Epidemiological Profile of HIV/AIDS in Minnesota

Risk Populations: Women

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HIV/AIDS Prevalence among Women

Since the beginning of the epidemic, women have accounted for approximately 25% of persons living with HIV in Minnesota as well as new HIV diagnoses. As of December 31st 2013, there were 1,815 women living with HIV in Minnesota.


Women of color account for a disproportionate number of women living with HIV in Minnesota. White women account for just 25% of women living with HIV, while women of color account for 73% of prevalent female HIV/AIDS cases whereas only 17% of the general female population in Minnesota is non-White. The largest number of women living with HIV/AIDS is among African-born women (589 persons) followed by African-American and White women (516 and 454 persons, respectively).

women by race

Mode of Exposure

The majority (82%) of women living with HIV in Minnesota have a mode of exposure of heterosexual contact. Injection drug use accounts for 9% of prevalent HIV infections in Minnesota among women.

Across all race/ethnicity groups, females most frequently report heterosexual contact with someone with or at risk for HIV infection as their mode of HIV exposure.  However, IDU also accounts for the next largest percentage of female cases among most race/ethnicity groups.  The largest estimated percentage of IDU cases are among American Indians (20%), followed by Whites with 17%, African Americans with 13%and Hispanics with 8%.  Among Asian and Pacific Islander females, heterosexual contact accounted for an estimated 83% of cases, and IDU for an estimated 2%. However, the number of prevalent cases among Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian females is quite small, so the results need to be interpreted very carefully.  Finally, while African-born women make up the largest proportion (32%) of females living with HIV in Minnesota, they account for less than one% of the IDU cases among HIV positive women.

HIV Diagnoses among Women

In 2013 the number of newly infected cases as compared to 2012 increased by 16% from 62 to 72 cases.

By Race/Ethnicity

In 2013, women of color accounted for 13% of the female population but made up 73% of new infections among females, with African American and African-born women accounting for 66% of infections among women. White, non-Hispanics make up approximately 83% of the female population and 23% of new infections among women in 2013.  African-born women continue to have the highest number of new infections annually. The annual number of new infections diagnosed among Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian females continues to be quite small.

females by race

By Mode of Exposure

Throughout the epidemic, heterosexual contact has been the predominant mode of HIV exposure reported among females accounting for 89% of female cases in 2013. IDU is the second most common known mode of transmission, and accounted for 3% of cases among women in 2013. Heterosexual contact with someone with an unknown HIV status or risk has been designated for a growing percentage of cases for the past several years and represented 74% of female cases in 2013.

HIV Treatment Cascade among Women

There were 1,716 HIV positive women included in the HIV Treatment Cascade analyses. Compared to men, women are retained in care at a slightly higher rate than men (75% versus 72%). Viral suppression in care does not vary greatly by gender.

There were 61 cases among women reported in 2012 that were included in the linkage to care calculation. Women were linked to care at a slightly lower rate than men in 2012 (87% versus 91%).

females by stage

Updated Monday, June 15, 2015 at 03:00PM