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10 HIV/AIDS Stories That Defined 2013 in the U.S.

December 1, 2013


Research and Recommendations Address the Gender Divide

Research and Recommendations Address the Gender Divide

About one in four adults or adolescents living with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis in the United States are women, according to the CDC. Women of color, especially black and Latina women, are disproportionately affected compared to women of other races/ethnicities.

African-American women and Latinas also tend to be late testers -- and receive an AIDS diagnosis at the same time or within one year of their initial diagnosis. This means they are much less likely to benefit from antiretroviral therapy. Women also experience a wide range of symptoms, contraindications and gender-specific side effects, such as recurrent vaginal yeast infections, severe pelvic inflammatory disease, menstrual changes, menopause complications and more ... and of course, prenatal and reproductive concerns. Black and Latina transgender women are also severely impacted. Infections are decreasing among black women -- but many Latinas and black women continue to press for increased funding to address the epidemic among them.

Some good news: In the past year, more research has been published that addresses the intersections of gender-based violence, trauma and vulnerability to becoming HIV positive. The Federal Interagency Working Group on the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence against Women and Girls released an important set of policy recommendations to address the health and rights of women living with HIV, especially those affected by violence. But without additional funding directed toward carrying out the working group's recommendations, what's to come of this important work remains to be seen.

Rod McCullom has written and produced for ABC News, NBC and FOX, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, EBONY, POZ and many others. Read his blog at Rod 2.0.

Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC, Inc. All rights reserved.

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