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Age and Race Impact Women’s HIV Risk

By HERWriter
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STIs – Young women are more likely than older women to have sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which make them more vulnerable to HIV.

You may think older women are less likely to have HIV but in actuality, 24 percent of people with HIV are 50 or older. Here are some possible reasons why:

• Older women may not know about HIV or may not realize HIV is active in both the developed and developing countries in the world.
• Older women who were taught about Venereal Disease or “VD” in school may not recognize what an STI (sexually transmitted infection) is.

• Older women who are past menopause may not think about using condoms for STI protection once the chance of pregnancy is past.
• Older women may incorrectly think older men are “safe” and could not have HIV.
• Older women may be less comfortable talking to their doctors about HIV and other issues. Doctors may also be less likely to counsel older women about HIV safety.

Women who are in a higher risk group need to be more vigilant to protect their health. HIV is primarily transmitted to women through heterosexual sex when a condom is not used. Whatever your age or race, you can reduce your risk of HIV by not having sex, or by always using a condom if you are sexually active.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV among Women. Web. October 23, 2011.

WomensHealth.gov. HIV/AIDS. Web. October 23, 2011.

WomensHealth.gov. HIV/AIDS: Women of all ages can get HIV. Web. October 23, 2011.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Women and HIV. Web. October 23, 2011.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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