Women and HIV/AIDS

More than 48% of reported cases of HIV/AIDS are among women, with minority females in disproportionately higher infection rates. Most children with HIV/AIDS are born to infected women.

Women most at risk for HIV infection are those who:

  • Have injected drugs in the past or inject them now.
  • Have unprotected sex with partners who have injected drugs in the past or inject them now.
  • Have unprotected sex with men who have or have had unprotected sex with other men.
  • Have or have had more than one unprotected sex partner.
  • Have sores caused by STDs, like syphilis or herpes, which make it easier to get HIV.
  • Have any STD, because they can put her at greater risk for getting HIV.

How can I avoid getting HIV?

  • The surest way is to not have unprotected sex and not inject drugs. If you inject drugs, get help to stop and never share works.
  • If you are sexually active, having just one protected partner is safest.
  • Protect yourself and your partner during sex. Always use a latex condom.
  • Water-based foams, creams and jellies will give you some extra protection.
  • Click here for information about female condoms.


  • If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you should seriously consider getting the HIV antibody test.
  • Women infected with HIV who are already pregnant need special counseling and care during their pregnancy and during birth. An infected woman who is pregnant should talk with her health care provider to discuss all her options.
  • Because HIV has been found in breast milk, women who are infected with HIV should not breastfeed their babies.
  • Latex condoms should be used to protect against spreading HIV and other STDs even when other birth control methods are used. Using condoms or lube with nonoxynol-9 may irritate the vaginal region and create another pathway for HIV and other STD's to enter.


Students in the UNCG Department of Counseling and Education Development's Fall 2010 Sexuality Counseling course developed the THRIVE booklet to support women with HIV/AIDS in living better, longer lives. The booklet includes information to help HIV-positive women care for themselves, continue to have meaningful social, work, and dating lives, and how to talk about one's HIV diagnosis with loved ones. Triad Health Project was proud to serve as the community partner for this project.

To download a FREE copy of the THRIVE booklet, click here, or visit http://www.uncg.edu/ced/thrive

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