Women and AIDS

On December 1st the world celebrated World AIDS Day, an international day of unity that brings awareness to the fight against HIV/AIDS.  HIV/ AIDS has had a dramatic effect on people all over the world since the early 1980’s.  But the statistics about its effects on women are alarming.

A recent study shows that at the end of 2008, about half of the approximately 31.8 million adults living with AIDS were women.  This includes the 146,692 women and female teens living with AIDS in the United States, 80% of whom are African American or Hispanic.  About 72% of the women in the US with HIV contracted the disease through heterosexual intercourse and around 26% contracted it through injecting drugs and/or sharing needles. Worldwide, women are twice as likely as men to contract AIDS during heterosexual intercourse.  Tragically, because of rape and poor of preventative education, such as proper condom use, women in developing countries make up around 98% of all women living with AIDS. 

From these staggering statistics, it’s obvious that HIV/AIDS affects millions of women each day.  Because there is still no cure today, hundreds if not thousands of women die each year.  It is extremely important for everyone to know their status, as well as the status of the person with whom they choose to have intercourse.  The key to fighting this global killer is education and awareness.  It’s good to have days like World AIDS Day to remind us about the severity of HIV/AIDS, but unless a cure is found, millions more mothers, daughters, and sisters will become affected.

For information about free HIV/AIDS testing in the Kansas City area, contact the Kansas City Free Health Clinic.


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