For the past several years, the women of the United States have been devastated by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. There is a growing number of women who are diagnosed with AIDS from an 8% incident rate in the year 1985 to a staggering 27% by the year 2003 (Jaffe 2003). It particularly affects African-American women.
This is evidenced by the fact that African-American women have 25% more chance of contracting the disease as compared to their Caucasian counterparts. Globally, women often contract the disease through unprotected sexual relationships. In addition, African-American women form 50% of those who are newly infected with HIV yearly, according to the Joint United Nations Programme
For African-American women, the ability to maintain their health and well being often pose a major challenge and setback. According to several studies, 50 percent of individuals who have HIV or AIDS are not on the receiving end of medical care while 25% of those infected with HIV or AIDS do not even know that they have the disease.
During the past several years, we have seen advances in medical care and the government has even allotted a certain fund for HIV/AIDS victims. However, women, nationwide, have not fared much as compared to their male counterparts.
This status is due generally to the fact that women often postpone seeking healthcare and medical treatment for the disease due to several barriers which include lacking resources for transportation and due to the sickness itself (Cunningham 1999).
As a response to this, we need to ensure that there is a local planning process for those who are inflicted with HIV/AIDS. It must be insured that each and everyone is included and represented in determining and meting out healthcare ad medical aid as the number of HIV infected individuals are increasing and growing more diverse.
Cunningham, et. Al (1999). “The Impacts of Competing Subsistence Needs and Barriers on Access to Medical Care for Persons with HIV Receiving Care in the United States,” Medical Care, Vol.37, No.12
Joint United Nations Programme, report on the global AIDS epidemic.
Jaffe, H (2003). “HIV/AIDS in America Today: National HIV Prevention Conference” A CDC Presentation