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 (84%) contracted the virus through heterosexual sex.

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

  • African Americans and Hispanics represent 27% of all women in the U.S. but they account for 79% of HIV 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.

  • 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 2013, 70% 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 2013, almost 60% of all new HIV infections among young people aged 15–24 occurred among adolescent girls and young women.

Sources: UNAIDS Gap Report 2014; UNAIDS Fact Sheet 2014; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(Last updated July 2014)