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HIV And Women

Most Indians refuse to believe that heterosexual transmission accounts for 80 percent of infections in India. The virus has expanded the boundaries of high-risk groups to include adolescent girls (married and single); married women of reproductive age; sexually active single women; sex workers; college and university students; pregnant women; and women survivors of sexual abuse and rape. Women constitute 25 percent of known AIDS cases in the country, according to NACO. Data indicate that seven of 10 women affected by HIV are from poor rural and poor urban communities. Their heightened vulnerability has both biological and socio-economic reasons. Early marriage, violence and sexual abuse against women are the major socio-economic reasons of their vulnerability to HIV infection. Their biological construct makes them more susceptible to HIV infection in any given heterosexual encounter.

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