Five facts about HIV in women

Dr Sabah Mir

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a sexually transmitted infection that damages a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that provide the ability to fight disease and infection. Left untreated, HIV can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a chronic and potentially life-threatening condition. There is no effective cure for HIV until today, but the condition can be controlled with proper care. Women account for more than half of the number of people living with HIV worldwide.

How does HIV/AIDS affect women differently from men?

•Women who have HIV/AIDS have some different problems from men:
•Complications such as repeated vaginal yeast infections, Severe pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
•A higher risk of cervical cancer
•Menstrual cycle problems
•A higher risk of osteoporosis
•Entering menopause younger or having more severe hot flashes
•Different, sometimes more severe, side effects from the medicines that treat HIV/AIDS
Drug interactions between some HIV/AIDS medicines and hormonal birth control
•The risk of giving HIV to their baby while pregnant or during childbirth.



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