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Jacobs Institute of Women's Health of

The George Washington University

School of Public Health and Health Services

2021 K Street, NW, Suite 800

Washington, DC 20006

D. Richard Mauery, MS, MPH

Managing Staff Director


202.296.0025 (fax)



In the News

As a service to our supporters, we will periodically post news items of interest regarding women's health.


July 26, 2007

An April 2007 issue brief published by the Commonwealth Fund examines affordability of health insurance for women.  The authors, Elizabeth M. Patchias, M.P.P., and Judy Waxman, note:

Although men and women have some similar challenges with regard to health insurance, women face unique barriers to becoming insured. More significantly, women have greater difficulty affording health care services even once they are insured. On average, women have lower incomes than men and therefore have greater difficulty paying premiums. Women also are less likely than men to have coverage through their own employer and more likely to obtain coverage through their spouses; are more likely than men to have higher out-of-pocket health care expenses; and use more health care services than men and consequently are in greater need of comprehensive coverage. Proposals for improving health policy need to address these disparities.

To download a .pdf copy of the full issue brief, "Women and Health Coverage: The Affordability Gap," please visit http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=478513.


July 16, 2007

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has released a new 2007 fact sheet on Women and HIV/AIDS in the United States.  Among other findings, the authors note that:

Studies have indicated that women with HIV/AIDS may encounter barriers to treatment and do not receive optimal levels of care compared to men.

  • The HIV Cost and Service Utilization Study (HCSUS found) that women with HIV were less likely to receive combination therapy and fared more poorly on other access measures than men.
  • Women with HIV were also more likely to postpone care because they lacked transportation (26%) or were too sick to go to the doctor (23%) than men (12% and 14%, respectively).
  • A recent analysis of data from 20002002 in 11 HIV primary and specialty care sites in the U.S. found higher rates of hospitalization and outpatient visits among women with HIV/AIDS compared to men.

A copy of the July 2007 Fact Sheet can be downloaded at http://www.kff.org/hivaids/6092.cfm.


July 11, 2007

From:     U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

One-fourth of uninsured U.S. women between the ages of 18-64 reported not having had a Pap smear within the last three years when surveyed in 2005, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This was double the 11 percent rate for women with private insurance and more than the 15 percent rate for women covered by Medicaid or any other public insurance.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which is sponsored by AHRQ, recommends that women from ages 21-64 receive a Pap smear screening every three years to detect cervical cancer and abnormal cells that can develop into cancer.

AHRQ data also shows that:

  • Overall, 14 percent of U.S. women age 18 to 64 with or without insurance did not receive a Pap smear within the last three years.
  • Asian women are more than twice as likely (21.5 percent ) to have not received a Pap smear in last three years than African American women (10 percent). White and Hispanic women fall in between (13.5 percent and 16 percent, respectively)
  • Women age 50-64 are nearly twice as likely (17 percent) to have not received a Pap smear compared to women ages 30-39 (9 percent). For women age 40-49 the rate is about 12 percent.

AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works to enhance the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care in the United States. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a highly detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, how frequently they use them, the cost of those services, and how they are paid.  For more information, go to:  Use of the Pap Test as a Cancer Screening Tool Among Women Age 18-64, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2005.

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

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