Women and HIV/AIDS in the United States
Women have been affected by HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic.Today, women account for 1 in 5 (20%) new HIV infections in the U.S. Women of color, particularly Black women, have been especially hard hit and represent the majority of women living with the disease and women newly infected. As with people with HIV overall, most women with HIV are not in regular care and only a quarter are virally suppressed. Women with and at risk for HIV face several challenges to getting the services and information they need, including socio-economic and structural barriers, such as poverty, cultural inequities, and sexual violence, and women may place the needs of their families above their own. In addition, women also experience different clinical symptoms and complications due to HIV disease. Despite this impact, there are promising new signs, with data indicating that HIV infections are now falling among women, including among Black women, although they continue to rise among gay men.3 Still, addressing the epidemic’s impact on women in the U.S., particularly women of color, remains critical to ensuring that these encouraging trends continue.