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HRSA's Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 5, 2018


National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Women account for nearly one fourth of people living with HIV infection in the United States (CDC data) and 27.3% of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) clients (2016 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Annual Client-Level Data Report). Minority women comprise 83.8% of RWHAP female clients, of whom 61.5% are African American, 19.7% are Latina, and 16.2% are white.

This heavy burden is driven by an environment of poverty, lack of access to health care, and substance abuse. Female RWHAP clients have lower incomes than male clients, according to the 2016 report.

March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 

HIV Health Outcomes among Women

Data on health outcomes of RWHAP clients are from the HRSA RWHAP Annual Client-Level Data Report (RSR), which issues an annual report on RWHAP client characteristics and health outcomes. The RSR also provides insights into HIV health outcomes by gender and other client characteristics. 

  • From 2010 through 2016, viral suppression increased from 66.3% to 84.0% among female clients, similar to increases seen among male clients (70.9% to 85.4%) and transgender clients (61.5% to 79.4%).
  • The percentage of Black/African American women who were virally suppressed (82.6%) was slightly lower than the national RWHAP average (84.9%) and the percentage for women overall (84.0%).
  • Viral suppression among Hispanic women (86.5%) was slightly higher than the national RWHAP average (84.9%) and that of women overall (84.0%). 
  • Although the rate of viral suppression among transgender women (transgender male-to-female clients) increased to 79.0% in 2016, it remained the lowest rate of viral suppression across gender subpopulations.

Technical Assistance Resources on Women and HIV

A collection of TA and training manuals and other resources focusing on women with HIV/AIDS is available on this site, including:

Women of Color: Enhancing Access is an implementation guide developed under the Integrating HIV Innovative Practices (IHIP), a HRSA initiative that is turning Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) innovation into practice with manuals, curricula, webinars, and tools. See the National HIV Curriculum, developed by HRSA's AETC Program, with chapters on working with special populations.

Active HRSA TA and training projects that include a focus on women: 

  • Building Care/Prevention Capacity along the HIV Care Continuum in Southern Metro Areas, funded under the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, will implement innovative models of service delivery to improve minority population health along the HIV care continuum. The focus will be on men who have sex with men (MSM), youth, cisgender and transgender women, and people who inject drugs (PWID).
  • Leadership Training for People of Color Living with HIV is a project aimed at increasing participation in RWHAP planning bodies, medical care and support teams, boards of directors, and other mobilization efforts. The project also promotes leadership development for transgender women of color and supports efforts to expand the capacity of HIV prevention and care delivery systems.

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program: A Focus on Women

While all aspects of RWHAP deliver care to women living with HIV, several are specifically focused on women and girls and their families.

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