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World AIDS Day --- December 1, 2004

World AIDS Day 2004 focuses on the increasing vulnerability of women to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) with the theme, Women, Girls, HIV, and AIDS. Globally, women account for nearly half of adults living with HIV. However, in some African countries, HIV prevalence is nearly five times greater among young women than men (1).

In the United States, women in racial/ethnic minority populations are especially vulnerable. In 2003, black and Hispanic women accounted for 25% of all U.S. women but 83% of women with diagnosed AIDS (2). Black women were 25 times more likely and Hispanic women six times more likely than white women to have diagnosed AIDS (2).

In 2002, surveys of U.S. adults indicated that one tenth had been tested for HIV during the previous year (3). CDC estimates one fourth of the approximately 900,000 persons living with HIV in the United States do not know that they are infected, are not receiving treatments, and might unknowingly transmit HIV to others (4).

CDC supports a combined biomedical and behavioral strategy to reduce HIV infections in the United States, including expanded access to counseling, behavioral interventions, and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Additional information is available at or by telephone, 800-342-2437.


  1. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Report on the global AIDS epidemic, 2004. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2004.
  2. CDC. HIV/AIDS surveillance report. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2004. Available at
  3. CDC. Number of persons tested for HIV---United States, 2002. MMWR 2004 (In press).
  4. Fleming P, Byers RH, Sweeney PA, et al. HIV prevalence in the United States, 2000 [Abstract 11]. Presented at the Ninth Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, Seattle, WA; February 24--28, 2002.

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