A Timeline of Women Living With HIV: Past, Present and Future -- 2005

2005. A total of 10,744 AIDS cases are diagnosed among women in the United States.

There are 330,000 people living with HIV in the Caribbean by the end of 2005. Adult women make up 51 percent of the total number of people living with HIV in the region.

Stephen Lewis, UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, delivers a speech at the University of Pennsylvania's Summit on Global Issues in Women's Health on April 26. During this speech, he tells the story of his trip to Zambia during which he met with a community of women living with HIV. "Just a few weeks ago, I was in Zambia, visiting a district well outside of Lusaka. We were taken to a rural village to see an 'income generating project' run by a group of women living with AIDS. They were gathered under a large banner proclaiming their identity, some 15 or 20 women, all living with the virus, all looking after orphans. They were standing proudly beside the income generating project ... a bountiful cabbage patch. After they had spoken volubly and eloquently about their needs and the needs of their children (as always, hunger led the litany), I asked about the cabbages. I assumed it supplemented their diet? Yes, they chorused. And you sell the surplus at market? An energetic nodding of heads. And I take it you make a profit? Yes again. What do you do with the profit? And this time there was an almost quizzical response as if to say what kind of ridiculous question is that ... surely you knew the answer before you asked: 'We buy coffins of course; we never have enough coffins.'"