amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

amfAR to Release Survey Results Showing Pervasive HIV Stigma


March 25, 2008—At a press briefing in Washington, DC, on Monday, March 31, amfAR will release the results of a national survey of public perceptions of women living with HIV/AIDS. Despite 25 years of progress in diagnosing and treating HIV/AIDS, the surprising results reveal persistent, pervasive stigma surrounding women who are HIV positive. The amfAR/Harris Interactive survey was conducted online and represents the responses of nearly 5,000 participants.

Women today account for almost half of all HIV/AIDS cases worldwide and 26 percent of new AIDS diagnoses in the United States—up from 8 percent in 1985. They face multiple biological, social, and environmental risk factors in the United States and around the world, and have historically been underrepresented and neglected in research studies, service delivery, and treatment and prevention programs. 

In conjunction with the press briefing, amfAR will also release an issue brief on women and HIV/AIDS, which will include policy recommendations aimed at rectifying inequities and improving prevention, treatment, and care.

The March 31 press briefing is the first in an amfAR-sponsored AIDS 20/20 briefing series designed to focus attention on emerging issues essential to the fight against HIV/AIDS and to envision strategies for the future. The series highlights the challenges that exist now, the goals that can be achieved by the year 2020, and the need for clear vision and foresight to stem the tide of the epidemic.

Susan J. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A., amfAR’s senior policy and medical advisor, will present the survey findings and engage other experts in a panel discussion.

The women and AIDS survey was generously supported by grants from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the M•A•C AIDS Fund.

For briefing program and list of panel presentations, click here.