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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 percent of all AIDS cases in the United States occurred in women during 2004. Among women newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS between 2001 and 2004, an estimated 83 percent were African-American or Latina. Younger women and girls are particularly vulnerable: females accounted for 38 percent of all individuals younger than 25 years diagnosed with HIV/AIDS from 2001–2004, compared with 27 percent of people aged 25 years and older.
The Office on Women's Health (OWH) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed a number of pilot programs to address HIV/AIDS as a national health priority. In 1997, OWH formed the Collaborative Group on Women and HIV/AIDS, comprised of women representing a broad cross-section of HIV/AIDS service providers in public, private, and non-profit sectors as well as consumers. The Collaborative helped OWH identify gaps in the needs and services for women at risk and living with HIV/AIDS. The Collaborative completed its work at the end of 2002.
On July 26, 2003, OWH convened the Women and HIV/AIDS Prevention Strategies Group Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The workgroup meets monthly via teleconferences and annually in person, to develop clear HIV prevention strategies which convey the sense of urgency of HIV/AIDS in the lives of women across this nation. To this end, the workgroup has prioritized 2 areas:
A sub-committee on cross-generational approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention education for women was formed and recommended outreaching to females within their family structures. OWH now funds an intergenerational pilot program to reach African-American, Latina/Hispanic, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Islander women across the lifespan with HIV/AIDS prevention education.
An additional subcommittee on women and trauma, depression, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS was formed to focus on the provision of services covering co-occurring health issues for women at risk and living with HIV/AIDS.
For more information, contact Joanna Short, Public Health Advisor at 202-260-8420 or Joanna.Short@hhs.gov.
Frances E. Ashe-Goins R.N., M.P.H.
Mary Bowers M.S.W.
Jeanette Beltrán, B.A.
Selena Catalá, M.S., M.P.H., L.C.D.C.
Shannon R. Conn
Ebony R. Davis, B.S.W.
Yvonne M. Davis, M.P.H.
Dázon Dixon Diallo, M.P.H.
Jane P. Fowler
Candice L. Jett
Sabrina Matoff-Stepp, M.A.
Suki Terada Ports
Joanna Short, M.Div.
Brooke Steele, D.O.
Dana P. Williams
Content last updated: July 01, 2006.