MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 2017 10 2066(41) 1100-1104 doi 10.15585/mmwr.mm6641a2
Diagnoses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among women declined 17% during 2011-2015, and a total of 7,498 women received a diagnosis of HIV infection in 2015 (1). Although black or African American (black) women accounted for only 12% of the U.S. female population, 60% of women with newly diagnosed HIV infection were black (1,2). By the end of 2014, an estimated 255,900 women were living with HIV infection (3), including approximately 12% who did not know they were infected; in addition, approximately 45% of women who had received a diagnosis had not achieved viral suppression (3). HIV testing is an important public health strategy for identifying women with HIV infection and linking them to HIV medical care. Analysis of CDC-funded program data submitted by 61 health departments in 2015 indicated that among 4,749 women tested who received a diagnosis of HIV infection, 2,951 (62%) had received a diagnosis in the past (previous diagnosis), and 1,798 (38%) were receiving a diagnosis for the first time (new diagnosis). Of those who had received a previous diagnosis, 87% were not in HIV medical care at the time of the current test. Testing and identifying women who are living with HIV infection but who are not in care (regardless of when they received their first diagnosis) and rapidly linking them to care so they can receive antiretroviral therapy and become virally suppressed are essential for reducing HIV infection among all women.