`Six of 10 patients with HIV are women`

Santo Domingo: Two studies from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS showed that 60 percent of people with this disease in the Dominican Republic are women, infection linked to gender violence.

Agencies working to address this problem are UNAIDS and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

Experts from these organizations set out the results of studies conducted in the country, which highlight educational level and gender as two factors that increase the risk of contracting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Gender-based violence also increases the risk of HIV infection, said expert Alina Ramirez, researcher and coauthor of the study "Gender Equality and HIV in the Dominican Republic.

The 30 percent of new AIDS cases in the Dominican Republic come from the relationships of trust, that is, within marriage, free unions and courtships, according to international agencies.

Studies estimate that there are 57 540 people living with HIV, 34 630 of them are women and 22 190 men.

The highest prevalence of HIV cases is in women between 30 and 34 years old.

According to studies, there is a clear link between violence against women, especially in childhood, when there is a higher risk of being affected by HIV due to violations, stigma and discrimination.


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