President Creates Panel on HIV/AIDS, Violence Against Women, and Gender-related Health Disparities
From the White House:
Throughout our country, the spread of HIV/AIDS has had a devastating impact on many communities. In the United States, there are approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS, including more than 290,000 women. Women and girls now account for 24 percent of all diagnoses of HIV infection among United States adults and adolescents. The domestic epidemic disproportionately affects women of color, with African Americans and Latinas constituting over 70 percent of new HIV cases in women. The spread of HIV/AIDS is, in and of itself, a primary concern to my Administration. However, gender based violence and gender related health disparities cannot be ignored when addressing the domestic public health threat of HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS programs often ignore the biological differences and the social, economic, and cultural inequities that make women and girls more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. In our country, women and girls are all too frequently victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault, which can lead to greater risk for acquiring this disease. Teenage girls and young women ages 16 24 face the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault. In addition, challenges in accessing proper health care can present obstacles to addressing HIV/AIDS. Gender based violence continues to be an underreported, common problem that, if ignored, increases risks for HIV and may prevent women and girls from seeking prevention, treatment, and health services.
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