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Fact Sheet

HIV/AIDS Among Minority Women

December 2005

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

HIV/AIDS and Minority Women
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 partnership 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.

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

Did You Know?

  • Of the estimated 944,306 Americans that have been diagnosed with AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic through 2004, 178,463 of those occurred in adult/adolescent females. Black and Hispanic women account for roughly 79 percent of reported cases, and Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native women comprise nearly one percent of those cases.3
  • The proportion of AIDS diagnoses among women, especially among women of color, has increased since the beginning of the epidemic. Women represent 27 percent of new AIDS diagnoses in 2004,3 compared to only 11 percent of new AIDS cases reported in 1990.4
  • Black and Hispanic women accounted for 81 percent of new AIDS diagnoses in 2004 among women.3
  • Women of color account for 80 percent of all women estimated to be living with AIDS, with Black women making up 64 percent of the total alone.3
  • Women across racial/ethnic groups most commonly report heterosexual contact or injection drug use as their primary modes of exposure to HIV.3
  • HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death among African American women ages 25?34 and the third leading cause for ages 35?44 in 2002. HIV/AIDS was also the fourth leading cause of death for Hispanic women ages 35?44.5
  • An estimated 944,306 Americans have been diagnosed with AIDS from the beginning of the epidemic through 2004. Of the 42,514 estimated new diagnoses in 2004, 73 percent were male and 27 percent were female. Less than one percent were children under 13.3
  • African Americans account for 40 percent of total estimated AIDS diagnoses through 2004,3 though they make up only 12.2 percent of the population.6 They also represent an estimated 50 percent of persons newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2004.3*
  • Hispanics account for 19 percent of total estimated AIDS diagnoses through 2004,3 though they make up only 14.2 percent of the population.6
  • The number of Asian/Pacific Islanders and American Indian/Alaska Natives living with AIDS continues to rise, with an approximately 10 percent increase each year over the past five years.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 www.omhrc.gov/hivaidsobservances for more ideas.


To Learn More

  • Visit the CDC National Prevention Information Network at www.cdcnpin.org or call 1?800?458?5231.
  • Visit the HIV/AIDS Observance Days Web site at www.omhrc.gov/hivaidsobservances.
  • 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 www.womenshealth.gov/hiv-aids.
  • Call your doctor or other health care provider.
  • Contact your local or state public health department.

* In the 35 areas 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."


Resources

  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. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 2004, Vol. 16. Available at: www.cdc.gov/hiv/stats/2004surveillancereport.pdf.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, January 1991.
  5. National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 53, No. 17, March 2005.
  6. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2004. Available at http://factfinder.census.gov, Accessed Nov. 2005.

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
 
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