amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Statistics: Women and HIV/AIDS 

In the United States 

  • Women account for one in five new HIV diagnoses and deaths caused by AIDS.

  • The proportion of AIDS diagnoses reported among women has more than tripled since 1985.

  • The vast majority of women diagnosed with HIV contracted the virus through heterosexual sex.

  • African Americans constituted 64 percent of women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2011.

  • African Americans and Hispanics represent 27 percent of all women in the U.S. but they account for 79 percent of AIDS cases among women.

  • African-American women have an HIV prevalence rate nearly four times that of white women.

Around the Globe 

  • Worldwide, women constitute more than half of all people living with HIV/AIDS.

  • For women in their reproductive years (15–49), HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death.

  • Women are at least twice more likely to acquire HIV from men during sexual intercourse than vice versa.

  • A study in South Africa recently suggested that nearly one in seven cases of young women acquiring HIV could have been prevented if the women had not been subjected to intimate partner violence.

  • In 2012, 62 percent of pregnant women living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries received effective drug regimens to prevent new HIV infections among children.

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, women constitute 57 percent of all people living with HIV/AIDS.

  • Among young people aged 15-24, the HIV prevalence rate for young women is twice that of young men.

Sources: UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic 2013; UNAIDS Fact Sheet 2013; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(Last updated October 2013)