“Today, about one in four people living with HIV in the United States are women 13 or older. Only about half of women living with HIV are getting care, and only four in 10 of them have the virus under control,” reports the Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Florida Women with HIV
Here in Florida, “The Florida Department of Health estimates that approximately 130,000 individuals are living with HIV disease…Men represent 70% of the cases. Persons over the age of 45 years represent 60%.”
The number of HIV infections declined for women in Florida last year from previous years. HIV infection among adult women dropped to 20% in 2014 from 29% in 2005, according to The Florida Department of Health’s Women Factsheet, which also shows that last year Black women were disproportionately affected.
“As per Florida’s adult population estimates for 2014, 59% of adult women were white, 15% were black, 22% were Hispanic and 4% were other races. In 2014, 1,254 HIV infection and 803 AIDS cases were reported among women. Blacks were overrepresented, accounting for 69% of the AIDS cases and 62% of the HIV infection cases reported among women.”
There are many risk factors for HIV infection, however, “women are most likely to be infected through high risk heterosexual contact, followed by injection drug use,” according to the fact sheet. In addition, “Socioeconomic issues associated with poverty, including limited access to high-quality health care; the exchange of sex for drugs, money, or to meet other needs; and higher levels of substance use can directly or indirectly increase HIV risk factors.”
With proper health care and support, people with HIV can live long and healthy lives. Our expert and compassionate ASAP team improves quality of life for many Tampa Bay area residents with HIV with such services as medical case management, pharmacy and mental health, substance abuse and risk counseling. Help also is available for families and caregivers. The ongoing support of community donations and volunteers is vital to carrying out our mission.
It’s important to know your HIV status. Get tested for you and those you love. ASAP’s testing is free, confidential and able to be done in as little as 20 minutes at its locations and mobile unit.
4601 34th St. S., Ste. 102, St. Petersburg, FL 33711 (At the Flamingo Resort)
4600 N. Habana Ave. Ste. 15, Tampa, FL 33614 (St. Joseph’s Hospital)