Women Represent Increasing Number of Canada’s HIV Infections
Women are accounting for an increasing proportion of HIV infections in Canada and must be informed about risk factors that can lead to contracting the virus, the Toronto Globe and Mail reports. Although HIV-positive Canadian women who had "no known risk factors" for infection used to be a "rarity," they are becoming more common, the Globe and Mail reports. Women represent 24% of new HIV infections in Canada, compared to 8.5% in 1995. Approximately 20% of all HIV-positive Canadians are women. Janet Rowe, executive director of the AIDS group Voices of Positive Women, said that women need to realize that HIV "can strike any woman regardless of her living situation." Voices of Positive Women Chair Louise Binder added that more research is needed on female-controlled HIV prevention methods such as microbicides. "We desperately need some form of birth control that's completely invisible and under the woman's control. Some work has been done on microbicides ... but not enough. And while vaccines may work in the long term, they're a long way off" (Globe and Mail, 9/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.