Women and AIDS

Are women becoming the main victims of AIDS?


Since its mysterious appearance 11 years ago, the virus that causes AIDS has infected more than 11 million people around the world -- and 2 million victims have already died. In sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease probably originated, acquired immune deficiency syndrome was spread mainly through heterosexual contact, affecting men and women in equal proportions. In the United States, most victims initially were male homosexuals. Now, women constitute the fastest- growing category of U.S. AIDS sufferers. Yet because earlier research and treatment focused on adult males, the virus in women frequently goes unrecognized until it's too late for treatment. The rapid spread of AIDS among women and children means that many more Americans than previously thought are at risk of contracting the virus.

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