Top Health Experts Urge More Protection for Women Against Diseases

Top health experts attending the first International Conference on Women and Infectious Diseases expressed the need for improved efforts to fight infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS among women. According to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexually transmitted diseases and other common infections affect women disproportionately, reports the New York Times.

The CDC, the World Health Organization, and the American Society for Microbiology are urging new efforts to decrease infection rates among women and newborns. According to Kaiser, health officials are urging countries to create separate health data reports on women instead of combining the results of men and women.

The Associated Press reports that 55 percent of those infected with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa are women. Teenage brides in some African countries are becoming infected with AIDS at higher rates than girls who are unmarried. According to the New York Times, these married girls are contracting HIV from husbands who usually are much older than they are. According to an United Nations official working on the AIDS program, a married woman runs the highest risk of contracting AIDS when she has a “philandering husband,” reports the New York Times.

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Kaisernetwork 3/1/04; The New York Times 2/29/04, 2/27/04; Associated Press 2/28/04bn

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