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HIV and Women

Red ribbon with superimposed female profile.Despite tremendous advances in HIV research over the last 40 years, women—particularly women of color, young women, and transgender women—remain disproportionately affected by HIV.1,2 Further research is critical to understanding optimal ways to prevent, treat, and cure HIV and associated comorbidities across women’s lifespans. Prioritizing the inclusion of diverse populations of women in prevention, treatment, and cure-related research efforts is an essential component of ending the HIV epidemic.

HIV and Women Signature Program

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of AIDS Research (OAR) and Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) launched the joint HIV and Women Signature Program in February 2023. The cornerstone of this new program is an intersectional, equity-informed, data-driven approach to research on HIV and women.

The Signature Program advances the NIH vision for women's health – a world in which every woman, including cisgender, transgender, and gender-diverse women, as well as individuals assigned female at birth, receives evidence-based care, prevention, and treatment tailored to their unique needs, circumstances, and goals. The program also supports women in science careers to meet their full professional potential. As part of the program, OAR and ORWH have convened an HIV and Women Working Group with representation from across NIH, which is charged with identifying gaps and priorities at the intersection of HIV and women’s health.

The HIV and Women Signature Program was launched during the NIH OAR-ORWH Women & HIV Symposium: Considerations from Across the Lifespan at the 13th International Workshop on HIV & Women 2023 in Seattle, Washington. Read the Executive Summary or this OAR Director’s Blog post to learn more about the symposium.

This webpage provides information on NIH research priorities related to HIV and women’s health research and the importance of sex and gender in research. In addition, this page provides links to clinical resources, resources on HIV and women at various NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs), funding information, and other resources.

The NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) and OAR will hold a workshop, “HIV and Women: Current and Future Directions at the NIH,” on September 6 from 4–6 p.m. ET at the U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA). The workshop aims to explore ways to identify gaps and priorities at the intersection of HIV and women’s health and gather input from the community.

The OAR-ORWH HIV and Women Signature Program is interested in perspectives from the research and HIV community on how to promote research on HIV and women. Please send your thoughts on the following questions to WomenandHIV@od.nih.gov.

  • How can NIH support community-led research of relevance to women and HIV?
  • What key research questions need to be asked about women and HIV?
  • What are your top research priorities for women and HIV?

1 - UN Women. HIV and AIDS. Accessed April 14, 2023. www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/hiv-and-aids

2 - UNAIDS. Global HIV & AIDS Statistics — Fact Sheet. Accessed April 14, 2023. www.unaids.org/en/resources/fact-sheet

This page last reviewed on August 31, 2023