Early in the epidemic, HIV infection and AIDS were diagnosed among relatively few women and female adolescents. Currently, women account for more than 25% of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Historically, African-American women have been disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic. In 2002, the most recent year for which data are available, HIV infection was the leading cause of death for African-American women 25-34 years old; the third leading cause of death for African-American women aged 35-44 years old and the fourth leading cause of death for African-American women 45-54 years old. In this same year, HIV infection was the fifth leading cause of death among all women 35-44 years of age and the six leading cause of death among all women aged 25-34 year old. The only diseases causing more death of women were cancer and heart disease (Anderson & Smith, 2005).
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