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Women now account for half of the people living with HIV worldwide and represent one of the fastest growing populations affected by the disease. In the United States alone, 30 percent of new HIV infections occur in women.
An even more disturbing trend is already well established in the developing world. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reports that two-thirds of newly infected people in developing countries are between the ages of 15 and 24, and of those, as many as 64 percent are female.
In sub-Saharan African and parts of the Caribbean, young women ages 15 to 24 are now twice as likely to be infected as males the same age, with girls infection rates in certain areas as high as six times that of their male peers. Recently published data from the CDC show that the US may be experiencing a similar shift. Among teens, girls accounted for more than half of new HIV infections reported in 2001.
Source: American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR)