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HIV Among Women

June 23, 2015

Fast Facts
  • Approximately one in four people living with HIV infection in the United States are women.*
  • Most new HIV infections in women are from heterosexual contact (84%).
  • An estimated 88% of women who are living with HIV are diagnosed, but only 32% have the virus under control.

HIV Among Women
At the end of 2011, 23% of all people living with HIV in the United States were women.1 Black/African American** and Hispanic/Latina2 women continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV, compared with women of other races/ethnicities.

Not all US women who are living with HIV are getting the care they need. Of all women living with HIV in 2011, only 45% were engaged in care, and only 32% had achieved viral suppression.

The Numbers

New HIV Infections3

Estimates of New HIV Infections in the United States for the Most-Affected Subpopulations, 2010

Estimates of New HIV Infections in the United States for the Most-Affected Subpopulations, 2010

Source: CDC. Estimated HIV incidence among adults and adolescents in the United States, 2007-2010. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2012;17(4). Subpopulations representing 2% or less of the overall U.S. epidemic are not reflected in this chart. Abbreviations: MSM, men who have sex with men; IDU, injection drug user.

HIV and AIDS Diagnoses5 and Deaths

Why Are Women Affected by HIV?

What CDC Is Doing

HIV Among Women

photo of three womenThrough its High-Impact Prevention approach, CDC is working with state and local partners throughout the United States to identify and implement the most cost-effective and scalable interventions in the geographic areas hardest hit by HIV and among the populations most affected within those areas. Activities include:

* In this fact sheet, women are defined as females aged 13 years and older.

** Referred to as African American in this fact sheet.

Additional Resources


  1. CDC. Diagnoses of HIV Infection -- United States and Dependent Areas -- 2013. HIV Surveillance Report, 2014;25. Accessed March 11, 2015
  2. CDC. Estimated HIV incidence among adults and adolescents in the United States, 2007-2010. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2012;17(4). Accessed March 11, 2015.
  3. Moreno CL. The relationship between culture, gender, structural factors, abuse, trauma, and HIV/AIDS for Latinas. Qual Health Res 2007;17(3):340-54. PubMed abstract. Accessed March 11, 2015
  4. Crosby RA, DiClemente RJ, Wingood GM, Salazar LF, Head S, Rose E, McDermott-Sales J. Sexual agency versus relational factors: a study of condom use antecedents among high-risk young African American women. Sex Health 2008;5(1):41-7. PubMed abstract. Accessed March 11, 2015
  5. Herbenick D, Reece M, Schick V, Sanders SA, Dodge B, Fortenberry JD. Sexual behavior in the United States: results from a national probability sample of men and women ages 14-94. J Sex Med 2010;7 Suppl 5:255-65. PubMed abstract. Accessed March 11, 2015
  6. CDC. Sexually transmitted diseases surveillance 2013. Accessed March 11, 2015.
  7. Simoni JM, Sehgal S, Walters KL. Triangle of risk: urban American Indian women's sexual trauma, injection drug use, and HIV sexual risk behaviors. AIDS Behav 2004;8(1):33-45. PubMed abstract . Accessed March 11, 2015
  8. Cavanaugh CE, Hansen NB, Sullivan TP. HIV sexual risk behavior among low-income women experiencing intimate partner violence: the role of posttraumatic stress disorder AIDS Behav 2010;14(2):318-27. Accessed March 11, 2015
  9. Mosack KE, Randolph ME, Dickson-Gomez J, Abbott M, Smith E, Weeks MR. Sexual risk-taking among high-risk urban women with and without histories of childhood sexual abuse: mediating effects of contextual factors. J Child Sex Abus 2010;19(1):43-61. Accessed March 11, 2015
  10. Coker AL. Does physical intimate partner violence affect sexual health? A systematic review. Trauma Violence Abuse 2007;8(2):149-77. PubMed abstract. Accessed March 11, 2015
  11. Bauer HM, Gibson P, Hernandez M, Kent C, Klausner J, Bolan G. Intimate partner violence and high-risk sexual behaviors among female patients with sexually transmitted diseases. Sex Transm Dis 2002;29(7):411-6. PubMed abstract. Accessed March 11, 2015
  12. Tross S, Hanner J, Hu MC, Pavlicova M, Campbell A, Nunes EV. Substance use and high risk sexual behaviors among women in psychosocial outpatient and methadone maintenance treatment programs. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 2009;35(5):368-74. PubMed abstract. Accessed March 11, 2015
  13. Dinenno EA, Oster AM, Sionean C, Denning P, Lansky A. Piloting a system for behavioral surveillance among heterosexuals at increased risk of HIV in the United States. Open AIDS J 2012;6:169-76. Accessed March 11, 2015

Fact Sheets

HIV Among Pregnant Women, Infants and Children in the United States

New HIV Infections in the United States

Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and HIV in Women

All Fact Sheets

Other Resources

AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth, & Families

Mother to Child Transmission Resources (AIDS Education and Training Centers)

Black Women and HIV/AIDS (National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors)


Women, Children, and HIV (University of California, San Francisco)

Cervical Cancer and HIV (

Resource Library


  1. Women are defined in this fact sheet as adult and adolescent females aged 13 and older.
  2. Hispanic/Latino women can be of any race.
  3. New HIV infections refer to HIV incidence or the number of people who are newly infected with HIV, whether they are aware of their infection or not.
  4. Heterosexual contact with a person known to have, or be at high risk for, HIV infection.
  5. HIV and AIDS diagnoses indicate when a person is diagnosed with HIV infection or AIDS, but do not indicate when the person was infected.

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