Women's Health USA 2007
Photographs of women's faces
Health Status > Health Indicators

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the final stage of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which destroys or disables the cells that are responsible for fighting infection. AIDS is diagnosed when HIV has weakened the immune system enough that the body has a difficult time fighting infections.1 In 2005, there were an estimated 10,774 new AIDS cases among adolescent and adult females, compared to 29,766 new cases among males of the same age group. Men have been disproportionately affected by AIDS, but the rate among women is increasing at a faster pace; since 2001, new AIDS cases have increased by 7.2 percent among females compared to a 6.7 percent increase among males.

In 2005, females were 27.1 percent of all adolescents and adults living with HIV/AIDS2 and 21.5 percent of enrollees in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) a Federal program providing medications for treatment of HIV to those who do not have adequate health insurance or the financial resources to cover the cost of them. Most clients are enrolled in ADAP only while they await acceptance into an insurance program such as Medicaid.3 ADAP is funded through Title XXVI of the Public Health Service Act as amend-ed by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006 (Ryan White Pro-gram). In December 2006, it was reauthorized for 3 years to provide funding for a range of programs serving people with HIV/AIDS until 2010.

HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects minorities: in 2005, 64.1 percent of adolescent and adult females living with HIV/AIDS were non-Hispanic Black. In 2004, HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death among non-Hispanic Black women aged 2534.4

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS Basic Information. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/basic/index.htm. Viewed 8/15/07.

2 Includes persons with a diagnosis of HIV infection (not AIDS), a diagnosis of HIV infection and a later diagnosis of AIDS, or concurrent diagnoses of HIV infection and AIDS, in 33 States.

3 Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau. ADAP Fact Sheet. Available from: http://hab.hrsa.gov/abouthab/files/partbadapfacts2010.pdf. Viewed 4/18/07.

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet, HIV/AIDS among Women. Rev ed. June 2007. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov. Viewed 8/15/07.


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Women's Health USA 2007 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2007. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007.