Women face unique health problems related to many NIAID mission areas—specifically, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and autoimmune disorders. Many infectious and autoimmune diseases affect female populations disproportionately. For example, genital herpes from herpes simplex virus 2 is nearly twice as common among women as among men. Likewise, women account for more cases of chlamydia, lupus, and scleroderma than do men.
Even diseases that strike men and women in nearly equal numbers may have unique consequences or complications for women. For instance, women with HIV are at higher risk of severe cases of gynecological problems, such as chlamydia or bacterial vaginosis, than are non-infected women. Women also risk passing some of these diseases to children during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Women's Health Research Overview
NIAID conducts and supports research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immunological diseases that affect the health of women and girls. Read more about the NIAID role in women's health research.
Gender-Specific Health Challenges Facing Women
Of the approximately 33 million people worldwide infected with HIV, more than half are women. In sub-Saharan Africa, women account for a striking 60 percent of HIV cases. Read more about NIAID work on health challenges facing women.
Questions and Answers
Get more answers about what types of women’s health research NIAID funds, how NIAID supports women’s health advocacy, and what funding, training, and award opportunities are available in the area of women’s health research. Read all questions and answers.
NIAID conducts and supports research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immunological diseases that affect the health of women and girls. Read more about women’s health science advances.