, or to be a high risk for, HIV infection
  • In 2010, the fourth largest number of all new HIV infections among all people in the United States occurred among black/African American women with heterosexual contact (5,300 infections). Of the total number of new HIV infections among women in the United States in 2010, 64% occurred in blacks/African Americans, 18% were in whites, and 15% were in Hispanics/Latinas.
  • At some point in their lifetimes, an estimated 1 in 32 black/African American women will be diagnosed with HIV infection, compared with 1 in 106 Hispanic/Latino women and 1 in 526 white women.
  • In 2010, the rate of new HIV infections (per 100,000 population) among black/African American women was 20 times that of white women, and the rate among Hispanic/Latino women was 4 times the rate of white women. However, the number of new infections among black/African American women in 2010 (6,100) represented a decrease of 21% since 2008.
  • Young women aged 25 to 44 accounted for the majority of new HIV infections among women in 2010.

HIV and AIDS Diagnoses and Deaths

  • In 2011, an estimated 10,257 women aged 13 years or older received a diagnosis of HIV infection in the United States, down from 12,146 in 2008.
  • Women accounted for 25% (7,949) of the estimated 32,052 AIDS diagnoses in 2011 and represent 20% (232,902) of the 1,155,792 cumulative AIDS diagnoses (including children) in the United States from the beginning of the epidemic through the end of 2011.
  • In 2010, HIV was among the top 10 leading causes of death for black/African American women aged 15 to 64 and Hispanic/Latino women aged 25 to 44.

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