AIDS Experts: Focus On Pregnant Women Not Enough

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The AIDS epidemic increasingly is a female one, and women are making the case at the world's largest AIDS meeting that curbing it will require focusing on poverty and violence, not just pregnancy and pills.

A top official with UNICEF told an International AIDS Conference in Washington that already women make up half the world's HIV infections and that adolescent girls are at particular risk in the hardest-hit parts of the world.

Some 4.8 million people ages 15 to 24 are living with HIV, and two-thirds are female. According to that official, sexual violence and conditions of poverty that frequently lead to girls leaving school and marrying in their teens for economic security, often to much older men, are chief risks in developing countries.

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