On this World AIDS day lets take a look at how women are affected by AIDS. Despite the significant impact AIDS has on women, the myth that AIDS primarily affects mostly (gay) men persists. Below are 10 facts about women and AIDS/HIV to help dispel the idea that women are not gravely impacted by AIDS.

  1. Of the more than 34 million people in the world living with HIV and AIDS, half are women (avert.org)

  1. Women are at greater risk for HIV and AIDS due to gender norms that penalize sexual knowledge and self advocacy among women. (unaids.org)

  1. Globally, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of disease and death for women in their reproductive years. (who.int)

  1. Two hundred twenty-two million women of childbearing age do not have access to contraceptives, which greatly increases their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. When women can control reproduction their risk declines. (unaids.org)

  1. According to amfAR, “The proportion of AIDS diagnoses reported among women has more than tripled since 1985” in the U.S.

  1. Women are twice as likely to contract HIV/AIDS during unprotected sex as men. (avert.org)

  1. In the U.S. 82% of AIDS cases among women are of Hispanic and African American women. (amfar.org)

  1. An estimated 390,000 women are living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. (avert.org)

  1. Multiple studies across different countries show that violence against women puts them at significant increased risk for contracting HIV. Studies done in Rwanda, Tanzania, and South Africa show that the risk of contracting HIV is tripled if a woman experiences violence. (who.int)

  1. Women shoulder a disproportionate amount of care-taking for those with HIV/AIDS. In Africa, two-thirds of caregivers were women. (avert.org)

To learn more about what you can do to stop the spread of AIDS and HIV check out these organizations:
World Health Organization


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