HIV/AIDS is a major health challenge among women across the globe. A case study of the United States alone reveals that about 25% of those who live with HIV/AIDS are women. Most women acquire the virus mainly through sexual intercourse with infected individuals. Research studies indicate that women are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS transmission than men (Raczynski & DiClemente, 2013). While they may strive to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS, high risk behaviors from their male partners is a major drawback. For instance, some male counterparts may opt to engage in sex with other men without using proper protection.
Prevention measures that can curtail transmission include being faithful to one partner, abstinence and using protection. There are no known vaccines to date that can be used to prevent HIV/AIDS. For women who have already been diagnosed with the condition, Anti-Retroviral Therapy is highly recommended in order to boost the immune system and suppress the virus. Since mother-to-child transmission is also rife among pregnant women especially in under-developed and developing nations, affected women are advised to take anti-HIV/AIDS medicines before childbirth (Stone, 2012).
HIV/AIDS is a broad area of interest when it comes to health promotion and disease prevention policies across the world. Since the discovery of the virus in 1980s, no cure has been found. Thousands of lives have been lost and societies devastated because it is a terminal condition that affects the core of society and family unit. Huge capital investments have been channeled by national and international agencies as well as governments towards the prevention, management and treatment of HIV/AIDS (Stone, 2012). While some success is evident, women are among the worst affected by the scourge. Hence, this topic is of interest because both quantitative and qualitative medical researches are still required to address the challenge in the 21st century and beyond.
The significance of this topic regarding healthcare for women lies within the need to sustain societal fabric of growth and development. As much as HIV/AIDS has affected the global population indiscriminately (men, children and youths included), women bear the most painful brunt of this terminal condition. Needless to say, the input of women in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any nation is enormous. We have witnessed the rising rate of women professionals since the last century (Raczynski & DiClemente, 2013). The society is no longer dominated by men in regards to socio-economic and political developments. Therefore, if this segment of the population is brought to its knees by the ravaging effects of HIV/AIDS, it is no doubt that our economies, leadership, social and political structures will be affected in the same measure.
Startling statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) indicate that women top the list of new infections every year. For instance, African-American women in the United States recorded 63% of new HIV/AIDS infections in 2013 (The Four Domains of Chronic Disease Prevention, 2015). The figure might be lower in other regions even though the net effect is regressive for women. In addition, less than 50% of women who know their HIV/AIDS status are the ones who take the step to obtain the care they need. As much as every other person infected by HIV/AIDS is entitled to medical care, the bulk of women in this segment fail to do so. Eventually, they easily succumb to the pressure posed by HIV/AIDS burden.
The following two questions regarding this topic are worth exploring because unless health promotion and disease prevention against women diagnosed by HIV/AIDS is fast-tracked, the future is bound to be broken. Comprehensive healthcare delivery and thorough healthcare education programs targeting women are prudent at this point in time.
- Why are women more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS transmission than men and how can we tackle the challenge?
- Are there other health promotion and prevention measures (apart from the known ones) against HIV/AIDS among women? If yes, why should they not be applied uniformly across the world?