by Sarah Schulman

Women Coping with Aids

Since the first American woman was diagnosed as suffering from AIDS in 1981, only 14,000 women have qualified for an “official” AIDS diagnosis. Although the actual number of women suffering from AIDS is probably closer to 40,000, the official definition of AIDS by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) requires an individual to test positive for HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and at least one related infection from its list. This list does not include chronic gynecological infections such as vaginal thrush, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and even life-threatening diseases such as cervical cancer because they do not appear in male patients on whom virtually all treatment models are based.

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