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.

  • Approximately one in four people living with HIV infection in the U.S. are women.

  • The vast majority of women diagnosed with HIV (86%) contracted the virus through heterosexual sex.

  • African Americans constituted 63% of women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2013.

  • African Americans and Hispanics represent 28% of all women in the U.S. but they account for 80% of HIV cases among women.

  • African-American women have an HIV prevalence rate nearly three and a half times that of white women.

Around the Globe 

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

  • For women in their reproductive years (ages 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 found that young women who experienced intimate partner violence were 50% more likely to have acquired HIV than women who had not experienced violence.

  • In 2014, 73% of pregnant women living with HIV received effective antiretroviral medicines to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children.

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, women constitute 58% of all people living with HIV.

  • In 2014, almost 62% of all new HIV infections among adolescents occurred among adolescent girls.

Sources: UNAIDS Report: How AIDS changed everything, 2015; UNAIDS 2014 Global Statistics.; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV Surveillance Report 2013

(Last updated July 2015)