March 10, 2014 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD). NWGHAAD is a nationwide effort to help women and girls take action to protect themselves and their partners from HIV – through prevention, testing and treatment. The HIV epidemic is rapidly aging with 17% of new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. occurring in those 50 and older. By 2015 the CDC expects half of the HIV infected population to be over 50. Older Americans are more likely than younger Americans to be diagnosed with HIV at a later stage in the disease. This can lead to poorer diagnoses and shorter HIV to AIDS intervals. And with HIV and age, comes cancer.
Statistics – An Overview
- One in four people living with HIV infection in the U.S. are women.
- According to the CDC, 275,700 American women are living with HIV/AIDS.
- Women made up 20% (9,500) of the estimated 47,500 new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2010 with most (84%) of these new infections in women being from heterosexual contact.
- 4,014 women with an AIDS diagnosis died in 2010 and an estimated 111,940 women have died since the beginning of the epidemic.
- Only 41% of HIV positive women are retained in HIV related medical care and only 26% of HIV positive women achieve viral suppression. Viral suppression improves survival and reduces transmission to others.
Disproportionate Affect on Women of Color
- Black and Hispanic women continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV, compared with women of other ethnicities.
- While only 13% of the U.S. female population, Black women represent 64% of new female HIV infections.