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Facts You Should Know

Spring 2005

  • Nearly one million Americans are living with HIV and more than 40 million people around the world are infected.
  • Women account for a growing share of new AIDS diagnoses in the U.S. rising from 8% of AIDS diagnoses in 1985 to 27% in 2003.
  • African American women accounted for 67% of estimated female AIDS cases in 2003, but only 3% of the U.S. female population.
  • Latina women accounted for 16% of estimated female AIDS cases in 2003, and 13% of the female population.
  • Most female AIDS cases were diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 44 (71%). This indicates that many were likely infected several years earlier.
  • In 2002, teen girls accounted for half 51% of HIV cases reported among those ages 13-19, young women ages 20-24 accounted for 37% of HIV cases in their age group.
  • Most AIDS diagnoses among women are due to heterosexual transmission (71% of estimated new AIDS diagnoses in 2003) followed by injection drug use (27%)
  • Among younger women, ages 20-24 heterosexual transmission accounts for 79% of estimated new AIDS cases and 61% among teen girls, ages 13-19.
  • The HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study (HCSUS), the only nationally representative study of people with HIV/AIDS receiving regular ongoing medical care for HIV infection, found that women with HIV were disproportionately low-income.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) had annual incomes below $10,000 compared to (41%) of men.
  • Most women with HIV/AIDS receiving medical care have children under age 18 in their homes (76%), which may complicate their ability to manage their own illness.
  • Women with HIV were more likely to postpone care because they lacked transportation (26%) or were too sick to go to the doctor (23%) than men (12% and 14%)

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How to Become More Involved

  • Get educated about the virus, the disease and the statistics affecting your community and of the world.
  • Be aware of your status, get tested!
  • Stay involved in the political process because research dollars and funding are at stake.
  • Spread your knowledge to those you love and the friends you care about and whomever you feel will benefit from the information.
  • Volunteer your time at a local AIDS Services Organization

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This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.