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Arrows Change. 1997 Apr;3(1):1-2.

Women at greater risk of HIV infection.

Abstract

PIP:

Although many people believe that mainly men get infected with HIV/AIDS, women are actually getting infected at a faster rate than men, especially in developing countries, and suffer more from the adverse impact of AIDS. As of mid-1996, the Joint UN Program on AIDS estimated that more than 10 million of the 25 million adults infected with HIV since the beginning of the epidemic are women. The proportion of HIV-positive women is growing, with almost half of the 7500 new infections daily occurring among women. 90% of HIV-positive women live in a developing country. In Asia-Pacific, 1.4 million women have been infected with HIV out of an estimated total 3.08 million adults from the late 1970s until late 1994. Biologically, women are more vulnerable than men to infection because of the greater mucus area exposed to HIV during penile penetration. Women under age 17 years are at even greater risk because they have an underdeveloped cervix and low vaginal mucus production. Concurrent sexually transmitted diseases increase the risk of HIV transmission. Women's risk is also related to their exposure to gender inequalities in society. The social and economic pressures of poverty exacerbate women's risk. Prevention programs are discussed.

PMID:
12292992
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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