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ELECTRONIC EPIDEMIOLOGY
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-27

Looking at complicating non-biological issues in women with HIV


1 University Medical Unit, National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
2 Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
Chaturaka Rodrigo
University Medical Unit, National Hospital of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-777X.59246

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Introduction: The increasing number of women acquiring Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has resulted in a 'feminization' of the epidemic. In this article we are reviewing whether females are disadvantaged in the epidemic, due to factors independent of the biological differences in sexes. Materials and Methods: We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for articles with key words 'Women', 'Gender,' and 'HIV' in any field. The search was restricted to articles published in English within the last 10 years (1999-2009). Data were coded independently by two reviewers from 94 selected sources. The coded data were categorized under five commonly encountered concepts; violence, poverty, gender norms, prevention-/treatment-related issues, and Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment (HAART). Results: The link between inter-partner violence (IPV) and HIV risk for women is observed by many authors. In assessing the link between poverty and HIV, indicators such as food insufficiency and income inequality may be better indicators compared to wealth itself. Although women are disadvantaged with male-dominated gender norms, evidence suggests that the traditional norms are changing in many societies. A positive association between living in urban communities, education, and better HIV knowledge has been observed in females, although it is not always synonymous with reduced risk behavior. Conclusions: Women are still disadvantaged in many HIV-related issues such as poverty, violence, and gender norms. At least in Africa, there is evidence of a positive change in spheres of education and gender norms. However, the situation in Asia is largely unexplored.


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2008 Journal of Global Infectious Diseases | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th December, 2008