HIV Amongst Women

Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in HIV |

HIV amongst women


HIV amongst women

When HIV gets brought up in any capacity there is never usually a lot of talk about women. The talk about HIV has been for a long time about men and more specifically gay men. But HIV is amongst women. In fact 24% of all diagnosed HIV infections in the United States were within women.

  • 3 years ago there was an estimated 11,200 new HIV infections among women in the United States. Women comprised of 51% of the U.S population at that time and 23% of those newly infected with HIV.
  • Out of the total numbers of HIV among women 57% occurred in blacks, 21% were in whites, and 16% were Hispanics/Latinas.
  • The rate of HIV among women who are black was 15 times that of white women and over 3 times the rate among Hispanic/Latina women.
  • 1 in 139 women will be diagnosed with HIV a year. HIV among women who are black and Hispanic/Latina are at an increased risk of being diagnosed with HIV infection. 1 in 32 in black women and 1 in 106 in Hispanic/Latina women will be diagnosed and this is in comparison with Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women who are 1 in 182 and American Indian/Alaska Native Women who are 1 in 217 and white or Asian women 1 in 526.
  • Women made up more than 25% of the estimated 34,247AIDS diagnosis in 2009 and they represent almost 20% of cumulative AIDS diagnosis (including children) in the United States to date.
  • For women living with HIV the most common methods of transmission were high-risk heterosexual contact and IV drug use.
  • In 2004, HIV was the leading cause of death for black women aged 25-34 years old
  • In 2004, HIV was the 5th leading cause of death among all women aged 35-44 years old and the 6th leading cause of death among all women aged 25-34 years old.
  • An estimated 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses for women are related to injection drug use.

Most women are infected with HIV through heterosexual sex. Some women with HIV become infected because they are unaware of their partner’s risk factors for HIV infection or have a lack of knowledge about HIV.

Both protected and unprotected vaginal and anal sex can lead to a higher risk of transmitting HIV. Unprotected anal sex presents a very high risk for HIV transmission, even more so than unprotected vaginal sex for women. Women who have experienced sexual abuse are also more apt to use drugs to cope with unwanted feelings. These women tend to have trouble refusing sex, exchange sex for drugs, or engage in high-risk sexual activities which can put them at a high risk for transmitting HIV.

Injecting drugs if the woman has a drug problem can severely increase the HIV risk. Not only that but engaging in high-risk behaviors such as unprotected sex while under the influence of drugs and alcohol can leave a women susceptible to transmitting HIV.

STDS greatly increase the likelihood of acquiring or transmitting HIV. The rates of gonorrhea and syphilis are actually higher among black women than among white women. Poverty, limited access to high-quality health care, the exchange of sex for drugs, money, or to meet other needs, can increase HIV risk factors. Not only that but all of these factors can lead to higher levels of substance abuse which can put women at a higher risk of getting HIV.



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