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Fact Sheet

HIV/AIDS in the United States

December 2005

HIV/AIDS and the United States
Today there are an estimated 1.039 million to 1.185 million HIV-positive individuals living in the United States -- the largest number ever according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these, between 252,000?315,000 people do not know they are infected, and thus are suffering from a lack of treatment, while at the same time may be unknowingly spreading the virus.1 About 225,000 who do know their status are not getting the care they need. These numbers will continue to grow unless everyone takes decisive action against the disease.2

HIV/AIDS is taking a devastating and disproportionate toll on people of color in the United States. Community leaders and organizations can play a critical role in fighting the disease in their neighborhoods, and The Leadership Campaign on AIDS (TLCA) is dedicated to helping them do it.

TLCA: Fighting HIV/AIDS in Communities of Color!

Within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy's The Leadership Campaign on AIDS (TLCA) is working externally and internally to support the fight against HIV/AIDS in communities of color. TLCA reaches out to community leaders and local and national organizations to improve education, awareness, and action against the disease. TLCA wants to help minority leaders fight the stigma, fear, and denial that exacerbate the problem, and to help build partnerships that will promote education, prevention, testing, vaccine awareness, and treatment. TLCA also reaches internally to help improve the coordination, information-sharing, communication efforts, and effectiveness of the Department's HIV/AIDS initiatives and programs.


Know the Facts and Educate, Motivate and Mobilize Against HIV/AIDS!

  • An estimated 944,306 AIDS cases have been diagnosed in the United States since the beginning of the epidemic through 2004. Of these cases:

    • 80 percent were among men
    • 19 percent were among women
    • One percent were among children less than 13 years of age.3
  • Forty percent of the estimated total AIDS diagnoses are among Whites, 40 percent among Blacks, 19 percent among Hispanics, one percent among Asian/Pacific Islanders and less than one percent among American Indian/Alaska Natives.3
  • An estimated 38,730 new HIV cases were diagnosed in 2004.3*
  • African Americans account for 50 percent of the estimated new HIV cases diagnosed in 2004.3*
  • The 10 states or territories reporting the highest number of total AIDS diagnoses among their residents are: New York, California, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and Maryland.3
  • Sixty-eight percent of the total estimated AIDS deaths (529,113) have occurred in people ages 25?44.3
  • Of the adult and adolescent Hispanics diagnosed with AIDS in the United States through 2004, roughly 79 percent were men.3
  • Men of color represent 57 percent of HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed in 2001 through 2004 among men who had sex with men.4**
  • Women account for 29 percent of the estimated HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed in 2001 through 2004. Among these, Black and Hispanic women account for 83 percent of diagnoses. Among men in the same time period, Black and Hispanic men account for 64 percent of HIV/AIDS diagnoses.4**
  • Persons ages 13?24 account for 11 percent of new HIV/ AIDS cases diagnosed in 2001 through 2004.3* Of these persons, females accounted for 38 percent of the cases.4**
  • Women across racial/ethnic groups most commonly report heterosexual contact or injection drug use as their primary modes of exposure to HIV.3

What Can You Do?

  • Learn more about HIV/AIDS and its impact on your community.
  • Protect yourself against HIV infection. Know the risks associated with sex and drug use.
  • Get tested. It's important to know your HIV status to protect yourself and others.
  • Get medical care and support if you're living with HIV. Effective treatments exist.
  • Educate others about HIV/AIDS. Talk openly and honestly about prevention and treatment.
  • Volunteer at a local HIV/AIDS organization.
  • Post fact sheets about HIV/AIDS on bulletin boards and in local newsletters.
  • Organize a community meeting. Invite educators, faith and business leaders, health care professionals, neighbors, and friends to talk about HIV/AIDS and its impact locally. Even if three people show up, change can happen!
  • Help someone living with HIV/AIDS by being a friend.
  • Help end the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
  • Implement an activity to support HIV/AIDS observances such as World AIDS Day on December 1 or National HIV Testing Day on June 27. Visit for more ideas.

To Learn More

  • Visit the CDC National Prevention Information Network at or call 1?800?458?5231.
  • Visit the HIV/AIDS Observance Days Web site at
  • Call the CDC?INFO (formerly the CDC National AIDS Hotline) at 1?800?CDC?INFO (232-4636), TTY 1?888?232?6348.
  • Visit the Office on Women's Health at
  • Call your doctor or other health care provider.
  • Contact your local or state public health department.

* In the 35 areas with longstanding HIV reporting

** In the 33 states with longstanding HIV reporting

The terms "African American" and "Black" are used interchangeably to include those individuals who self-identify as either. The term "Hispanic" includes those individuals who self-identify as "Latino/a" or "Hispanic."


  1. Glynn M., Rhodes P. Estimated HIV prevalence in the United States at the end of 2003. National HIV Prevention Conference; June 2005; Atlanta. Abstract 595.
  2. Fleming, P.L., et al., "HIV Prevalence in the United States, 2000," 9th Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, Feb. 24-8, 2002, Seattle, WA, Abstract 11.
  3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 2004, Vol. 16. Available at:
  4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "Trends in HIV/AIDS Diagnoses -- 33 states, 2001-2004." MMWR Vol. 54, No. 45, Nov. 18, 2005, pp. 1149-1153.

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This article was provided by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
See Also
More on U.S. HIV/AIDS Statistics