Higher Rates Of HIV In Females Than Males: Gender Discrimination, One Factor.  

Why Rates of HIV Are Higher Among Female Teens than Males

A new report released by UNICEF shares that there are more young girls and women who contract HIV infection than young boys or men. The disparity was reported to be twice more likely for girls and young women than their counterpart (Source: Healthline).

A better access to HIV treatment was suggested to be one of the factors that can help overcome this difference. It was also noted that nearly 98,000 adolescent females were testing positive for the virus last year.

An indication of gender discrimination, cultural attitudes, and socioeconomic factors play a role in this spread of the virus. Especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where young women around 10 and 19 years are affected.

The number (98,000) is still half of the entire populace that has HIV infection. The numbers in 2022 rose to 1.7 million infections globally. Children between 10 and 19 years were found to live with the virus. With 4% of them living with an existing infection, whereas 10% of the people were given a new diagnosis of the infection.

The statistics around young women and girls was disproportionate to the remaining populace. 82% of the HIV-positive adolescents aged 10 to 19 years, were living in sub-Saharan Africa. The children aged between 0 to 14 years with a HIV-positive diagnosis were found to sum up to 87%.

Dr. Monica Gandhi said “Moreover, with millions of girls out of school in the last three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic response, economic conditions were even worse for many in sub-Saharan Africa and this economic need for young women to sell sex likely heightened. Most young women’s risk factors for HIV infection are not their own risk factors but those of their partners.”

Dr. Gandhi is a professor of medicine and the associate division chief of the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital.

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Harsha Sharma

Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

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