HIV and Women

Women represent one of the fastest growing populations infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States. While many of the clinical manifestations of HIV/AIDS in women are similar to men, there remain significant gender-based differences in the disease. These include:

  • Differences in viral load early in infection
  • Differences in selected opportunistic infections
  • Difference in selected ARV-related toxicities and side effects
  • A number of female-specific complications
  • Issues related to HIV and pregnancy
  • The psychosocial impact and the environment in which HIV/AIDS occurs in women
  • Access to and receipt of quality care

The epidemiology, clinical complications, and natural history of HIV/AIDS in women, and the care of non-pregnant HIV-infected women in the United States, will be reviewed here. HIV in pregnant women is discussed separately.

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