HIV rally in Washington D.C.
2012 March on AIDS rally in Washington D.C. Credit: Al Ungar ©iStock

Medications are keeping people with HIV alive longer than ever before, but women with AIDS tend to die at a younger age in the U.S. than men with the illness (see chart below). This long-standing gap may in part reflect differences in race among men and women with HIV, particularly as concerns access to health care. Nearly one in four people living with HIV in the U.S. are women.

Among newly infected women in 2010, there were five times more blacks than whites. By comparison for that same year, there were almost equal numbers of black and white men who became infected after having sex with other men. In addition, health experts estimate that fewer than half of women with HIV are being treated for their infections.

Data recently published from the National Vital Statistics System, however, show that women with HIV began closing the survival gap with men in 2013.

Average age of death from HIV in the United States chart