Women and HIV

We’ve discussed at length the various symptoms and how HIV affects the lives of those who have become infected with the virus. What we haven’t talked about is how women, in particular, are affected by HIV and the unique complications that come along with a diagnosis. Here are a few issues that may affect the health of women in the event of an HIV infection.

STI’s & STD’s 

When it comes to women and HIV, there are a few sexually transmitted infections/diseases that affect women who have been diagnosed differently than those who haven’t. Those infections and diseases are genital herpes, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease. For each of these infections/diseases, women who have been infected with HIV may take longer to recover, sores make be slower to heal, and they can even become resistant to some medications.

Cervical Cancer

This slow growing cancer of the cervix is most commonly caused by HPV. HPV is an extremely common infection that includes number of different strains. Although there are many types of HPV, only a few are the kind that lead to cervical cancer. In a woman who has been infected with HIV, it is more likely to find the type of HPV that ultimately leads to cancer.

Vaginal Infections

While vaginal infections like yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are common, women who are infected with HIV may experience these kind of infections much more often intensely. It’s also highly likely that these kind of vaginal infections are more difficult to treat as well.

Menstrual Cycles

For women that have been diagnosed with HIV, monthly menstrual cycles are anything but normal. Irregular bleeding during the month, intense menstrual cramps, and even missing periods altogether are very common.

For more information on the ways that women are affected by HIV visit Aids.gov.

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