HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- American women and girls will make up nearly a quarter of all new HIV infections in the United States this year, providing a stark reminder that increased HIV testing can save lives, Home Access Health Corporation, the leading manufacturer of at-home laboratory services, said today.
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), statistics on HIV among women and girls provide powerful evidence of the need for early detection," said Mary Vogt, president of Home Access Health, noting that Sunday is Women and Girls HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day. "Recent statistics show that women account for almost 24 percent - over 10,000 cases - of all new diagnoses of HIV infection among U.S. adults and adolescents."
The U.S. will have approximately 50,000 new HIV cases this year. About 1.2 million Americans are now living with the disease, a quarter of them women. Of all Americans with HIV, 20 percent do not know they are infected.
"Although men still represent the larger group infected with HIV, the number of infected women and girls—particularly women of color—is staggering," Vogt said. "Black and Hispanic/Latina women represent approximately 80 percent of new HIV diagnoses among women, and while medical advances have resulted in better treatment of AIDS, HIV infections remain at an epidemic level. The adverse impact on women often gets lost; it's clear that too many women don't know they are carrying the virus, and most will be infected by their partner through heterosexual sex. We all owe it to ourselves to know our HIV status. Early detection can save lives, and the Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness initiative continues to promote the importance of awareness, testing and treatment."Home Access Health Corporation manufactures a test that provides an option for anonymous HIV testing. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996, the Home Access® Express HIV-1 Test System provides users with confirmed positive results in a single business day, plus access to a staff of trained HIV counselors.