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Year 2012

AIDS and The Woman

26 April 2012
Females in our society are at a greater risk of falling victim to this scourge. SANA RIYAZ reports

What is more important than a healthy life? Life is a blessing bestowed by the Almighty to each individual. Even the nature is bestowed with unseen life. However, there are some hurdles in its course and these often come in the form of incurable diseases such as AIDS.

Acquired Immuno–Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. The illness interferes with the immune system, making people with AIDS much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections and tumours that do not affect people with working immune systems. This susceptibility gets worse as the disease continues.

HIV is transmitted through sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral and anal), contaminated blood transfusions and hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It can be transmitted by contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid that has the virus in it, such as the blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre–seminal fluid or breast milk from an infected person.


Although treatments for HIV/AIDS can slow down the course of the disease, there is no known cure or HIV vaccine. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) reduces both the deaths and new infections from HIV/AIDS, but these drugs are expensive and the medications are not available in all countries. Due to the difficulty in treating HIV infection, preventing infection is a key aim in controlling the AIDS pandemic, with health organisations promoting safe sex and needle–exchange programmes in attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

AIDS Among Women

Women are generally at a greater risk of heterosexual transmission of HIV. Biologically women are twice more likely to become infected with HIV through unprotected heterosexual intercourse than men. In many countries women are less likely to be able to negotiate Condom use and are more likely to be subjected to non–consensual sex.

At the end of 2010 it was estimated by a Government survey that out of the 34 million adults worldwide living with HIV and AIDS, half are women. The AIDS epidemic has a unique impact on women, which has make worse their role within society and their biological vulnerability to HIV infection. The responsibility of caring for AIDS patients is also an issue that has a greater effect on women.


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