Prevention of HIV Infection in Women: Overcoming Barriers

Document Type



The proportion of total reported cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in US women increased annually between 1988 and 1994 from 10% to 18%, indicating an urgent need for prevention measures. Interventions designed to reduce unsafe sex and drug-using behaviors in women have been limited. Barriers to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention for women include a disproportionately low investment of resources, inadequacy and inaccessibility of substance abuse treatment programs, the crack/cocaine epidemic and resulting unsafe sex behaviors, lack of a woman-controlled method to prevent sexual transmission of HIV, and unique social and cultural factors that limit women's power in sexual decision making. Some interventions have been successful in reducing women's risk behaviors. Expanding prevention efforts targeted to women is necessary in order to stem the rising rate of HIV infection.


AIDS (Disease) – Prevention; Drug abusers; HIV infections – Prevention; Unsafe sex; Women – Sexual behavior


Epidemiology | Immune System Diseases | Public Health | Virus Diseases | Women's Health


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