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International News

Report: Nearly Half of Adults With HIV Are Women

November 23, 2004

Women now comprise nearly half of the 37.2 million adults living with HIV worldwide, according to an annual report (also available in PDF) by UNAIDS and World Health Organization released ahead of World AIDS Day, Dec. 1. During the past two years, the number of HIV-infected women has risen in every region of the world. East Asia had the highest increase with 56 percent, followed by Eastern Europe and Central Asia with 48 percent. "Increasingly the face of AIDS is young and female," said UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Dr. Kathleen Cravero.

Women are particularly affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, where three-quarters of all 15- to 24-year-olds with HIV are female. "Young women are almost an endangered species in southern Africa from AIDS for several reasons," said Cravero. Because many women lack an education and employment, they are often economically dependent on men and may lack the power to refuse sex or negotiate condom use. "In some places, the main HIV risk factor for a women is the fact that she is faithful to a husband with previous or current sex partners," the report noted.

Teenage girls are becoming infected with HIV at a younger age by men who are significantly older. And violence against women increases their vulnerability to infection.

The report estimated 39.4 million adults and children are living with HIV in 2004 -- the highest level ever -- compared to about 36.6 million two years ago. At least 3 million people died of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses this year. Sixty-four percent of all HIV-positive people worldwide, and 76 percent of all infected women, are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Back to other news for November 23, 2004

Adapted from:
Reuters
11.23.04; Patricia Reaney



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

 

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