AIDS Progression in Women
The growing rate of infection of HIV in women, and the consequences of the shifting demographics.
In recent years there has been a growing realization that AIDS is spreading rapidly among women. This paper discusses the fact that women with AIDS tend to become sicker, faster, and die sooner with AIDS due to numerous social and economic factors, including ; limited access to health care, poverty and economic dependence, and the fact that women tend to be the primary caretakers of the sick and dying even when they themselves are in need of care.
“In recent years there has been a growing realization that AIDS is spreading rapidly among women, and rates of infection in women may eventually mirror those in the global epidemic. In contrast to 1985, “when women represented only 7% of all AIDS cases, today approximately one quarter of AIDS cases occur in women of all ages, cultures and sexual orientations.”1 Women are at a greater risk for becoming infected due to the fact that the rate of male-to-female transmission of HIV is 12 times more likely than female-to-male transmission.2 Differences in male and female anatomy are thought to result not only in greater susceptibility of women to AIDS, but also greater difficulty in diagnosing the infection and a higher likelihood of complications from the disease. Many women often have limited access to information and services, and some may increase their risks greatly by selling sex in order to survive. Other factors, including cultural beliefs and roles, social status, and behavioral practices, may hinder many women from seeking treatment which allows the disease to progress much quicker. The most significant contributing factors, however, are; limited access to health care, poverty and economic dependence, and the fact that women tend to be the primary caretakers of the sick and dying even when they themselves are in need of care.”