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Preventing HIV in US Women and Girls: A Call for Social Action


CA Gomez

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Womens Health Issues

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Successes in HIV prevention efforts in the U.S. have resulted in drastic reductions in the number of new infections in the U.S. among white gay men and injection drug users, a stabilization in overall annual rates of new HIV infections, and near eradication of mother-to child transmission of HIV. Despite this remarkable progress, the proportion of AIDS cases in women has slowly, quietly, and steadily increased from 7% in 1985 to 25% in 2008. The fact the prevention efforts have not reduced HIV spread among women suggests that targeting the individual behaviors of women to prevent HIV acquisition is not a sufficiently effective public health strategy. Interventions that more broadly address the needs of women and their families, and address the contextual factors in which HIV risk occurs are more likely to lead to measurable and sustainable progress. Over the past 30 years, we have seen the U.S. HIV epidemic in women become similar to patterns of HIV risk among women in the developing world. In 2009, 85% of women who acquired HIV became infected through sex with a man and the majority (83%) of them were non-white women. Efforts to understand these immense disparities and create gender-responsive strategies must be a priority within our National HIV/AIDS Strategy.




Behavior; Intervention; Women


Created at 12/9/2011 11:15 AM by Davis, Gregory P
Last modified at 12/9/2011 11:15 AM by Davis, Gregory P