In Honor of National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day

Globally, about half of all people living with HIV are women. In some countries, women living with HIV outnumber men that are living with the virus. In the U.S., the number of HIV cases in women tripled from 1985 to 2011, which means about 1 in 4 people who are living with it are female. Luckily, research conducted in 2014 showed that the number of newly diagnosed women declined 40% from 2005.

HIV affects women differently than men in some ways. Typically, when women are first diagnosed they tend to have lower viral loads than men who are newly diagnosed. Women are most often diagnosed when receiving OB/GYN services or when hospitalized for an acute illness. And unfortunately, women tend to be diagnosed with HIV later in the progression of the virus, and fewer receive HIV treatment.

kelly gluckman
Kelly Gluckman | Photo: elizabethtayloraidsfoundation.org

With all of these challenges that women who are HIV positive face, one woman living with HIV is shining brightly in her quest to help others and promote awareness. Kelly Gluckman is a heterosexual female who was diagnosed with HIV at age 19. Since being diagnosed, she has been actively involved in fighting the stigma associated with HIV and sharing her own personal story at speaking engagements across the U.S. Recently, she was a featured speaker at Indiana University. In honor of National Women and Girls’ HIV Awareness Day, we want to applaud Kelly for all of the great work she is doing to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Read more about Kelly and her story here.

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