HIV Prevalence Among U.S. Women Increasing Faster Than in Any Other Country, UNIFEM Report Says
July 9, 2004
The proportion of total HIV cases attributed to women in the United States is increasing faster than in any other country, which is part of the "feminization" of the epidemic throughout the world, according to a report released on Friday by the United Nations Development Fund for Women, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. Women comprise 48% of the total number of HIV-positive adults worldwide and the proportion is rising, according to the report. The overall HIV/AIDS prevalence in the United States is 0.6%, which is significantly lower than the HIV/AIDS prevalence rates of some sub-Saharan African countries, where almost 60% of HIV-positive people are women, the report says, according to AFP/Yahoo! News. UNIFEM adviser Stephanie Urdang said that the U.S. epidemic was thought to be under control because of the availability of antiretroviral drug treatment. However, the report says that U.S. women accounted for 25% of the total number of HIV cases in the country in 2003, compared to 20% in 2001. In addition, the number of HIV/AIDS cases among U.S. women increased from 180,000 in 2001 to 240,000 in 2003. Urdang said, "A one-third rise is very dramatic." In the United States, the most dramatic increases in HIV prevalence have been among black and Latino women -- who comprise 25% of the country's female population but account for 80% of all reported HIV/AIDS cases in the country, according to the report (AFP/Yahoo! News, 7/9). UNIFEM is set to present the report -- which calls for increased political commitment, funding and "collective leadership" aimed at gender issues in countries most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic -- at the XV International AIDS Conference to be held July 11-16 in Bangkok, Thailand (Dow Jones International, 7/9).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.