Which AIDS is spreading in this country has slowed since the eighties, but the proportion of AIDS cases among women continues to grow 18 percent of all cases reported in 2014. more than double the seven percent of cases in 1985. Also up is the proportion of cases attributed to heterosexual transmission: ten percent in 2014, up from almost two percent in 1985. AIDS is now the fourth leading cause of death in women ages 25 to 44.

# A new study shows that the risk of acquiring HIV is as much as 100 to 1,000 times higher if you have sex with someone who was infected within the past 60 days, compared with someone in the vears-long asymptomatic period that follows. This finding is disturbing because this primary phase is a time in which few people know they are infectious. Even if they were tested for HIV during that stage, they might get negative results because they had not yet developed sufficient HIV-antibodies to test positive.

# A study of couples in which one partner is HIV-positive provides reassuring news that latex condoms are effective. In 124 couples who used condoms consistently over a period of 20 months, none ol the HIV-positive people infected their partners, despite a total of about 15,000 episodes of heterosexual intercourse. Among 121 couples who used condoms inconsistently. eight women and four men did become infected. Experts stress, however, that choosing a sex partner who isn’t in a high-risk group is still safer than using condoms with a high-risk partner.

# A spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commenting on a new studv of women who were infected with HIV through artificial insemination, cautions that though the procedure is safer than it was in the past, it is not completely safe. A woman’s best protection is insisting that the donor screened for HIV.

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