Women, HIV, other STDs and AIDS

lollipop-1578036The number of women with HIV/AIDS continues to increase worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 17,5 million women worldwide were infected with HIV by the end of 2005.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2000 and 2004, the estimated number of AIDS cases in the United States increased from 10% in females and 7 percent among men.

In 2004, women represented 27% of newly reported AIDS cases among adults and adolescents 44,615. HIV affects disproportionately the african-American and Hispanic women. Together, they account for less than 25% of all American women, but represent more than 79 percent of AIDS cases in women.

In the United States, most women are infected with HIV during sex with a man or are infected with HIV during the use of HIV-contaminated syringes for the injection of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines. Of the new HIV infections diagnosed among women in the United States in 2004, the CDC estimated that 70% was attributed to heterosexual contact and 28% for injecting drug use.

Find a doctor with whom you feel comfortable and that you trust enough to share personal information isestetoscopio-1310973 first and most important step you should take. You need to find a doctor with whom you can build a good relationship so that you can feel free and comfortable to discuss issues that are important to you such as sexual behavior, birth control preferences, and concerns related to pregnancy without being judged in any way. The good news is that there are many doctors available to offer you care and understanding in treating HIV positive women. (The translator, who is not a woman, left a few years ago “a therapist” in the middle of “an analysis session” when she fired, with her mouth glands, a certain dose of poison that, in good Portuguese, translates into like this: "After all you were promiscuous and contracted HIV. You deserve to live like this" ... in consideration of the many women I attend on this site decide to unprintable the words I used to respond to the blunt and blunt statement).

If you do not know where to go or who to ask for advice on how to find a doctor with much experience to treat women with HIV, try to contact your representative
health service location related to AIDS or non-governmental organizations, since they usually have a list of recommended doctors in your area. You can get the name and number of your service organization of local Dial Department of Health AIDS São Paulo (Brazil meets all) on the phone 0800 16 25 50

How often should I go to the doctor?

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It is important that all people, regardless of whether or not they are infected with HIV, visit a doctor (a general practitioner or an infectious disease) on a regular basis time for a checkup on your health as a whole. For HIV positive women, regular checkups are crucial for two reasons:

objects-of-advertising-1204835HIV infection: HIV activity in the body, including its effects on the immune system and other bodily functions, needs to be closely monitored. In general, HIV-positive women should consult their doctors every six months for important blood tests (for example, CD4 cell count and viral load) and a general checkup (eg blood pressure check, hear the heart and the lungs, checking the health of your eyes, ears and mouth). Many doctors recommend blood tests and a quick checkup every three months once antiretroviral treatment is started. If HIV progresses, these tests may also be necessary for an analysis of your clinical / laboratory condition.

Gynecological health: HIV positive women are at increased risk of gynecological problems, such as vaginal fungal infections, pelvic inflammatory disease and cervical problems. As a result, when a woman discovers that she has become HIV positive, she should necessarily go through a gynecological examination the first time she undergoes a consultation. If everything is normal, it is best to repeat the test after six months. After these two queries an (1) annual gynecological examination is sufficient. However, if a gynecological examination that is not normal or if your doctor detects a problem that may require treatment, more frequent gynecological exams will usually be needed. Note: If you always suffer from bleeding abnormalities in your menstrual cycle or unusual bleeding, pain, swelling, or itching in or around your vagina or below the abdomen, you should contact your doctor immediately. Even if it is not within your gynecological routine, these problems need to be checked as soon as possible should they occur.

How do I prepare for a visit with my doctor?

When you visit your doctor which may include a physician (preferably an infectious disease), a general nurse or a physician assistant for the first time, you should provide as much information as possible about your medical history. The best way to do this is to write down as much information as you can before you see your doctor for the first time. You should be prepared to discuss the following with your doctor:

  • His medical history (any serious diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, surgeries, miscarriages, abortions, pregnancies or allergies in the past).
  • health problems of the moment, including the date and the place you found seropositive.
  • Sexual history (estimated number of partners, history of anal intercourse as well as vaginal sex).
  • menstrual cycle.
  • History of emotional health (anxiety, depression, emotional instability, etc.).
  • Medications you are taking or have taken in the past.
  • adequate pharmacovigilance herbs, pills or liquids you may be taking for any reason.
  • vaccination history.
  • Your birth control method and frequency of use.
  • Any recreational drugs you have made use or currently use.
  • Alcohol consumption and smoking history.
  • health history of your family (father, mother and siblings).

Do not be intimidated! It is important that your doctor knows as much about its history as possible! For example, sexual practice and recreational drug use are two things that many people are embarrassed to talk about with their doctors. However, both can have a major impact on the physical and mental health and should be openly discussed, so that the doctor can know how to look for specific problems.

There are also things you can do to prepare for a physical exam before you actually go the first appointment with your doctor:

The best time to schedule this appointment - if you know you are going for a gynecological exam - is one week after your menstrual period, while the worst time is the week before your menstrual cycle.

injection-time-syringe-with-1524028Some physicians recommend that patients have their blood drawn by a phlebotomist (an individual certified to harvest the blood for laboratory testing), generally in a hospital or laboratory based on clinical, so that the CD4 cells, viral load, and other important blood values ​​can be reviewed at the time of consultation. This usually requires the collection of blood is a (1) two (2) weeks before the consultation.

No hygienic shower perform at least two or three days prior consultation.

You should also refrain from sex for 24 hours before your test.

You will feel more comfortable during the pelvic exam, if you empty your bladder beforehand.

What can I expect during the exam?

There are several steps involved in the physical examination. If you want to know more about the examination process and understand what your doctor is looking for, ask questions.

An examination usually starts with your doctor or nurse measuring your blood pressure, weight and pulse. You should always inform your doctor or nurse when the first day of your last menstrual period and if you are having problems related to it.

Your doctor will listen to your heart and lungs, check your breasts for any changes or granulations and palpate your abdominal area to check for any irregularities. A reliable examination of your breasts should take approximately 30 seconds per breast; be aware of abuse.

During the breast exam your doctor should discuss self-examination monthly breast (AEM) with you. Your doctor will provide instructions if you are not familiar with how to run the AME. If you have 35 years of age or older, your doctor should also discuss mammography screening for breast cancer.


Your doctor may also want to perform a pelvic exam, which involves feeling and looking into the vagina. If your primary doctor or gynecologist is a man and you're nervous about performing a pelvic exam, you can request that a nurse will be present in the room - and seek to resolve all your doubts.

To perform a pelvic exam, you will be asked to be placed on the examination table and place your feet in the straps. Do, with secure legs on his knees and buckles to separate, then a metal speculum or plastic is inserted into your vagina. This device allows your doctor to get a better view of the inside of your vagina and cervix (located at the back of the vagina) to perform an examination and to perform a test called a Pap smear.

theA Pap smear is a gentle scraping the loose cells in the opening of the cervix. Once collected, these cells are examined under a microscope to look for abnormalities. Achieving a Pap test is done with a long cotton swab, which is inserted and pressed gently against your cervix. Although these tests are not painful, it can be uncomfortable for a few seconds.

After the Pap Smear is completed, your doctor will insert a gloved finger into your vagina while feeling your lower abdomen with your other hand to analyze the size, shape, and movement of your uterus.

Your doctor may also want to put your finger in your anus to check the health of your rectum. Your doctor may also want to do an anal Pap smear to examine the rectal cells. This is because women who have abnormal cervical pap spots may also have abnormal pap spots in the anal area.

HIV affects women differently than men?

I usually say, "lifelong, I died a thousand deaths." And in fact, I believe that I have already exceeded this figure and can not disentangle in predictions, how many deaths I live (...) until chegeu for mercy addition, the death of the car. The fact is that every time you receive a text that refers to the damage that HIV causes to the brain and neural network, I argue in his own cause, since, from the beginning, when mminha primary HIV infection was configured in a meningitis, he, the virus has acted slowly and silently in my cérbro (I see my sanity is slipping away, little by little) and in my neural network (...) and God knows the level of concentration that is necessary so I do not make typos, so I do not lose the thread in my reasoning and how much I suffer with s pain, physical and moral, of Neuroparia Peripheral who corrodes me the nervous system. However, in spite of everything, and he died so often, I like to think that the death of the car come as esa of illustration and will make Herculean efforts to reach me, crawling like a snail, snail travesty ....

Eu costumo dizer que, “ao longo da life, morri mil mortes”. E, de fato, creio que já ultrapassei esta cifra e não consigo deslindar, em vaticínios, quantas mortes eu viverei (…) até que chegeu, por acréscimo de misericórdia, a morte do carro físico. O fato é que toda a vez que posto um texto que se refere aos danos que o HIV causa ao cérebro e à rede neural, eu milito em causa própria, posto que, desde o início, quando mminha infecção primária por HIv configurou-se numa meningite, ele, o vírus, tem atuado de forma paulatina e silenciosa no meu cérbro (eu vejo minha lucidez esvaindo-se a pouco e pouco) e na minha rede neural (…) e Deus sabe o nível de concentração que é necessário para que eu não cometa erros de digitação, para que eu não perca o fio da meada em meus raciocínios e o quanto eu sofro com s dores, físicas e morais, da Neuroparia Periférica quem me corroi o sistema nervoso. Entretanto, apesar dos pesares, e de ter morrido tantas vezes, eu gosto de pensar que a morte do carro físico venha como esa da ilustração, envidando esforços hercúleos para me alcançar, arrastando-se como uma lesma, travestida de caracol….

For most people, HIV affects men and women in the same way. Men and women with HIV may have mild symptoms of infection, even before the virus damages their immune systems. These symptoms include low grade fevers, night sweats, fatigue, and weight loss. As the disease progresses, both men and women are at risk for a number of Opportunistic infectionsSuch as Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). However, as men are more susceptible to the development of certain diseases related to AIDS (e.g. Kaposi's sarcoma, A type of skin cancer) than women, women are more likely than men to develop certain complications related to AIDS (see below).

There has been some debate as to whether HIV-positive women can progress to AIDS and die faster than HIV-infected men. Studies conducted at the outset of the HIV / AIDS epidemic suggested that there was a difference, with women with shorter disease-free survival than men. Research conducted in recent years confirms that women appeared more susceptible to disease and death than men, but not because of biological differences. Instead, HIV-positive women appeared to progress more rapidly to AIDS than men because of economic / social barriers, including lack of access to HIV testing, care and services; reduction of self-motivation; more attention to the health needs of their children than to their own; and lack of support. Based on these findings, public health experts have intensified their efforts to increase HIV testing among women and to ensure that women with positive diagnoses are linked to adequate health care and support services.

There are problems associated with AIDS which are specific to women?

gynecological diseases and other infections of the female reproductive system problems can occur both in HIV positive patients and HIV negative women. However, HIV-positive women, especially if they have a damaged immune system, are more likely than HIV-negative women to experience gynecologic order problems more often or may have greater difficulty in treating these problems. Some of these gynecological diseases do not cause symptoms that can be felt, so it is very important that you see your doctor regularly to keep a watch for these problems.

Genital Herpes


Genital herpes is a very common infection caused by a virus that results in outbreaks of ulcers in the genital region. HIV-positive women may experience these ulcers more often and more severely than HIV-negative women. Symptoms of genital herpes include: pruritus and / or burning in the vaginal or anal area; pain in the legs, buttocks, or vaginal area; discharge of mucus-like vaginal fluid and pressure in the abdomen (intestines). The most common sites for the onset of herpes ulcers in women are the outer vaginal lips (labia majora) and the inside of the vagina lips (small lips). To learn more about genital herpes, click here.

menstrual irregularities

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Many women undergo changes in their menstrual cycles their periods regardless of whether or not they are infected with HIV. Some women report that their periods become irregular after being infected with HIV; some HIV-positive women experience bleeding experiences or worsening of PMS symptoms. Another condition is amenorrhea-no menstruation for more than three months in women who are not pregnant or are not having menopause.

Studies have not consistently shown that HIV-positive women are more likely to suffer from menstrual irregularities than HIV-negative women. In turn, most experts do not seem to think that the diagnosis and treatment of menstrual problems should be treated differently in HIV-positive women.

You should continue to update your doctor about your menstrual cycle and report any irregularities. If you have amenorrhea, it is important for you and your doctor to investigate the potential cause. In addition to the possibility of pregnancy or menopause, certain Opportunistic infections, Ovarian cysts and other gynecological problems can cause amenorrhea and lead to more serious complications.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)


The human papillomavirus is spread through sexual activity. In women, it can cause different types of disease, especially in or around the genital area. These include small warts, small warts that grow on clumps in or around the vagina or anus. There is also patch or abnormal cell dysplasia that can occur in the cervix and anus. There is also cancer of the cervix or anus, which can be caused by dysplasia. HIV-positive women are more likely to be infected with HPV than HIV-negative women. HIV-positive women are also more susceptible to developing pulmonary dysplasia and possibly cervical or anal cancer as a result of HPV.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

WC sign for women

WC sign for women

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious infection which is frequently caused by a number of common infections, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) gonorrhea and chlamydia. PID starts after these infections-move up from the vagina to other organs in the body where they can cause serious damage. The most common symptoms are abdominal pain DIPs bottoms, irregular menses, vaginal discharge or urination is often painful.

The infection is generally treated in hospital with a number of 4 (intravenously) antibiotics, and generally requires two weeks of bed rest. Each year in the USA, over one million women develop and many have PIDs of tubal pregnancy (pregnancies that occur in the tubes that carry sperm to the ovaries), resulting in more than one hundred thousand cases of infertility. This is why it is very important to communicate with your doctor about any problems you may be facing and maintain regular gynecological exams to look for problems that you may not know exist.

candidiasis vaginal


Vaginal candidiasis is a fungal infection that is relatively common in many women. However, it is much more common among HIV-positive women who have low T-cell counts. Signs of vaginal candidiasis are vaginal bleeding outside the menstrual cycle and usually frothy, with putrid odor in vaginal discharges. To know more about vaginal candidiasis and the ways in which they can be treated, click here.

Are the different treatment recommendations for women?


Recommendations to start HIV treatment are similar in men and women - immediately after diagnosis from 2014 when the study START determined that the start of treatment so happens the diagnosis is made decrease the complications or advance development possibilities of HIV infection toward AIDS.
It is worth taking the time to learn about the drugs used to treat HIV before making a decision on the start of treatment.

Making treatments work differently in women than in men?
We do not know if antiretroviral drugs work differently in women and men. However, there is good reason to believe that all drugs used to treat HIV today work as well in women as in men. HIV positive women now has a longer life and healthier than ever.

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We know that the amounts of some HIV drugs are higher and may last longer in women's bodies than the male body. For example, the amount of nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase Rescriptor (delavirdine) is often higher in the blood of women than in men. There are few studies showing that side effects can be worse in women than in men. For example, a study of protease inhibitor Norvir (ritonavir) found that women experience more nausea, vomiting and weakness than men. There are also studies suggesting that HIV-positive pregnant women are at increased risk for certain side effects than HIV-positive patients among HIV-positive men and women who are not pregnant

The reasons for the existence of higher drug levels and side effects in HIV-positive women are still not understood. One possibility is related to body weight and the body size. Because a much larger percentage of men than women enroll in trials and because usually men weigh more and often have a larger structure compared to male bodies and doses of medications used to treat HIV-positive women may be missing to be larger than necessary for men and as a result, increased risk of triggering sequences of side effects. However, this does not mean that HIV positive women should take smaller doses of their drugs. Clinical trials to determine that the fact that women can be treated with lower doses of certain antiretroviral drugs, women should continue taking their drugs in doses currently recommended for all adults living with HIV.

HIV-positive women do not need to be very careful about drug interactions. Specifically, certain ARV drugs may affect the levels of other prescription drugs in the body. For example, it is known that the various antiretroviral agents may interfere with the way the body processes oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol-a popular hormonal form of birth control among HIV-positive and negative patients. If you are taking Aptivus (tipranavir), Norvir (ritonavir), Kaletra(lopinavir / ritonavir), Prezista (darunavir), Viracept (nelfinavir), or Viramune (nevirapine), oral contraceptives may not work as well because these drugs lessen the levels of ethinyl estradiol. If you are taking Crixivan (Indinavir), Sustiva (efavirenz), Reyataz (atazanavir), Lexiva (fosamprenavir) or Rescriptor (delavirdine), you may be taking more ethinyl estradiol than you need.

Translated from article POZ Magazine Online

Can I get pregnant if I am HIV positive?

While having children is definitely an option for HIV positive people (men and women), it does require careful planning with a doctor. This includes "bias" planning - exploring the options available to help you conceive and taking the necessary steps during pregnancy (whether planned or unplanned) to protect your and your baby's health.

The good news is that there are many ways to plan a healthy pregnancy and a number of strategies to help you reduce the risk of transmission of the virus to the baby. Click here For more information.

Translated by Claudio Souza the original online magazine POZ at this address: HIV and Women (both links open in another tab of your browser) with review of Mara Macedo in 29 / 04 / 2016.

A note from the Editor: The more this site grows, the more I understand how unpleasant rises have content you created used by another person and not having found the name of the author of this text mortifies me. If you know the author's name, please pass me by any one of the feedback paths of this site and it will be placed. Thank you

A note of the Editor: How much more this site grows, the more I understand rises as it is unpleasant have the content that you created used by another person and the fact of not having the name of the author of this text makes me mortifies. If you know the name of the author, please pass me through any of the tracks of feedback on this site and it will be placed here. Thank You

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