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HIV/AIDS and Women

There isn't a more haunting aspect of the HIV/AIDS epidemic than the rate among women. Consider if you will, the struggle to reduce the epidemic among adults while infected mothers produce a new generation of HIV infected babies. Consider  that almost half of the 38 million HIV victims are women (the bearer of the seed).

You should know that under UNAIDS "3 by 5" target (3million treated with anti-retroviral drugs by 2005). They were only able to reach 1.3million of the stated goal. According to UNAID May 2006 report. They now find themselves stared down by  an additional estimate of 2.8 million new HIV victims.

This report, shows that 17.3 million women 15 years and over live with HIV/AIDS, with South Africa accounting for the highest rate of 3.1million, Nigeria and India 1.6 million in each country, The number of women with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) had increased steadily worldwide by the end of 2005.

Here in America the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), data showed that between 2000 and 2004. The estimated number of AIDS cases in the United States increased 10 percent among females and 7 percent among males. In 2004, women accounted for 27 percent of the 44,615 newly reported AIDS cases among adults and adolescents.

HIV disproportionately affects African-American women between 25-34 and Hispanic women are not far behind. Together they represent less than 25 percent of all U.S. women population, yet they account for more than 79 percent of AIDS cases.

HIV-infected men, are eight times more likely than HIV-infected women to develop Kaposi's sarcoma (a skin cancer), and women had higher rates of herpes simplex infections than men.

Studies conducted by the Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS (CPCRA) found that HIV-infected women were also more likely than HIV-infected men to develop bacterial pneumonia.

Have a test for the virus at your first prenatal. If you are infected with HIV your baby may also be infected. Treatment can then be implemented to protect the health of your baby. Bear in mind that you can be infected with HIV and not have any symptoms. Or they may be a number of symptoms over time. Know these symptoms for the sake of your baby.

A successful fight against HIV/AIDS may yet be a community effort. An individual effort of personal responsibility. Especially on the part of women. Their economic status and the positions they are put in, especially in third-world countries, cries for  special attention.

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